Adrian Ghenie, Pie Fight Study 2, 2008, oil on canvas
The shyness that will ruin her life, farm-bred, Catholic-ruined, attuned, like generations of Irish children, to the gaze that cuts and hacks at the self. You are unworthy, do not raise your head. Do not speak in your foolish tongue. Your words are meaningless. These things are not meant for you. Her lifelong envy of people, many of them also Irish, who don’t hear those words, see those glances, who seem to have shrugged off history. Free to laugh at shyness, fear, any niggling sense of trespass.