Excerpt: 'Requiem for the Factory' by Jeremy Fernando, Kenny Png and Yanyun Chen
What happens when one names another, when one draws them
is that the moment in which they disappear?; when they begin
slipping away, into nothingness.
Can I only begin to love you in your absence?
Do we otherwise end up in relative spaces with each other —
merely two characters in the same novel?
Only when we remain irreducibly singular — and yet in a
relationality with each other — is love even possible.
Perhaps only when the other remains nameless.
What if we begin with the premise that there is nothing to begin
That might be the case when one first attempts to touch another;
if that touch has no a priori intent, no motive —
if that touch attempts to do nothing but to touch.
But this is then a nothingness that is not of the order of absence,
nor of a lack; this is a nothingness that wants for nothing, is
nothing other than a full potentiality, is nothing but possibilities —
whilst at the same time, in the same moment, within the same
gesture, recognises the very potential not-to-be.
A not-to-be that is always already; but just not yet.
Otherwise, when she clocks out she would merely be without a
However, it is not as if the factory ever leaves her — even as she
may have left it. Even though she attempts to punch the factory
out of her life, her self.
Did the factory always factor in my desire of wanting to be
someone other than another of the ones in her realm;
not just one of those that clocked, docked, in and out; one that
resisted being exchangeable, mutable, the same.
We can only speculate whether she was ever able to do so.
What seems to make it even more impossible now is the difficulty
in hitting a spectre.
After all, we can only see ghosts when we are not looking—and it
would seem quite difficult to punch blindly.
That is unless she manages to see with her third eye: how she
becomes her own shaman though remains to be seen.
Perhaps we should allow ourselves a moment to posit.
There is a possibility that she can momentarily leave if she takes
into account her own blindness. For, only by not seeing do we
leave any space, possibility, for us to see.
And here, one must make no mistake: she will be held accountable
for all of this.
Even if she cannot know what she may see, or even will see, even if
she knows not what she does.
If she is blind, might she momentarily forget?
For, if seeing is believing, is blindness a turning away from knowing, from
memory? — forgetting itself.
If one must be blind to see, then seeing itself is always
If she is always already blind, might her remembering not also
remind us that all memory potentially brings with it forgetting.
Not that she can choose to forget — even as all hope lies in
There is, of course, an irony in attempting to foreground an
But most of our hope lies in absurdity.
All potentiality is in the to-come; a to-come that we cannot rely
on, cannot even know — a to-come that we may always already
A potentiality — a hope — that may lie to us.
What a beautiful lie it is too
All names that name the fact that we cannot name.
All names for hope.
The names that remain nameless.
The names of the nameless.
Haec quotiescumque feceritis, in mei memoriam facietis. Mysterium fidei.
Excerpt and photographs republished from Requiem for the Factory, by Jeremy Fernando (text), Kenny Png (photographs) and Yanyun Chen (layout). Singapore: Delere Press, 2012.