What gets me about these two images (the right a painting by Danish artist Torben Ribe and the left a still with title from the 1957 movie) is how easily one could switch the written components. On the left, the two figures look far more tired (and scared) than dangerous. His body is turned away from what’s coming, whatever has so transfixed his companion’s gaze. He is contorted, twisted, with a weariness in his eyes that indicates a desire to turn back. The raised brow prevents him from looking hardened or ready, as if he’s staring in spite of himself. She holds herself back with her own hands round her bust, even as she’s dragged chin-first into whatever is coming. His arms hold her, not back because he doesn’t possess that kind of strength, but like an anchor, to the middle point between something gone and the unavoidable to-come. See how their necks crane forward together, not in anticipation, but in fear and resignation, while their torsos twist away. Her right shoulder naked and retreating, dragging her body by the right breast, as if an estranged limb. Young and tired (and scared), they are torn through their eyes into a future against which their feeble bodies strain with futility.
And Ribe’s eggs, rocking violently back and forth. The harsh black lines speak of a destabilizing power with which the present will have to reckon. There is movement, but not a subject to be found; we have unconscious jerks, the locomotion of pure potential. A hatching egg is like a quickly ticking bomb, a coming explosion of alterity that shifts the landscape around an emergent presence. There is to be something where there is not, and this imminent something promises to rip asunder the world without it. Young and dangerous, the shells crack with a roar.
What would it mean to be all of the above? It would be to know that the looming future into which we, though exhausted, are dragged, is not ready for us. Those eggs are tired (and scared) in the same way Beckett’s Clov is in Endgame: for them the earth is extinguished though they never saw it lit. And yet the two contorted lovers are dangerous, as is anything young and alive. They are anchored on each other as they’re pulled forward into what may come, tired, scared, and dangerous like a time-bomb.