New Works: do you want to have this experience?

Culture — 07.05.21

Words: Hannah Makonnen
Photography: Delaney Schoenfeldt, Heather SK & Earl Grey

Kendall Ledger is a Berlin-based, multi-disciplinary artist whose debut experimental poetry book, do you want to have this experience“, is a stream of consciousness following the erratic thoughts of someone travelling the USA in their early twenties.

In the extracts below, she delights in the smallest things: a touch, a smell, a sensation, comes to profound realisations about herself and life and reflects the absurdity of our own thoughts.

11th july – 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatchback

Were leaving for Minnesota in 3 hours, I worried I wouldn’t sleep enough so I went to the kitchen and now its 4am and I’m just here peeling eggs in the dark

I’d like to take this photo, I’d like to struggle with this for a long time 

Imagine 4 people in a car and then one of the passengers kisses a bit of the car

Ditch your valuables, throw your phone in the water, transcend the material realm

I saw a dance video at the art gallery and straightened my shoulders for 2 minutes then forgot – having big dreams like this makes me depressed – you know almost everyone who wins the lottery dies

You’re on a dating site, he asks, but this is America, you can talk to whoever you want for free


14th july – Minneapolis, MN 

4 fresh peaches in a paper bag – 

everyones the same kind of tired, can you remind me to move my car to kansas city before we leave 

he says how can he leave when I look so nice lying down like that, he slides the mountain of cds around in the footwell for a while before handing me one and driving home 

I watch myself running my hands through my hair in the bathroom mirror and feel like the screen goes black and the chapter heading says missouri


15th july – 2013 Nissan Altima

I could get used to this, entering the big situations 

the worst volume to listen to music is the middle 


13 august – Glastonbury, England, UK 

No it’s totally fine, I still feel the same way about you although it may seem like I’m in a shell. I’m hoping I’ll be able to come out of it, but if not nothing will change in a negative way. If that makes sense. 

She was talking about how much she liked you this afternoon too. Saying like shes a keeper” and all these nice things haha

 I mean I feel pretty good now but I’m scared of feeling bad later 


15 august 

Is this how celebrities feel, eating a quorn sausage roll in the supermarket parking lot 


17 august  


music on the aux cable, keys in the ignition, naan bread on the dashboard


21 august

There have been some nice radio programs, one about eclipses, one about chefs, I’ve been staying home and clearing things out and thinking, I want to always be doing things, I feel mostly good mostly on a path to something 

tried to paint something but got too excited and made it look kinda dumb

I’m gonna struggle to stop interpreting my whole life in the context of this if I have to


24th july – San Francisco, CA 

The lady from new york stops us to chat for like 20 minutes in the Ghirardelli sample shop, I like the way he looks at me when I talk to her, even when it’s something he’s already heard, remember to do that to other people

she asks him about his parents, dreams and goals, nudges me and goes, this is for your benefit


1st august – Santa Barbara, CA

I mean, you can go this way, there’s a lot of head on collisions, i’ve literally been at war with the earth for like a year now

I like that, lovely to meet you too 

Are you ok? Hope you’ve survived mountain times, once you’re back in the room just let me know what you think. I’ve missed your company today.


2nd august – Los Olivos, CA

There weren’t enough of us to fill up the dance floor, so after like a half hour we were sitting on the benches and blankets and getting each other drinks under the string lights


3 august – Santa Barbara, CA

You’re listening to central coast public radio – its a new day, my hair is tied up high, my tops on back to front and I feel pretty good

my life is infinitely better with you in it 

I can’t think of a truer statement about you either. 

Ok yeah let’s just say, 100 miles per hour

basketball, and underneath: “is it ever a good idea to make a decision at 1am?”

were getting higher and higher into super thin cloud, is this what dying feels like 

that joke when a band goes thank you for 1 million listens on this song!and someone goes it was all meis so nice and will never get old 

autocorrect suggests ‘relationship’


20 october 

What’s your life actually like though, where are you at night 

the glass makes me feel close, your jungle 

I mean this is a complete compliment, but as a child your parents are just materials to you, feelings, touches 

not a nasty sadness, like a warm, longing sad

I’d quite like to root through woodchips to find this 

I like the thrill when you first walk into a theatre 

the drone at the beginning of the bagpipes 

and morse code, its fun. it’s a secret 

if you’re emotional towards someone you could actually literally infect them 

you keep yourself awake if you just enjoy it

the satisfaction that I did something that was harder than it needed to be


30 december

To be honest the only reason I overcame my demons was because I’d already checked my bag onto the plane 


31 december

It’s like the worlds birthday

you still smell better than everyone else 

the hands how your little finger presses the-

if you give your all to something it’s ok

if you play the wrong chord it doesn’t matter 

if you sit at the back it doesn’t mean no one wants to talk to you  

it’s lovely when you pour water

on the plants, and to very obviously keep tampons in your guitar case 

and the minnesota goodbye, I’m putting my shoes on by the door, and see someone who goes – so, how’s your year been? start at the beginning

You can buy the full book from her website and find out more about upcoming projects on her Instagram