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The Kränk

Martina Hefter

What does it mean to be sick?
This is sick. Krank! Thats what we used to say.
Some still say it.
In German, it kind of means: Horrible, weird, very bad, exaggerated.
It can also mean: It’s absolutely marvellous. It’s admirable.
When I was young, we said: That’s kränk. Or: I’m feeling kränk.
Someone once told me its Yiddish, meaning sickness or misery, but in a more personified kind of way.
In my bed, I travel through the meanings of the word sick, examining both the general and my very own kränk.

Martina Hefter is a writer and performance artist based in Leipzig. Her latest publications include Es könnte auch schön werden (2018) and, this July, In die Wälder gehen, Holz für ein Bett klauen, published by kookbooks, Berlin. The main text of Es könnte auch schön werden was made into a performance for the kook.mono: schrift spricht festival at Dock 11 in Berlin. As part of the Leipzig-based performance collective Pik7, she performed it at Schaubühne Lindenfels in Leipzig. In March 2021, Martina Hefter’s first bigger solo performance called Mein Haus meine Freunde mein Pferd premiered as an eight-hour live show on youtube.