holy shy octopi!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

So, as fitting the new year, I decided to brace myself for the oily jellyfish slick waters of rue Louise Weiss, stinging monsters lurking in overbright art galleries. Normally one needs at least a couple of shots of the good stuff before showing face at this, a series of monthly art openings that doubles up for the hunting grounds of all the unconfirmed young overfashionable artists buzzing around Paris. Lucky me, my stomach is the now famous reversing quicksand so no booze.

The beginning: I had just passed a rather dreamy day with the vacuum cleaner, followed by a brief introductory meeting with the Lacombite, friend of a certain Mr. Outlaw. I drank a lot of coffee and he ate my Madeleines. The book exchange was a success, though it did become transparent during our meeting that perhaps I was not in need of another english book, but perhaps a gigantic shot of caffeine to face my Kojève (it's a guy who writes on Hegel, as if that wasn't terrifying enough). So many unreadable books in the library, sent off in the heat of some academic ambition, now rotting, with full spine unbroken, on a white Ikea bookshelf.

Aside: two years ago, when I first arrived in France, I was supposed to be going to a contemporary art school. I had given up reading fiction because that's what school teaches you, that fiction is mostly worthless unless it can be thoroughly dissected in the most unimaginatively jacketed books. After arriving, I tried to my best to chew threw the pages, but my guess is that Kojève and co. come laced with sleeping powder. I realized my mistake several months later, after buying my Lovecraft compilation. Ahhh, Lovecraft made me love fiction again. Cthulhu, Come to Me!

Anyways, so, the Lacombite borrows some Gunther Grass, W. Sebald and Foucault's Madness and Civilization. He obviously likes to snuggle between the pages. To my credit, I suggested the Sebald/Grass combination, a nice way of getting the quick skinny of new modern german fascism. I think Dacnar is convinced I'm going fascho. Given my latest rantings against the moderate left, I'm not sure he's so wrong.

So the Lacombite, who is a mild mannered man with a very amateurish moustache, decides to join me, Leo, Dacnar and the gang for the jellyfish attack. We show up at gallery #1 and, as expected, it's instant retardation. Like, the first thing we see are all these pulsating speakers, organized in descending order, with no sound. That's not so bad. But what's bad is all the other speaker shit. Like a fucking baby head doll with a mini umbilical cord speaker, humming some lullaby. I tried to laugh but it was weak.

Second show, better. Just water dripping from the ceiling into a bucket, making a friggin mess. I can't even imagine how much work went into that one. There was also a pile of rockets with a timer, next to fireworks. The timer counted down. When it got to zero, small fizzy sound, and then nothing. Just like the whole show.

Third show, even better, lots of silver wrapped glass blobs around. Like, lots of blobs, some of them even looking like mutations on artistic bongs. The silver was great. The two Japanese assistants, reading out the prices in crazy japanese/french was better. The price was good. SOLD!

More stuff, painting, photography, yawn yawn yawn.

Then, saw a really nice piece. It was just a bunch of ceramic pots. Then, written next to it was an extensive story about how people used to fish octopi, in Japan, using tiny ceramic pots. They would just throw them into the water, attached to little buoys. Then, returning a little later, all they would have to do is retrieve the pot to profit from the octopus's rather timid nature.

You see, octopi like to hide in small spaces, and little pots are just their favourite thing. So, they crawl in there, and you fish them out, simple as that.
There was a little video next to it, showing the Japanese guy pulling pot after pot out of the water, and screaming madly with joy, as, hidden within, were pulpy little octopi.

In a small room adjacent was an aquarium on a pedestal. Inside the aquarium was a funny little object, made of lace, styrofoam, beads and plastic. It glided around slowly, turning to face his various onlookers. So sad and lonely, his little cloak of lace so fine, just a piece of goop going round and round. I liked it.

Then, we went off to meet some real octopi and jellyfish. I sought quick refuge in my little ceramic pot, and was fished out by my curator. She was ok, no severe poking and nice friendly chat where we giggled over the idiocy of BLES. Apparently she thinks he's a jellyfish too. hahaha.

Finally headed off to Buffalo Grill, the shittiest restaurant idea in France. My bison hamburger was cold, and it took ten minutes to get out the ketchup. Luckily they had the latest finals from the Denver rodeo on the tele. While somebody was calling me a bitch, and I was realizing how strange it was that Marlon Brando seems to die in all of his films, some calf got killed when the rope jerked his neck too hard. I choked on my burger, finished the water, and went home. Stone sober. I am one sick octopus.