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The biggest oil painting in the worlD is for all who slipped on the banana peel of the apocalypseRevista Umělec 2010/2
Ivan Mečl wrote this for his grandfather | The End of the Western Concept | en cs de ru
Goldman Sucks, Marryl Lynch, Mad-off and the rest of the lot... for Chrissakes, who in their right mind would entrust their money to companies called that? They’ve got lunacy and destruction written in their names.
We don’t need censorship anymore. It’s enough for us to be supervised by self-analysis, responsibility, tact... some Tact, Grampa!, c-o-n-s-i-d-e-r-a-t-i-o-n, sensibility, and an awareness of one’s qualities and abilities. That’s self-censorship; self-culture can’t be far behind. But what keeps us most in line is our fear of being lame, embarrassing. The main thing is not to be lame, not to be like someone who makes us feel his lameness. Sometimes you just have to turn away or close your eyes when lame people talk. It’s important that you look serious and matter-of-fact, r-e-a-s-o-n-a-b-l-e, and ... well, all that stuff they teach you everywhere. You know best yourself, so don’t force me to talk about what you’re like. Communication is the foundation. Meaningful communication. To know your price, know what you want to say... to know what you want in general. To retain and increase your price... to maintain your position. The best people are in context. The lame ones are on the lowest rung of the ladder. Some kind of evolutionary mistake. With the ladder rammed through their bellies. We don’t want them and don’t want to be them. Only the lame ones are free.
It just occurred to me... we’ve been saying here at Umělec for a long time that futility is freedom. For a long time, that was our subtitle—until everyone here got depressed. One day they said, “hey, all that’ll be left is that squiggle instead of that stupid name Umělec, so futility has to go, too.” So our new slogan should be: Be lame, be free. I hope they’re feeling better already. But I don’t know if I’ll be able to get it on the cover—this text alone has been returned to me twice for rewrite.
How do we deal with wasps in the home? We cut an overripe pear in half and drench it in honey. All the wasps swarm onto it and just sit there. Then we flush the pear down the toilet. You can get rid of lots of things like this. Want to get rid of annoying activists and grumbling ne’er-do-wells? Want to be free to do business? Pour some money into their activist networks. Soon enough, they’ll all be there. After a few years, you tell them, “Sorry guys, party’s over.” But by then they’re all addicted, jonesing for their monthly grant money. Trust me, they won’t bother you anymore—Money needs peace and quiet to work.
Today, the overwhelming majority of our life takes place outside of us. In the real world. We suffocate one another with our external lives and their creations. Actualization and self-actualization. Get that junk back in your head! There’s more room in there every day. Almost empty.
Get yourself back inside your head. That’s the greatest challenge of environmentalism.
From a committee meeting:
Ah, yes, good day, welcome, so what have you got for us. Yow! And a drawing, too. Today, grampa is sitting in on the committee as well. You know, everybody gets to be represented. Even grampa. Isn’t that right, Gramps... heh heh. Well then, show us, tell us and get it over with. Okaaay... a big.... really big... plush penis. About a hundred meters. Where you going to put it, won’t it shrink outside? How about next to the statue of liberty... well... hmm... anywhere you like. Why, you’re quite the modest one let me tell you. That’s good, I like that. What? How ‘bout you, Grampa? Nice... that plush... as you say, good stuff. Well, and the others—also excited, so... what’s it worth? What? How much you want for it... money. Hmm. Three hundred thousand dollars for material and... hmm... and you’ll be working on it almost for free... well... we can’t have that. There’s that modesty again. Well, well. ... Look. We’ll give you a mil and forget about it. What... what... well now, come on. A million and a half just so we never have to look at it. Well? Okay? Okay! But I don’t ever want to see it anywhere. That wouldn’t turn out good for you. Now sign here... no, we don’t want any suggestions here. And... thanks... and now straight to the cashier with you; fare thee well and how do you do.
And who’s next who’s next? Come on come on don’t be shy what do we have here? Atta-boy. No drawings. No big deal. Well, well... wellywellwell... what do you say... interesting project, hmm? Facebook for the dead. Very good. Yeeees. Oh, yeah. Grampa says it’s an abomination. Well, Gramps, you know—kids today... causing trouble again. I can see it now... skulls instead of pictures... won’t they get confused who’s who? Hohoho... nah, that was just a joke. Back to your great idea. Well... and it’ll rake in the cash. The living will pay for the dead. I see. Clever, clever. A real business venture. Hmmmmm. And why? For the people. Now come on, honestly. You want to be rich just like the guy before you wanted to be famous. Hmmmm. Hmmmmm. When I’m right, I’m right. See now, I’ve got a villa, a car.... maybe a small island... a blonde with tits, lubricant... whoops, looks like I got carried away. Hey now... hmmmmmm. I’m sure we can reach an agreement. Write me a list. Hmmmm. I see... an expensive dog and, aaaand, well the rest might work out, too. I’ll just cross out that private tank here. For that, you’d have to give me Facebook for dead people from other planets. It won’t earn that much. Right. Let’s sign. I’ll keep the patent, if you don’t mind. Nono... not even a little bit for dead children. Never again. I see we understand each other. And right on down to the cashier my good man. Right right... definitely buy it in dubai.
George Soros (carved into a grain of rice)
Tony Hayward and his company of chirpy peep-peeps created the biggest and most beautiful oil painting in the history of mankind—an attempt at killing this so-called ‘Gaia’, who supposedly hasn’t died yet. She’s finally croaked by now, I suppose. Roadkill. Some time later, some strange fat men in overalls reeking of fish covered Tony in hot tar, wrapped him in pelican feathers, and set him on fire. Almost like a saint who wanted his life back while up on the cross. He took on all the sins of the world of peak oil. And that won’t be rising from the dead or from the ashes.
And now something about art so that we’ve got that out of the way.
Just recently somebody asked... some blonde Yanqui bimbo—in case you were wondering grampa—how our artists lived. Like, here in this country. And in similar equally bumfuck countries. What artists, Grampa!?1 What artists?! There aren’t any artists here any more. You mean those in contemporary art. I guess you mean those on residency. Or those with an exhibit going on just now. Lots of exhibits. One after another One after another One after another One. ´Cause if you don’t exhibit then you’re nobody! Or artists you know from all those bi-enn-ee-uhls, tri- enn-ee-uhls, and fairs and whatnot. If you weren’t there then you’re nobody! And if you’re not on the internet, you’re nobody! Or artists constantly on the lips of curitators and crititrickies?(!?) Cause if they’re not talking about you, you’re nobody! Nobody schmobody. Lot’s of people have been on Facebook but nothing ever happened. It’s as if I-before-e-except-after-c didn’t exist. Artists are people who in reality aren’t, Grampa. And if artists are like the people I just described, then we’re going to have to come up with a new name for those who aren’t. And start to write the history of those who aren’t. The history of nobodies.
Hey, heard this one? .... Culture 2012. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha
...the history of those who were home. ... the history of those who were always home. Who don’t have internet. Someone goes shopping for them, I guess. I certainly don’t know anyone like that. That’ll be one great book, that history.
A representative from a group of aquatic critters presented President Barack Obama with a note while he was visiting the Gulf of Mexico with a group of fisherfatsos and rolypolycnnites. The note said:
“Having crawled from the spill, oh leader of all two-legged scoundrels, I say. Don’t let them make an eel of you and hear this: that oil isn’t the worst that could happen to us down there. I tell you, oh scrawny piece of coral, that the greatest catastrophe are the fat people who catch and eat us. Just look at them. They weigh as much as an elephant seal and eat us by the shovelful under their sunbrellas. Let’s see how you like being tossed by the millions into boiling water or to be chewed and gobbled down just for fun without anesthesia, sometimes literally being digested alive in someone’s stomach. Just look at you, trying to feel sorry for these fat monsters into whom you could fit three times over, while crying our tears for the cynical boob tube. And if you’re not going to have any mercy, then we won’t either. We’re screwing over all your attempts down there, so that the oil will gurgle out for years to come and those ruddy-pink monsters won’t be able to eat us no more. Good-bye. Splash. Bubble.”
Just let the gulf freeze over. Obama and the Toboggans. A fairytale for children.
You’d think that conspiracy theories had long run out of possibilities. And still, every morning there’s another one. Don’t allow yourself to hear even one more. Did you know that the Twin Towers had Gothic elements? They did. That’s a fact.
What is something that nobody wants? Death? Plenty of people would have preferred to die long ago if they weren’t being blackmailed by the love of their loved ones—and those with great pain, of course. But that’s the same everywhere. I’m not going to write about that. Paper already costs more than2 a dollar a kilo.
Hey, above all there must be a lot of it.
What doesn’t anyone want?
I have always been interested in what nobody wants.
To wallow in rancid slime.
To drown, stuffed in a drainpipe.
To be slow-roasted on an open flame... perhaps while stuffed in a drainpipe.
That’s a lot to think about. And you’ll never find that one thing where there isn’t at least one person who would enjoy it. Everything good and evil can be sold. Everything. Absolutely everything. Don’t believe in fairytales.
Professionally wasted money. A professionally wasted life. Who of you can say that he’s a real professional.
Not selling yourself? Someone else is. You’re bought and sold a hundred, maybe a thousand times in your life. The parties sell you to the government, the government sells you to your town clowncil, your town clowncil sell you to the market, where a doctor buys you and sells you to the pharmacist, who sells you to the hospital, which sells you to the repo man, who sells you to your family and to The Man. And your family sells you to school, work, and the undertaker. The state sells you to your employer, your employer sells you to the unions, the unions sell you to the scabs. I’ll leave any other possibilities to your imagination. Business has no direction. It doesn’t matter which direction the money flows. The main thing is that it flows. Ain’t that so, Grampa? And you want me to see the world? The financial section is bigger than all the others and full of bullshit. Ain’t that so? That’s how I see it, anyhow. This isn’t capitalism or socialism anymore, it sure ain’t anything in between or a mixture of the two. It’s pure economism. You’re all your bank account! A file at the taxman’s office.
The only reason they haven’t banned the Bible is that quote by Jesus, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21 in case you were wondering). Don’t fuck with our business and we’ll let you mess about unproductively in your churches. But only on Sundays. There’s two ways of being covetous. Do they overlap? So who does the stuff belong to? Who bought what and what did he pay with? It’s like changing the Communist Manifesto to say: “Workers of the world, unite with the capitalists.” Holy books are full of stupidities. In addition to a few wisdoms.
Oh, by the way, the conservatives won the latest elections here. Supposedly you can identify them by their frugality. They’re going to pull all the money that didn’t exist out of circulation, put it in a pile and hide it away so that we won’t buy anything stupid... or do anything stupid… anymore. Just like magic. So we can enjoy some decadence again before the socialists win, dig up the money, and return it to us. That’s how it goes...
Socialism or death?
Socialism and death?
Both, and fast.
Just a little ‘by-the-way’ in connection to our End of the Western concept; if it weren’t for death, everything would have gone pear-shaped long ago. Nature destroyed. Oil sucked dry, people torn to bits. If it weren’t for death, we’d be gone long ago. Thank God for death. Death is socialism. Socialism is the peaceful movement towards death without any unnecessary fuss. Capitalism is life without death. At the end, there waits a specter nobody talks about. All the worse. But above all else, Sister Death is female. No ghost. The most beautiful blonde brunette of all. For gays, there’s a well-built brother, the result of incest. Only beautiful people come from those kinds of relationships—ain’t that so? We’re still teerribly conservative when it comes to beauty. Death is the foundation of equality. Freedom and brotherhood, amended by some madman. And once the sisters join in... sisterhood. Right, I guess that it’s a man’s world like the godfather of soul sang. Man made the cars... vroooom.
It’s enough to drive you nuts, these two systems. I don’t want to hear it anymore. Couldn’t we instead take it easy, have some fairytales, fatalism, dodge ball, Go Fish, relaxational declination,neconomy, ruthless market panarchy... or for the more adventurous, raftism and a catastrophic state? As an official way of organizing a country, I mean. It’s a slow decline, through quantity discounts, to one type of boredom. Meaning the end of the world won’t be at all as spectacular or pompously catastrophic as we all might have wished. It’s gonna be pretty lame, actually.
Hello, hello. Grampa! It’s us... the right-wingers and the left-wingers. We’ve been living here together at the bottom of a blender for a real long time. Hello, hello. Grampa, Grampa, Grampaaaaaw... you can turn it on already!
And because that’s how I see, I’ll say it. Stop working. Don’t pay your taxes. Don’t pay anything anymore. Depreciate yourself until nobody can buy or sell you anymore. Stay at home and when they turn off the electricity; turn on the gas.
“What you don’t sell—you forge together. What you don’t forge together—you hand out... against signature. In blood, of course.”
Hello. Hello. Anyone here wanna be a deaf grampa?
Just give me a buzz. Hello. Hello.
Hey, that internet is really something. Try surfing online for five hours and then touch the tip of your nose with you index finger. Ho ho. You can’t! I want everyone I don’t like to be online! A month for free – and then for money. In a few years, they won’t be able to see the tips of their toes... ho ho. ...y’know, I guess I’m just a poet.
Translated from the Czech by Stephan von Pohl.
1 (?!/!?) symbols for questions containing the unspoken statement: what were they thinking!!
2 I put that more than there only recently. The price kept going up.
Letošní 50. ročník Art Basel přilákal celkem 93 000 návštěvníků a sběratelů z 80 zemí světa. 290 prémiových galerií představilo umělecká díla od počátku 20. století až po současnost. Hlavní sektor přehlídky, tradičně v prvním patře výstavního prostoru, představil 232 předních galerií z celého světa nabízející umění nejvyšší kvality. Veletrh ukázal vzestupný trend prodeje prostřednictvím galerií jak soukromým sbírkám, tak i institucím. Kromě hlavního veletrhu stály za návštěvu i ty přidružené: Volta, Liste a Photo Basel, k tomu doprovodné programy a výstavy v místních institucích, které kvalitou daleko přesahují hranice města tj. Kunsthalle Basel, Kunstmuseum, Tinguely muzeum nebo Fondation Beyeler.