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THC Review and the Condemned PastUmělec 2008/2
Ivan Mečl | out - poetry | en cs de es
We are the fifth global party!
Pítr Dragota and Viki Shock,
Fragmenty geniality / Fragments of Charisma,
May and June 1997.
When Viki came to visit, it was only to show me some drawings and collages. It was only as an afterthought that he showed me the Czech samizdat publication from the late 1990s, THC Review. When he saw how it fascinated me, he panicked and insisted that THAT creation is a closed chapter, to which he does not wish to return. We immediately decided to publish drawings from bars, fast-food joints, and pubs, but it never would have occurred to me to write some sort of analysis, whereas THC Review is a brilliant example of toxic poetry. The most suitable type of text, that is.
The following passages can invoke readers’ intellectual resistance, but they are not for simple-minded amusement. They are real poetry. But I do not wish to act as their academic guide. I chose pieces from the THC Review to demonstrate their creators’ ballistic curve. These range from the moment of the shot, to juvenile jerking around, to the freak-out climax during a trip around the planet of yuck, on to a literary breakdown caused by detoxification and refusal of drugs, with the exception of alcohol.
This conservative drug, however, most often leads literary artists to the repetition of symbolic and romantic clichés. This is generally unrecognizable among visual artists. The incubation period for the hemorrhaging of complete nonsense is longer and its manifestation in artistic works is more difficult to discern. The majority of the texts were written on cigarette papers and bar tabs while under the influence of various drugs and on several planets. It is better not to read the texts. It doesn’t lead anywhere. Or so the authors warn us. The best works were created during 1996 and 1997. The authors themselves summarize this in one of their expert prefaces, which of course differ from one edition to the next, as follows:
“It all began sometime near the end of summer of 1996, when I met Viki Shock and B.T. Chrochtan through Pítr Drogata. Almost immediately we got stoned and both achieved a perfect mental synthesis. Viki Shock had completed his first hallucinogenic collection, Podnapilým knihovnám nenaléváme (We don’t serve tipsy libraries), and during October and November of that same year, he wrote the essential work from which everything began to develop. Yes, you guessed right, I’m talking about 325 tisíc soukromých orgasmů Píta a Vikiho (The 325,000 Private Orgasms of Pítr and Viki!) Under the influence of this cannabis bible they wrote all three of the above-mentioned Bibli Hovadismu (Bibles of Jerking Around)1 and B. T. Chrochtan (...) begins to collect stories for his unsurpassable anthology of marihuana tales, Občasné mozkové výlety (Occasional Brain Trips). About three months later, in March 1997, Viki Shock stoned himself all the way to Mazlophonia2 and Zbibflamflombonia and brought back his own firsthand accounts of them in his collection, Reportáž psaná v nebi (News Reports Written in Heaven). Of course it wasn’t until the night of April 3rd that we were able to perfectly map out Mazlophonia in the company of B.T. Chroctan.3
The Kronika Mazlofónie (The Mazlophonia Chronicles) then appear. Both friends immediately establish the THC Review and the Kronika Mazlofónie appear as its first issue. Then the perhaps too-quickly-put-together Absolutní střela (Absolute Shot) by Pítr Drogota follows, and afterwards Shock’s Reportáž psaná v nebi (News Reports Written in Heaven) and of course also Zkrat (Short) by B.T. Chroctan. Thanks to their uneconomic use of paper, one poem or story per page—after all it’s not possible to do mass publication of books—and so after a year-and-a-half, the Kronika Mazlofónie were published in an amount of no more than 40 copies. They printed roughly 25 copies of Absolutní střela and only 20 copies of other compilations. Only a few copies of the last issue for that year are published by Dragota4 and Shock, and Nová teorie lidstva (The New Theory on Mankind, are printed).
This is because Chroctan’s job, where he copied books, was threatened and Shock didn’t have a job! Their popularity in clubs was remarkable and people everywhere wanted to become Mazlophonians and hovered around them. Let’s mention here a couple of favorites, or perhaps even sometimes non-favorites or even controversial characters, such as Zahradník and also Martin Zahradník, Zuzana W., Radka, Hugo, Líba, Indian, Hrot,5 Fanny and many, many more.
At the end of 1997 both B.T. and Shock threw themselves into publishing more books, which they had just finished writing. But ultimately they didn’t succeed and the issue, Jsem prý Mazlofóňan jen (I’m allegedly only a Mazlophonian) did not appear for a year. In the meanwhile big changes occur in both their lives and the THC Review more or less ceases to exist..."
In 1998, two more compilations appear under the name, THC Revue, even if they did not come about under the influence of marihuana. These are the issues, Rozum do kapsy (Common Sense for your Pocket) and Téměř normální autoři (Almost Normal Authors). It was at that time that the National Library received a copy of the bound THC Revue. However, even the quoted expert preface, the most complete one that I found, is not fully credible. Further compilations and variations with differing dates appeared from piles of faxes delivered. In some cases, the authors mention them, in others not at all.
In 1996, an unmentioned compilation by Viki Shock, Demence malé královničky (The Dementia of Little Rabbits), was published. As with all issues of THC Review, this text begins with a preface, a characterization of the authors, various notes and recommendations. Most of the time this helps confuse the regular reader, given that the authors usually do not, on the whole, remember what claims they made in past issues nor that they made mistakes when copying the texts. I often said to myself, perhaps I should make corrections.6 These commentaries thus often become their own independent literary work, as with, for example, the following note by the author:
“The Dementia of Small Rabbits consists of three parts, those being: The Dementia of Small Rabbits, Made in Nepal, and The Last DADAKing; whereas, all three works are part of the exhaustive compilation, Reportáž psaná v nebi, from which the last two installments of Reportáž psaná v nebi (News Reports from Heaven) and Je doktor Richard Hooligan Mazlofóňan? A pokud ne proč má tedy místo zubů tykadla? (Is Doctor Richard Hooligan a Mazlofóňan? And, if not, why does he have antennae?) were published. With the last sentence I’m not at all sure that it relates to the enumeration of compilations. That’s why I abandoned the use of italics for the entire text—it sounds better, and it was also written that way. I have selected the third poem from the work, Made in Nepal.
The secrets of the world worn onto a boot
The secrets of music hidden in one hit
The secrets of the butthole hidden in shit.
Further from Pítr Dragota’s compilation, Absolutní střela. The compilation was created by using his oral statements during the period from October 1995 up to April 1997.
My thoughts are like waterdrops that run across a burning stove
And before they run across, they fizzle and evaporate.
Two poems from B. T. Chrochtan’s compilation, Zkrat, summarizing his works from December 1996 to May 1997.
Yes, it was that time on skis
When Michal held on to Standa Štumf and screamed: Come bang (with us)!
And that’s how I first came to know brutality
And since that time I know
What it means to bang your head against the table
What’s not welded together
Or cemented down
Can be stolen
That wastebin is free!
325 tisíc soukromých orgasmů Píta a Vikiho “is still from the pre-Mazlophonia period! Instantly under the influence of this material the Bible hovadismu (Bible of Jerking Around) was created as was Občasné mozkové výlety (Occasional Brain Trips) ... If we look at the remainders of the druggie culture, we find more or less a torso and some damaged fragments. Often it is these seemingly damaged objects that are the only things the druggie culture was able to create .. even when stoned it’s possible to create artistic objects that last through the ages.” We list a few verses from the poem Stará dobrá máma stíha aneb Stíhař Viktor (Good Ol' Mamma or Stíhař Victor):
You’ve made twelve orbits around the galaxy.
How do you feel?
You know, I feel as if I just died in the subway.
Throat full of blood
Blood in the mouth and out
Jesus, I cut myself!
I tear out my hair, I’m dying
God, this is awful!
The dagger was Rosa and again we’re on the branch (snag, current)!
And the poem called Porno7
That porno is still there
So I will fuck that girl
On the restaurant table
There are flowers everywhere
And we move together perfectly
It's truly impossible
And she screams like a whore
And I shove my dick inside her
And then I cum
And we swim in it
And it’s just simply impossible
And I suck on her tits
And lick her whole face with my tongue like a hound
It’s simply a true animal instinct
We’re just animals
In the compilation, Fragmenty geniality (Fragments of Charisma), another collective work published after the Bibli hovadismu (Bible of Jerking Around) and Nové teorii lidstva (The New Theory on Mankind), the authors focused on space, time and hallucination in the traditions defined by mazlophonian teachings.
They’ve now left my body
These mega-tonne sperm
And they flew into space
To fertilise a new word of crazy people
In the compilation, Nová teorie lidstva, dating from May 1997, there is a couplet that could be characterized as a universally-useful, transcendental defence.
For the past 25 years I’ve been outside my body
So, dear court, kindly kiss our ass!
Viki Shock does not however fear even the universal view of military strategy.
We attack General S. from here
But it will be even better from here and here
And then we will ambush him from all sides
Because that will be the best!
The collection of verses, Infernální mystérium toxického fexta, dating from 1997, which begins with a warning that it is actually nuclear waste, contains two fundamental poems. The first is a copy of resigned feelings, hallucinatory structures, and impossibilities.
Where is your behind?
Where did your exposed ass go?
A cat has a piano tied to its tail, but she still won’t pull it.
It doesn’t even occur to her.
A cat will always be a cat, but we’ll make you a slut.
So dammit, where is your behind?
The second relates to coming down off a drug high and the impending disillusionment.
YOO HOO! OOOH YEAH!
Blues and LSD belong together
Individualists must be locked in the nuthouse
And Jimmy Page must play himself to death on a 50-string guitar
YOO HOO! OOOH YEAH!
Led Zeppelin rose to heaven
Artaud rose to heaven
And I will lie down on you
And after I’m done –
I mean with you –
I will gobble up twenty tabs
And blast myself in the ass
My mind is toxic
My love is toxic
It appears that I have fully understood Artaud
So wrap up your stupid meat
And silly body hair
And get your butt to the restroom
The compilation ends with the poem, Básní psanou ve výtahu (Poems Written in the Elevator).
One, two, three and go!
Run, run, run!
Piece of shit!
In mid-1998 during a car ride, a collection of thirteen poems in the style of Russian literary anecdotes was put together. Here are two of them:
“The czar did not like Samuil Marshak, a favorite poet of Russian children. Samuil Marshak loved children very much. So the czar had all children gathered up and had Marshak executed out of anger. Marshak now writes and writes but doesn’t have anyone to write for.”
“Woody Allen arrives at the supermarket. He fills his shopping cart with popcorn, milk, baguettes, a camera, a toothbrush, two women’s swimsuits, three cases of beer, cigarettes, chocolate, potato chips, a couple of videocassettes, and several porno mags. He steps up to the cash register and says: ‘You know from both your point of view and mine this situation could seem rather stupid, perhaps possibly even completely embarrassing. And even I, a man, who suffered for more than a couple of years, educating himself ... Hmm. How do I say this? Well. .. I don’t have any money: not a cent.’ After that he autographs the befuddled cashier on the forehead, goes to his Cadillac, puts in the groceries and calmly takes off.”
It does not make sense to read the compilation, Jsem zpívající velryba na centrifuze (I’m a Singing Fish in a Centrifuge), dating from the end of 1998, without being intoxicated. For those who are sober, I have chosen one sensible piece of information in the poem, Radek mates, which is now called "No one among you is Batman anymore!" If we examine the compilations from mid-1998, we find that the author – as a result of experimenting with drugs – has fallen into a depression, as – for example – happened in Fragmentech geniality (Fragments of Charisma).
You fly between time-space dimensions
And use your head to knock off wall spackling on Vodičkova Street
And it achieves the full effect
As when a hummingbird flaps its wing
The readers cease to enjoy themelves with the last poem from the compilation entitled, Neverending Eternity, which was written while on LSD. The poem is called Sí marihuána sí Panoramatix. The reader instead gets a chill.
Hey, don’t eat that green glop near the road all the time
And tell those women to give us some money for beer
And we also need to get cigarettes from someone
Yes, Marihuana Yes, Panoramatix – Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!
And don’t smile so stupidly all the time
As if you just gobbled up three tabs
That’s a good old heist
Señor, we need money
Perhaps ten or fifteen crowns
We need to buy more beer
So go ahead and gobble up a tab
Or go shit yourself – it doesn’t matter
Yes, Marihuana Yes, Panoramatix – Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!
Vrm vrm vrm vrm vrm vrm vrm vrm
Fryer vrm vrm vrm
And go, at last, and fuck yourself with that stupid ass spade.
Can somebody tell me how I got these big stains on my sheets? What the hell is going on here?
We ask and we seek answers
We are after all the vanquishers of time
And of ourselves
Yes, Marihuana Yes, Panoramatix – Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes!!!! Yes, Señor!
Give us three of those and we will go nextdoor and lie down
So that at least things get going a little
But I’m just not sure
If I’ve got ticks all over me or not
That was really a brilliant idea
To go hallucinate somewhere on a landfill.
From the compilation, Jsem prý mazlo-fóňan jen, it is good to point out the nice anecdote:
“A man goes to the doctor with one side of his face burned up. The doctor looks at him and says: Good god, man, what did you do? I mean you look like Niki Lauda! Well, you know, doctor, I was smoking a joint. And I didn’t manage it very well and blew all the ashes into my face.”
In the second half of 1998, the compilation, Rozum do kapsy (Pocket Smarts), and the teensy-weensy novela, Duševní sebevražda budoucího klasika (The Mental Suicide of a Future Classic Author), (which is terrible and is a waste of time to read) appeared in THC Revue. By the same token, it would be senseless to examine Biblí hovadismu (Bible of Jerking Around) now. It was rather a test of what paper would bear. And it bears everything.
Works published after 1998 are marked by the deterioration of the texts by the founding trio of authors. However, to much credit, certain compilations of works of authors, whom the THC Review publishers met during their toxic journey, have been published. The most outstanding of these are Olina Vnuková with her Monology zcenzurovanými Danielkou (Monologues Censored by Danielka) and David Kufald “Indian” Janžura, who wrote his Postřehy z léčení (Thoughts on Being Cured).We will present both authors and their works in the next issue of this magazine.
1 We have chosen no excerpts from the Bible of Jerking Around.
2 This made him the discoverer of Mazlophonia and Zbibflamflombonia, and he became the first citizen of Mazlophonia.
3 B. T. Chrochtan is a co-discoverer of Mazlophonia and is the second Mazlophonian.
4 Pítr Dragota is the third Mazlophonian.
5 Otherwise known as Stoner Hrot, artist for the cover illustrations of THC Revue publications.
6 An expression from the pothead’s story, that says „No, you won’t correct that!“ found in the compilation Občasné mozkové výlety (Occasional Brain Trips).
7 The author of this article dedicates this poem to the organizers of the Sexismus exhibit, which just recently closed at the Václav Špála Gallery in Prague.
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.