Category: artist


Ladies and gentlemen. I give you Kris Kuksi. He’s an amazing artist, he does some outlandishly beautiful stuff and that’s what made me curious about him. Even though I’m not an editor with some shiny glossy magazine or some fancy art buyer or some museum director, he agreed to be interviewed by me, Ms Nobody with her weird blog. Just for fun. Just for the sake of it. I pondered what kind of questions I could ask someone whose art I know but whom I never met in real life. While I was pondering, he actually encouraged me to send him deep, psychological questions. That’s what I did. I did not beat around the bush. I asked him some questions I have in mind when someone convinces me this thoroughly with his art. But questions you hardly dare to ask.
This man’s seriously a full-blood artist, but also a very real and authentic person, with a great sense of humour. You should not miss out on him. He is amazing, very much so. On top of it, he doesn’t believe in gurus and doesn’t take himself too seriously which is good. I bet Kris totally and thoroughly enjoys whatever he’s doing. So, what else can I say?

Enjoy. And Kris, thanks again for the wonderful interview! I might come back for a second time if you let me! 😉

What means art to you?

KK: Art is much like love, you just can’t explain it in words. It is an act of love I feel that art can be whether it comes from pure ego, so at least and expression of vanity could be art. But how I dare not define art!

Could you live without it?

KK: It would not be the happiest of lives, but if I could build castles instead I may then settle for partially fulfilled.

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What is more important for you? What you create, what you think you create or what you believe that people feel when they see your art?

KK: I think people see the world as it is in terms of the negative and irrational side to humanity, and I think my works are a miniature theatric version of that idea. Which gets to why this is important for me to do as a person living on this planet. Entertain others with my art but without the preachy bullshit!

Do you love or do you hate critics? Or don’t you care?

KK: Don’t care much but I don’t trust them. Critics have their own vices to deal with which is probably why they are critics. Two kinds of people I am suspicious of, critics of any form and motivational speakers.

Do you believe in life after death?

KK: Not sure by what perspective, meaning are we still thinking minds once we die or are we mere multiples of carbon atoms that are released through decomposition to only fuse with other matter. I suspect the brain is built for death as an evolutionary progression to ease the pain and discomfort of the body shutting down. Chemicals released in the brain alter our senses to experience an orgasmic like sensation all the while skewing perception of time at that moment of death we are not aware of when we expire. Much like falling asleep I suppose-ha!

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What does your art show from your personality?

KK: Seriousness but dark humor at the same time. Detail oriented and complex, but calm and controlled as well. But a bit of heightened emotions now and then.

Does it show anything at all that you would like to hide?

KK: Making art is a therapy. Growing up I had to deal with oppressive religious environment which lead me to some really messed up perceptions I had about myself. Guilt in any form were the issues I had to face. But then I realized religion just works that way to get people to feel lousy about themselves and give money so they can have some temporary fulfillment while judging others based on their idealogical bullshit.

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Does art make you immortal?

KK: As long as your art survives your death.

If you had three wishes from a fairy, what would you choose?

KK: To be a few inches taller, to rid the planet of any form of jazz fusion music, and the ability to teleport.

Where would you love to live for a year or two?

KK: Romania, just for the scenery and castles, (though I have never been there)

Any favorite place in this world?

KK: I like Prague, and I enjoy Europe altogether. But I’m sure I have yet to fins my favorite for sure. Maybe it would be on a deserted island.

At home or outdoors? Which one is your preferred place to be?

KK: Inside during the day, outside during the night. (I’m not a vampire but I’m open to omst things)

Is your art your manifestation of existence? Or do you also live life as a normal person?

KK: I’m pretty normal on the outside, and my home, wife, and children are all within the spectrum of socially acceptable standards, but the more you get to know me the more abstract my mind is. I’m sure I am a mad man, just highly regulated.

Can you be an artist and at the same time a realist?

KK: Sure, and that is called being good at art and also having the ability figuring up your taxes. Or at least make enough art to sell enough art to pay enough in taxes, and further more pay an accountant to prepare your yearly taxes. Everything else about reality is just fine!

If your house was on fire, what would you run to save (except of course your loved ones which goes without saying)?

KK: I would grab some sticks and sharpen the ends and roast hot dogs and marshmallows with my wife and kids and enjoy the collapse of our home knowing our insurance will treat us just fine. But I may run in real quick to grab my beloved hundred plus year old wooden leg I keep for good luck.

Do you believe in the act of creation?

KK: Creation as in God? intelligent design? Eh, doesn’t matter really, what matters is how you treat others. Treat people well, and you create wholeness.

What means death to you?

KK: My money goes to my wife and kids.

Have you written a will?

KK: Kinda, just not certain on who gets the wooden leg when I’m dead.

What do you prefer – love and death, love and life or love and moments of life and death?

KK: I’ll add the option of just sex and death with love sprinkled on top.

Can you look at other people’s art without thinking how you would express yourself in it?

KK: Yes I do, but that is ego showing up and I hate that guy called ego.

Who are your favorite contemporary living authors? Please name a few.

KK: Cormac Mccarthy, Samuel R. Delany, and David Sedaris.

Which are your favorite movies? Please name a few.

KK: I like Stanley Kubrick films, but Magnolia by Paul Thomas Anderson is once I really admire. However, The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson is my current favorite.

Do you have a motto in life that has brought you through a dark patch?

KK: Never give up, don’t follow gurus of any form, and don’t listen to other peoples bullshit!

Any comments you might want to add yourself about this interview? Any suggestions for unasked questions?

KK: I was an unintentional birth. My father denied I was his. I never meet or spoke to him until his deathbed in Humansville Missouri. I have extremely fast thumbs.I’m a guitar virtuoso.I can name all the US presidents. I hate celery!

Orwell –  a dystopian writer or a socio-realist?

Down and Out in Paris and London” was the first book Orwell ever wrote and therefore it demands some special attention. He wrote it in 1933.

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Who was George Orwell? He was born Eric Arthur Blair 110 years ago, on June 25th 1903. He died on January 21st, 1950, some 46 years later. To me, Orwell has always been an important touchstone, a true pleasure to read since he is different in as much as he combines some traits I find important for any writers: will for social and political justice, very clear language, intelligence, sharp observation, wit and accuracy in the depiction of social realities.

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I’ve read him ever since I was little and funnily enough, at school, we read 1984, just in the year of 1984, when I was 13. Yes, it did make a huge impact on me. I cannot say anything else. We discussed the book. We wrote essays on it. We saw the movie 1984. It was a blatant attack against totalitarianism. That much was clear. And for a classroom with a lot of rebellious hormones flying around, Orwell was just right in showing us what society would be if we allowed ourselves to be let astray. Everyone in class including the teacher was sure that there would never be any similar surrounding, that everything depicted in the book, was pretty much a dark pessimistic fantasy, way out, and that basically this was a dystopia which would never happen.

Now about 30 years later, I am not so sure anymore. I find that Orwell had the unusual talent of absorbing very slight historical tendencies and thinking them till the bitter end and turning it into fiction. Orwell’s fiction is never just fiction. It is a moral signpost that says “Don’t go there. It might happen if you don’t watch out.” On the other hand, he wrote a lot about what happened in real life. He was in no way a writer in his ivory tower. He was pretty much connected and set in the real life of his time and confronted with real-life problems. “His work is marked by clarity, intelligence and wit, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and commitment to democratic socialism.” That’s what Wikipedia says, and I solidly agree with that.

Orwell. The dystopian writer, the social critic

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There are many books by George Orwell, well worthwhile reading which are hard to come by because of course, 1984 and Animal Farm are the evergreens and the bestsellers that cannot be surpassed.

Retracing his steps, we find that he was basically a middle upper lower middle class son, who was born in India, grew up in Burma, living a privileged life within a well bred family. But as he grew older, and after having returned to Europe, he seemed to have been a wandering spirit. He tried out multiple ways in order to live, he had something inside him, a search of something else, a weariness of everyday life about him. Something that made him seek out adventures. He led an unusual life. Orwell wrote his first book with the title “Down and out in Paris and London” (1933) which I would like to recommend today with all my heart.

In a nutshell, it is a desolate depiction of what the social reality for poor people, for people out of a regular existence, jobless, homeless, sometimes vagabonds and basically impoverished people must have been like. The daily search to get by on a minimum of money is shown with a pinch of salt. It is not someone who is crying into his bowl of water-soup at the workhouse. There is nothing that resembles rage or an accusation against the state or the state of things in there. It just shows the reality of what things were like. Without commenting as much on it. That is Orwell’s English side. And this is what made me have goose pimples all over when I first read the book at 20. It was hair-raising. The cruelty and the sometimes really very harsh if not brutal realities are depicted in a very formal and sometimes offhand manner. It is something hard to digest at first. But that way, the reader gets to the bottom of things, to the places where Orwell leads him, to the darkest corners in pre-war Paris and pre-war London. The reader must ask himself what made Orwell endure all of this. He wanted to be a first-hand narrator. He did not want to narrate the hell of others, of vagabonds, he first wanted to endure it so he could write his books with a totally different stance. Today, we might call him an investigative journalist. Yes, but Orwell was more than that. He was a critic in his way not to criticize anything but depicting every cruel detail of what happens to poor people and what happens if you get to the point where you lose your job, you home and your social framework. Something which in the nineteen-thirties must have been something not so easy to endure.

Another very good book by Orwell is “Burmese Days” where Orwell actually lets us in on the secrets of his upbringing in the colonies. It is an eye opener. Truly recommended.

All in all, I can only recommend George Orwell again and again. I know, that 1984 is a must read for many classes (at school as well at university) but it rightly is so. As well as Animal Farm has become a total classic. However, Down and Out in Paris and London, as well as Burmese Days and his collected Essays should find more readers, the way I see it.

Orwell was a bright man, with a vision.

Ending this post, I would like to point out that in fact, the more I think about it, the more I feel that Orwell is a more than a modern classic, he is a post-modern writer, someone to foresee something sinister that was about to happen. Let’s us all see to it that we can make this dystopia stop before Big Brother and the thought police become reality.

I wonder what Orwell would write if he was alive today.

Ok. I am pretty new to the game. In my late twenties I did some half hearted attempts. But now I really mean it. My book is written. Now I need a publisher.
I got three letters of rejections this week.
I am really crushed. I feel done for. I don’t need much more of this.
Some don’t even state a reason.
And they don’t need to. As the decision itself shows that you as a writer did not cut it. That your book is presumably just garbage.
You end up feeling like you’ve fallen into a deep pit.

The silent treatment.
To me it’s the worst.
Bad for me.
Really bad.
Worst blow for a weak self-esteem.

I hope I will pick myself up again.
At some point.
Right now I just feel like … shit …suicide

the author who will never happen.

Let’s talk about SEX.

Sex has been in – excuse the pun – in everyone’s mouth. Ever since this book trilogy came out “The fifty Shades of Gray”… SM, role-playing, whips and chains seem to have become fashionable. I myself cannot say that I have read the book because it would simply not be true.

I did read other books, a long time ago and right now I don’t have the feeling that a lot is going on in the literature scene when it comes to erotic literatura, let alone the simple depiction of sex. Everything is either clean & airbrushed, or it gets really down and dirty. And in the second case, we tend to call it porno. So, when “Fifty shades of Gray” came out and it skyrocketed, it must have hit a nerve because so many women went out to buy this book. I can’t tell you which one, as it did not hit me as being a book I would need to read, but there seems to have been a huge public interested – to be fair and square… One must see that, like it or not.

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Women are so tired of the old clichĂ©s… And no, we don’t want new ones, new clichĂ©s. Neither do we want some book on our bedsit table that some might sneeringly refer to as “mummy porn”. No, but no thanks. I would much rather have some blue movies, sex books, porn magazines, some mental stimulus in an erotic story and please make it good ones which really deserve that name.

Why can’t we women have female porn too? The gay’s lib has been much more openminded about this issue than others care to dream about.

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Why can’t we women have dirty magazines with steamy pictures? I don’t really know if PLAYGIRL is still around. But I very much doubt it. And it is a shame.

When I was 22 (that’s twenty years ago), I bought my first ever PLAYGIRL magazine

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… yes, it did exist, and it is what you think it is, you can check it!!!. It felt gand it was ground breaking. I loved reading it. It was full with nice looking guys, it even had a fold-out boy, and it was a big step in terms of equality of the sexes… as far as I am concerned. Of course, you don’t need to agree with me here, but I do like to look at half-naked specimen of the opposite sex. I am proud to say that. And I don’t think it is depraved or dirty. PS: Meanwhile PLAYGIRL does not seem to exist anymore. What a bloody shame… Here are some back covers to drool over… 😉

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Why can’t women bear sex and the desire for sex with some dignity? We can’t we show it as freely as men tend to do it – without being frowned upon?

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Don’t get me wrong… except for ROB LOWE, who is a sweetie, I am not really into the cover guys… but I wanted to give you some variety, something to get to know, and some food for fantasy… 😉

Isn’t it time that we women had the same right to silly, sexy, and really down’n’dirty behaviour as men? Why are we such awful hypocrites? On one hand do we applaud this behavior with a man, calling him Don Juan, patting him on the back, whereas a woman will be regarded a downright slut if she thinks / talks / acts sexually?

Take an example: How about shagging a secretary…? a male one, hand-picked obviously, half-naked on a sheepskin, in front of a fire-place… Having a quickie with a stranger somewhere in the dark, something like that anyway. Why do we believe that the woman will take control whereas the man and his secretary is an image clichĂ©d but accepted… ??? I don’t get it.

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So… What has happened between 1993 and now?

One would think that we as a species were a bit open-minded and could grasp the idea that men and women basically tick the same way and they both sometimes want to “get down to brass tacks”.

Excuse me. But that’s a literary quote by the way. That phrase was coined by T.S. Eliot.

Why do we women always have to pretend that we’d be interested in flowers, the newest bikini diet, cooking recipes, and shit… Pretending to be bloodless creatures, immune to carnal desires.

I tried… I really did. I wanted to be more like that anemic ethereal being. It simply did not work out. My will to be me, to be alive, to be vital was stronger.

But if truth be told: I could not care less about who may be judging me.

T.S. Eliot (as you might have noticed) is one of my favorite poets. 😉

This is one of my favorite quotations of his

Birth, and copulation, and death.
That’s all the facts when you come to brass tacks:
Birth, and copulation, and death.

Sorry, here is a bit of history on my behalf. I won’t explain what this is all about but this whole day has been so absolutely cool. This is beyond words. A moment of bliss, true and unblemished bliss. I am in awe of what is happening right now. Once the ink will be dry I will also share it here. But for the time being, please pray for me. I could use it.

The mention of bliss is always something that usually makes me twitch since I tend to be soooo ultra cool and postmodern that I sometimes forget what this is. A feeling of untainted, of unblemished joy. Just being. And being with oneself and in oneself for a fraction of a moment.

What is bliss? A bit like an orgasm since it appears to be very volatile and short-lived. Actually, the comparison is not that far-fetched at all. When you think about all the neurotransmitters that flood the system in the moment of an orgasm it is hardly to be doubted that those same transmitters would be there when you have a moment of bliss. You can call it natural high. However, drugs are drugs. Your body will not know the difference.

The mention of death also signifies that all human life is transitory, it is a physical state that will be stopped as if by magic. The heart stops. The lung can no longer bring enough oxigene into the lungs, the kidneys no longer will wash your blood clean. Your body wears out. It is time to go.

This blog is about the transitoriness of 
 well of life, but of anything really. You can make a constructivist notion by saying that all pain, all suffering, all illness will cease one day, since it is transitory. That is quite metaphysical. But with the same breath of air, you could easily add that all love, all happiness, all true beauty will decay one day and hence, here you can derive a deconstructivist moment born with the same idea.

Ok, where am I heading? I am dazzled by the possibilities.

The point for me is that as much as you strive to achieve something that you deem to be worth safeguarding, something fit for other people to keep it in mind, you should not squander the best moments of your life, waiting for some dude / dudess to come around and pat you on the shoulder saying “well done” to you. Cos it might never happen. And then again, it might. But that’s not the point.

Why are we always so dependent on being loved by others?

Well, go and ask Giacomo Rizzollatti (he is the guy who found out about the socalled mirror neurons http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_neuron) and ask him how else we should start to interact as babies who can basically only cry, feed, sleep and 
 cry, feed, sleep
 ad lib.

In order for a baby to actually make this huge step in its mental and also personality development by trying to interact with its parents by language, the mirror neurons are essential. We smile at them. They miraclously smile back at us. And that, my friends, is an evolutionary trick. A very clever one. Some species actually devour their little ones and by smiling back at us this innocent teethless smile, babies make sure that we don’t see any harm in them and procure to be clad, fed and also taught. Well. Of course, we as mothers and fathers love our small kiddos like nothing else on this world, but evolution just wanted to make sure. 😉

As we grow older we tend to forget that basically we learn through imitation just as much as our primate cousins do.

So what is wrong with that? I mean imitation?

I guess nothing is wrong, as long as you don’t claim this was your very one idea and all that. Plagiarism is being frowned upon. Copying is good as it is clear that this is exactly what it is.

When did we start to want to be loved at all? When did it take off?

I guess that is something, we started off right away. Some of us, have this urge more than others, or they express it differently, but it is something innate in the concept of mankind. Men always go out into the world to be loved. That’s it. As simple as that.

When you look around nowadays, be it at your working life, your school, your health club, your doctor’s or wherever, do you find that people look happy or rather not. This is something I have been looking into a while ago. We have never been this well protected, this well fed, this well prepared for the world we live in, and yet, there is like 80% around us (pareto principle) who make a face like sour apples. Why is that?

Maybe, it is me who is the odd one out. Sometimes, I have to contain myself not to break out into laughter so often because it might look as if I had yet to reach adulthood which seems to be paired with adopting quite a solemn face and appearing to be really serious and sombre.

When they did that class, I obviously was playing truant. I don’t know why people today are so ungrateful. They should be happy for what they have, they should not always look at what other people might have (especially more than you) and feel less of a man because they might be under the average or whatever.

And yet, that is what we are. You and me. Everyone. We all are ungrateful.

Here is Oxford definition of being ungrateful

Definition of ungrateful

adjective

  • not feeling or showing gratitude: she’s so ungrateful for everything we do

 

So, that was quite a leap. Did you notice? I jumped right there from wanting to be loved to the ungratefulness of man himself.  Actually, I do believe there is a connection. A very strong one for that matter. When man had to fight each and every day for supremacy and make sure that sabre tooth tiger did not get him this time, people were very much focussed on essential items, such as getting food, choosing the right kind of women, one that was strong enough to lkeep on working while pregnant, and also after she would have had their children. Picking the right kind of cave so wild animals would not sneak inside. You know, those were the real problems.

When I look at today’s world, I sometimes wonder. And I think what a shame that we are all bitching and moaning about so petty things while there are still people who have it hard. So, then again, I believe the ungratefulness is something very human too. Isn’t it? I would say it is.

When we go back to the top of this article there we still have this nice T.S. Eliot quote, what is the core?

Birth, and copulation, and death.
That’s all the facts when you come to brass tacks:
Birth, and copulation, and death.

I always loved this quote. You might say this stems from being the daughter of a gynaecologist, but I go one step beyond and say, no
 This is because Eliot is right. Birth, copulation and death are the three big events in life, where man does not dissimulate, where he cannot act or where he cannot make a complete hash of it.

Birth – the entrance

Copulation – the coupling / the interplay between man and woman

Death – the exit

In between, there seems to be nothing. Is our life really that empty? No, it isn’t. But by stressing these facts out of life as if they were the very cornerstones, we can feel Eliot’s deep rooted fears to really grip life by the short ones and drink it empty, the golden chalice of life.

 

We can only assume that copulation was a very guilt-ridden thing for him. Another blog entry might be Eliot, the sex and the ladies. Eliot, insanity and the battle of sexes. We’ll see.

(To be continued)

Good night! Sweet dreams! 😉

You have classics such as Carlos Castaneda “The teachings of Don Juan”, you have William S. Borroughs “Naked Lunch” and then there are Kathy Acker “Blood and guts in highschool” and tons of people who tried to jump the bandwagon. In the 90’s we have Irvine Welsh who is not just the “Trainspotting” but also the author of “Acid House”… But probably one of the more unknown ones, there is an 80’s novel by the back then still unknown American author Bret Easton Ellis. He wrote this novel at age 21 and it’s called “Less than zero”. Later on, it was made a movie with Robert Downey Jr. who himself quite often struggled with being on and off drugs.
I want to talk about this book since it was an eye opener for me. In many ways.

Back then when it came out, I was still at school when it came out. But as soon as I lived in Ireland I would make sure to read it.
I actually first read the book and then saw the film.
The whole book is a good sized package. It includes so many good streaks about modern western society that you cannot even say it is purely a drugs book because it would not be true.

Ellis lets us into the heart of American culture. Their obsessions, the silence within families that asphyxiating silence, and the pure hedonism of a youth centered culture.

It is still an easy read and a fast paced novel. At the end of the day, you see a group of friends shaken and faced with being part of a system that is pretty glamorous on the outside but sometimes proves to be a pitfall, and allows for more and more people to stumble, fall and not get back up again.

The part of Julian who is the heroic anti hero, the guy whose life falls spectacularly apart is so heavy that sometimes you keep asking yourself how Downey Jr was able to carry this off with such lightness and with such ease and charme.

Anyone who is wondering about the term spoilt brat, brat generation or generation x should read up on Ellis. He wrote for the generation x. For some Ellis is THE generation x author. The generation x covers the between 1965 -1975 born ones. It is a narrow generation but neither before nor after did we find ourselves inmidst a maelstrom of cultural decadence, affluence, and the feeling that everything would be possible some day not too far away, and these kids lived by it and through it. Let’s face it… My generation, we were growing up in absolute affluence, and the sometimes insane feeling that anything was possible. As long as you had the money to buy it, hire it or do it.

In gold digger terms: Boomtown years. The years of 1985 until 1999 more or less. I would make the cut here. You could argue and include 2000 but there was already the sign of an decreasing economy so I would just go as far and include 1999. In any case, 9-11 was the already a totally different era.

I will expand on the historic dimension and also on the impact of politics, terrorism and education another time since it would somehow make this article expand too much, but the crucial point is this: we – our generation – took the drugs because… Just because.  We simply could. It was a juvenile try out. It was somehow recreational. Like people do wellness or yoga. Speed, acid and pot were the yoga and bling bling of the mid-late 80’s and throughout the 90’s.  The money was there. Jobs were plenty. People were well off. Cold war had ended. There was no imminent war with anyone except for the gulf war. Everyone was relatively rich in the 80’s and beginning 90’s. So… The brat generation was born. Douglas Coupland called us generation x. But I find brat generation much more apt cos ours was the first ever generation after ww2 that was totally free in terms of freedom of speech, had received good education, was not forced to make do, but was rather encouraged to spend more time studying, and this would pay off, and still even students had plenty of money and other amenities through their parents, through society and the way the world was in. The basic word that comes to mind would be squander.

The funny thing is… 2000 was already the end of the dot com area and the high fly dreams of many many people.

So, just in case you should also belong to the generation x or brat pack, go out and read “Less than zero” and you will understand many things, looking into the rear mirror so to speak.

Plus it is a fast book that gets you hooked from the first moment. One thing I very much liked about Ellis and his style was that his stories sound like reality. These people are pretty much all out there. The situations too.

Julian is a true anti-hero, a lost boy, a kind and very weak character. Even though someone should protect him, he finds himself on a trip, caught in a downward spiral and we become voyeuristic witnesses of what he has to go through. The end is something very un-american and that is why I like so much about this book.

This is one of these books that you read, then put it aside, pick it up again and re-read it.
It is a very good novel about friendship, decadence, power and power abuse, drugs and the  principle “the show must go on”.

If you are afraid of reading a “drug book”, take it easy. “Less than Zero” is a read that shows and combines drugs, social decline and misery, but it is not as outspoken as others books earlier mentioned.

Should “Less Than Zero” be too lame and too boring, too harmless for you, try “Naked Lunch” instead.
Having said that, I do not find it lame or boring in any way, it is subtle. I really prefer “Less Than Zero” to “Naked Lunch”.

In case, you are interested in the urban novel, try and read Jay McInerney. “Bright Lights, Big City”. Here we have a sweet case of love, heartbreak and obsession. The coke he is snorting, the affect that the drugs have on him and the constant partying is a sideline but it is like it is an antagonist of the story-teller. Another generation x novel.

But luxury has never appealed to me, I like simple things, books, being alone, or with somebody who understands.

– The Lover (Daphne du Maurier)

… forget it. No words today except for these copied ones.

I know what you’re gonna think. Exhibitions and especially openings can be pretty boring. Now you’re gonna think. Right, so now you tell me that yours was different. Yes, ours was different. We had people from all over the place. There were Belgians, Australians, Lithuanians, Catalans, Germans, Argentinians, French people, Spaniards, and other nations I have no knowledge about. To me, being an extrovert human being, and possibly also someone who only gears up when I can listen and speak to three or better four languages at a time, it was just like a dream come true. The buzz, the vibe and getting a direct comment on what you do. That is so great. For some others, it might have been their personal nightmare. Ugh… So many different languages, too many people around. Yikes. Well, then quite obviously, openings of that kind are not cut out for you.

The lecture itself also went pretty well. No major hickups. I was excited but managed to keep a lid on things and present the poems well I was told. These are the things that people need to tell you afterwards. Mind you, I do think I could have done better if I hadn’t been nervous like hell and if I had had a chance to prepare that my lecture was filmed (a thing I had no knowledge about when I started the reading. After the first or second poem they were suddenly there right in the middle of it. But what can you do? 😉 ). If you think you’re good, that’s when start being bad. And I strive to be good. Well, sometimes, you have to do with so-so. But I won’t settle for that.

Anyway, that’s neither hither nor thither, so we had our opening night of our Dark Vila exhibition last Friday and, funnily enough, there was always the right number of people around. Not too many, not too few. Always kind of people coming and going. I know the exact number of people but I won’t debase myself and tell. No. I am too proud for that. This is my secret. The funny things is that there were people, mostly unknown to us since all of a sudden, most of our friends, were unfortunately not there due to car problems, flu, and other impediments. I guess opening nights can be tricky in that respect. But here and there, there were new faces, new opinions, and new takes.

I must say it was not what I had anticipated but it was even better instead, much better. It was very lively. So, we had people from the Consell (I was surprised again), the culture person in charge (surprised again), later on, IB3 popped around … in a moment when I had started reading out the poems aloud in three different languages. Speaking about perfect timing, it would have been great to know they were coming but they had left it open if they would or not, so it was again another element of surprise here 😉 and – to be quite honest – in a moment when I not really believed they would make it and cover such a small event. But they came and they did. We even got a mention in the Saturday noticies, preceded by a very funny teaser! I was amazed. A few moments later, I was sent the link of the small feature film. Brave new media world that has such people in it!

Dark Vila mostra una eivissa ben diferent – Click here to see the IB3 video

I am still walking a bit on air. It is a strange feel, a bit surreal. But a good one I guess.

We achieved something. Not everyone will see our exhibition but those who did all had a friendly comment for us, and I got new ideas, new perspectives and new little incentives for some future projects. That’s the beauty of it.

Oh, did I mention that Diario de Ibiza gave us a third of a whole page to anounce our DARK VILA exhibition which was very generous considering the fact that we are not really on the screen of anyone and considering we are flying well below the radar plus the fact that they had not seen the expo before writing their article? That was a vote of confidence I would say. 😉 That was one day prior to the opnening. I will scan it later on and try to insert it as well. Up until now, things have been really crazy. Right now, I want to step back and maybe fast forward to a different moment in time, but hey, no, I want to enjoy this. Like I enjoyed that evening, together with my husband Berno, my children and of course with Oliver Janssen who is the other half of this joint project and that took us five months to set up. Take a look at his blog too.

Come to see Dark Vila. It is really worth the long (?!) way to Sant José de sa Talaia on the white (and sometimes dark) isle of Ibiza. At least, judging from the comments we received so far.

PS:

I will try to get more media coverages here on this blog but I also need to get back on track with my Catalan learning chores, my translation work and the preparation of my first novel in catalan and finding the right people to walk that way with me. So bear with me please.

Here is the link to the exhibition https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/events/440385366024045/

This wasn’t my first trade fair. But it was an interesting one. As much as I had wanted to go there, there was a lot of disillusion going through my head while being there. But hey, what am I saying? Of course it’s a business and the days of discussing things quietly in an armchair are definitely over.
So… How was Liber 2012 in Barcelona?

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Let’s see some pictures first.

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All in all, it was a good decision to muster the time and make the effort going there.
However, there are quite a few editors who make you wonder about a couple of things. If I have nto be brutally honest then I should say I could have gone after 3 hours. The atmosphere was non existent.

It felt like a supermarket. Too many fancy stands. No secluded areas to sit down and read or write.

I sat down somewhere (at a stand) and almost immediately I was being  asked who I was and what did I want… Ok. Message understood. Um… Just shuffle my papers and jot down a line or two… Well. The fair was exhausting. That much is true.

However, on the upside, I met by chance the colombian writer Roberto Gil de Mares. We had a wonderful chat and I will expand on him and his novel another time.

Basically, I was expecting an atmosphere very different from what I got. Very businesslike and not in the least representing an art which literature is.

Books no longer seem to be any different to a can of coke or to pair of jeans or the latest energy drink. It has become a product. The way you can buy them everywhere does little help here.

Nevertheless I can safely say that Barcelona is always worth a trip. And even when you come back disillusioned and think, ouch, that really hurt, you kind of know that accepting truths get you further than pretending that everything remains the same. Or pretending that books are exempt from being affected by the Euro and now worldwide crisis.

So? Any upbeat message at all?
I guess here I might quote a little saying

Better the devil you know

As much as it hurt to see that the golden years of publishing houses seem to be over, it was a good thing to see the movement on the market, to find out about the buzz.

There are interesting niche publishers but few of them are really interested in unknown authors. Most of those houses are struggling themselves. The most striking examples of heroic intention was Nadir editorial. This was something that really made me sad. Here was a man with good taste and a very unique affection for the small gems in literature. But inspite of his energy he could not achieve financial success. In the end, this spells let’s go back to being more comercial. Such and not otherwise is the message.

If you go to Liber to find out about the mechanisms of the trade, well that’s one thing you won’t feel deceived about, but the ones among you who harbour the hope of finding an editor… Um I don’t want to sound cruel or disheartening but I would say using the words of the immortal swan of Avon “love’s labor lost”.

Or even use a scene from Macbeth and the three witches:

When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning or in rain
When the hurly burly’s done
When the battle’s lost and won.
Where the place?
Upon the heath.
There to meet with Macbeth.
Paddock calls anon.
Fair is foul. And foul is fair.
Hover through the fog and filthy air.

I wish I could undo this knowledge. But I guess I can’t. So I have to go on like that and hope that one day I might meet a publisher who thinks in different matters and doesn’t look for another bestseller to hit the market.
There are days when I think “fuck it” I might as well pack it in. I am not one to make compromises when it comes to the contents I would like to write about. To anything I feel strongly about.

Artistic freedom?
Moral support?
Literary novelty?
You must be joking.

Literature has sold out. Books have become products. Why else do they sell them with a promo stand in gawdy colors? Depending on the sales units. Why do they promote themselves in a target group adapted manner? It is quite disheartening.

I want the time back when we ( a literary circle) would meet up in some seedy bars and discuss books nobody but just a few intellectuals had read and we would be sharing our interpretations with one another until dawn… That time is irrevocably gone. But the best was: Book shops back then were still bookshops and not merchandising hell like today. I cannot see Hannah Montana, Harry Potter or any such crap. Neither do I think that any bookshop should sell such crap like the 50 shades of grey. This is another means to decrease your iq. It is sad that nowadays nothing is sacred anymore. Books and their ubiquituousness are the new willing and inexperienced prostitutes of new dawning century of pseudo intellectualism. It is here and it has come to stay. The profundity, serenity of love for details of knowledge and of university or even secondary school studies are swept away. Every country gets the education it deserves.

Everything needs to generate profits. Capitalism for dummies.

Now… I admit it. With the last sentences I know I am kind of overreaching. But I’ll be damned if it isn’t true.

In one way it was good that I went there. In another way, I seriously wish to be able to erase some of the  sentences I overheard being said.

Fair is foul.
Foul is fair.
Hover through the fog
And filthy air.

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