created by Ludwig Kittinger and Fernando Mesquita, is an adaptable framework based on direct, quick reaction, a sort of ad hoc collaborative platform for accepting different artistic languages, an open platform for direct artistic intervention , untouched of any conceptual, ideological or formal restraints.
for two years ( 2010 - 12 ) has been a weekly run ad hoc intervention evening
initiated by Fernando Mesquita and Ludwig Kittinger.
Collaborating artists were :
Maria Bussmann, Irena Eden & Stijn Lernout, Antje Feger/Benjamin Stumpf, Claire de Foucauld, Johann Gröbner, Dejan Kaludjerovic, Bertram Königshofer, Robert Müller, Saskia Te Nicklin, Richard Nikl / Amitai Romm,
Thomas Redl & Wolf Guenter Thiel (presentation of fair magazine), Halvor Rønning / Martyn Reynolds, David Roth, Klaus Schuster, Fabian Seiz,
Johanna Tinzl & Stefan Flunger, Nathalie Wuerth, Dino Zrnec
A Three Evening Program by Dorota Walentynowicz : Alicja Karska, Aleksandra Went,
Patrycja Orzechowska und Dorota Walentynowicz
AkillsB, Mladen Bizumic, Udo Bohnenberger, Herbert de Colle, Beatrix Curran, Ramesch Daha,
Goran Novakovic, Andreas Duscha, Marius Engh, Søren Engsted,
Ren Fah, Karine Fauchard, Robert Gruber & Anja Ronacher,
Tina Gverovic & Ben Cain, Yuki Higashino, Gerhard Himmer, Melanie Hollaus, Martin Hotter, Ho Jin Jung, Stefan Lux, Kris Lemsalu,
Tonka Malekovic, Marko Markovic & Marijan Crtalic, João Ferro Martins, Fernando Mesquita, Michael Part, Doris Piwonka,
Steffi Alte & Eva Seidler, Jannis Varelas, Jelena Vasiljev, Hannes Zebedin,
a night with video contributions with Hugo Canoilas, Sophie Lisa Beresford, Laleh Khorramian and others …..
Katalogpräsentation von Heike Schäfer & Christoph Mayer
A Three Evening Program organized by Rainer and Ezara Spangl: Zak Prekop, Jeni Spota, Craig Yu, Ludwig Kittinger, Isa Schmidlehner
Performances (Skype): Diego Leclery, Konstantin Skotnikov & Carlos Noronha Feio
Außergewöhnlich, am Dienstag Abend: 7 Arbeiten & 7 Fetische (nach einem Seminar von David Moises & Christian Kobald)
Lorna Macintyre (featured by BLACKPAGES), Hugo Canoilas, Svenja Jill Deininger, Michael Gumhold, Anton Herzl, Benjamin Hirte, Lazar Lyutakov, James Newitt, Wolfgang Obermair & Ekaterina Saphiro-Obermair
in the frame of the urban intervention project <undergo. the parallels >
Tbilisi / Georgia 2012
Untitled ( cleaning a window)
at Struktur & Organismus / Summer 2012
in Mühldorf/ Austria
reactivating Rirkrit Tiravanijas < pig-pit > with a
cozido a portuguesa
in Mühldorf/ Austria
reactivating Rirkrit Tiravanijas < pig-pit > with a
cozido a portuguesa
at Aufruf zur Reduktion
a deerstand as part of a performance/theaterstage
LETTER TO GDANSK NUMBER ONE
I have been walking around for the last couple days reading these poems by Sarah Fox, you probably don’t know her but if you read her I wonder what amazing things might happen in your brain! They happened in mine! You read her poems and you feel like you can really smell your body again, you want to slip your fingers between you toes and smell them, your fingers, because her poems are making you feel that human! Like when she says “I wonder if ‘doula’ sounds too much like ‘vagina’ combined with something akin to ‘voodoo’” which is what she wrote in her poem called “Antler” which is about a man named Antler who’s a poet or when she says “I want a new drug. I wanna hold your hand, homie” which is what she writes in her poem called “My Hemet: A Sonnet” and that poem is for another poet named Nick Demske, who you might also not know but if you are listening to this maybe you will write those names down and if you are like me you will misspell them but can Google them later and the computer will make them right, the computer can’t feel us and can’t feel itself which helps it to be a good speller. I feel a lot. I’m a bad speller. A good example is the color blue. I love the color blue and a lot of the shirts I wear are blue and I like to take my blue clothes off and go swimming even though I don’t like my body, especially the middle of my body, Oh I’m ok with my arms and legs and shoulders and feet, I’m ok with my cock and my anus, I like my ears a lot!, but I’m a little sad about my middle so I get blue! But I still take my clothes off and jump in the water, I like the sky when it’s blue and I like blue fruit and blue veins (though really I’m afraid of veins) and I even take a vitamin supplement that’s kinda blue called Zyflamend, which is for inflammation inside my body, and I also like blue highlighters, but if I get too excited about the color blue when I am writing down the word “blue” I am most likely to misspell it! Isn’t that funny? I can’t even give you an example right now but, trust me, it has happened. And when it does happen I get a little worried about my brain which makes me worried about my heart and all the other organs which are swimming around inside me like really amazing and gross fish in a weird aquarium. I’ve been trying to deal with my blue-ness, my depression and being slow and tired. Julia Ross is a doctor and she wrote a book to help me! I read the book and really my problem is endorphins! I don’t think I have a lot of them! So I have read about food that will help make endorphins and food that does not. Apparently all the food I love to eat like bread and pasta and cereal and beer and cake and donuts and tofu and crackers and cookies and couscous and coffee and bagels and anything cooked in vegetable oil and pizza are bad for you and more like a drug than a real food. So I am trying not to eat these things and figure out what I should be eating and weirdly I have wanted kale a lot! And fish which is really good for you. In fact I am going to have a kale and tuna and tomato (which is a ‘nightshade’ but that’s ok) salad for dinner right after I’m done writing this letter to you! I have been thinking about this stuff, which makes me blue but then makes me yellow too, ever since I got my blood drawn and the doctor said I need to change some things in my life or I’m going to be diabetic and unhappy. Oh Gdansk! I don’t want to be unhappy! Besides, says Lucretius, “consider how, of a sudden, out of the clear blue, the heavens go so black and threatening that you might well imagine all the darkness had been emptied out of Hell from every quarter to shroud the great celestial vault with gloom” and who wants to FEEL that in their body! That particular Lucretius is brought to us from A.E. Stallings and a publishing house here in The United States called Penguin. And that particular translation that Penguin published was given to me as a gift from my friend Jason Dodge when we were in Seattle and really becoming friends. When we were in Seattle we talked about a lot of things which would be hard for me to name now but they had to do with loss and absence and space and making something and scent and language and that was the beginning of our friendship! Now we write to each other and quote rap songs like the one Drake wrote where he says “are you high right now? do you ever get nervous?” and Jason and I are like “Hell yeah, hell yeah, fuckin right” which means we are better friends now than we were in Seattle. In Seattle I bought a book by Raymond Queneu called “Exercises in Style” where he takes the same story and writes it, like, a million different ways! It’s just like our own lives! Queneau’s story is all about someone waiting for a train to go home and then something happens to him and he sees a cranky old guy and then sees him again later and there’s something about sewing a button back on a coat and that’s the whole story! Like hello we are born and do some stuff and then we aren’t alive anymore! Which, my dear Gdansk, is both the good news and the bad news! We get a world where there are things like trains and cranky old guys and buttons and then we get to leave forever! But I have no plans of leaving you! So don’t worry. I love you and I hope you are having an amazing day!
LETTER TO GDANSK NUMBER TWO
I woke up this morning thinking about astrology and outside, on the street, there’s a man jack-hammering into the concrete so in my sleepiness I imagined an astronaut in a space suit drilling on the moon! I’m a Leo on the cusp of Virgo. I’m a Cleo on the bust of ergo! What sign are you? Can a city have a sign? When I write “what sign are you” it sounds like we are in a bar in the seventies and my hair is feathered and my beard is feathered and I’m wearing a creamy brown suit! I don’t have a beard. I really don’t understand beards unless you live really close to a forest. Sometimes I look at men with beards and think the only part of women they like are breasts because maybe they miss their moms or they are into other men with beards and for me that’s more OK than the mother and milk thing. But I’m sure that makes me bad or dumb to think that. If that’s the case then I have woken up like I always do: dumb and bad and ready to apologize! Maybe it has something to do with always being on the cusp of something! I’m always incomplete. You know what I mean? Or as we say here in The United States: “ya-no-wad-I-mane?”. Anyway, my friend Kazim Ali says “Why should art complete itself? Ought not the artist surrender at least part of it?”. He asked that question in his essay “Poetry and Painting”. I didn’t know how to spell the word “ought” until I read that essay. I’m sure I was supposed to get out of the essay than learning how to spell a word, and I suppose I did, but when I saw that word and thought “Oh! That’s how you spell it!” I thought I ought to mention it! Ha ha! But “for realz” as we say it was a moment and that moment seemed to complete some small thing inside me! And in that moment I didn’t feel like anything but myself! And then I thought about when Kazim wrote that “A sky that cannot exist but which shimmers with wholeness—a sky that, above a church with no doors, can only be itself.” I’m a sky above a church with no doors at least half of the time I’m awake! What about you, Gdansk, do you feel like only yourself today? I hope so! It feels good and I want you to feel good. Man! That astronaut outside will NOT stop hammering away! The concrete is breaking up and not being a sidewalk anymore! It’s getting to the essence of itself with the help of the astronaut. And I think it likes it! Maybe that’s just me over-sexualizing everything. Maybe it’s not that it likes it but that it’s simply having the experience of being known. And, says John Berger, “Do we not all dream of being known, known by our backs, legs, buttocks, shoulders, elbows, hair? Not psychologically recognized, not socially acclaimed, not praised, just nakedly known. Knows as a child is by its mother.” Even a sidewalk? I don’t know. Don’t mothers praise their children almost no matter what? Or maybe it’s love I’m thinking about like how a mother can love her son even if he killed a little kid! Maybe she doesn’t praise him but she loves him. Gdansk, have you ever killed a little kid, like, I mean, ever? I’ll still love you but maybe I won’t be able to praise you for a while! I have never killed a little kid. My college girlfriend had an abortion and I borrowed the money from a good friend to pay for it and afterward, in the recovery room, I fed her cookies and apple juice, but I think that’s different than killing a little kid. Actually I was in a murder trial once. This was high school! A classmate killed a little girl and then came right over to my house and told me in detail how he did it. Then I had to repeat what he said in court while the little girl’s mom and dad listened and after each time I took the stand and said what he said to me I would go to the bathroom and vomit and cry. Maybe his mom loved him even though he killed a little girl. Maybe she even praised him. It’s hard to tell since we are such strange and dangerous animals! But I’m glad we are here on earth together, glad even though it’s strange and dangerous. I’m sorry if this letter has become strange or sad. I didn’t mean it to be. Really, I wanted to write a letter like the one I read in Rebecca Brown’s book of essays, the one called “American Romances” where she talks about Oscar Wilde. In 1885 Oscar went to prison for having sex with another man, a young man who he loved and praised! His name was Bosie. What an incredible name! If I was in prison and about to be free again and if you, Gdansk, were Bosie this is what I would write: “ Dear Bosie—After long and fruitless waiting I have determined to write to you myself, as much for your sake as for mine…Our ill fated and most lamentable friendship has ended in ruin and public infamy for me, yet the memory of our ancient affection is often with me, and the thought that loathing, bitterness, and contempt should forever take that place in my heart once held by love is very sad…” But you and I don’t have to be sad because, guess what, I’m not in prison except for my own mind and anyway I have the key to that prison safely hidden inside me and also, anyway, we have just met and have not had time to destroy each other! What good news! Right now the astronaut is taking a break from breaking up the moon, the sidewalk, so it’s kinda quiet here and it makes me wonder if it’s quiet where you are?
LETTER TO GDANSK NUMBER THREE
It’s really dark out and late and also it’s hot. Did I tell you that I live on the third floor in a little apartment by myself? I do! I like it here but in the summer it’s very warm and the only air-conditioning that exists is when I open a window. I love windows. Jason Dodge has a permanent installation called “An Open Window” in Italy. I really love it. I loved standing in the tower of the window and looking up at the light walking in. I also say “love” a lot. I say “fuck” a lot too but not as often as “love”. I love the windows in The Yale Union, which is a kind of center for visual arts here. The building is big and old and has lots and lots of windows, which makes it feel like you are both away from the world when inside and absolutely part of the world at the same time. My friend Van Eck works there and I saw him this past Friday. He invited me to come see a piece they had installed. The piece is called “Music on a Long Thin Wire” and was made by the artist Alvin Lucier. About this piece Lucier writes that “I discovered that by removing my hand from the musical process and carefully tuning the oscillator, the wire could be left to sound by itself. Fatigue, air currents, heating and cooling, even human proximity could cause the wire to undergo enormous changes. All changes in volume, timbre, harmonic structure, rhythmic and cyclic patterning, and other sonic phenomena were brought solely by the actions of the wire.” Can you imagine?! I took this quote from the wonderful pamphlet Yale Union made for the show. Actually I think Van Eck made it! I really like him. He had a hangover when I visited and was drinking water and coffee and sitting alone in this huge open room with this piece by Lucier vibrating and making sound! What a way to have a hangover. Van Eck is sweet and really a poet, I think, and when you talk to him you feel calmer about being on a planet that is in outer space. When its all dark outside you kinda “get” that you are in outer space. At least I think I do…yeah when its dark and also when its summer and light out at eight pm and you can see part of the moon up in the blue sky AND I ALWAYS WISH there were three moons! I think three moons would not be good for the rotation of our planet but it would be so pretty to see! Have you seen a movie called Melancholia? In that movie there is a planet that floats too close to the earth. That planet is called melancholia and also people are depressed. And scared! people are scared too! I have friends who didn’t like it because the people suffering in the movie are rich but I think my friends were being small minded. Rich people can suffer because they have the same bodies and hearts we do. They don’t have to worry about paying rent but still really sad and fucked up things can happen to them and they CAN suffer! I love that we are all the same! I don’t know why I’m thinking about this right now but lately I have been wondering about memory. I have been thinking about all the people’s names I’m always forgetting and why and if my “bad” memory can be a space in which creativity could exist. In an empty room anything can happen. Even if nothing happens there is still a happening. Even if there are no people around to see that nothing is happening. Aren’t the room, the floor and windows and ceiling, made out of the same molecules our own bodies are made of? And aren’t those molecules always building themselves and interacting? Isn’t it funny that some people still think God is a white guy with a beard sitting on a cloud and all of us, all our rooms with floors and windows and walls and plants and lions came out of the tip of one of his fingers? Some people’s gods are meaner than other people’s gods. Like, I have never understood how someone could believe in a god who would be concerned if two men had sex with each other. Can you imagine a spiritual entity, an entity that has no beginning and no end, in omniscient and omnipotent, caring anything about two penises touching?! Shut the window that sounds crazy to me! But then again some gods told their people to carry virgins up the sides of volcanoes and throw them into the hot molten lava! Yikes! Have you ever read anything by MFK Fisher? She was a famous food writer. When I was twenty-one I dated her granddaughter. We would cook dinner together and have sex on her balcony. Neither of us were virgins when we met. Her grandmother, MFK, wrote this about truffles: “People tell me that only virgins have the true nose for truffle-hunting: virgin sows, virgin bitches. I cannot vouch for this, as I have never hunted for truffles—but I do know a man who once saw the last human hunter in all of the Perigord country.” Because I’m over sexed and haven’t slept with a man since I was nineteen I immediately thought about virgin girls hunting mushrooms! I wish I were more complicated than I am. I don’t think I have ever slept with a virgin except for when I was a virgin and would masturbate in my little, twin, bed. Though when I was thirty-six I slept with a nineteen-year-old woman from Tokyo. I don’t think that means anything, at least not in the way you might think. I really liked her and we only knew each other for three days. Sometimes when I’m having sex I get lonely and sometimes it can feel like a window being opened, and sometimes it can feel like a window being closed.
LETTER TO GDANSK NUMBER FOUR
I have been working in a big, beautiful, office all day trying to write a commercial. It’s a car commercial, which is great because I have not owned a car since I was nineteen years old! My brother Michael and I shared the car. Our mother gave it to us. We ran it into the ground. But before we ran it into the ground (which, here, means we drove it until the engine exploded in smoke on the freeway) it was so much fun. For the first month Michael and I drove it around the city along the same path as the bus lines we used to take because that was the only way we knew how to get around. It was a Chevrolet station wagon and the back seat folded down so if you wanted to you could sleep in the back of the car. Both of us probably sat in the front seat and kissed someone goodnight. One night we drove Allen Ginsberg around. He kissed us both good night. Tonight I am missing both Allen Ginsberg and my brother. The first thing Allen ever said to me was a question. The question was: How is your love life? I think my love life was ok at nineteen. I mean I remember being happy a lot of the time and wondering about things and also sad and dark. I remember the day my brother placed black electric tape over the “engine warning” light that was on the dashboard next to the gas gage. That was the beginning of the end of that car. I wish my brother was here right now. I’m reading his second book. You should read it too. The book is called “Flies” and in it he writes about our older brother, Darin, who died when he committed suicide. Michael writes that Darin’s “super-outfit is made from handfuls of oil and garbage blood and/ pinned together by stars”. In a poem about Barnett Newman he writes that what he wants “more than anything is to get down on paper what all the/ shinning looks like”. Every time I read one of my brother’s poems I want to sit in the yard with him, or on the front porch of the house we grew up in, I want to be walking next to him. Also when I read one of his poems it makes me want to write one. When I read his poems I feel like a stanza that Eunice Odio wrote. I read it in a book my friends Carl and Mike published called “The Fire’s Journey—Part I: Integration of The Parents”. Odio writes about me reading my brother’s poems like this: “Lambs inside, butterflies inside,/ honoring dust,/ showering it with blue conventions and unforeseen beings,/ the carnal grace of the cities was emerging.” and Odio also writes about it like this: “Night dreamed its own May./ What would its green be like removed from the leaves? What would its green be like/ beside such a clear design of laurels/rendered in deep petal?// It wished for a world to listen to its colors in the night.” There’s a picture I have of my brother Michael and my sister Elizabeth and I. We are sitting at the table in the dining room in the house we grew up in. I love them. This is my favorite picture. When I look at it I miss both of them and just want the three of us to be in the same room, alone together. That would be hard to organize…even though we are all alive! When I say the word “alive” with an exclamation mark after it I think of death. Of course I do! I think of The Designated Mourner by Wallace Shawn and I think about the way he wrote about darkness when he wrote “Darkness. The sea. The lighthouse. The gulls. The sand thick and wet like black ice cream”. I think about my brother and sister and I. I think about our graves and how they are somewhere and know us but we do not know them. Though we have our ideas! And if we were on a porch together listening to the Cowboy Junkies first album, if we were drinking apricot ale, if we were laughing at something one of us said, then the sand would blow away and the ice cream would melt. Gdansk, do you have a brother and sister? Could you send me pictures of your family? Earlier today, before I began trying to write the car commercial, I was trying to read one of three essays on Giacometti by Jacques Dupin. You would think it would be easy since I was not reading it in the original French but in a translation by John Ashbury and Brian Evenson but it was NOT easy! I don’t know, my mind has a hard time with writing that’s too critical or academic. I wish it wasn’t the case! I promise you, my friend, I’m not being dumb on purpose. Anyway, I stopped reading it and just stared like a cow or a dog at some Giacometti drawings and that made me happier. I bet you if my sister read it she would understand it. Also my brother. He would read it and understand it. That’s because they are creative angels AND smart! If you don’t have a brother and sister you should ask them to adopt you! Did I tell you I am writing you from bed? Did I tell you I cant figure out my own heart? Did I tell you I was reading some poems by Julia Tillinghast and thought “Why can’t I figure out my own heart?” I have the window open and I can hear the cars on Burnside. It’s Friday night. Eventually when I go to bed I’m going to read some stories by The Brother’s Grimm. My brother gave me a new English version of these fairy tales that the writer Philip Pullman published. There are a lot of children walking around dark forests in this book and a lot of people that turn into birds until someone loves them or they can figure out their own heart. I’m going to read one of them now and see what I can do.