Dulltown, UK: Today’s quotation is from A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (published 1980).
“I think color cats got sweepin and moppin in they blood, it comes natural. It sorta now like eatin and sleepin now to color peoples. I bet you give some little color baby one-year-old a broom in his han, he star sweepin his ass off. Whoa!”
I’ve never had an exhibition of my work.
What you see here on this blog dear reader is my exhibition.
In the past I did occasionally enter something for the annual local ‘open’ exhibition in the surprisingly good gallery here in the city centre (I see that they have something called the Turner Prize there this year). I had things rejected of course, my stuff wasn’t generally ‘normal’ or ‘nice enough to get in – but once or twice when I did get something in I found that I didn’t like the look of it surrounded by all that ‘normal’ and ‘nice’ stuff – so I don’t bother with exhibitions any more.
(Exhibitions in galleries – am I mistaken, or do the Americans use the word ‘exhibit’ instead of exhibition? Whereas, for us, an ‘exhibit’ is an object in an exhibition… a puzzle… But I digress…)
Perhaps I am biding my time (what an odd phrase that is!) until the intelligentsia of the world beat a path to my door and wave crisp ornate cheques and wads of cash at me to put on some shows in London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Tokyo, Beijing, Melbourne, Amsterdam, Venice, Sao Paulo, Berlin, Paris, and Moscow… I’m sure I have enough stuff kicking around the place to do simultaneous shows in all those places…
‘So, Dave… What’s brought all this on?…’
You see, in my little workshop – I don’t call it a ‘studio’ – when I do a bit of lino cutting, I always do a rough test print from the freshly cut block on a sheet of cheap copy paper. I always find things on it that need altering and tinkering with before I start printing a run of them on nice expensive Kizuki 4 Monme Japanese paper – come one, let’s all say that together! – Kizuki 4 Monme!… Kizuki 4 Monme!… Kizuki 4 Monme!…
For some reason instead of throwing the test print into the recycling bin after it has served its purpose, I stick it on the wall – perhaps I subconsciously want to keep an eye on my work, to see if it’s improving or declining as time passes?
So, I thought all those rough prints on the wall looked a bit like a scruffy little exhibition. Hm… perhaps I’ll photograph the scene and write some twaddle about it?
‘Ah, do come in! Welcome! Do have a plastic glass of cheap supermarket white wine – that is the traditional beverage for a preview isn’t it? Look, there are a couple of bowls set out on a paper tablecloth – we have one of salty indigestible spicy corn nibbles… oh, and one with some suspicious-looking mixed nuts for people to poke their fingers about in… That’s my workbench there, it’s nice isn’t it?…’
‘Excuse me Mr Whatt, where is your artist’s statement?… I can’t seem to see one pinned up anywhere…’
‘I don’t have one…’
‘But, but how will I know what to think of the work – if there’s nothing available to fill me in on, on your troubled childhood, your Weltanschauung, and your thoughts on the aesthetics of the 21st century?…’