by Ed Young
Sunday, July 1
Scottish curator Nuno Sacramento arrives in Cape Town. The next week is but a vague memory. He has come for three days, and stays a month. We put him up in the 2666 residency room.
Saturday, July 7
Things get worse. I attend the Royale Eatery's fourth birthday party, everyone is here. It is horrible. It is crowded and stuffy. I go downstairs for Tequila with Dina, Mama of Royale and Mama to orphans of the artworld. This also serves as a sweet escape from an artist I will refer to later as Crazy. I convince painter Trasi Hennen to have a quick shag in the WC, but she disappears. Dina and Nuno Sacramento realise that they are close family friends from Maputo. It is all very sweet. I feel a little bit irritated and drive home.
Wednesday, July 11
Rainy night. Storming actually. The 2666 studio roof collapses under the water pressure and water falls over Robert Sloon's new laptop. Doug Gimberg and myself both spontaneously do a slow-mo Matrix move, leaping over a few desks and manage to save the laptop, but a printer and all of Sloon's books take a nice cold shower. At least now we have a water feature. I do believe that the flood has something to do with the satanic show, 'Hell Yeah', conceived by Douglas Gimberg and Christian Nerf.
Thursday, July 12
Arrive at Michael Stevenson. Tracy Payne has the main space. It is horrible, yet beautifully rendered. Some crap Zen executions of Asian men. Actually I don't really want to speak much about this, as I am tired. And tired of bad art from 'our leading international contemporary gallery' - my ass! We leave for dinner at the Spur (Surf 'n Turf or Salad Valley, was it? - Sub-Ed). The artwork/interior is far more fetching than that of the Stevenson Gallery.
Friday, July 13
I am sick as hell. 'Flu. I am supposed to do the opening speech at Christian Nerf and Doug Gimberg's 'Hell Yeah' show. I think of cancelling and staying in bed. I decide against it. I go to the show dressed in a skimpy Devil's outfit and I deliver a groundbreaking speech. Soon after I feel the need to climb into bed. Robert Sloon's girlfriend drops me at home. Crazy Cape Town artist-ex-girlfriend is in the car (hereafter Crazy). I get off at home. Crazy insists on speaking to Sloon's girlfriend in the car for another hour or so. About me. I go to sleep in my bed with young French artist (hereafter Frenchie), who I had taken in after she was kicked out of her residence by a prominent young South African filmmaker (not to be named... yet).
9pm: Frenchie and I are fast asleep.
9.30pm: Crazy, insisting that she needs to speak to me, wakes me up. I open the door and tell Crazy that she is waking up my whole block and to keep it down. And that I am sick and I need to sleep. Crazy says she needs to speak to me. I say: 'Speak to me.'
Crazy: 'I need to speak to you'.
Ed Young: 'I know. Speak to me'.
C: 'But I need to speak to you'.
EY: 'I know for fuck's sake. But I am sleeping and you are not saying anything and I am sick. Why do you think I am in bed by 10pm on a Friday.'
C: 'I know but I need to speak to you.'
EY: 'For fuck's sake. You are waking up Frenchie. It's very rude. Let's go somewhere else.'
[Get out of bed, put on some clothes and we head for the Kimberley Hotel - seat at the bar]
C: 'I need to speak to you'.
EY: 'I know. Speak to me'.
C: 'I can't speak to you here. All your friends are here. Can't we go somewhere quiet.'
EY: 'It's a Friday night. Where are you going to find somewhere quiet? My friends aren't listening in. Speak to me.'
C: 'I need to speak to you.'
EY: 'I know.'
C: 'I need to speak to you.'
EY: 'I know. You mentioned that.'
[Interrupted by a pianist lady hereafter called Joanna]
Joanna: 'Foxy Roxy is pouring shots for us upstairs.'
EY: 'Crazy, I'm just popping upstairs for a quick shot of Jagermeister. Be down in a sec.'
C: 'I need to speak to you!'
A part of me still loves her, but I am due for a haircut.
Joanna and I climb the cranky stairs to the upstairs bar. The venue is completely dark and abandoned. I thank Joanna. We hear footsteps coming up the creaky stairs. We hide in a dark closet. Crazy fine combs the place but fails to check the cleaning closet. I peak through a crack in the door only to find Crazy scouting even the toilets. She leaves.
The coast is clear and we head down for a drink. I knock back a couple of ZAR10 double brandy and cokes. I excuse myself as I have the black lung and need to get into bed. My friends say bye and I head back to my apartment. Frenchie is fast asleep. I strip down and prepare for a peaceful slumber and a good 'flu sweat.
3.30am: [A bang on the door]
C: 'Let me in. I need to speak to you.'
I pull the duvet over my head in the hope that if I ignore it, it will go away.
[10 minutes pass]
It doesn't. I open the door and explain that this is actually ridiculous and seriously bad timing. But I let her in because of noise pollution.
C: 'I need to speak to you.'
EY: 'I know, but keep it down, Frenchie is sleeping. What's up?'
C: 'You don't understand.'
EY: 'I know. You haven't told me.'
C: 'But, you don't understand.'
EY: 'OK. Tell me.'
C: 'But you don't... '
... and finally something about ex-boyfriends and I start to doze off. Frenchie awakes and, obviously a bit grumpy, starts shouting at Crazy, explaining that this is not cool and she is trying to get some sleep and that I am sick. I pull the duvet over my head. Crazy starts insulting Frenchie. I get up and tell Crazy that this is not on and that she cannot come into my house and wake up my neighbours and insult Frenchie, who is a guest, and keep me from my 'flu-addled slumber. There is a reason I came home early and it is now 4am. I ask Crazy to leave.
C: 'But, you don't understand.'
EY: 'Yes I don't. Go away.'
C: 'But... '
EY: 'I don't care. Fuck off.'
EY: 'Go home.'
EY: 'I am calling security.'
EY: 'I am calling security. I'm sick, go home.'
More tears follow at the edge of the bed and I go to sleep. 30 minutes pass and I keep the blanky over my head. Crazy spends the next 15 minutes in the bathroom.
5am: My buzzer rings. It's security (thank God!). They ask if Joanna can come up. I say ok. I open the door and Joanna says that she is drunk and that she can't drive and needs to crash in my 32 square metre apartment and hopes that I don't mind. Joanna insists on opening a fine bottle of Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noir, 2006. She takes a sip and passes out next to me. Crazy exits bathroom, takes a look at Joanna and threatens to leave.
The Haute Cabriere goes to waste. I fall asleep in the midget-sized double bed between Joanna and the artist known as Frenchie, both passed out. I can hardly move, wiggle.
Joanna starts to snore loudly in my ear. I get irritated. I try to move. I put my hand beside me. It is wet. I put my hand on Joanna�s crotch. It is also wet. I smell my hand ... urine.
6am: I get out of my bed and pull my 'No Problem in Africa' sleeping bag from beneath my bed. I sleep on floor. I wake up alone in my apartment even sicker.
Q: What has this got to do with art?
Saturday, July 14
Post-studio, post-Kimberley, I go home for an early night. Frenchie tells me that the bed is wet and that she thinks Joanna had spilt some wine and puts a towel on my side of the bed. I decide to sleep on floor again. 'Flu...
Sunday, July 15
Frenchie makes up with her boyfriend and stays over with him. I sleep on the non-urine side. Yay... bed...
Monday, July 16
I ask Frenchie if she is staying at my place tonight. She gets irritated and we have a long fight. I get fed up with my 'flu-ridden state and the fact that I am sleeping on a cold floor every night. I tell her to remove her stuff from my apartment in the next 30 minutes. She does. I am home free and have my apartment to myself again. Joanna comes over and says she is too pissed to drive home and asks if she could crash at my place. I reluctantly agree and she sleeps over. In the wee hours (So to speak - Sub-Ed) of the morning I get woken up and Joanna tells me that she has pissed in my bed again and will buy me a new mattress. I know she is lying. I sleep on the floor.
Q: What does this have to do with art again?
Tuesday, July 17
Ronald Suresh Roberts is off to Johannesburg to take part in a panel discussion surrounding the Thabo Mbeki documentary SABC scandal. Doug Gimberg and I make a T-shirt for Suresh based on one of my Miami designs reading: 'Niggers Can't Be Choosers'. The shirt is a perfect fit and will be a nice addition to the conference. The Newspapers go crazy.
Wednesday, July 18
I attend the second edition of Carrie Timlin and Lily Luz's 'The Inchoate, Idiosyncratic Descent into Nihilism' at blank projects. Remember, this is where I did a no-show at my own exhibition last month, as the curatorial team was irritating and slack. Tonight they show Michaelis student Shane Mark's Love Your Neighbour, a music performance. Not bad except for one curatorial fuck-up. The band should have faced the window (where the audience was). Blank operates as a shop front. This could have been interesting - the muffled sound of a punk band seeping through a lonely Bo-Kaap slumber.
Friday, July 20
I make my Sweet Escape (French-Exit-Porta-Rican-Shuffle) from the Kimberley Hotel just before midnight, as I smell trouble. Nuno Sacramento and ArtHeat editor Robert Sloon had fed me a plethora of double Brandies and Coke, accompanied by the occasional Jagermeister. This was wise. Apparently Sacramento had broken his tooth on an olive pip a few days ago. Tonight, or rather in the early hours of the morning, accompanied by Sloon, he decides that it is a good idea to surgically remove the tooth, employing his vast knowledge of cosmetic dentistry and dedicated allegiance to Scottish pub attendance.
Saturday, July 21
Sacramento finds his tooth in his left jean pocket and feels mildly depressed.
Sunday, July 22
'In a colonial hotel we fucked up the sun. And then we fucked it down again', says Nick Cave.
We arrive at the Winchester Mansions for a slight brunch with endless supply of Pierre Jourdan bubbly and nice mussels. I am hosted by 'theorist-to-the-stars' Andrew Lamprecht, the artwork formally known as Bruce Gordon, Julie Aitcheson (lover of books and wife of Andrew Lamprecht), Nuno Sacramento (who by now is without need of introduction) and comrade Ronald Suresh Roberts. Friend and funder, Minister of Arts and Culture Dr. Pallo Jordan is eavesdropping on our conversation. The day goes to waste.
And it's a beautiful waste.
Monday, July 30
I run off to '3C', the Committee and Critics' Choice exhibition at the AVA. All my friends are somehow involved in the show, either as critics or artists. I'm not. They make fun of me. I inform AVA director Kirsty Cockerell that I am also an art critic, and for God's sake, even Robert Sloon was selected. She smiles politely: 'Oh really, then you can review the show, seeing that you are the only critic not selected.' Bitch. The show looks good generally, probably one of the better displays of young talent in recent months. A highlight from the show was Doing It For Daddy's Sweet Virginia a Beat poetry, rock music performance. Virginia MacKenny blushed, and looked very sweet. They also stole the invitation image, which consisted of a single red curtain, appropriating it as their backdrop. Very nice.
Newcomer Dave Scadden presented a video animation entitled Rabbits and Rockets. Sick man. Chad Barber showed a white cloth sheet. The piece is called Image of Christ licked off by a dog. The materials read 'Sheet, semen, miniature pinscher'.
The Spier wine is good and the rest of a show is a blur.
Tuesday, July 31
The 2666 studio finally gets a bar. Things are suddenly more fun, happy and we will probably be more productive than we already are, not that this is possible. But every studio needs a bar, and the cold feels far away. We make a braai to celebrate. Suresh Roberts eats all the meat as usual.
Wednesday, August 1
'Flu... (Save it for next month, Ed - Sub-Ed [Hey, I've never noticed that before])