ED YOUNG'S DIARY
Monday, March 5
I am sitting in a bar at the airport in Zurich. Two guys walk in and sit close to me. They start to diss Harm Lux, a curator I am working with, really badly. I have a tattoo of Harm on my ass, and I am tempted to show it. I let the opportunity slide.
Leaving Swiss Land. I am very happy. It really irks me. There are a few stupid things in the world:
And the Swiss
Swiss people all have Swiss haircuts and they are super polite, and all wear new clothes. They also have a token beggar in Zurich, but he draws money from the cash machine. The security guards drive Smart Cars. But it is not all bad, some of my favourite artists and friends live there.
I arrive back in Cape Town early in the morning. After a two-hour traffic jam I go straight to the studio. Doug Gimberg and I quickly build a new studio space as we were kicked out the previous one by an angry hippy artist who is a close friend of Paul Edmunds.(For which I make no apologies - SubEd)
There is a stuckist in my bed. I had forgotten that we had started up the Two Six Six Six midnight residency programme in our studio. The ex-stuckist in question is a mate of Christian Nerf and Willem Boshoff and appears to go by the name of Grant Carlin.
Monday, March 12
Trasi Hennen moves into our studio from Jo'burg. The first thing she does is a puerile attempt at cutting my speaker cables because she prefers arty Berlin electronica to my love of and devotion to Christina Aguilera.
She has got to go.
Wednesday, March 14
We sign off our book with Scan Shop. Now all we have to do is make work for our show next week.
Monday, March 19
In the studio this the morning, Ruth Sacks is having an MFA assessment. Christian's new baby dog attacks Virginia MacKenny. She says: 'That's funny, bitches usually love me'. Ruth has an open studio tonight. I have very little recollection.
Tuesday, March 20
What can I say? We are installing. Robin Rhode and Willem Boshoff pop in for some support, and to drink our beer.
Wednesday, March 21
Exhausted, have lunch with Ronald Suresh Roberts. I feel like I am about to faint. Not because of Ronald. Our show opens tonight at SMAC in Stellenbosch. Our book has arrived. Kathryn Smith was kind enough to help us out and produce a book called One Million and Forty-Four Years (and sixty three days). It is about the Avant-Garde, but more importantly and hopefully, to kill such a redundant notion. The show opens with enormous success, and Ronald speaks beautifully, leaving but a few a bit red-faced. I need sleep. The only spelling mistake we have in the book, after copy-checking for days is the word 'Ath' which was supposed to be 'Death' (You could have asked me for help - SubEd). We thought that 'Ath' was just a really expensive word.
Andrew Lamprecht fine-tooth-combs our book. He spots Doug's picture of the dead yellow canary that was delivered to his doorstep. I trust that the reader would know the Italian Mafia reference. If not, Google it. Andrew was a bit freaked out. One lame story is that it was because he stole the idea for his Cape Biennale at Blank projects from a bunch of loopy students.
Andrew lived in constant fear for months.
Thursday, March 22
Today is a work day for me. I spend the day helping Sue with a video for her show tomorrow, as I owe her a big favour. I walk over to the Goodman gallery for the launch of their new space. Great Space - pity about the stock show. I catch a lift to Michael Stevenson's opening. Not bad. A bit more curated than Linda's. But somehow Linda's show seems cleaner. Three thumbs up to Storm and Emma. The Michael Stevenson show has a nice book though (I think I am supposed to review it for this edition of ArtThrob, let's see if I can get it together - OUCH!). (He didn't - Sub Ed)
I think this is the start of a great war.
I miss the Blank opening, but apparently there were only three people (including the curators and their spouses).
I end up at the Blank afterparty at L/B's Lounge. The other three people were there. Laurie Farrell arrives and seems at a loose end. We crash the Goodman dinner.
Friday, March 23
Friday is a bit slow and not just for me. The international press arrives at the National Gallery only to find the doors locked. I go to Early Friday at The Waiting Room. It's always nice to see a bunch of drunk art students. I try to convince a lesbian friend of mine to change her sexual persuasion and 'come and watch DVDs with me'. We went to Sue Williamson's opening instead. It was a family affair.
Saturday, March 24
A very mad day. A very sad day. Cape opens today. We have lunch with Carolyn Cristov-Bakargiev and Laurie Farrell. Kathryn has been showing Carolyn around and they have only two days to meet with artists. Had to miss the Cape opening. Apparently Pallo Jordan actually showed up to do his speech. People are bussed through to Stellenbosch to see shows. We make sure we have enough food and drink to accommodate any spillovers to our show. Lots of people come. By the end of the night I realise that my shoes had been stolen and replaced by a pair of dirty 'plakkies' (ironically these are the shoes that I myself stole from the Palais de Tokyo in Paris). I feel a bit sad. We check the surveillance footage in the gallery but can't spot the culprit.
Christian suggests that we pull through to the Kimberley hotel where the afterparty is happening and that someone there would probably be wearing them. I think that no one would be stupid enough to wear them to a party they know I would be at. We shoot through to Cape Town and have a few drinks at the party. Obviously the Cape parties have started taking their toll and the only real conversation I have is with Stephen Hobbs' wife about 'smudging'. Also catch up with Robin Rhode. At this point, Cape curator Gabi Ngcobo stumbles in and reveals that she is in fact wearing the stolen shoes. I tell her to hang ten. Christian flags down a couple of cops in the road. After spending a few hours in Caledon cop station they inform me that I can make a case, meaning that Gabi would be taken to Pollsmoor prison. I decide against it and they agree to help me without making the case. Gabi returns the shoes.
Sunday, March 25
Went to lunch at Sue's.
Monday, March 26
I am on another show, called the 'YMGs*'. My work is really good and the rest is really crap. It is a show by recent MFA graduates from Michaelis. Went to the AVA exhibition. It doesn't look too bad. Some Durban artists. But to paraphrase Robert Sloon: 'Where is Durban?' Sue tells me that she had gone to see our show in Stellenbosch. I say: 'That's nice'. She stares at me blankly. I leave. Try to give Zwelethu a hug. He tells me that I had been mean to him in the past.
Tuesday, March 27
Had to miss the Godfried Donker talk at Michaelis due to waiting for FedEx to collect a parcel. Apparently Godfried's talk was really good and people actually asked questions. Godfried stops into the studio to say goodbye a few hours later. We go to the young Jo'burg artist's exhibition in the evening. It is horrible. It looks like a second year production. I feel like doing a bit of physical criticism. We leave to go see Dorothee Kreutzfeldt�s performance at João Ferreira. Also not very good, although the sparkling was ok. Please keep young Jo'burg artists away from me. Go to dinner with Douglas Gimberg. Forgot that I had arranged dinner with Sonia, she arrives and I think was just a tad horrified by the conversation generated by myself, Robert Sloon and Bruce Gordon. She leaves for Maputo.
Wednesday, March 28
Wake up in my studio this morning. Arty hangovers and all. My slumber is rudely interrupted by a nightmare. Christian Nerf and I were on our way to a mission on the moon. Before we left I checked ArtThrob . We do not get a review. On top of that I was watching the world premiere of The Hulk vs. Superman. The Hulk bit off the ear of the man of steel. Pathetic.
I go to the opening of the promising 'X-Cape' thingy at the farm with lots of hippies. I can't even badmouth this one. It was so bad. I can only think of Bas Jan Ader's: 'I'm too sad to tell you'. It is very sad that our fringe has been taken over by a bunch of hippies that realised somewhere in the mid 90s that art can save the world. And the assholes at the Scalabrini Centre.
Someone at Cape should have kept one eye open. This was truly pathetic.
Spunk Seipel, the German curator in our care was so bored that he had to go up Table Mountain and is now officially magenta of colour. He is also in our residency room. Spunk is to be followed by an angry mob of Russian hamsters by the names of Steve, Anon II and Hitler.
Thursday, March 29
And then Cape phones me and accuses me of kicking in the window of Blank Projects. I mean really.