Ed Young's Diary
Due to an unfortunate chain of events, Ed Young's Diary did not appear last month. While DJing at an unfortunate homosexual party, Ed was not really paying attention to his G4 Powerbook. An unhealthy patron eagerly fed the Powerbook a sip of beer, against the Mac's will, through the keypad. The Mac got drunk but was okay for the duration of the set. The Mac then passed out and was hospitalised for alcohol poisoning. The Mac sadly died a slow and horrible death along with the diary.
But the Mac's life insurance paid out a healthy sum and it was replaced by a sexy black Macbook, more than willing to write the next diary by itself.
Saturday, September 1
I am drinking breakfast at a little coffee shop downstairs from my hotel room. I receive an SMS from the artwork formerly know as Bruce Gordon. It reads:
At the launch of your book you mentioned a desire for a dialogue with your readers. Well, I grew up in a remote, small mining town in Rhodesia. My mother was an alcoholic and my earliest memories are of suckling on my nanny's breasts while my mother was getting pissed at the golf club.
The local people, including my nanny, were very poor and I suppose unsophisticated. I loved my nanny and she loved me, fed me, protected me and taught me about vulnerability and sensitivity. It was very awkward for me... My heightened awareness, which I learned from my nanny, made me very sad. The foibles of my peers were painfully obvious. I felt alone and vulnerable. Birds and animals were my friends. Domestic dogs and cats followed me. I was called if there were dogfights. Instinctively I made images in my mind that caused animals to stop fighting and whimper at my feet. I held them and hugged them not really understanding. It was very painful and emotionally draining... I became a compulsive crybaby.
I somehow survived boarding school in the bush. Isolated incidents of homosexuality were exciting but confusing. The first time I had intercourse was on a stony embankment next to a rugby field with a young prostitute in Port Elizabeth. It was awkward and unsatisfying beyond belief. Two days later I developed the symptoms of gonorrhrea... discharge and painful back. By the time I got home to my parents in Rhodesia I had to be rushed to hospital. I never knew or understood what was wrong. Young nurses sniggered and pointed at me.
Now that I am older and have had many satisfying relationships with woman and masturbate regularly, I often wonder about my nanny's sexuality. The truth be told I often touched her. Please won't you put my nanny in your next book?
Thursday, September 6
I bounce off to the SABC's collection (selected works) at the Castle of Good Hope. The exhibition is impressive. But if you blur your eyes and shake your head sideways really fast you get to see The Matrix code breaking down. And you get to see exactly which galleries supply the collection with their art. There are some disadvantages of not being represented by a gallery. But maybe not.
There are not too many people and the opening is hugely over-catered. More for us. Robert Sloon and I dig in. Fantastic little feta thingies and steaks on sticks. I think we looked a bit obvious. Alan Alborough asked if our table was the dinner table. If the SABC had bought some of our work there would be absolutely no need to rely on openings for our dinners.
Monday, September 10
On the eve of March 2 earlier this year, artist and cultural activist Madi Phala was brutally murdered on his way home from a shebeen. His attackers stole a bit of money, leaving his wallet and mobile phone behind.
Tonight I pop into a memorial exhibition at the AVA. The tone is sombre yet proud. Pity I missed Mario Pissarra's heartwarming opening speech, grieving the loss of his friend. I see Pissarra and tell him that I just wrote a scathing review of his website [See September Website Page]. I suppose this a bit insensitive. Pissarra asks what I had written. I tell him that the artists represented on the site are predominately black. Not that this is a bad thing but I am more interested in how this space aids segregation by seemingly pc intentions. It's fucking irritating. Pissarra responds: 'What about the SABC collection - white? What about Bruce Gordon's collection - white?' I tell him that it is a bar in Long Street and serves more as décor. Not that this matters. He turns his back on me. I have a sip of fine Spier wine and make my sweet escape. I convince a friend of mine to buy me some sushi as I am a bit hungry and out of cash. ArtThrob only pays so much.
Friday, September 14
No Early Friday today. It is a sad day. I attend Andrew Lamprecht and Kathy Coates' opening for their 'Cape Town Biennale' at Blank projects. It's not that great except for Suresh-Roberts' opening speech. In fact that is all that is on display. Despite the lack of organisational skills, the performance is sweet and simple. Roberts redoes his speech from his Mbeki book launch, one that has now been widely circulated within the art world and published in art books and and... But it is quite funny to see Roberts referring to Lamprecht as Mr. President throughout his speech. Roberts cracks a joke and the only person to laugh is Jonathan Garnham's 3-year old daughter. And Jonathan Garnham's wife is hot.
Sue Williamson collects me from Blank projects and we zip across to De Waterkant for dinner at Beluga Restaurant. It's ArtThrob's 10th birthday and everyone is very happy. The artwork formerly known as Bruce Gordon and I start with some nice prawns, move on to some Wellington steak thingy, and end with a weird melted white chocolate and vodka martini. We occasionally run off to the bar for a quick fag and a glimpse at the game (SA versus England). Everyone is stuffed. Some people leave early. I stay for grappa and espresso...
Sue, Bruce and I, check in on Clare van Zyl's party at the new Monkey Films premises. Nice space. A lot of good art on the walls. Good whiskey. Robert Sloon phones in tears. He is at a loose end and has no friends. I tell him to come over but warn him that I refuse to baby-sit him all night long. The party starts fading and Sloon and I take a stroll down to Evol, a nightclub down the road. Getting irritated by the badly dressed emo kids and general bad vibes we go downstairs to the Stag's Head.
The night turns violent. The mood seems ruff. A customer smashes a water jug over the bar lady's head. Sloon and I decide to leave, as we are both a bit scrawny. We part and go our separate ways. I arrive home and stumble out the lift and enter the passage. The walls are blood-splattered and someone had used one of those fire extinguishers with the white powder stuff. The length of the corridor is a pale shade of white.
There is a man standing in the corridor. I ask him what's going on and he mumbles something and swears politely. He walks down the corridor. I follow him to investigate. I arrive at an apartment filled with Nigerian refugees. The door is smashed to pieces and young pregnant ladies are crying. I ask what had happened and one guy tells me it was that it was the person I had been following. I turn and find a bunch of guys approaching us, golf clubs in hand. I almost shit myself. I negotiate with the golf club gang and tell them to leave. They do. I call security and security calls the cops. The weird guy is arrested a few hours later. I get to bed and the birds are chirping.
Saturday, September 15
I awake with a bottle of vodka carefully lodged in my head. Vague memories of golf clubs reappear. I suddenly feel like a good nine holes, but have a few meetings today. I meet playwright Myer Taub at Carlucci's for a few espressos. It is 9.30am and need to get to Sue's studio by 10.
I arrive a bit late at All Star Studios and have more coffee. All the ArtThrob editors and staff are there. We are discussing the future of the website, and how improvements can be made. I feel the meeting is constructive but if I had to tell you they would have to kill me.
I am supposed to present a paper at the Art Historians Conference entitled: 'We're all so Fucking African', this afternoon. The problem is that the panel is at WITS University. And I am in Cape Town for the ArtThrob thing. I am also supposed to be at an opening of mine at SMAC in Stellenbosch. I haven't even seen my light jet print on fibre-based paper, but am told it looks nice. It's good to make art over the 'phone. Instead I attend the ArtThrob birthday party at the Goodman Gallery. Everyone is very happy and we sing a half-baked birthday song, sipping on some sparkling.
I squeeze into the front seat of a bakkie with painter Jake Aikman and Zimbabwean artist Dan Halter. We are off to another Champagne party in the 'burbs. We spot artist David Scadden in the street looking a bit lost, holding a case of Black Label quarts in his hand. He had rung the bell of the house and told the owner that he had come to see their daughters. The owner looked a bit puzzled and responded that his daughter was only ten years old, looking a bit funny at Mr. Scadden and his plethora of alcohol.
Some young artists have just returned from South Korea and are throwing a bit of a welcome back party. It's good to see them. The bubbly seems to be flowing and I get into a fistfight with artist Dave Scadden, as usual. We manage to beat up young artist Rowan Smith and a sensitive theorist makes Julia Rosa Clark cry. The bubbly runs dry and we resort to some Klipdrift and Coke. We evidently get more aggressive. The rest of the story is too embarrassing to tell you. We go hard.
Sunday, September 16
Polish painter Andrzej Nowicki wakes up with a leg brace. He also can't remember what we did last night. Everyone is in a bit of pain. I calmly spend the day in studio, catching up on some writing and preparing lectures. A bit tired, I head off to Jo'burg bar for a nightcap and to catch the end on the Lone Sharks gig. Need a bit of time on my own. Both my girlfriends happen to be there. Bruce Gordon arrives with playwright Guy Willoughby. I make a sweet escape with a friend of mine called Gypsy. We end up in a Karaoke bar and I strain my voice. Nothing like A whole new world from the Walt Disney's Aladdin soundtrack to exercise my shaky vocals for an upcoming performance. And a bit of Back Street Boys.
I realise that this diary is getting long and will take it up again in October.