Archive for March, 2007

Sounds and things

March 27, 2007

“Without a constant misuse of language there cannot be any discovery, any progress.” [Paul Feyerabend, Against Method]

The dude behind me on the train the other day was having a routine chat on his cell-phone, except that he kept using the word “wounded” as a catch-all phrase, the way you might use “yeah.” He was also knocking back the cider at 2pm. It was kind of strange to hear him use a word about vulnerability as a chavvie masculine affirmation. But he also had gems like “not the smartest peanut in the turd.” Wounded.

Dirty jennies

March 14, 2007

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This is the scene at seven in the morning in the main square of Aalst, Belgium, after the third day of the annual carnival. The town is entirely boarded up – trees and shop-fronts boxed in with plywood – in preparation for the “dirty jennies.” These are men dressed in some weird interpretation of women; cartoon hosiery, skirts and wigs, makeup, all noise. It’s like an inversion of Mardi Gras, with the men as women, wearing fake plastic strap-on tits and heels. It doesn’t really work in reverse, there isn’t a spectacle of women dressed as men. Instead the sight of women dressed like their dates – also made-up in this strange fiction of feminity – is so much more loaded. This last morning is definitely my favorite moment: the post-apocalypse, the historical square in lurid ruins; the energy of the night before spent, in piles of trash and furniture on the streets, and the momentum inverting as the bulldozers and cleaning crews swept through, putting out the fires.

Before

March 1, 2007

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The room pictured above may never look the same. It certainly doesn’t look like that now. I’m installing a piece at Netwerk, info on the show here. If you are in the area of Aalst, Belgium, next Saturday, come by for the opening: March 10, 8:30pm. My apologies for the lack of attention to the blog! I’ll hit it hard when I return to the screen.