Viktor Wynd

Archive for - 2011 May

Words for a Pillow Book

In - poems

A poem I wrote for a proposed collaboration for a pillow book with Marcelle Hanselaar – an artist whose work i’m obsessed with

the dog paces outside the door

(but it’s not the dog i want. tried it once – paws on my back made me bleed)
my sweat soiled sheets
pulled up, pulled over


i want, but i don’t know who
i don’t care who any more
i just want.

you don’t have to stay, you just have to do,
then you can go go go

my legs twitch & itch, my fingers scratch and pull,
the clock strikes three, three fifteen will be next
& i’ll still be alone, alone when i sleep, alone when i awake

Stephen Tennant & Cecil Beaton

In - Upcoming

After two years of working on it the new show about Stephen Tennant has finally opened at my gallery

It’s a Sort of Life i Suppose

In - Essays

It’s a sort of life, I suppose, there’s always a gap, a something missing and a portion of that added misery called loneliness…

I seem to pass my time in empty spaces, alone, looking at empty rooms, watching empty roads at night fading into nothingness, cars driving away from me, dissolving,
Studying objects people have abandoned and just left to lie. The old glove, the old shoe, it used to house and it used to be intimate, like I used to hold, I used to be intimate, I used to sheaf, and yet I’m nothing, I know I’m nobody, just a hole, an empty road.

The couch they spent so long making love, the time they spent on the telephone, talking, maybe cuddling, perhaps they had something there, maybe she gave head whilst he watched the sport on the television that used to be adored, the discarded retina of the minds eye,
Abandoned now and left to rot, how central it used to be to their life, prols, the lumpenproletariat, can bread and circuses really make anyone happy? , Now there’s a new one sitting there and the old one’s gone.
No one thinks of it any more
No one thinks of me anymore
Abandoned, left out, the half-light, not quite seeing it, not quite being there.

The mattress, even more than the couch a place of life, like me, I used be there,
I didn’t used to alone. But who am I kidding, I was always alone, we’re always alone, all of us, we know who are, we’re the failures, we’re the people who ring other people because people don’t just ring us, we used to stand alone in the playground, we used to make up games that involved just one, that’s why winning never matters, we’re happy if someone wants to play with us, we’ll let them win, we don’t want to win, what we want is you, we think.

There’s got to be something out there for us.

We can’t just be abandoned souls spinning in a world of our own perceptions, where ghosts and shadows and the night intrigues,
Because like us they’re shimmers of light with no substance, there’s nothing there, at least nothing that any one else can see or feel.
They’re told it’s there, we’re there, I’m there. But really they don’t know and they don’t care.

We’re alone you and me, and really you’re not alone because you don’t exist, you’re my imaginary friend, I’ve created you to have someone to talk to, someone as isolated, as lost, as empty as myself, a way to make me feel that you’re out there, that it was you in the car that drove by, it was you leaving the aero plane, running down the empty street, when I see a couple on their way,
I think it’s me on the left, the man, they seem united, together they’ll face the world, they’ll disappear down the path, the world falls away and disappears on either side of them, their world, around them, of course they kid themselves that they’re happy and they know each other and they’re in love, when really they’re just as isolated as you and me, but the talking and the quarreling and the sex and the children plug the gaps in their emptiness
We have the luxury of the time and the space around us, falling beneath us, or soaring above, we know we’re alone and there’s nothing we can do and we don’t like it. Maybe they’re like us as well and have just made a cynical pact with the void whereby it’ll leave them alone for a while but come back to haunt and to claim them

They take the luxury of discarding loves (images of gloves)

we wouldn’t just abandon something that had been close to us, that had been a part of our life, a place we’d slept on, made love on, witnessed our sweaty disturbed nights and days on intermittent insomnia and unconsciousness, an every changing never remembered world.

How could we ever abandon something that had been so intimate to us, that had covered our most intimate emotions, that had served as both a barrier and a facilitator to an attempt to experience the universal, that at the time of greatest intimacy had taken some of the pleasure away and kept it for itself. What is designed for two will never be the same with three, but even so, you are a bit that I can keep hold of that wont leave me, that wont ignore my calls, my emails, my letters, a bit of a moment, a bit of time, when even for a second I felt not so very alone.

But I’m kidding myself, as I always do, that was a moment, those are moments when I feel more than ever that the world ends at me, I guess I could turn that around, see it a different way and say that the world begins at me, but that would be to deny the hope that sometimes, when I can be bothered, gets me out of bed in the morning, or afternoon, the hope that there is something out there, that there is someone out there, and that when I look at the night, for it’s always the night I look at, I don’t understand the certainty of day, I want the half world, it’s familiar, a place where shapes and meanings are ill defined, where its all very big, where I am but a shadow on the wall, if I’m anything. A place and a time when I can feel so very small that a flicker of a certainty can awaken, that in a place like this maybe maybe I’m not alone.

It’s possible that I’m not the only one sitting at the little table in the restaurant
Someone else too wore these clothes that I found on the street, someone else has played with these toys, another body rested in this bed, it’s intimacy at a remove, at several removes, but it’s intimacy and it’s all I’ve got.

It’s a sort of life I suppose

april 2008

A Vegetarian in Alligator Boots

In - Essays

An essay written for the catalogue of an exhibition at Bath Spa University in autumn 2010

I awake, nod to a couple of shrunken heads on my bedside table, after all some company is better than none at all, masturbate, walk across the leopard skin rug, past the Leonora Carrington, elephant teeth and Victorian stuffed puppies to the bathroom for the pinnacle of the day’s pleasure, a good defecation. It’s all downhill from now on, I shower and dress, a crimson velvet suit – it’s still winter, and I pull on a tight pair of Texas’ finest cowboy boots, made from the tails of two alligators. It’s a cold day so I won’t wear my cobra skin jacket, not cold enough for raccoon or seal either, but plenty cold enough to justify a full-length blue fox, left open, and last, but by no means least I select my rings, they must match my suit and my nail varnish, crimson, so some red coral mounted in silver, a couple of twelfth century golden Seljuk Rings and a black Tahitian pearl mounted in a miniature eagle’s talon.
It’s a work day so I’m going to my shop, I deal in rare and beautiful things, curiosities if you like, I glance gloatingly at my desk where some dodo bones, just arrived, lurk in crisp tissue paper next to an enormous hair ball removed from the stomach of a cow. Objects far too wonderful to go to the shop, just yet, but I know that one day, it may be soon or it may be years away, they will cease to fill me with wonder and I will cease to see them, like Mortimer, the lion skeleton, but unlike Mortimer who still sits in my library, unseen, when that day comes it will be simple to pop these, far more valuable items in my pocket and take them down to the shop.
But before I go out I allow myself one more fleeting pleasure, I inspect my orchids, Phragmipedium longifolium is just uncurling, continuously in flower for two and a half years now, whilst the Catelleyas are looking decidedly sad, one day, when I am rich, I will have a tropical house stuffed with orchids, nepenthes and ferns, I have an eight foot tree fern (Dicksonia squarrosa) in my library that I had shipped over from Tasmania and planted the trunk with epithetic bromeliads and orchids, but it’s too dry in there and they’ve all died, the fern itself is alive, just, I avert my eyes subconsciously, I no longer see it, though I still water it.
I pick up a crow in flight, a dead one, and walk up to the shop, wondering vaguely if I’m turning into a caricature of myself, well, no wonder, I’m comfortable. Sometimes I’m accused of being a dandy that, perplexes me, there are no mirrors in my house and I have no idea of what I look like, I know what I feel like, left to myself I would cavort naked all day fucking and eating, well that’ not quite true, it is precisely because I am left to my own devices that I need to fill the time with objects, books, clothes, pictures.
Crow deposited in shop it is time for breakfast at the organic cafe inVictoria Park, a full vegetarian breakfast, for I am, of course, like all the best, and some of the worst people from Francis Bacon to Hitler, a vegetarian. People sometimes laugh at me, a dealer and collector of the dead, a man with ten fur coats in his dressing room and shoes made from every imaginable animal, from anteater to ostrich, and accuse me of hypocrisy, I laugh back and point to Napoleon’s Death Mask, proudly displayed, and point to the note next to it quoting the late tyrant as saying that England was the land where the hypocrite had set up shop.
But whilst that is true it is also a bit of flippancy, for there is no inherent contradiction between being a vegetarian and most of my activities; I do feel sheepishly guilty about my shoes, but they are beautiful and they last so much longer than a burger. I’m vegetarian because I believe that there is something inherently unnecessary and disgusting, obscene, in the mass production and slaughter of animals for the purely transitory pleasure of feeding yet again. Nothing that I deal in or collect has been killed for the purpose of me profiting, it is but a mere by-product, rien est plus beau que la nature, antique relics of a previous age. And the pleasure I get from my alligator skin boots is much deeper and longer than the ephemeral, not to mention questionable, pleasure of eating a ham sandwich.There is also no substitute for alligator skin but many far more delicious and environmentally friendly substitutes for eating meat.This is how I sleep deep and long at night, with a conscience fairly under control, for an insomniac at any rate.
A Vegetarian in Alligator Shoes, Hackney, 2010


In - Upcoming

Wyndstock – The Country House Party – this summer – 25th June & 27th August
full details here