"The Unbearable Loneliness of Being"
I propose to transform a space into a beautiful sad place. I want to make people laugh and I want to make people cry. The project will be site specific and will evolve over time as I visit the space and develop ideas as such it is difficult to say exactly what I would like to do. The main influences on this piece, as I see it today, though not perhaps as I will see it tomorrow are: Beckett, Machado de Assis, Pirandello, Jarry, Ionescu, Kafka, Cavafy, Beckett, Sadegh Hayat, John Gray, Mircea Eliade, Philip K.Dick, Lawrence Sterne, Cervantes, Robert Musil, , Fr.Rolfe, Alasdair Gray. B.S.Johnson, beckett, Saramago, Peter Greenaway, Ingmar Bergman, Kurban Said, Joeseph Roth, P.Soupault, J.Kennedy Toole, Jeanette Winterson, to name a few.
I could talk about visual artists too, but then it starts to get complicated, Sickert, Tuymans, Dumas, Saenradam, Michaux, Dieter Roth, but this list will go on endlessly…
I want people to laugh & I want People to cry
& I want people to eat.
Each room will have a title, written in the wall with bits of animals, porcupine's quills, sharks teeth and more, titles such as "I always want it to be forever, but it never is", "the long and lonely nights it's been since you first left home" and more words of longing and loneliness.
They will be structured and they will smell, one room may be littered heavily with piles of burnt and torn up books that people have to walk on, a table in the middle will groan with an elaborate cheeseboard, another room will be all white, a foot deep on the floor with white feathers, a few sad slogans on the walls, and 6 drawings. There will be the paradise room, orchids, and fruit and flowers and dead butterflies and live butterflies. And drawings of the above & of course they'll be "the teddy bears picnic" - an elaborate tableau of fluffy animals stuffing themselves with dead butterflies in a cloud of flittering tropical insects, accompanied by a recording of myself singing "if you go down to the woods today…"
My own personal conceit, for my own amusement, will be that a complicated, baroque almost, installation will frame a new series of obsessive, highly detailed portraits of nothingness - projecting an absence of meaning, a pointlessness, futility and hopefully a beauty. Large bits of paper covered in faint markings of crosses and squares and dots and shapes, over and over again in a pointless search for an order in a chaos, a way of killing time before it kills me.
There will be a performative aspect to the show - for the opening I will recreate "The House of Sadness - two actors will lead people through their saddest times, asking them to relive the death of their first pet, their first breakdown, the way they felt when they lost the egg and spoon race at school, to help get the tears rolling onions will be on hand to chop. There will also be gallons of gin to squaff, courtesy of Hendricks, and it would be nice to have some sort of feast or barbeque. Everyone who comes to the show will receive a gift, whether it be a lock of my hair, a dead butterfly, an onion or a piece of cheese. A little bit of me will accompany everyone who comes to it home, that way, to quote Simian "I'll never be alone again." Guests will be invited to leave a little bit of them on a row of shelves, that way they'll "never be alone again" A program of talks and events examining loneliness and sadness could accompany the show - for example agony aunt Virginia Ironside could lead a seminar on how to deal with a broken heart, similarly someone could be found to talk about happiness - and happy artists and writers - there must be some… maybe Alain de Botton could talk about he joys of materialism and the elusive happiness a new car bring…