Log in

No account? Create an account
click opera
February 2010
Thu, May. 7th, 2009 09:33 am
Scenes from a performance

"Oh creepy creepy stalker, they say! Creepy creepy stalker! Stalking Aki's Facebook page, stalking Aki's blog, stalking Aki's art! Well, what's wrong with being a stalker, eh? Some wonderful people have been stalkers, some of nature's truest gents and aristocrats. Sherlock Holmes, in his elegant cape, his curly pipe dangling out of his mouth, his deerstalker hat -- he was a stalker! Cleaning up the world, ridding it of criminals, saving us from murderers!"

"Aki, let's leave this place, let's live by the sea. We'll befriend the fish and the seals. The seals will keep us warm with the blubber of their bodies, and teach us to swim with powerful wriggles. The fish will come to us with their mouths full of salt, and offer themselves up to us as food. They will die happy in the knowledge that they're feeding us, and we'll take the salt out of their mouths and sprinkle it on their cooking bodies, and the fish, the dead, happy fish, will thank us. Let's live by the sea, Aki!"

"Why can't you be normal, Aki? I mean, I love you because you're special, of course, because you're not like anyone else. But why can't you be a little more normal in the things that you do? You could still make performances, you could still do these drawings, these weird little things you do. Aki, I've made an appointment for you, at 5pm, with Dr Helen, at her surgery. She'll talk to you, Aki, she'll cure you, make you normal. Go there, Aki, go to Dr Helen. Don't let me down!"

"To my mind, Aki Sasamoto, currently appearing at Zach Feuer Gallery in a double-hander with Momus, is -- and I do not say this lightly -- is... No, too pompous, select all, delete. Aki Sasamoto, currently appearing with Momus in Love is the End of Art at Zach Feuer Gallery in Chelsea, is, to my mind, one of the most interesting new performers to grace the scene, and, I would venture, no, strike that, if I may hazard a prediction, is destined... is destined to become my future spouse. No, no, you can't say that in an art review, in an art magazine! Select all, delete! Copyright 2009! Artforms magazine, subscriptions, 30% reduction!"

"Aki, I'm here! I exist, Aki! I know you never acknowledge me, I know you act like I don't exist, but I do! And sometimes, when you're sleeping, Aki, and I'm kneeling close with the light, I can see by the look on your face that you're thinking of me. I can tell that you're dreaming of me, Aki, and that moment... that moment makes it all worth while! All my suffering and torment, all my feelings of rejection. I know that you dream of me, Aki, and nobody else but me. I can see it by the twitch of the tip of your nose, the trembling flutter of your eyelids, the shape of the lobe of your ear. Thank you, Aki, thank you for dreaming of me!"

"While Momus, dressed absurdly as a kabuki stagehand, evokes the school play from hell with banal lines issued from atop a ladder, Sasamoto quietly dazzles with a series of performances which, while clearly indebted to the Fluxus movement... No, too convoluted. Select all, delete. Sasamoto, clearly the star of this two-hander, may be referencing Fluxus, but there's a lot more going on here, in my view. While Momus sits atop a ladder issuing banal... fuming with yellow fever... singing along with idiotic nursery rhymes written by Martin Rev... quoting single-channel video pieces Vito Acconci made in 1973... Sasamoto (check spelling) delights with arcane rituals somewhere between Cy Twombly and Joseph Beuys. No, no, too convoluted. Select all, delete."

"Biographical data on the enigmatic Sasamoto are hard to come by, but an acquaintance tells me that she has led a colourful life, leaving home to become a street kid at 14 after her father, whilst walking in his sleep, deliberately ate all the food at a family shrine, a bunch of cherries reserved for a dead person, they have strange customs in Japan. She then came to Europe, where she learned jazz tap, and hitchhiked all the way from Sweden to Egypt, where she was kidnapped by berbers and sold to tartars and held on a military base for six months before escaping. Subsequently Sasamoto came into a small fortune bequeathed by a sheik -- $647 million, according to a recent reckoning by Forbes magazine. However, I noticed that when I took Sasamoto to Porco Donuts on West 12th Street, she was unable to pay for a single donut."

"Aki, sometimes... sometimes I love to gaze at your profile when you're speaking, and I'm not listening to what you say -- sorry, Aki! -- but just watching the way your eyes, those cute Japanese eyes, wrap around the side of your face, like the headlights of a Honda wrap around the bumpers and down the sides of the car. I love how your cute little button nose is so lovely and flat, so that when I'm looking at your profile I can see both your eyes at once, like in... like in a cubist painting by Picasso! But it's not because you're oriental that I love you, Aki, it's because you're you, and there's nobody like you in the world! And, you know, there's nothing wrong with objectifying as long as we both do it, and there's nothing wrong with essentialising as long as we both do it, and there's nothing wrong with reductively stereotyping as long as it's something we both do. Objectify me, Aki! Essentialise me! Reductively stereotype me!"

Love is the End of Art continues daily (2pm to 6pm, Tuesday to Saturday) at Zach Feuer Gallery, New York, until May 16th.


Thu, May. 7th, 2009 01:51 pm (UTC)

Boresville USA. Art is something to do while you wait for death.


Thu, May. 7th, 2009 01:56 pm (UTC)

This entry
might be my favourite entry of the year so far, and there's tough competition
makes me want to be in New York to attend the Feuer Gallery

Thu, May. 7th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)

I very much agree--though I'd be going bonkers if I were in Hisae's position at this point, with or without the long, comforting conversations.

ReplyThread Parent
Thu, May. 7th, 2009 02:07 pm (UTC)


can't wait to sit and stare and stalk the stalker.

select all delete. story of my life.


Thu, May. 7th, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC)

As someone who is usually pretty sceptical of your intrusions into the art world, I must say this sounds like it has real edge.

Thu, May. 7th, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC)

What's missing from this account -- I couldn't really do them justice -- is Aki's weird lectures on social typologies, her quirky anecdotes and actions. We're talking at cross-purposes, but the creepiness of the tragic unrequited relationship makes for something that's more than the sum of its parts.


Thu, May. 7th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
Momus is a sea creature who lives on land and wishes he could fly.


I felt this in my plums momus. I hope there are videos.


Thu, May. 7th, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC)

Makes me feel like you're saying what I'm thinking, and it is what I'm thinking, sometimes, or thought at some point over the years, nearly word for word-- "Aki, I am your baby! I came from you. And then I gave birth to you. I gave birth to you and delight in your essence. you are my mother my daughter and other roles unfit for print."

Fri, May. 8th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)

I had a great time stalking the stalker today! I was the only person in the gallery for about 45 minutes; one person watching another person watching another person... I felt really privileged to be given that private performance.
I liked how you made really distanced references to who was in the room at the time of the performance. When a japanese girl came in, you did your bit about Aki being japanese and when I first came in and there was nobody there, you asked the riddle "if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it..."

Do you two like it when people stay a long time? Or is the preferred viewing time just a few minutes? I would have stayed all day, but I didn't want to needlessly tire you both out just for my own pleasure! I guess that leads me back to the tree question?

Fri, May. 8th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)

I know who you are!

Yes, we like it when someone stays a long time. It's weird, but Aki and I barely know each other. We've spent more time together in role than out of it, so playing our characters feels more natural and comfortable at this point than, you know, whistling or chatting or pacing around the gallery when no-one's there, being ourselves. I like having a chance to continue the soap opera!

I've been waiting with bated breath for Roberta Smith's New York Times review, because that's the big one. It's just in, and it's a good one! Which means that tomorrow and Saturday will probably be buzzing.

ReplyThread Parent

Fri, May. 8th, 2009 07:51 am (UTC)

Momus, you should just move to NY and focus on your art career. You got a rave review in the NYT. When was the last time the NYT or any other big newspaper even noticed an album release of yours? You can be justly proud of your recording career but as you have said so many times yourself, pop music is over and art isn't. Why tie yourself to a dead medium? Berlin is where bohemians get put out to pasture; the real art action is still in New York, even more so with the recession.

ReplyThread Parent
Fri, May. 8th, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)

I can't wait to see this