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February 2010
 
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Mon, Jun. 15th, 2009 10:31 am
Steve and Vasiliki

I first met Steve Harvey last year in Luxembourg, where we were both performing at MUDAM, at a conference about appropriation in art. Steve had recreated the final Ziggy Stardust concert as an artwork for Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, and in Luxembourg he did a performance in which he "learned" Bowie's Brel cover My Death onstage, rewinding the tape over and over until he had the exact inflexions of Bowie's voice, the exact chords and rhythms of the 12-string guitar part.

Steve -- who's a painter specialising in sci-fi-like scenarios -- lives in Athens with his Greek girlfriend Vasiliki, who's an actress. Yesterday Hisae and I spent several hours in their company. It's one of the things I like most, just to visit people in their apartment, find out how they live and how much they pay and what they do. I'm a "life inspector", but you don't have to tidy up when I come round!



I can report that Steve and Vasiliki are living very well. Their Kypseli apartment is high on the slopes of Turkuvounou, the low mountain I lived on the other side of, growing up in Paleo Psychiko as a child. (When evening began to descend we took the obligatory hike over the mountain and I showed everyone my old house.)

Steve and Vasiliki pay €520 for a space that's about 70 square metres -- two bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom and living room, plus big balconies on either side. It's up on the top floor and near the peak of a steeply-sloping street, so by the time you get out onto the back balcony the view out over Athens is pretty impressive -- a glittering white sprawl hemmed in by mountains. In this city almost as charismatic as Kyoto, the rents are almost as cheap as Berlin's.



Vasiliki had some interesting tales to tell of her work with the avant garde theatre companies M-Kultra and F2 Performance Unit. In one, the audience had been taken from location to location, and Vasiliki, barefooted and mini-skirted in an alley outside the Bios theatre, had met individual audience members and allowed them to think they were determining a random route through the city by casting dice. The walk ended in a shady Kerameikos car park, where the punters were spirited off to the next location, the next interaction, in a three-wheeled motorbike.

This approach to theatre reminded me of the work of Japanese avant garde director Shuji Terayama. Here's a clip documenting his piece Knock, from 1975:



The audience for Knock picked up a map at the west exit of Shinjuku station. On it were marked locations for eighteen performances happening simultaneously across Tokyo during a thirty-hour period in places like public bathhouses, balloons, dark boxes, astronomical observatories. The performance was finally ended by the police -- you can hear them asking peevish questions at the end of the clip.

17CommentReply


(Anonymous)
Mon, Jun. 15th, 2009 08:45 am (UTC)

by asking them the price they no longer live in an abstract place of the world and I can relate to them by trying to imagine their economic wanderings.

thanks for sharing your learnings.

Claudia


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Jun. 15th, 2009 08:55 am (UTC)

I wonder if Steve & his girlfriend realised that the exact amount of their monthly rent was going to be broadcast to the world when they told you.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Mon, Jun. 15th, 2009 11:00 am (UTC)
WC1 here

Wanted: retro plastic snowdome of Acropolis. Does this exist? Still in synopsis hell and procrastinating www-style.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Jun. 15th, 2009 11:22 am (UTC)
Re: WC1 here

Momus will buy you an Acropolis snowdome if you tell him and all his readers how much you pay for your WC1 pied-à-terre, Suzy.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Mon, Jun. 15th, 2009 12:08 pm (UTC)
Re: WC1 here

OK (excellent - if nonexistant I would have wanted to invent one) but am also researching Delphic oracle (something for another discussion, not here) so if you see anything good related to that, grab it for me.

I'm in a Bevan-era council block studio in the centre of Central London with balcony and parquet flooring; the rent/inclusive heating/council tax total is roughly £450/month. People consider that a bargain for a room in a shared house in Zone 2 these days.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Mon, Jun. 15th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
Re: WC1 here

lol


ReplyThread Parent
fishwithissues
fishwithissues
jordan fish
Mon, Jun. 15th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)

i wanna see your old house!


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Jun. 15th, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC)

Do you have any weblinks to Steve Harvey's paintings? Just curious. Thanks.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Jun. 16th, 2009 09:23 am (UTC)

Not sure if any are online. I took a snap of one, but it's a fuzzy blurred picture which doesn't do the painting (of an extraterrestrail ape-prophet being approached warily by Greek Orthodox priests and a Greek politician) any justice, and I don't even have access to Photoshop to fix it.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Tue, Jun. 16th, 2009 10:02 am (UTC)

Oh well, no worries. I'm always curious what people do with the genre if/when it isn't run of the mill stuff.


ReplyThread Parent
steveharvey
Steve Harvey
Tue, Jun. 16th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
My 'SF' art

Hello, thanks for the interest. There's nothing on the net at the present. However, I just made an account here and will try and upload something for anyone interested. The thing is I just sold the best of this stuff to the MUDAM museum in Luxembourg, but I don't know if that means they own the rights (waiting for the contract)... Anyway, since you're curious, I'd just say that one aim of the work is to do the stuff that SF won't allow itself, like adopt an absurdist standpoint and from there subvert SF itself...


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Tue, Jun. 16th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
Re: My 'SF' art

Sounds interesting, and would like to see if/when. Maybe our man Nick can run a feature?


ReplyThread Parent
steveharvey
Steve Harvey
Tue, Jun. 16th, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC)

Emailing you a decent photo!


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Wed, Jun. 17th, 2009 10:44 am (UTC)
And here it is!



Steven C. Harvey
Reception of New Semi-Bacchic Deity (2006)
100x100cm, oil on canvas


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Wed, Jun. 17th, 2009 08:52 pm (UTC)
Re: And here it is!

Wowzers!

And what's that on the hill in the background?


ReplyThread Parent
steveharvey
Steve Harvey
Thu, Jun. 18th, 2009 07:20 am (UTC)
Re: And here it is!

It's a man-made crater caused by quarrying, which exists in reality on the Egaleo hill - the whole view in the painting is the view from our terrace. The crater shape is echoed in the dish shape of the 'deity's' cranium, which is in fact derived from the bony neck-shield of a Triceratops. This picture belongs really to the 'archaologico-religio-mythological' strand of my work as opposed to the 'SF' strand. The goat's foot shows that he's rooted in the ancient imagination of Man. Perhaps he's a projection incarnate of the city's unconscious, or a puzzling new emmissary from heaven, but I don't really see him as coming from a physical alien world ( but then, what do I know? I'm just the artist, and as Jodowrowsky says, the artist is just the channel for the image, not the creator). I WILL put up some of the 'SF' stuff on my page here soon, promise.


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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
steveharvey
Steve Harvey
Wed, Jan. 13th, 2010 01:03 pm (UTC)
Re: And here it is!

You can ask, but there is no answer...


ReplyThread Parent