The Baltic Notebooks of Anthony Blunt
The Barman Says
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The barman asks, “What is the title of the piece again?”
Two characters take seats at the performer’s table, the only unoccupied seats they may find in the otherwise packed bar. One of them clearly mistakes the astral-themed performance for a spiritual séance as he is holding a bottle of spirits between his knees. The other one steals the bottle and then the show by transforming herself into a series of illustrations of astral and imaginary characters.
A book walks into a bar. The barman says, “Please, no stories!”
Olof Olsson walks out from a cup of coffee. He is about to host “a talk show on the brink of disaster”. The sugar cube is being switched on. Mr. Olsson encourages the audience to leave it if they feel like at any given moment. Part of the audience is leaving; they did not get the joke. The brink is sliding towards disaster like the raft of the Medusa. However, the audience bravely jumps onto the rocking raft while transforming the Medusa painting into a series of audience’s photos that look like they were taken in a comedy theatre while using secret camera.
The barman asks, “Why the big pause?”
Two guys enter a bar, looking like counter-revolutionists spying in Odessa after the October revolution. The barman says, “Aren’t you the Mormons I threw out five minutes ago?” “No”, they answer while they open a Samsonite fully packed with books. “We are the opposite of Mormonism. We distribute the accidental relationship between a book and a reader by asking the reader to choose a book and a paragraph. As in a lottery.”
A parrot picks up the lucky number in a lottery. The number appears to be a sentence, later lost among all the other records of the sugar cube.
The Egyptian curator enters a bar, and says in Lithuanian: “A parrot is a bird whose body is inhabited by others: it mimics their language and creates comical and uncanny resemblances.” A sculptor Karl Larsson published a poetry book “Parrot” in 2010. In it he reveals the technique of parrot-like concept of using a foreign language, a language of the other to create something he can’t completely comprehend. But how does a parrot choose which word to memorize, to speak out?
Descartes walks into a bar. The barman says “Moi Je dis Je Moi Je dis Je…”
The story of a rabbit pulled out from magician’s hat was started by Mary Toft (1701–1763). Mary was an English woman who became the subject of considerable controversy when she tricked doctors into believing that she had given birth to rabbits. When Mary finally admitted the fraud street entertainers and magicians started to produce rabbits in their acts as a contemporary reference their audiences would understand. And what about a parrot, a dog or a sugar cube – exactly to what language or other trick do they refer to?
A parrot enters a bar. It makes the sound of a closing book. Again and again, until the sound of a book crumples into a found poem by Jurgis Paškevičius:
In this dream about the presence
when I am reading you
from down to top
and trying to understand myself
let’s not concentrate
on this dot
“As language is considered not only to be the instrument to describe facts but also to create them, in a world in which institutions like money, property, technologies, work, are all linguistic institutions that become instruments of production of those same real facts. If “facts are created by speaking them”, as claimed by economist Christian Marazzi, isn’t it language itself, full of gaps in human perception, that is exploited and transformed into a set of magic acts?“[*]
An amnesiac comes into a bar. He asks, “Do I come here often?”
A blushing carpet, a bronze cast of hands whose shadow casts a portrait of a person holding “The Spectator” paper, and a text by a Lacanian philosopher on a subject which remains unknown to the readers enter a bar. All three of them are blind and belong to an installation by Karl Larsson. They are unaware of their surroundings so to derive humour from the situation would be exploitative. Anyway, the bartender turns to them, takes a look, and says, “What is this – some kind of joke?”
“No” answers the blushing carpet.
“We came from at least two different shows while participating in both of them at the same time” – continues a bronze cast of hands shadow-casting a portrait.
The text by a Lacanian philosopher on a subject which remains unknown to the readers is also blind, of course. It cannot read, and so it says: “Is the question real, imaginary, or symbolic?”
The neutrino says “Naw, I was just passing through.”
The text is inspired by and dedicated to:
Curator: Virginija Januškevičiūtė
September 17, 2011
One Day Only
Café Cadets de Gascogne, Kr. Barona Str. 52, Riga
Artists: Gediminas G. Akstinas, Chiara Fumai, Auridas Gajauskas, Antanas Gerlikas, Goldin+Senneby, Laura Kaminskaitė, Karl Larsson, Monika Lipchitz, Miegalius, Olof Olsson, Marija Olšauskaitė, Gerda Paliušytė, Jurgis Paškevičius, The Oceans Academy of Arts.
A long time ago a friend had this idea of spending an evening by going to the intermissions of all the theatre plays that would be shown in the city that night. You would go from one intermission to another, spending time in the halls, corridors and theatre cafés as if it were a stage, mingling with the audience in one theatre and then moving on to another. The CAC’s presentation in Riga was a little similar to this journey: the audience was invited to a collected intermission of a number of things most of which happened (or would have already happened) someplace else, to someone else, who would also be there.
Event documentation by Rasa Juškevičiūtė
Event documentation by Rasa Juškevičiūtė