Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Au Revoir Moodle Pozart

17 Min.
film by
Michelle Naismith

Still photo by Oliver Martin

Sickbedside scene (as “the Chronicler”, with Dessislava Dimova as “The Home-Help” and James Thornhill as "Moodle Pozart"), 'Au Revoir Moodle Pozart', 2003, ©, Copyright, Michelle Naismith

'Au Revoir Moodle Pozart', 2003 (and spinoffs), in which I acted the "Chronicler and Personal Assistant" (thanked by "Moodle Pozart" in the subtitled captioning for "rigour bordering on that of the professional detective" — an employer’s character reference!). ‘Au Revoir Moodle Pozart’ provided the perfect excuse to make "scriptspeak" become characters, action and storytelling — while staying recognisably clunky (in the tradition of other literary, æsthetic and typographical "scripts", by Érik SatieJoan BrossaJoan BrossaIan Breakwell andJuan Cruz Juan Cruz etc) in ‘Disrehearsal’, (which furthers the 'Au Revoir Moodle Pozart' theme of self-importance and control set against shortcomings of everyday-life), serving as exhibition catalog preface to 'Au Revoir Moodle Pozart', solo exhibition catalog (but softcover, that time), Fruitmarket Gallery The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, 2003 (posted up on Michelle Naismith's website).

1 year on from then, Michelle Naismith invited me to attempt reacting to another work, also featuring "Moodle Pozart" (or some such similar personage), 'Puis Je Caresser l’Espoir' (archaic genteel French: "Please might I caress the hope" as in "of possibly having the cruet-stand?" etc), which led to my ‘Contr’acte Apreslude’ (translated into French by Yves Cotinat — but without any English for my Erik Satieripoff title I made up especially), alongside everything else, somewhere in an untitled broadsheet newspaper publication, 'La Valise', Nantes, 2004. I only ever saw 'Puis je Caresser l'Espoir' some time later, while manning Temporarycontemporary's 'Biennale!' video show, London, 2005.

It might need saying, just for my and the work's practicality, as well as ethics, I always insist upon and strive towards gleaning as much insight and lowdown about the artist, work and project etc, then do my utmost to cover, include, address and use everything to the max and beyond — unlike what way too many more orthodox and conventional essayists and critics admit and "justify".

Michelle Naismith caressed the hope of a 2nd coming of "Moodle Pozart", possibly as some kind of musical (or even opera), using an ivy-overgrown multi-storey "parking" car-park. I followed up 'Disrehearsal' with a sequel, 'Behind-The-Scenes Action-Replay Out-Takes'. Only, long-term delays or even permanent cancellation put paid to that venture. 

Au Revoir Moodle Pozart - documentary part 2 : The Chronicler


Lowdown and background: mentor guru puppeteer holds court, dishing out orders; dependant devotee disciple entourage gather round, attend to every slightest beck and call, run about like headless chickens, fall and trip over each other, pursue assigned missions from this higher command, eagerly anxious and willing to please, always vying to be favourite, not wanting to disappoint, never that. Wardrobe and accessories: assorted menage wear sloppy, ill-fitting and misshapen costumes (more circus-clown, than period haute-couture), that got shrunk or went bloated in the wash; their discoloured carnival-mask and war-paint facial make-up and cosmetics clash, merge and run together; they wield unreliable joke-shop novelty-toy props; hair-piece wigs are same standard.

Cut to scholarly and learned study (with private personal reference library), set up in and occupying commandeered pantry (generously supplied on indefinite loan, with support from charitable patronage donor): opportunistic thieving magpies, in the area, on the off-chance sneak their way in, getting through faulty and unguarded window. Having broken and entered, they anxiously turn their heads around, on the lookout, checking to establish that coast stays well and truly clear for them to come out to play and get down to work. A lone dice is come across. Ballgames and rounds of pass-the-parcel using this find, unknowingly select and finalise decisions from all options on offer. Suddenly, many questions, mysteries and secrets are answered, known and understood, as if by magic. Without even waiting to be asked or any prompting or encouragement needed at all, household contents start to swap around, exchange places and switch about, by themselves, motivated and driven by their own self-propelling intention.

Returning to main cast again: under instructions directed by mentor guru puppeteer, dependent devotee disciple entourage unpack and fit together collapsible and folding out, concertina, accordion, jack-in-the-box, cuckoo-clock and pop-up book toy-theatre stage-set scenery backdrops (home-grown from assembly kit form, but blown up out of all proportions, beyond real life size), all very much incomplete, with many components missing or substituted. Entire stage-set scenery backdrops are motorised, powered by cumbersome and broken down lawn-mower engines; bulky, gas-guzzling, greasy, loud and temperamental, but faltering, inefficient, messy, unproductive and wasteful. Once properly up and running, stage-set scenery backdrops host 2 ceremonies: of, a.) crown-of-thorns starfish coronation for rise to the throne of mentor guru puppeteer; and, b.) order of merit championship award prize-giving to dependent devotee disciple entourage for bravery, distinction, good conduct and services rendered.

Back in scholarly and learned study (with private personal reference library), set up in and occupying commandeered pantry (generously supplied on indefinite loan, with support from charitable patronage donor): opportunistic thieving magpies watch dumbstruck when musical score notes from the latest unfinished symphony manuscript sheet (left open during composition), lift off, float away, become Olympic athletes, a Monopoly board-game serving as sports-ground; while troupe of chess-pieces leap (with a hop, skip and a jump), from one piano-key onto the next, in choreographic ballet dance routine. One of very few, rare and unmissable opportunities for exerting influence upon the very powers that most factors are passively controlled by; providing golden opportunity to combine with them, coming together, as a force and name to conjure, contend and reckon with; far more than just a contribution towards determining outcome of everything else, anywhere, out there in the whole big, wide world at large –and way beyond that as well. Such fast-moving and heated developments, prove far too much for these ignorant bandits, who, upon recovery and regaining of their senses, make their excuses and leave, scared off, beating a hasty retreat from the scene-of-the-crime, forever unaware of what they’ve done and has hit them.

Copyright, Douglas Park, 2003

Published in the book ’Au Revoir Moodle Pozart’
Fuitmarket Gallery
Edinburgh, UK

Image, ©, Copyright, Leo Hoivisten, 2011
Michelle Naismith Au Revoir Moodle Pozart
Fruitmarket Gallery

Artists book with essays by Douglas Park, Dessislava Dimova, Mick Peter Unique artist’s book and companion piece to new work commissioned for the Visions for the Future V exhibition, reflecting the humour and theatrical deceit prevalent in Naismith’s work which explores fictions versus facts and the genius versus madness mythologies. Writers: Douglas Park, Dessislava Dimova, Mick Peter.
Paperback: 64 pages, 22.2 x 16.8 x 0.6 cm
Published: May 2003
ISBN: 9780947912536

Sep. 2012

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