Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Year 2011

Year – Komplot & David Evrard / Pierre Huyghebaert & Überknackig

YEAR is an annual magazine published by Komplot and David Evrard in collaboration with the designers Pierre Huyghebaert and Überknackig. YEAR is thought of as a non-linear narrative inspired from the “cause and effect” paradigm or more: “Truth and Consequence.” Its subjective approach, closely ingrained with the artists, curators and the experiences they raise, slips in commentaries or reports about different elements – exhibitions, interventions, conferences, books, objects – that appear influential. According to the principle of chain reaction YEAR addresses the journalistic model, organising its content in the form of sequences. And YEAR is a scene, an experimental constellation, a scene as obsessive accumulation opposed to archives, distinction opposed to evaluation, narrative to order, cool to distance, taste to energy, beauty to sense, sense to idea, idea to experience, experience to life and life to style and style to knowledge and knowledge to power and power to shit.
360 pages by:
360 Pages
English / French
D 18€


'Memorised amnesia, lost & forgotten off-by-heart, towards hard-copy & solid-product immortalisation', 'Year' almanac, edited by David Evrard, Komplot, Brussels / Motto, Berlin, 2011


Memorised amnesia, lost & forgotten off-by-heart, towards hard-copy & solid-product immortalisation

Mutual awareness between myself and Komplot's prime-mover driving-force, Sonia Dermience, as well as other Komplot members dates back to 2003. They’d turned up for my and Nico Dockx's ‘Grand Complex Split Block (offshore hermitage internal affairs)’, my and Nico Dockx's contribution to PARANOID CRITICAL TRANSFORMATION METHOD, REVOLUTION / RESTORATION 01, program curated by Dirk Snauwært, Christopher and Barbara Vanderlinden, Palais des Beaux Arts / Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, Brussels, 2003.

In those days, I was on the 2nd year of the Cycle Post-Diplome Internationale residency in the Ecole Regionale des Beaux Arts de Nantes (Dessislava Dimova, Nico Dockx, April Durham, Christine Laquet, Olive Martin, Jurgen Moritz, Michelle Naismith, Sandy Queudrus, Merryn Singer). Myself and other members from 2001-'02, attempted a self-directing experiment, as Groupe de Recherche Multipoint 2002-'03 (Dessislava Dimova, April Durham, Christine Laquet, Olive Martin and Michelle Naismith). It was early on in the 1st year I met and began collaborating with Nico Dockx in various media.

Sonia Dermience was then and still is now very friendly and approachable. For me, our meeting was then and still is now a memorable and special occasion. I trust it was then and still is now with her as well.

‘Grand Complex Split Block (offshore hermitage internal affairs)’, is my critical prose story and title, accompanying Nico Dockx's slide-show, from our exploratory site-visits throughout Victor Hortia's between-the-wars modernist architecture for Palais des Beaux Arts / Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, Brussels, as well as the context and issues of such an institution. Original hopes and plans for access to the archives weren’t allowed or possible, except for subject or even item specific requests. Instead, permission got granted for carte-blanche free-reign to conduct a misguided detour all over the entire premises, not only public spaces and features, but also private, hidden, overlooked and secret undercarriages. As often with such ventures, the immediate appearance, environment and experience was taken into account, reinforced by insight gleaned from enquiry, research and thinking about the history, architecture and politics.

More recently ‘Grand Complex Split Block (offshore hermitage internal affairs)’ appeared on Nico Dockx and Helena Sidiropoulos' pages in Prix de la Jeune Peinture Belge 2009 / Prijs Jonge Belgische Schilderkunst 2009, exhibition catalog, Palais des Beaux Arts / Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, Brussels, 2009. I also recited it, alongside other guest-speaking (or live-demonstration) of Nico Dockx and Helena Sidiropoulos' Projet pour un livre / Projet pour un filme bookwork, Bozar Brussels, with Curious, RA 13 and Stockmans nv, Antwerp, 2009 (with black-out "censored" bookplates, very much homaging Marcel Broodthærs' wordless version of Stéphane Mallarmé's classic Un Coup de Dés Jamais N'Abolira Le Hasard -and a thwarted monograph / catalogue raissonne from an early 00's Marcel Broodthærs retrospective), for an event at Palais des Beaux Arts / Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, Brussels, 2009. Regurgitation and exhumation excuse being same crime-scene and target.

The 1st collaborative project with Sonia Dermience and Komplot was to be Vollevox 9, Dexia® Art Center / Gebouw Vanderborght, Brussels, 2004. A live-event, modeled on the legendary "happening" of John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, David Tudor and others at Black Mountain College, Carolina, way back in the 1950's. Part of Sonia Dermience and other’s interest in artists working with the voice, for whatever motives, in whatever ways and to whatever ends. Co-star lineup: Building Transmissions (Antwerp-based audio / media collective / band); the artist-pœt, Karl Holmquist (who recited and handed out his updated version of lating greating beatnik, Allan Ginsburg's Howl); veteran language and communication artist (and supportive collaborator / archivist / publisher etc of others); Maurizio Nannucci (who encouraged musique concret with artist's recordings and scrambled radios); wunderkind Anri Sala (absent in person due to commitments elsewhere –but represented by his film of Senegalese children using their native Wolof words for different shades and tones –which survived colonialism -unlike the same names for specific colours). As well as existing texts of mine, I also premiered my then-recent (or even especially written?) 'Undercover Vacation / Top-Secret Showcase' –mostly “inspired” by a burned-out cage-like building of some previous or ongoing purpose, near where Kunstburg / Mont des Arts leads towards Grootmarkt / Grande Marche, not too far away, in the very same city.

I hadn't traveled much that year compared to others, despite being much published. On the Eurolines® bus from London, before even getting onto the cross-channel ferry, some dubious-looking (and annoying) suited businessman / executive type (who was with a less-presentable but equally dubious-looking young man while still at Victoria bus station) got asked by the Police Association Francaise (including a female agent -with purple-rinsed hair!) to get off the bus and remove his belongings, presumably for questioning or arrest over something. While he said and did nothing, myself (and others, it seemed) wanted to cheer, simply because of the whole vibe and aura to him, then relief and elation when he went. He left an undrunk and full bottle of rum on his seat -only for the driver to empty it down the sink! Once in Brussels that evening, the taxi-cab from Brussels-Noord couldn't easily get near Dexia® Art Center / Gebouw Vanderborght due to road and building works. Sonia Dermience dealt with the taxicab, before taking me to the space. There, I met Stuart “Kosten Koper” McGregor.

Myself and Karl Holmquist were put up in the Rue Washingtonstraat (off Avenue Louise / Louizialaan). The apartment was above a Texaco® gasoline-station –with the logo just outside 1 window. When Maurizio Nannucci joined us -I was alone in the house by myself -and the lock, key and metal door refused to open! We spoke in French and English via the boite de lettres. I carefully Rapunzelled down a European Union umbrella (but no sewing-machine or dissecting-table to complete the chance-encounter and be beautiful -as in Lautremont's Chant du Maldoror!) to Maurizio Nannucci, who got a taxi-cab to a hotel instead. I think Karl Holmquist and myself sorted out the hardware problems, when he returned from where and what ever else.

I remember often being stressed much of the time, unclear to me because of how and why, then what (if anything) improved matters. The next day after Vollevox 9, a wild-cat public transport strike all over Brussels caused me to miss a train connection to Germany, for Utopia Events, in connection with Utopia Station (auf dem weg nach porto alegre 1 / on the road to porto alegre 1), curated by Molly Nesbitt, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Rikrit Tiravanija, Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2004. Brussels became like a deserted and nearly empty ghost-town –in broad-daylight!

Before returning back to the U.K, I did get to the interactive Sphinx on the Phone event (with performers phoning up people and numbers given by the audience, then asking certain questions) at Le Petit Theatre De Mercelis. Something else Komplot were behind and involved with.

Eventually, a spoken-word studio recording of me reciting ‘Undercover Vacation / Top-Secret Showcase’ appeared as track 21 on disc 2 of VOLLEVOX: La Voix dans L’ Art Contemporain / The Voice in Contemporary Art, double-disc compilation c.d album, produced by Veronique Depiesse, Sonia Dermience and Estelle Lecaille, Komplot, Brussels, 2005. 1 of the copies I was sent, arrived perfectly packaged -but with a broken disc.

My next meeting with Sonia Dermience and co was in 2005. Myself, Nico Dockx and Kris Delacourt were guests of Eva Gœrse and Quentin Legrand's Le Nez dans L’Œil Radio Panik slot in Brussels. Live on air, we discussed our works, I recited some of my prose, recordings were played.

I traveled to Brussels for that, from Ghent, where I was staying, fresh from performing my ‘Natural-Born Forensic Clues / Buried-Treasure Growing Wild’, about sculptor, Peter Buggenhout's “futiques”, during the finnisage of his The Blind Leading the Blind, solo show at Galerie Richard Foncke, Ghent; also the launch for Lightmachine 003 / Peter Buggenhout, edited by Lieve Laporte and Jan Mast, Online, Ghent, 2005.

That’s where in 2002, myself, Kris Delacourt, Nico Dockx and Michelle Naismith made and showed our ‘Tectonic Disquieta’ (from our ‘Disquiet Tectonica’ series), then in 2003 I recited my ‘Babushkoid Hibernatorium’ text, based on works by Philip Huyghe, during the launch reception for his Dubbel-Woonst solo show. Also, a commission to access the work, archives and life of the architect and artist, Rene Heyvært, led to a heavy-going and “knotted” opus, ‘Cryptoglyphic Runestream’ –only to fall through -without any outlets –even now.

Since then, 'Natural-Born Forensic Clues / Buried-Treasure Growing Wild' has been reprinted (in English and Flemish, translated by Gregory Ball and Dirk Verbist), in Sincerely, A Friend, Peter Buggenhout monograph, on the occasion of De Res Derelictæ (Dingen Zonder Eigenaar –Objects Owned by Nobody), Peter Buggenhout retrospective, curated by Kœn Leemans, de Garage / CultuurCentrum, Mechelen, 2006. Also, on Derek Horton and Peter Lewis' slashseconds.org website number 7, Remarks and Quotations on Science Fiction, Utopia and Roadside Picnics, Redux Projects, London / Leeds Metropolitan University, 2007.

After the broadcast, we reunited for a meal and to discuss possible projects.

At the end of 2005, a break from my recital "duties" with MuHKA (Bart de Bære) fwd Nico Dockx fwd LM Projects, Lineart Art Fair, Flanders Expo, Ghent, took me to Brussels to conduct an "introductory talk", for The London-Galleries-Therapy exhibition reception / event, Bureau du Port, Brussels, by Kurt Ryslavy, the Brussels-based expatriot Austrian artist and (Austrian) wine-merchant (a career-move and business-venture which came out of an art event, with both roles intertWINEd together as WINE and the very same! Brood-berger / Kippen-thærs!).

Myself and Kurt Ryslavy know each other from introductons by various mutual friends and colleagues, from, based in and linked to both his native Austria (Dr Clementine Deliss, Robert Fleck etc) and Belgium (Nico Dockx, Lieve Laporte and Jan Mast etc). Kurt Ryslavy and Dr Clementine Deliss met up again by chance after many year’s hiatus, whilst both in Scotland.

This "introductory talk" of mine was ‘Woodland, Mountain, Desert, Arctic and Marine Geology, Organic, Climate and Weather Merchandise, Services and Personnel’, my preface to the True Marchand du Vin / The London-Galleries-Therapy, Kurt Ryslavy exhibition prospectus / brochure, Bureau du Port / De Wijn / Le Vin, Brussels, 2005 (which includes 15 photographs of mine, from my and Kurt Ryslavy's "mission" around blue-chip London galleries -same day as the launch event at Dallas Seitz's 1,000,000 Miles Per Hour Gallery for Claire Hooper's Victim, group bookwork, Zazie Press, London –containing my serialised and generative intervention ‘Advance scripted progress-report findings (in edgeways) grand-total score results (pending awaited outcome)’ –“Writing the part of: Detective Inspector Harris" –the character which Claire Hooper “cast” me as, from Basil Dearden’s 1961 public-awareness social-realist thriller film and linked ephemera, ‘Victim’ –which Claire Hooper’s Victim “dossier” references). 'Woodland, Mountain, Desert, Arctic and Marine Geology, Organic, Climate and Weather Merchandise, Services and Personnel', is also, on ryslavy.com artist’s (and wine-merchant's) website, Kurt Ryslavy, De Wijn / Le Vin, Brussels.

Sonia Dermience and other members of Komplot's extended-family turned up to join the friendly festivities. Needless to say, none of them were members of latecomer's union and club, who made me have to repeat my "introductory talk", maybe as much as up to 3 times over.

Still more collisions in 2006. I was on the A.I.R Antwerpen residency, involved in events (around Belgium, but also: Building Transmissions concert, daybyday & another day, Nico Dockx & Aglaia Konrad & Mark Luyten exhibition finissage, as part of Festival Francophone en France, Centre International d’Art et du Paysage, Ile de Vassiviere; Meteorlabyrinthesis (pt.1), with Nico Dockx and Building Transmissions, DAAD Galerie, Berlin), otherwise simply attending them as a member of the public. With me at A.I.R Antwerpen, were Michæl Dans, Gregory Maas & Nayoungim (whose Kim Kim Gallery I’ve several times worked with), Carla Zaccagnini (for whom I wrote an untitled “preface” to her, TRANSLATED CATALOGUE, Palavra Impressa, Sao Paolo / Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, 2006). Same time Wilfried Huet moved in there, with his Gagarin periodical of artist's writings and works using language –to which I later contributed ‘Misagreement’ (English / Flemish, translated by Dany Abeel and Super Pepe), Gagarin volume 8 number 1 (number 15), 2007.

1 highlight, which Sonia Dermience and Komplot graced was the launch event for Bruegel Revisited, (part of Bruegel 06 Belgium-wide festival), curated by Prof. Dr Hilde Van Gelder and others, organised by Lieven Gevært Research Centre for Photography and Visual Studies (KuLeuven), Kasteel van Bouchout / Nationale Plantentuin van Belgie, Meise, near Brussels. Where and when I unleashed my ‘Deluxe Penal Festive Ordeal’ (epic fantasia / nightmare “story”, ticker-tape running-frieze, cutting from front to back covers, also right through every single page in-between of Bruegel Revisited, edited by Prof. Dr Hilde Van Gelder and others, Stichting Kunstbœk bvba, Oostkamp, 2006 -yet another generous host, territorially marked, claimed and saved by me as "all my own work").

Another occasion was somehow substantially conversing with Sonia Dermience during a free-range performance, with Cel Crabeels and Rik Desayer at the reception event for Paolo Post Futurum group exhibition (of Lokaal 01 program residents -to celebrate Lokaal 01's 25th anniversary or Silver Jubilee), Stadt Museum, Breda, 2007. That involved the Locked-up metric tide (stuck on hold) / Free land wave outflow set loose, double-sided postcard sequence (my title and prose, Nico Dockx's photographs and Jean-Michel Meyers' visual graphics and design), Curious, Antwerp / Lokaal 01, Antwerp and Breda / Stadt Museum, Breda, 2007. A continuation of Cel Crabeels' earlier work presenting "factography" of local, regional and national mainstream media material about the debacle around the fate of and backlash against U.S conceptual-artist and social-criticism writer, Dan Graham's unpopular and ill-fated 'Belgian Funhouse' public artwork. That’s what Cel Crabeels was represented by in MuHKA, Extra City and Objectif Exhibitions’ survey, MONOPOLIS / Antwerpen, Witte de With CHK, Rotterdam, 2005-'06 -also including my and Building Transmissions' 'Televator' and other works, originated for Bart De Bære and Dieter Rœlstræte's de Collectie Interventies, at Antwerp's MuHKA 2003-'04.

For the Paolo Post Futurum launch event intervention, "Cel Crabeels and Rik Desayer filmed me (miked up by them -like a hybrid between a human-timebomb and a vintage automaton doll) handing some cards out, placing others here and there, reciting my text, explaining and discussing it all, while committing other acts." From my ‘Inside-story about Cel Crabeels’ exposé of Dan Graham’s ‘Belgian Funhouse’ as partial insight into the author’s own work’: Onthaasting: About Spare Time and Slower Worlds, Belgian contemporary video art, curated by Harald Thys and Jos De Gruyter, Katzen Arts Center, Washington D.C, 2008; also, online at slashseconds.org number 10, Useless Beauty and Fuzzy Logic: correlations of violence, curated by Derek Horton and Pete Lewis, Redux Projects, London / Leeds Metropolitan University, 2009.

Then came From Love, with Brussels, group exhibition, van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2008. Mostly Sonia Dermience and Emmanuel Lambion. We met up and spent time together beforehand in London to discuss this and other possibilities. At Nang Gallery, I introduced Sonia Dermience to John Russell (ex member of 1990’s collective, BANK –sometime collaborator with Fabienne Audeoud –and solo-artist). Strangely enough, Sonia Dermience and Komplot had worked with John Russell, but they’d never met –until there and then, through me. Another private view, at Maureen Paley’s Interim Art also sticks strongly in my mind. Sonia Dermience and Emmanuel Lambion stayed at the apartment of the expatriot German photo-artist of urban nocturnes and influential art-educator, Rut Blees Luxemburg (somebody I've aided and abetted during the course of their duties making work -and also written about as well).

Just before From Love, with Brussels, I was already in Belgium anyway, to work with filmmaker, Mark Ærial Waller. As well as us both contributing to and appearing in the same projects, shows, events and publications, I've acted in various films by Mark Ærial Waller ('Glow Boys', London, 1998; 'Nuclear Contract Worker Interview', London, 1999; 'White Stag', London, 2001; ‘Superpower / London Chapter’, London, 2004; 'The Flipside of Darkness', Warsaw, 2007). Images of me from his films and events infest Mark Ærial Waller's book, The Flipside of Darkness, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, where theres also my ‘Dream-Key Zodiac / Pandora’s Ark’, (English / Polish, translated by M. Jader –so also, ‘Sen-Klucz Zodiaka / Arka Pandory’), 2008. Objectif Exhibitions in Antwerp, presented Mark’s La Societe des Amis de Judex 2, an expanded-cinema multimedia spectacle (from Mark Ærial Waller's "Wayward Canon" event series).

We'd performed versions of La Societe des Amis de Judex 2 at London's Tate Modern and FACT in Liverpool. Vintage films of "Fantomas" (the surrealist's anti-hero villain) interview footage with 1 of the co-author creators of "Fantomas"; early technicolour “Batman” and “Joker” extracts; film by Mark Ærial Waller of a Turkish live-art troupe singing texts about "Fantomas"; recordings of Turkish street-musicians and public background-noise; dry-ice smoke; myself as "ecran-vivante" wearing white fencing-costume and ski-mask (or rather, 1 of Gideon Cube-Sherman's "Anti-Paint Protective Headgear", from his "Cube-White Seminal Formulæ" paint and "Test-Area", in my and Alfred Camp’s 4-person group show, The Gallery Has Been Completely Vandalised!, Alfred Camp Gallery / 97 - 99 Projects, London, 2000), whilst reciting my 'Dream-Key Zodiac / Pandora's Ark' text; Mark Ærial Waller in a fake-ancient helmet reciting Guillaume Apollinaire verses etc.

It was strange to briefly show Mark Ærial Waller around at least some of Antwerpen, which I know well, because he'd never been before. While there, we met the mysterious French itinerant artist, NG, at A.I.R Antwerpen (a residency I was on in 2006 -and a place I often stayed in beforehand and after my time there) who was to be also be in From Love, with Brussels -as a past-the-umpteenth-hour watershed and lastminute.com addition.

I went to Brussels to join Sonia Dermience and friends. Amongst other things needing to be done, we had to amend the punky and "zine" chic From Love, with Brussels invite flyers for the van Abbemuseum show –with NG's name. Attempts to join some people at the Compilotheque canalside bar, restaurant and venue were thwarted by intended quarries preferring to watch football on T.V elsewhere. Apparently, myself (and maybe others?) ended up singing, whether accepting an offer or simply bulldozing ahead and just doing it, on stage, perhaps.

From Brussels, we travelled to Eindhoven. The interface between Komplot and us (the artists) and the van Abbemuseum was Freek Lomme, with the organizations, Onomatopee and Your-Space. Cafes, bars, apotheeks. The earliest discussions of what was to be the 'Marcel' flick (but thats saved up until later). 1st night in an ordinary residential suburb -with magic-realist dreamlike atmosphere -and lit neon-signage -even when nothing was open. Asking locals out late the way to the house we stayed in because the street or our part of it proved unfindable. After the From Love, with Brussels launch event and performances (filmed by NG -as her input), we and our entourage spent the night at Onomatopee h.q.

Not too much later on, the France-based, politicomeddity (politico / comedy / commodity!) duo, Claire Fontaine, showed work right up and all over Komplot's atmospheric Garage project and event space. Claire Fontaine were also showing elsewhere in Brussels, at Sorry, We're Closed view-from-the-street window. Outside Garage, Claire Fontaine's neon-signage text, 'Capitalism Kills Love', flashed away; while indoors, James Thornhill's PRE(!) Claire Fontaine and solo, dramatic, spectacular and devastating 'Counter-Poison' videowork ran looped on a large screen (charting movement through the ruined former Mecca entertainment venue in Glasgow, way back in the 1990's).

Earlier, I wrote 3 texts about 'Counter-Poison' and other such James Thornhill works, which I'm sometimes invited to recite -when these and other JAMES THORNHILLS get redated and shown as being Claire Fontaines. At the launch event, I recited this unholy trinity. 2 are spoken-word tracks, 1.) ‘Nurseryworld’ and 2.) ‘Swan Machinery (Or, Lucky-Dip Holy-Communion Stock-Exchange)’, with 2 "remixes", on nurseryworld / swanmachinery, 4-track c.d single, with Kris Delacourt and Nico Dockx, Curious, Antwerp / Galerie Jennifer Flay, Paris, 2003. Invited contribution to Nurseryworld, group exhibition, curated by James Thornhill, Galerie Jennifer Flay, Paris, 2003. My 'Counter-Poison' text never had any exposure or outlet before. 'Nurseryworld' and 'Counter-Poison' are now both on Komplot's website kmplt.be. Some of my recital at Garage is posted on youtube. The year before, I chose, introduced and recited 'Swan Machinery (Or, Lucky-Dip Holy-Communion Stock-Exchange)', as my party-trick at the Open Hustings (“Lightening Talks”), various guest-speakers, umpired by Steven Mykietyn and Ella Barclay, organised by Future Academy Studiolab, St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh, 2007 (part of Dr Clementine Deliss' Edinburgh School of Art "meisterklasse"). With my full consultation and involvement, Fulvia Carnevale (the other Claire Fontaine member or "assistant") has translated these texts into Italian, but without any usage, yet.

The day after, I visited Wiels Kunsthalle (not far from -and also the providers of Komplot's more recent premises), then showing a partial retrospective of Mike Kelley. There I met the expatriot Australian artist, Simeon Nelson (creator of hybrids between minimalism, high-modernism and other perfection, with gothic ornament and even more dark and grotesque tendencies). It came back to me! Simeon Nelson was showing around the corner in La vie en rond, a group show at Marcus Bering and Tilman's H29. I knew that was on –and was where I’d meet with Sonia Dermience and people who would drive me to the Eurolines® bus at Brussels-Noord. After going around the Mike Kelley show, myself and Simeon Nelson made our way to H29. I remember talking with Kurt Ryslavy there, about the Viennese "Aktionist" Rudolf Schwarzkogler, amongst other subjects. Before being taken to the bus, myself and others went to a private house, sometimes used for art events. Some people were meeting there. Otherwise, somebody channel-surfed, just when the loathed U.K frat-boy presenter (of car and motoring program, Top Gear), Jeremy Clarkson, was on T.V! Jeremy Clarkson and others were rally-driving, somewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. What it was to attempt introduction, explanation and description (but not justification) of Jeremy Clarkson to those fortunately unfamiliar with them! Some beers later, I was dropped off to await the bus and bade everybody farewell.

Meanwhile, Sonia Dermience went out to Bolzano, for that year’s itinerant biennale, Manifesta 7, The Rest of Now, curated by the Indian RAQS Media Collective. Although I ended up unable to visit Bolzano and Manifesta 7, my epic text 'Meteorlabyrinthesis' very much took over a special insert-section of the (German language!) local newspaper, Die Neue Sudtiroler Tageszeitung (number: 143 / 16, Thursday 17th July 2008), alongside other's works, all linked to creative activities involving "Schloss" Teufelsberg (ruined cold-war allied-forces listening-station and overgrown grounds), Grunwald, Berlin.

During Manifesta 7 in Bolzano, Sonia Dermience met the constantly enthusiastic French curator, Damien Airault. I already knew Damien Airault, through Olive Martin in Nantes, other meetings in Paris, then his 2007 sojourn in London. Through me, he got interested in, contacted and worked with Kurt Ryslavy. Damien Airault and Sonia Dermience's personalities, drive, concerns and approaches must've unanimously impressed each other -and the revelation they both knew me. By this time, Damien Airault was opening his Le Commissariat curatorial project space in Paris.

Around then, I started developing my already-begun and still-ongoing work-in-progress research into an idiom or genre I identified. The furthest I've ever been and gone with or taken my habit of "idioming" and "genreficiation". Namely, "Circumstances and even adversity as medium, æsthetic and context. Not gone to waste; put to good use; all fair game; mill grist; better than nothing; the show must go on; blessings in disguise." Or, in other words: "fate striking work at any stage of production, exposure or whenever, only for drastically affected outcome to be kept by the authors, deliberately addressed and appearing as part of their output –as well as actually generating other work. Existing, original, intentional and self-conscious meaning, expectations and plans can change beyond recognition, actually become further added to –or even lead to entirely new possibilities opening up." What I mean is the author’s inclusion of, action upon and usage of any such developments in the same work affected, other output somehow dealing with these episodes, sometimes resulting in sidelines, career-moves and life-changes. Also challenged, is the effectiveness of any form of liberty and control, as well as limitations and even alternative.

Dœs that make sense? Did my best at explaining. Hopefully, the attempt pays off. Nothing more (else or better) comes to me. So it’ll have to do.

Case-study selection policy selects specimens by historic museum-piece and blue-chip art-market candidates and suspects for being exponents -alongside and played off against the less well-known or even obscure -simply because they occurred to me, whether from awareness of their existence, coming across them or more could be found out then followed up. Preparatory stages were emailed out to people for advice, suggestions, critique, feedback and input etc towards improvement upon my pet-project.

The interest and enquiries included much from Sonia Dermience. My idea slotted into Sonia Dermience and Jean-Philippe Convert's concerns, which tied in with an opportunity to stage an exhibition at Damien Airault's Le Commissariat. Sonia Dermience and Jean-Philippe Convert visited London, staying with the critic and writer, David Lillington, who accepted them as short-term tenants. As before and since, there were exciting and also productive meetings and discussions, as well as introductions. Contact, exchange and encouragement proved useful and helpful. Amongst much else, after elimination of alternatives, a title was arrived at to cover every aspect needed, as much and best as possible -but brief and almost visual. By Accident.

I worked upon statements (or "definitions") about examples ('Artists and their work'), a specified introductory 'Note from the Author' (for the Le Commissariat version) and a more general 'Foreword' preface, until they were ready for a zine-like publication, sharing the same name, By Accident. My quotes here about By Accident are extracted from them. In both my original (and often unique!) English and translated into French (by Jean-Philippe Convert, Sonia Dermience and Constance Barrere Dangleterre). No images of any works were ©hosen, so as to avoid possible legal ©ompli©ations, problems or even a©tion, over "fair (and otherwise) usage" of "intelle©tual property". Instead, theres centerfold-spread pages of "theft & intrusion" visuals, by David Evrard. That was after Stuart “Kosten Koper” McGregor pointed out potential risk.

Deadline-pressures and conflicting commitments thwarted expectation and hope for By Accident to be categoric (a la Georges Didi-Huberman's 1996 blokbusta, Empreinte -of every known species and generæ of mark and trace making -with many artists in more than 1 section), causing that to be left out (in favour of alphabetical-order, 1-artist-and-their-work/s-after-another), as well as other instances known and thought of then. Hopefully, future new and improved incarnations allow such opportunity.

Sonia Dermience did much to get hold of information about works and episodes by artists like Marcel Broodthærs, Daniel Buren and Jacques Charlier etc, as well as contact with patrons such as Herman Daled, Isi Fiszman and Yves Gevært etc.

Another factor entered the equation. Sonia Dermience had met the expatriot U.K Berlin-based artist and curator, Matthew Burbidge, who's own interests (external conditions and elements influencing outcome of cultural production and experience) overlapped with issues behind this and arising from it. After an email introduction and some correspondence later, we arranged to meet in a riverside pub in London's Docklands area. It was a dark winter's evening when that happened. It was so strange but reassuring to meet the tall and celestial Matthew Burbidge amidst such almost solid shadows and murk. Matthew Burbidge filmed us in the pub (nearly like a latterday update of a Gilbert & George 'Drinking Sculpture' still and moving image work). Regardless of alcoholic aid or hindrance, my coherence swung like a pendulum, between attempting to answer and address what he asked and raised, as well as myself saying anything -give or take non-stop digression and return to and from thread, plot loss and recovery. Matthew Burbidge has since founded his own initiative, Essays & Observations, in Berlin.

Short clips shot by Matthew Burbidge and a slide-show of any digitals I and others obtained, served as the By Accident "show" at Damien Airault’s Le Commissariat. Hatched-plans resemble: Mel Bochner's "seminal" and "legendary" 1966 exhibition Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to Be Viewed As Art (School of Visual Arts Gallery, New York, 1966); certain activities and incarnations of Marcel Broodthærs' Musee D'Art Moderne Departement des Aigles manifestations (various venues, late 1960's - early 70's); even the late Victorian and earlier 20th century, Jonathan Hutchinson, whose schoolroom-like Educational Museum, Inval, Godalming, Surrey, favoured commonplace, replaceable and non-valuable (nature, science, history etc) exhibits in the collection and ordinary host-space (while still being as well organised, presented, serious, informative, educational and as factual as possible).

As well as sheer feasibility, raison d’etre motives include: attainment of "a transition or hybrid between research / proposal states and the form such an ambitious undertaking might have if accepted by an important and major institution or museum as a blockbuster exhibition. Advantages are: much of the reasoning and process behind it can be known and shared; greater intimacy, directness and maybe dialogue become possible; even if never realized “for-real” on full-blown scale, at least some version has materialised; perhaps changes and improvement can be added from feedback and insight. Hopefully, this airing afforded to By Accident may partly or largely lead to it being taken up". Not forgetting: "A point these aspects raise and get across is what merit or insight any cultural experience has or lacks, whether immediate or with benefit of explanation.”

When the show was due, in early 2009, myself and Sonia Dermience stayed at a studio and housing commune, in a former industrial complex. During what was otherwise 1 good time after another, my bottle of Optrex® eyewash fell out of my bag and broke, a plaque nameplate tastelessly christened our room, "la Chambre de Tournant", industrial-strength showers and carbolic soap made some of my facial skin dry up and flake off.

In keeping with Gustave Courbet's Realism 1 man show and manifesto, our underground By Accident coincided with another more high-profile blokbusta survey same time in Paris. Voids: A Retrospective, Centre de Georges Pompidou (later touring). A Sealed-Knot / crime re-enactment / action-replay of every great empty art-show of all-time -with an extensive book (definitive study on the subject?) accompanying. It all prompted me to spawn a whimsy about pantone colour-charts -of infinite different species and generæ of invisibility, blankness, removal, loss, absence and nothing.

We visited other events and venues. Speakers in a conference and screening at le Palais de Tokyo, strived to carry on regardless as normal -despite regular loud outbursts from an exhibit (I think a mechanically self-destructing Citrœn CV6 -made by some young Nicoise duo -not the more established team, B.P -the only other works nearby were those clone things of coloured sticks and fragments -supposedly somehow dealing with the Eames Brothers, modernism, design and function etc -as myself and Damien Airault both identified and agreed). I noticed that Lili Durand-Dewar's documentary about the influence the Sex Pistols' "legendary" concert at Manchester's Corn Exchange had on the Manchester music-scene missed out Ian Stuart Donaldson (of Skrewdriver), as 1 of those who attended and got inspired. The main exhibition at le Palais de Tokyo was about a real-life small-town in Canada (not the United States) where its admitted and known theres a U.S government laboratory –and strange (but unpleasant) side-effects have befallen the local environment and life-forms. 1 of the works was a high-energy force-field, with “enter-at-your-own-risk” disclaimer-contracts for visitors.

Le Palais de Tokyo's nextdoor neighbours, la Musee D'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, had an extortionately overpriced Giorgio De Chirico retrospective. Although early "Scuola Pittura Metafisica" Giorgio De Chirico paintings (then his later "auto-forgeries" of them) would be interesting enough -the remaining daubs are just way too many decades worth of terminal dross. We gave that a miss. As well as the display from their main collection, la Musee D'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris showed 1990's onwards works by mostly Europe-based Native American, Jimmy Durham. Overloaded, mostly carbon-copies of (better) work from before then, often lame -even in relation to Jimmy Durham's intentions and claims for what he dœs! Very long videoworks -with some character which almost saves them. Passable, at best. 1 decent sculpture. Seemingly from a series or group. 'Personal-Use Arc De Triomphe'. Hybrid between children's playground rides crossed with U.S maverick David Smith’s welded metal and the United Kingdom Anthony Caro and co's "New Generation" inspired by David Smith. It made me realise that Rasheed Araæn, 1 of the artists I mentioned in my By Accident survey, (represented with 4 different works and entries) has done many times over much more to champion and help other "others" and "others" in general, than Jimmy Durham at least seems to. Unfortunately, as well as any external factors, Rasheed Araæn most probably exercises and insists upon (the right sort of) judgment, control, terms and conditions over his production and whatever transfer is afforded it.

Back to Le Commissariat and By Accident. The By Accident rubber-stamp for the invitation-cards and catalog was delayed or briefly went missing, so the bulk of them are hand-inscribed (in lurid red felt-tip marker-pen), rendering the non-autographic ones an endangered-species, whilst the handwritten majority became more widespread (though hopefully still special). Like the rest of us, I prepared so many of them. There was also much cleaning and moving needed. Errands to the local supermarket to get refreshments. We all helped out and pulled our weight. David Garchey used a giant green graffiti "bombe" to cover Le Commissariat's window with a quote I chose from William S Burroughs and Brion Gysin's collaboration-classic, The 3rd Mind, 1978: "We can not produce accidents to order". As is not uncommon but always welcome and special, some passers-by and locals expressed interest, asked questions and looked around.

Come the vernissage (Grand Unveiling / Public Execution –to regurgitate and exhume 1 of my titles!), there was much insecurity about visitor-turnout. It clashed with at least 1 other in and around the Rue Louise Weiss area (Ryan Gander -I think -unless that was yet another some thing and where else altogether). Despite that, many people arrived (in full-force). Because of Damien Airault and Le Commissariat, also because of Sonia Dermience and Komplot, even because of me. Daniel Dewar (with Gregory Gicquel, one half of Dewar & Gicquel -who I've written for) and Lili Durand-Dewar, Christine Lacquet, Kurt Ryslavy (1 of the artists in By Accident -and also next solo exhibitor at Le Commissariat –who used an early transitional stage of By Accident on a then-recent wine brochure!), amongst others, were there. I read out in English anything I wrote about whatever artists and works appeared in the slide-show of digitals. Jean-Philippe Convert read his, Sonia Dermience and Constance Barrere Dangleterre’s French translations.

Claire Fontaine (also mentioned in By Accident) were out of town that day, but visited By Accident once it was on. Before then, we met just to catch up; that was also good, because it meant they could meet Damien Airault and certain (comprehensible -even if unjustified and without foundation) problems he identified with their work (which I attempted to explain) could be resolved, so he could be put straight, whatever he ended up thinking.

Another task, was explaining to Damien Airault many artists and works I mentioned in By Accident.

Waiting for my Eurostar® train back to London, I bumped into the composer and sometime writer, David Toop, as well as Rob Le Frenais (director of art-science crossover, Arts Catalyst), but none of us were to use the same journey. Back in London, I got a phone call from Daniel Dewar.

Before too much longer, the critic, David Ellis reviewed By Accident in Artforum. Concentrating more on how 1st impression came across than the show or intentions behind it, but seemed appreciative and comprehensive enough.

As covered earlier, the previous year in Eindhoven, I had aired jokes with Sonia Dermience, Emmanuel Lambion and NG about there being some institutional society, foundation or museum dedicated unto the Belgian surrealist and communist, Marcel Marien (author, aphorist, collagist, object-maker and photographer, sometime hoaxer and prankster, writer of 1st major Rene Magritte monograph, editor of Les Levres Nues / Naked Lips publishing activities, director of the blasphemous provocative satire film, 'L' Imitation du Cinema', 1960). This led to ideas for a film, eventually to be known as 'Marcel'. Although Komplot had often presented and worked with artists who make and show moving image work, they'd never made any themselves. More meetings were arranged in London. Over there, Sonia Dermience and Jean-Philippe Convert hired a room from expatriot U.S pictorial and video artist, Ellen Cantor –who would later work and show with Komplot. I also introduced them to my very good friend, Æon Rose, supportive facilitator and designer for many art-initiatives, artist in his own right –and unique personality. Filming was to take place later that year.

Some coincidences. Thanks to endless postponements, just before traveling to Belgium to act in ‘Marcel’, became the only timeslot for me to finally act a Columbo-type personage in the film 'Columbo Eats Columbo', by Tony Gross, media artist and co-director (with Jen Wu) of Temporarycontemporay (who included me in their Metropolis Rise: New Art from London, survey exhibition and book, CQL Design Center, Shanghai, then Dashanzi 798 Art District, Beijing, 2006). Amongst other intentions, 'Columbo Eats Columbo' addresses issues of the passing of analogue technology and culture, despite fact much from that "golden-age" and "bygone-era" somehow stays (or gets kept and sustained) much more memorable, effective and influential than most of all whatevers been and gone since then. 'Marcel', questions and attacks romance, nostalgia and fetishism over the past (2 other "Marcels" are also referenced as well as Marcel Marien: Marcel Broodthærs and Marcel Duchamp). Temporarycontemporary showed 'Columbo Eats Columbo' in Art Brussels Art Fair –attracting much interest from people around me -who recognised "Columbo". The next year, in 2010, history repeated itself, when I acted this same Columbo-type personage again in Tony Gross's 'Kane's Revolution' (about "urban renewal" etc), just before traveling out to Brussels for another film project with Komplot -by my serial collaborative partner-in-crime, Michelle Naismith -who had contributed 'Puis Je Carresser L' Espoir' (for which I wrote 'Contr'acte Apreslude', in La Valise untitled broadsheet newspaper, 2004 -before and without then seeing the work until later) to Temporarycontemporary's 2005 Biennale! (where and when I 1st watched it, whilst manning the well-attended show).

Also, myself and others originally expected I’d be available to perform in person at Richard Crow and Lucia Farinati’s A Demised Premise. A Demised Premise was a pre-eviction “last rites” or “wake”, held to both celebrate and mourn what and where had once been Richard Crow’s 1990’s secretive, mysterious, private and hidden North London Institution of Rot performance “club” (and also living and working space, since the early 1980’s). Only, A Demised Premise had to be rescheduled to happen earlier than Richard Crow and Lucia Farinati 1st planned –clashing with when I’d be acting in ‘Marcel’. To solve that problem, myself and Richard Crow made advance audio recordings and footage of me; “stand-ins”, serving to represent me, whilst “in absentia”. Some can be seen on youtube.

Despite A Demised Premise being something I was involved with, at a place I’d been and known, I had to rely and depend only on other’s accounts, what documentary material there is, my own guesswork and imagination –then surrender and accept defeat to being none the wiser. I almost remember or dream A Demised Premise. In some ways, I was present and correct “there” and “then”. From what I heard and saw later, it seems the proceedings of A Demised Premise went well, attendance was good and it worked as an event and experience. Take heed and be warned, phœnixes can and shalt arise up from out of the remaindered, surviving, leftover and dormant ashes of Richard Crow’s Institution of Rot.

I caught the Eurostar® train in London, joined by Jean-Philippe Convert (who’d scriptwritten and screenplayed ‘Marcel’), cameraman Frederico D’Ambrozio, sound recording engineer Eric Tatepo Kembo, and 1 of my co-stars, the actress, Maaike Neuville (“Young Bored Girl”). They'd filmed at the 7 Stars in central London, where theres still a Marcel Marien work in the window (a cowskull -not some cyclops –wearing a 1 lensed SPECTACLE -like a larger version of his between-the-wars 'introuvable' surrealist-object), which the 7 Stars accepted from Marcel Marien en lieu of part or all of an unsettled drinks tab. We sat next to each other on the train and talked, I introduced myself to those still strangers to me, asking after how things had gone so far, discussing expectations etc of what would happen next and how that might be etc.

Komplot had the run of a building in the Bourse of Brussels, not far from the centre, housing most of the film sets, acting and shooting (bedroom, railway train carriage, prison cell, party, “television studio” etc), apart from the London episode, our big day-out seaside-special to Ostend and some other locations. I was pleasantly surprised to meet Thibaut Espiau, who I remember as a student from Nantes, then elsewhere in France, who'd moved to Brussels (Thibaut Espiau assisted Marilyne Grimmer on the backdrops). Also, it was the 1st time in Belgium I met up with the duo, Patrice Gaillard and Claude. A previous time fell through. I also know them from Nantes and elsewhere in France, I was aware of their move to Brussels and had met them earlier in 2009 (in Paris, but at some thing and where else different and separate to By Accident), but never yet their newfound city –until then. Another revelation was discussing William Blake with Jean-Philippe Convert –the 1st time I’ve ever heard somebody from mainland Europe even mention William Blake’s name.

1 episode was enacted and filmed in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek –just as the fire-alarm went off -myself not being required then for that meant I missed out on it. Some ideas ended up unused. Most regrettably (to me), was the short-term or permanent partial or entire ditching of a mass stop, search and arrest sequence, right up against a photomural of a bank's interior. Undeniably, in keeping with the incident referenced, because apparently, it dealt with a filmed event originated by or at least involving Marcel Broodthærs, using a real or mock up bank's "decor", as host to a swinging 60's "Pœtry Marathon / Olympics", for the "exchange" of pœtry -only for the cameras not to work or any footage getting lost or destroyed -leaving only maybe some memories, records, legends, mythology, uncertainty and even lies surviving –but I know of an editioned textwork by Marcel Broodthærs playing with multilingual terms for "exchange" and "pœm" (with his "M.B" signature repeated).

I spent much time conversing with Stuart “Kosten Koper” McGregor, both interpersonally and to record as audio for ‘Marcel’.

Dany Dermience, Sonia Dermience's father, very kindly drove us from Brussels for our big day-out seaside-special to Ostend (as the “Runner”). Ostend was chosen because of biographical and art links to the lives and works of 2 of the “Marcels”, Marien and Broodthærs. Once there, action-stations were on the sandy beach -whilst the sunbathers carried on as normal. Some people recognized Maaike Neuville from a T.V soap-opera series -and even wondered if I was somebody famous. The main scene was an “inaugural speech” by the “Director of Foundation Marcel”, Philip Van Den Bossche (real-life director of the James Ensor Museum, Ostend). Although we were there to work, concentrate, prepare and recover, the vast open-air, immediate environment and overall atmosphere all provided a welcome and needed break from mostly being within buildings. Before then, I'd only ever previously visited Ostend for leisure; but seafood, with Belgian beer and on the waterfront terraces proved still enjoyable, same as ever. While we sat and relaxed, Maaike Neuville got taken by surprise –by somebody’s small furry pet dog on an extended leash brushing past her.

Back at base, as soon as we finished, after a very cramped and hectic workload, as an extension of 1 of the later scenes in ‘Marcel’, all involved just had a party. Stuart “Kosten Koper” McGregor took myself and other cast-members aside for some recording, but otherwise the job was done (fait d’ accompli!). There were still several days left. When I was free, I arranged to reunite with the talented and determined, but underexposed Antwerp-based painter, Nono Pessoa. I arranged a hopefully beneficial introduction with Sonia Dermience. They’d met before, in Antwerpen, with N.G. More meetings with Kurt Ryslavy as well.

I was to briefly revisit Belgium again that year. Unconnected with Komplot, but for the event mentioned near the beginning, involving my 'Grand Complex Split Block (offshore hermitage internal affairs)' and Nico Dockx and Helena Sidiropoulos' Projet pour un livre / Projet pour un filme bookwork, Bozar, Brussels with Curious, RA 13 and Stockmans nv, Antwerp, 2009, Le Palais des Beaux Arts / Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, Brussels.

The "Avant Premier" screening of 'Marcel' with sideshow actions by contributors and cast-members was at Netwerk, Aalst, in 2010. Not long beforehand, myself or somebody else (but if so, whom?) found out about a Marcel Marien collage, 'L'Alostaise' (The girl from Aalst), in the Tate Gallery collection. Both myself and others involved were worried I mightn't be able to come over to Belgium, because there'd just been a serious train-crash near Brussels, affecting all railways. In the end, it was possible for me to travel, but the Eurostar® wouldn’t go beyond Lille, where there was a bus-replacement service. The bus took myself and other passengers to Brussels o.k, albeit taking longer. I otherwise prefer the buses, because they can be more leisurely and less stressful. This time, Komplot were in another building. Ellen Cantor was there, with Simon Popper, working on projects. The next day, we got trains from Brussels to Aalst. There'd been some public festivity and maybe carnival in Aalst, possibly with more to come. Confetti, glitter, masks and even a broken public telephone handset greeted us amongst much other debris, whether growing wild, torrential rainfall downpour, both of those, other causes or whatever. Although we were already pleasantly drunk, most time before the evening's event was spent on rehearsals and schedule (we each performed while ‘Marcel’ was running) and how the pieces would be.

For mine, I chose my subtitle-commentary for another site-visit with Nico Dockx. 'Newborn Voids Cancel and Replace Solid Matter', 2008. Mostly about the empty and abandoned Galleria Dell Arte Moderna Bologna -but much of my input plays games using the suspense and expectation, kept and broken promises, possible surprise and disappointment of serialisation, in installments and stages, with intervals etc –inherent to a slide-show sequence such as that. As well as the shorter entries, after some brief preparations described, quite early on, a long-ish paragraph starts (interrupted by more-of-the-same interior pictures), describing an exploitative sex-show, whereby some nymphet gets served up on offer before a voyeuristic and predatory congregation -only for an explained halt -then more of my usual architecture / landscape / weather / force-field etc formulæ to take over for the rest of my commentary.

Had there been time, to be in keeping with Marcel Marien and ‘L’Imitation du Cinema’, I’d also have recited, ‘Lowerarchy’. Shorter than ‘Newborn Voids Cancel and Replace Solid Matter’, alongside 3 other works, ‘Lowerarchy’, 1st appeared in The Bastard / Magnetic Speech, group anthology, edited by Dr Clementine Deliss, Metronome, London, 2001. ‘Lowerarchy’ is a description and critique (partly using readymade words and phrasing, from hymns, prayers and other such material) of an earlier visual artwork by me, sharing the same name. Humble or even trivial domesticity is used to parody religious iconography, as well as identify various social and human realities with derision, whimsy, microcosm, bathos and metaphor. Like much else that I do, the reality is infinitely more simple that that.

Sharing the bill was the best (and only known?) Douglas Park impersonator. The "glitch" electronica singer-songwriter, Pete Um. Taller than me, but wearing a similar pinstriped black suit, Pete Um did much of the voiceovers for the 'Marcel' soundtrack narration (“The Voice of Marcel”), as well as performing some of his own songs. Merryl Hardt (another music-soundtrack contributor) and Eléonore Saintagnan (who was “script supervisor”) did a song and dance routine -with themselves as Oriental lantern accordion jack-in-the-box caterpillars. The young Frenchman, Benjamin Seror, with his number about a "time-machine". Also, flamboyance from Grégoire Motte.

Our audience included Ellen Cantor, Simon Popper, Vadim Vosters (who brought along some theatre, film and showbiz types), the parents of Maaike Neuville (who was in India at the time), Michelle Naismith (with whom I was to resume working with again, before the year was out), Patrice Gaillard and Claude -and Man Somerlinck of London's Fordham Projects -with his young son -Marcel. The screening of 'Marcel' and our performances all went well. Despite earlier uncertainty, it ended up possible to show Marcel Marien's original 'L'Imitation du Cinema' (parody of umpteenth-rate religious-instruction material, fleetingly pornographic, with many deadpan oneliners, very scandalous and troublemaking when new, in 1960). Somehow we managed to get back to Aalst station for a late or even last train back to Brussels. Nearly back at base, without any mishap or injury, I managed to walk into an iron bollard, but recovered better again after a few minutes. We went to a nearby bar, by which time I'd sobered-up.

When it was time to go, in hardly any time at all, I somehow lost my boarding pass card to join the bus replacement service back to Lille. Usually, I’m more dysfunctionally overcareful contending with such procedures and conditions. Having my tickets and passport meant they’d accept me. I sat next to some quiet young German, watching U.S screwball comedy on his laptop. On the train, some senior (but seemingly no wiser or mature) passenger argued with personnel about something so trivial, minor and non-existent to be the sort of thing making me say "if I were capable of or bothered to do that I'd find some other and better use for such ability". Otherwise, the journey passed uneventfully.

Not much later in 2010, there were more meetings with Sonia Dermience during her stayover in London. At Gavin “Vincent Van Scoff” Broad's Carry On Capital, group show private view, timed to coincide with the 2010 U.K election. Gavin Broad and co’s Natural Light and Carry On Culture exhibitions are a forgotten and neglected aspect of 1990’s “Britart” –despite much attention at the time –and their short-lived Basement space being nextdoor to 1 of Saatchi’s former premises. At Carry On Capital, I was working on the bar at the launch event, then manning the show during its course. It took place in Anthony Wilkinson's former space (where years before in 1990-something, I pissed in the basement –after being judged too unimportant to use the gallery toilet –whilst the free J & B Scottish Whiskey® and Bombay Sapphire Gin® took their toll!). Another time, at Raven Row (actually in Artillery Lane!), when Dewar & Gicquel were in the Unto The Last show of artists concerned with craft processes, as well as deeper implications. Also, the day after I returned from being in an event at Cambridgeshire's Wysing Arts Centre, I went to 2010’s Long Weekend at London’s Tate Modern, where Sonia Dermience and Damien Airault from Le Commissariat in Paris, were invited exhibiting stallholders. The turnover and event were both anarchic.

For some time, Michelle Naismith had expressed interest in a measure at least in the Maastricht area of the Netherlands, whereby long-term and recidivist unemployed jobseekers and other benefit-claimants were offered (or even made to undergo) past-life regression assessment and therapy. Apart from a modest news item in a U.K "quality" newspaper, there seems to be little or nothing much covering it –or even from "survivors". Finally, thanks to Komplot, Michelle Naismith had the opportunity to direct a moving-image work based on her impressions of this.

I'd already previously worked with Michelle Naismith. We were both on the 2001-'02 Cycle Post-Diplome Internationale, then the 2002-'03 Groupe de Recherche Multipoint residencies, both at and with Ecole Regionale des Beaux Arts de Nantes. Before that, we'd both contributed to Dr Clementine Deliss' Metronome publications. We’ve also both been in the same shows, publications and even recordings. During our time in Nantes, myself and Michelle Naismith began our 'Disquiet Tectonica' "collaborative research project on new audiovisual writing and uncanny architecture" with Kris Delacourt and Nico Dockx ('Disquiet Tectonica', Nantes, 2002; 'Tectonic Disquieta', Ghent, 2002; 'Pyrotropism', Venice, 2003; various activities, Antwerp, 2003-'04).

Michelle Naismith also made her videowork 'le Palais de Justice (I choose also black)', 2002. A whimsical fantasia about the possible wrongdoing and misadventures of a giant vegetal fetishistic walking egg and the then-recent law-courts Nantaise (since then, with vertical Jenny Holzer digital “Truisms” endlessly flowing down the façade). I helped out and appeared in ‘Le Palais de Justice (I choose also black)’, as well as writing ‘Anti-matter after-dark star-fucker (o-pti-minous amoro-u-sity)’, published in presence: new works of contemporary art from scotland, for whatever reasons hardbound(?!) survey exhibition catalog (or book?!), Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, 2002.

Then later, '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 Erik Satie, Joan Brossa, Ian Breakwell and 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 (again), Edinburgh (still same place by then and now), 2003 (also up on Michelle Naismith's michellenaismith.com 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 Satie ripoff title I made up especially), alongside everything else, somewhere in an untitled broadsheet newspaper publication, La Valise, Nantes, 2004. As said earlier, 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.

As I also said earlier (same as around the time when 'Marcel' was filmed), prior to traveling out to Belgium to act in 'Ancestral Unemployment', Tony Gross typecast me again as a Columbo-type personage, in his 'Kane's Revolution', the 2nd of his "Columbo" films, addressing issues of “urban renewal”.

As would have been better-timed around the filming, “avant premier” or both for ‘Marcel’, the Eurolines® bus left London-Victoria same day as the Papal "goodwill" visit. Without having any shared belief, agreement or even interest myself, following the previous Pope John Paul 2nd would’ve been at least comprehensible to me –but never this present one, Ratzinger! The number and variety of fellow-passengers! The driver played Sacha Baron Cohen’s ‘Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’ “Borat” movie –to which nobody objected. At Kent, the bus collected 2 senior German men, whom, after the cross-channel ferry, kept us all awake with their talking -until told not to and why -then message got through. In Brussels next morning, I got a taxi to meet up with Sonia Dermience. That Sunday, public transport was free and private-car usage was discouraged, causing clearer roads –but more crowded trams, buses and metros. We went to Komplot's new (and present) building, in Avenue Van Volxemlaan, near and belonging to Wiels Kunsthalle, with remote-control gateway door. Familiar people and strangers alike had studios in the vast former industrial building. An exhibition, Nothing Political, was on, with works placed throughout the premises. The same evening there was a live performance about humour. I operated the paybar. Appropriately, serving up Vedett® beer for sale. Very promising, given meaning of “stardom” (as in being “stage-lit”)!

Several days later, filming for Michelle Naismith’s 'Ancestral Unemployment' commenced. As I was told beforehand, using a traffic roundabout in the Stahl district or outer-suburb of Brussels, where theres an early 1990's public artwork by a certain Florence Fresson (dœs her name ring any bells to anybody, might you, yourself, Florence Fresson, be reading this? My and other's enquiry and research attempts draw blanks!). For those unfamiliar, a standing-stone circle, of quarried megaliths, arranged into an ensemble, growing in an otherwise ordinary “natural” habitat. As though some outsize Bernd Lohaus split rubble, ambitious and grandiose Ulrich Ruckriem masonry, more accessible and urban Michæl Heizer earthworks, less classical Michæl Kenny, then doubtless other artists and works.

Over the coming days, Michelle Naismith, Meryll Hardt and myself posed and moved on and around Florence Fresson's sculpture, engaging with the rocks, all wearing smart and presentable interview suits. Our millinery was a nun's wimple and mirror disc for Michelle Naismith, while myself and Meryll Hardt got crowned by white headbands (also mirrored), courtesy of Dorothée Catry. A few scenes were in the middle-path, between 2 hedges, using an office desk and chairs. Hubert Marécaille and Frédéric Bernier filmed Michelle Naismith, Meryll Hardt and myself out of a moving car, sometimes with us on the traffic roundabout itself -and even by Frédéric Bernier –using mountaineering equipment to climb high up 1 of the menhirs -more than worthy of a performance and spectacle alone in itself! Needless to say, our antics yielded countless looks, gawping, comments and pressed-horn beeping from the passing motorists. Fortunately, the distraction caused no accident, crash or pile-up. Nothing further beyond any of that is known of.

Tragically, during the 'Ancestral Unemployment' acting and shoot, I got some bad news by text message, as well as other SMS, phone-calls and emails saying similar around the same time. The much loved (and now missed) London art event regular and partygœr, Richard Martin, had very swiftly passed away. An unrogueish Will Hay, Richard Martin was an irreplaceable personality, presence and 1-to-1 company, forever missed and lamented. In 2004, he set up hi — with Annie Davey, Patrice Gaillard, Sonya Dermience, Sofie Haesaerts, David Evrard, Roisin Byrne, Xavier Mary, Laurent Le Deunff, Mira Sanders, Fabienne Audeoud, Keren Cytter, Damien Airault, Claude Vi.tac and Philippe Van Wolputte.

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