The Love of a Rat

JA discovers the following graffiti on an aimless walk in Hull:

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“The Savage Love of a Rat!”

The next day, unaware of the above, AC shares this photo from somewhere on the Internet:

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What is a family?

What is a family?

PP: The united force to empower the food chain.

LL: The evolutionary ancestry of the big queer puppy pile.

MM: A chain of skeletons going into the molten core of the Earth.

JA: A zoo of only hedgehogs.

-April 26, 2018

A Vernissage Avoided

A Non-Visit to the University of Ottawa Bachelor of Arts Graduation Vernissage, April 27 2018.

What first caught our eye was the rusty grate underneath the entrance. This it turns out couldn’t be called anything but “The Missing Troll”. We admired the attention to detail in the rust. The string was a charming Dargerian touch. A classic, tasteful use of dried leaves and rocks added to the elegance. We also noted with pleasure the smatterings of garbage here and there. What it could have used was something actually sleeping inside, though this might have ruined the palpable sight of invisibility

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Nearby, we encountered a startling portrait and/or modernist architectural design, an air conditioner paired with an empty generic coffee cup which was no doubt entitled “A Sort of Irony”. We admired the dappling effect on the conditioner which may have been a bust, a face, or a building, but we had to agree that the coffee cup itself was the real centrepiece. The vines were nice but the single melodramatic leaf on the cup was kitsch, perhaps in a good way or not. Where the pigs are butchered, where the meat is sold.

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A Portrait? A Meat Factory?

Climbing up the steps gave us a moment to admire an excellent grey bag which draped itself dramatically at our feet. This motif appears to be a reference to The Shroud of Turin, as featured in /kaɪˈmɪərə/’s unreleasable vaporware fourth issue. It is perhaps a city-mouse relative to the same school of design. As the shroud was determined to be a sort of garment, we may conjecture that the bag is a sort of haute couture showpiece for the seldom noticed Ottawa Faceless Bureaucrat, a ubiquitous creature rarely seen because it camouflages so with stale, dusty air.

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Insiders have dubbed this submission “The Self-Hooding Auto-asphyxiation Hood.”
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The Shroud of Turin. Notice the repetition of the sand dune wavelets as a staircase, above.

Looking at the actual door, we noticed a beautiful, neo-medievalist diptych with strong allegorical symbolism. This had to be called “The Magnanimous Excommunication”. The two hands pointing, one representing the heavenly sphere, and the other, more crooked by an estimated 2 degrees, representing earthly imperfection. Upon reading the motto we then realised that we were at the wrong door. And so we had begun by unintentionally starting at the back-entrance of the exhibition, the same building being both 100 Laurier and 600 Cumberland street, depending on who you asked.

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Stepping inside we noticed the first of what turned out to be a continuing motif of several very beautiful, almost neoclassical white heaters throughout the building. These had fine, Grecian composition and an almost Doric gravitas. We debated whether such things were pure aesthetic items or functional.

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Classicism Abounds

We block the front door for a long while admiring a particularly blurry old panel—we wonder whether it is a found-object equivalent to asemic writing, or perhaps an artistic palimpsest recovered from a sorcerer’s grimoire. A man asks us if we can read the names. Believing that his test is a trick question, we utter no definite answer.

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A map of the exhibition somehow being given to us, we make sure to disorient ourselves throughout the tour by actually trying to read it. We are reminded of the circuit diagrams older integrated systems used to print with their programming manuals, technology being a major component of contemporary art.

A coat hanger and coat rack combination; at first a pagan temple deity, then a serial killer’s murder victims, on the order of 15 or so. Death by taxidermy. Who is responsible? It was determined to be not the butler but someone with influence; the mayor? A big metal mailbox system is the morgue.

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A morgue for bodies left over from skinned coats (not pictured, for modesty’s sake).

We are very lost. There are penguins everywhere. We go downstairs. There is a sequence of three garbage cans which we dub “The Modern Venus”. Always coffee cups. An emergency phone which reads SOS (a pun on “sauce”) using a telephone to play on the trendy topic of synaesthesia.

 

Nearby, “I am what I eat” and a toilet that doesn’t flush (which one is the artwork?). The railing of a staircase is determined to be a goat’s horn. A room from a Japanese light novel with murder and mystery involving an after school club, very dark.

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Club room. A virus attack. We spew out very loud associative chains, silencing everyone else in the room, including the artist. The hair is a cave. What is in the cave? An ice worm. A moose. A stop sign. A man carrying a stop sign in outline. A protest. Is it edible? A lollipop.

A door for an elf and a hobbit. We go upstairs and downstairs as you like.

There is a visitor’s book laid out for each artist, usually lavishing simple encouragement and praise, so we cannot resist the urge to fill some of them with automatic writing and drawings:

Automatism

“Where does the ape live when it loses the first leader of its own fire? Blast the horse with its own collar into the seemless.”

“I loom in NO horror I beg the fishermen for sweet tea of eyes.”

“The mysterious universe screams out to me from beyond my fridge where is my wallet?”

“The Tulpa I envision when I think of flowers is more like a crow that eats the tongues of those that tease me.”

“I disagree wholeheartedly with this nonsense!”

“Eyes Worms”

“Bee Stings”

“Sweet OH yes”

Guests

At one point, LL launches an impromptu exhibition on the door to a gender-neutral bathroom, a sort of participatory installation commenting on the act of gendering as othering.

Impromptu (2)

Fragments beneath a window-sill; nails, a lock, some scotch tape instructions. A message from The Administration: “Please do not lock(ed) this door”.

We consider trying to make an offer to some of the more promising artists of all the benefits of surrealism: the chance to be ignored, profitless, poor, avoided, obscure, mad etc. “Stick with us, kid…”

As for the artworks, we quickly disposed of the obligation of actually reviewing them by means of a simple, and loud, analogical game. It was determined after some discussion that the closest companion to an art gallery we could think of was the barnyard, its different animals and products. Thus, substituting the barnyard entity we associated with each artist’s section, in order of appearance, we encountered:

Artist 1 – nonspecific eggs
Artist 2 – fishing worms, maybe an earwig
Artist 3 – slaughtered beef, ground beef
Artist 4 – goats, their horns, and the junk that they eat
Artist 5 – pigs, blood, chunks, and a vampire
Artist 6 – emus
Artist 7 – chupacabra
Artist 8 – horses
Artist 9 – honeybees
Artist 10 – maple syrup trees
Artist 11 – eels
Artist 12 – crows
Artist 13 – tengu farm
Artist 14 – dogs made out of bananas
Artist 15 – a baseball farm with horses as camouflage
Artist 16 – a fairy farm
Artist 17 – a limb farm

At the end of the night, overhearing someone talking about one of the award-winning students being extra-worthy of attention, we came up with some awards that should be given out that night, but then forget to award them to any specific artist:

Best Self-Tokenization
Most Self-Hating
Least Stable Bowels
Hungriest
Most Similar to the Floorboards
Prize Pig

In retrospect, LL awards himself “The Best Self-Tokenization” award for his unsolicited addition as a tranny.

A Film/Dream Scenario

IT WILL HAPPEN

The blob is waiting as I sit on the toilet. It grabs and enters my asshole and dissolves me from the inside out and sucks the rest of my body down the hole.

I wake up and my veins are being pulled out like puppet strings by an evil puppet master. A medieval sultan has invited me to his harem to hear some music. A large musical instrument-cum-torture device is wheeled out. As he plays it, people scream. I escape by flapping a pair of mechanical wings, flying out of the dark cityscape. Steam rises from the sewers as green ooze drips down.

Pieced together from memories of films in an associative sequence by L, SH, JA, PP and MM.

Love in the Tub

Good Sport, 1858

Chimera boat race

This race was perhaps more interesting in a local sense from the fact that the Chimera was lately built on novel and somewhat Yankee lines by Mr. Mansfield of Teignmouth. The Oriole being also a new boat attracted much attention although she has rather the appearance of a very powerful bad weather boat than that of a racer. Midge had sailed here on former occasions and proved herself to be a fast little craft consequently she possessed a host of admirers. The start was most admirably effected at 12h 49m Chimera occupying the most weathermost station led off followed by the Oriole and Midge. A good deal of jostling took place between the two first mentioned in the run down to Goodrington mark-boat. The Chimera although slightly ahead was to leeward and threw her competitor considerably out of her course by occasionally luffing across her bows. Meanwhile the little Midge was making a straight course for the mark boat and nearly succeeded in cutting the others off. The close proximity of the yachts at this point will be manifest when we state that the Chimera passed the mark at 1h 5m 0s the Oriole at 1h 5m 28s and Midge at 1h 5m 40s. The contest between the Chimera and Oriole continued with unabating interest and some miles they apparently ran bowsprit to bowsprit but before Berry Head the Oriole manifested her superior qualities in rougher sea by taking the lead and during the beat from the eastern mark she so materially distanced the Chimera that the record of the time at which the first round was completed shows her to have been five minutes ahead Oriole 2h 28m 30s Chimera 2h 33m 30s Midge 2h 40m. Throughout the remainder of the race she had it all her own way and the Chimera was ultimately beaten by more than half an hour albeit she was entitled to four minutes on account of tonnage. The Midge met with a sad disaster on the second round while off Brixham and during a sudden squall her mast went by the board making a clean sweep she lay like a log on the water and in this prostrate condition was taken in tow by a trawler that happened to be passing and brought to Torquay harbour The second round was completed by the Oriole at 4h 2m 28s and by the Chimera at 4h 26m 35s and the third by the Oriole at 5h 39m 30s and by the Chimera at 6h 11m 15s.

Decomposing with Dignity

I spoke to the green gull

That forth cometh through the window like road kill,

The strange bowler hat with deep fried pickle grease inside.

The queen of the sea devours sailors;

They go off into a mad teacup

Of distilled essence of the life that never ended in

a spaghettifying mummified cat carcass buried in the walls of your pelvis.

The golden wings of the princes sick of transforming straw:

The great crow squawks,

Squabbles, squirts, and scopes indetermined mind over matter,

Disintegrates into a drop of mercury sliding down your throat.

 

A collective, blind poem by Jason Abdelhadi, Lake, Patrick Provonost, and Vittoria Lion, played on March 18 2018. Written in turns, only the last word of each line was revealed to the next player.