Friday, June 23, 2006

A Rake's Progress

Tonight we open the show Alison Knowles: Time Samples.
We'll be performing too.

It's all been a bit full on but it's come together nicely - it's a very beautiful and striking show, which I won't even try to explain or describe. Perhaps one day when I have time to breathe (and and ADSL line) I'll post some pics.

Our time together in Venice is drawing to a close, it has been wonderful. I'm not sure what I'm going to do now, I mean I'll have free time!

Spoil the boys, have a kip, finish the biography of Sol Nte what I am writing. I founf it the other night, and do you know, in parts it's actually quite good.
A bit like Sol really!

An Excerpt:

“Good afternoon sir!” said a thick set barman
sporting a thick set handlebar moustache,
corduroy car-coat, well oiled pedal-pushers and
a pair of ice skates.
“Good afternoon bar-keep!” said Sol, who’d
never seen a handlebar moustache before, well
not one with bell and dynamo lamp anyway.
“How can I help you?” asked the barman.
“I wonder if you can help me” asked Sol, “I am a
little lost, I am tired an hungry and would like to
rest a while. Perhaps I may take advantage of
the warmth of your hearth and if you have a
menu I’d be most pleased to peruse it.”
“You look tired and hungry my friend” offered
the barman, “And if I am not mistaken have the
look of a man lost, tired and hungry. Sit you
down, rest you, take advantage of our hearth,
perhaps you would like to take a gander at the
menu whilst you warm yourself.”
He led Sol to an armchair by the fire. Sol settled
his arm into the chair and waited as the barman
pulled up another armchair, a footstool, and a
headboard. Sol settled himself and sat on the
“You make yourself comfortable whilst you look
at the menu,” said the barman, “I have other
customers to attend to.”
“I see that you have other customers to attend to,”
said Sol. “I’ll just make myself comfortable and
look at the menu while I wait. Oh and by the
way, it would appear that your skates are
Sol had the strangest feeling that the barman was
not only mumbling but in fact talking backwards
as he had not understood a word he had said.
Reaching into his travelling bag Sol pulled out his
reading monocle and looked at the menu. Turning
the menu the right way up he polished his monocle
on his shirt tail, making it completely unusable,
(seeing this however the barman did sneak up
and cut a small portion of Sol’s shirt tail off and
made his way quietly to the ‘Specials’ board,
where he added a new soup.) and was still
unable to read it. Squinting at the menu until his
good eye watered Sol simply could not make
head nor tail of what was written.
“This appears to be written in what I can only
assume to be ‘foreign’.” he thought. “Perhaps I am
near the docks.”

Monday, June 12, 2006

The onion skin song and other such things

it's been a very hectic few weeks dear reader, very hectic indeed. the end of the academic year brings exam preparation, reports, a monstrous cold-sore and a very surreal happening.
over the past couple of weeks i have been working, as normal, at work. teaching the children of class 4 and shouting maths at class 5 whilst eating cinnamon beans. after work and at weekends i have been working with alison knowles, helping to prepare for a performance, which will take place this evening at museo fortuny in venice, and setting up her show entitled "Time Pieces" at the Emily Harvey Foundation, again in venice. We also had to put together a prototype of a piece which will adorn a window of the Villa Buttafava, somewhere near Milan. actually alison put it to gether, i glued it down.
all of this has been relatively straightforward, with the exception of bill stone's video, and gone really rather smoothly for venice.
tonight we will perform alison knowles' 'loose pages', 'onion skin song' and 'shoes of your choice', ay-o's "rainbow", and a couple of pieces which slip my mind. a slippery mind is, alas something that i've had to live with since that first pint of scotch. it's all sort of organised to take off at 6.30 gmt+1 of the afternoon clock and will do so in a most spectacular room - an enormous and crumbling sala of a 15th century palazzo. empty apart from a couple of wardrobes and a large filing cabinet, we will perfom in the centre of the space. props are a 1m squared white podium and a microphone, saran wrap, onion skins, two pages of the score of 'the barber of seville', round bean turner, red bean turner, wooden pecking birds and the 'loose pages' portfolio. after there will be wine!

the surreal happening was this however:
i, through one thing and another i was really behind with the school reports for class 4 - and not a little stressed! alison knowles had expressed an interest in coming into school to meet the kids. so i got it arranged and in she came. she talked about beans and books and the kids talked about their experiences with beans and the books they were making and a very interesting session took place. the children were rapt and even began to write haiku about what was going on. i in the meantime was flying around, purple and sweating, trying to get everything ready for 4p.m.
at one point i looked up from the envelopes i was addressing and saw that alison knowles - an artist who i had studied at university, who i'd never even dreamt of meeting was now in my classroom, teaching my class, effectively saving my backside whilst i did all the stuff i should have done at least a week previously!