O.T.L. Bongo's Exhibition in Hamburg
Thomas Baldischwyler and Ben Watson at the Aktualisierungsraum 17 Talstrasse September 2007
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The Performance ("Inanobenja") on 15 September
Scene: Thomas Baldischwyler's Diorama at the Aktualisierungsraum on Talstrasse, Hamburg. Grey walls, a chair for chimpanzee drawing, a plaque of Hermann Samuel Reimarus, the eighteenth-century divine's "theses" [three pages from his Considerations on the Art Instincts of Animals, 1762] nailed to the opposite wall. Out To Lunch is wearing a blue suit, a copper-coloured shirt and a red sheepskin tie. He casts a Shavian "wistful light" into his eye, but this is the only novelistic device marring his cartoon critique of Booker Prize pomo-romanticism.
NB: In common with Out To Lunch's Resonance FM radio programme "Late Lunch with Out To Lunch", this script works in dialectical tension to the presence of Critic Baby Iris (at the time of this performance 2¼ years old), whose contributions and pleas for attention demand unforeseen "deviations" from the script.
Out To Lunch [reading from this script, gleefully]: Inanobenja! Inanobenja!
Inane the ear and anno in which I drive my bendy car, inane the irritant which
scurfs my writing hand, inane the scraping drums which figure my libidinal totality.
Inanobenja! Walter Benjamin as mass-media all-consuming manga robot, Go Ngai
in a revolutionary suitcase, with precepts even a donkey can understand. Inanobenja!
After all, the "fountain replete" is a gruesome term, united by the
glue of its loathsome qualities; we can't stand the fullness of content, the
smug city dump of bourgois Kultur. Only the inane can spike our uppity cocktail,
let our immediacy resound. Clear the decks and light the wicks: Inanobenja!
is our cry (with a brief salute to DJ Shallow Fellow, whose promotional devices
may be seen up and down Wohlwillstrasse, as we go). [Out To Lunch goes to
the chimpanzee drawing table, puts down his script and picks up a red
crayon and writes down
OTL then "patafixes" [Uhu's Patafix - surely a salute to Alfred Jarry? - is the German "BluTack"] this page to the back wall of the diorama. Then, using a black crayon, he adds the following:
Lendormin are absent tonight. Hence
[OTL crosses out the red letters and points to the black letters and says ]
Inanobenja: what's left from my three citations of political and aesthetic virtue after we remove Lendormin, the outstanding noise band from Rome who didn't turn up to play tonight. How to begin? Like all improvisors in a fix with their Unmittelbarkeit, I'll return to my script. [OTL picks up his script from the chimpanzee table] Which begins with a reference to the words of my lady benefactor, Kerstin Stakemeier. [A brief pause, then quieter and more thoughtfully] Because what Kerstin called - in conversation with Susann Witt-Stahl on Tuesday - "Unmittelbarkeit" is my Wunder Barmy flying kite. That's why I must screw a title right out of the durchnittlich metalnoise in these environs and bungstop the tittle-tattle of the art crowd. [grandiloquently] Without means I despise, with a blank verse banner up my sleeve, I face the absurdity of actualisation at 17 Talstrasse in Sankt Pauli! Shit creek banana boat hearsay, with crummy edges of theory and insult on, ears that burn red up and down the Reeperbahn. Quaint "chin chin" gladdening the hearts of those who patafix it, frocks amess in stainful stars, furbelow on the fruitjuice Rattigan. Coloma! Con Coda and Coca Cola. A comma in the workers' movement. Fancy in the football grease. Apostrophe to all the other post-roughees. This stoff is endless, my cantankerous verbal mix-up likewise, like an irksome poltergeist in the Body Shop. Natural prune juice was the enema of my verstöppfte Sehnsucht, bad memories of the Crime of 1914 flaming up my considered assessment of German socialism. When the learned plingfling suppresses the need to lead a needy and revolting object into subjecthood. When spells cast-in-grimaces work better than another issue of Das Argument. When the sheer weight of philosophy and history makes you sick with don'ts, the "dented shield" of reformist compromise now a battering ram on the skulls of the living. My quivering faultiness in the Edeka queue, the constant wondering at the splits and folds in the plodding politics. [more angrily, turning to look at audience] How come atcher in a SexPol trance? The transfix metabollocks spearing you with a natural surge, the upright token jack-in-the-box like a chiasmus derived from an upside-down crucifix. Pour it all out, but no Artaud-in-the-hole to poisson-up the glimmering soup. In verdammte Scheiss verboten, broken, Margaret Drabbled out in Thatcher years. Whose broken back bumps back with Pinochet, whose gaga remnants cavort with Gordon Brown. Quick fine locks for the unvoted seminar, pile extra keeps by the mountain Schloss. The Schlüssel peeps beneath the lock, a preprandial divertissement in Anglo-Saxon thumps. When the grime is hot the spirit quivers, ragged flames all over the bitumen lake. Dinosaur "Smoke on the Water", and I'm choking here on Glockengiessewall. Crash the car and analyse the length of the skidmark erection, mealtime ballast pokes me strange & blue, with no Cornelius Cardew in the knickerbocker room. J.G. Ballard was a cagey bastard. Awaken loaded with thought-police in droves, keel over balladry and extract an ounce of blinding sight. My tight purview in a gristle torse, the universe is where you come, cosmic platitudes sensation-up the spine and grip the lower brain, which is - as expansive as pleasing - actually higher than the lower brain. A paradox. A parrot talks! [pause] So the improv pauses, lets some reflection in on the random rubbish sluice, like late-summer Camden sun slanting through the emerald trees over froth and canal wrack in St Pancras lock. The names are a feint, they're there for the aural spike, relax. [pompously, expansivley, hand raised] So to this thing, this chimpanzee dimension explained in this rare diorama by Herr Thomas Baldischwyler. I must get behind this nasty analytic apparatus, pulling it up like a pair of wooden trousers; besser Holzhosen als Lederhosen, I suppose. [Out To Lunch climbs into the chimpanzee-painting apparatus]
Like Raoul Vaneigem in Traité de Savoir-Vivre à l'Usage des Jeunes Générations, Baldischwyler's carpentry excoriates those sentimentalists who would upholster the torture machine of Kafka's In der Strafkolonie. This bizarre apparatus I'm trapped-in know no comfort, only the hard facts of art instincts and bestial production. It's not a fucking sofa, man: Richard Wagner wouldn't sit here, I'm telling you. And once he's in, the pontificating poet - that's me, by the way - has to access the chimpanzee "within himself" and draw. I'll be quiet. Will someone play the prerecorded Lendormin?
[Out To Lunch draws furiously, gibbering and breaking crayons to a soundtrack of Lendormin ["Denti"/"Phlegmosaurus" 8:00 from Lendormin's first CD ALL MATERIAL IS IMPROVISED NO EDITING]. Some ready-mades hidden among the blanks make his productive zeal and speed seem prodigious. Among the results, some pages with verbal slogans: "CONCEPTUAL ART KILLED CONGO: O.T.L. BONGO KILLS THE CONCEPT" "NO IMPROV UNLESS IT RISKS COLLAPSE" "ANTI-NAZI RULES BECOME AS BAD AS NAZI RULES IF THEY DEPRIVE US OF FLEXIBILITY IN RESPONSE TO ACTUALITY" "COLLAPSE IS PERMANENT - MY REAL HEAD'S FLAT" "FOR ROGER: RUBBISH IS/ PERTINENT; ESSENTIAL; THE/MOST INTRICATE PRESENCE IN/OUR ENTIRE CULTURE; THE/ULTIMATE SEXUAL POINT OF THE WHOLE PLACE TURNED/INTO A MODEL QUESTION" "AS HOLY SCRIPT ON PIOUS TONGUES, BENJAMIN IS A LIE" "ONCE A THOUGHT LOSES ITS SPONTANEOUS RELATION TO THE OBJECT, EVEN LENIN IS UNTRUE" Once sufficient pages have been scribbled on - and sufficient previously-done pages plucked from the pile of blanks and thrown on the floor - Out To Lunch climbs out of the chimpanzee chair and starts patafixing the artworks to the grey walls of Baldischwyler's diorama. When Lendormin's track finishes, he lays out his script on the floor and picks up an empty plastic yoghurt pot to accompany his syllabic ejactamenta and give his pictures some time to be looked at before the audience start their smoking and yapping]
OTL: Yodel hymie metacross in parvum nostrum, where the sear silent rub raises
canopy wordstew into prickly boils. Festive horrid in the Roman moonlight. Cool
carp wassage parameter nose drop. In unicorn. Fanta flea in bionada maelstrom
fetter grace. Upsalot and hackett, in prickett hedge with rivulet and Spinatkäsepide.
Stab cheddar cheese at the Percy Mayfield album, like the materialist alchemy
you repressed age six. With Wolfhard Fuchs hard in your rear, the professionalization
of the avantgarde an oxymoron glaring across the urban sprawl. Money comes from
the opposite place to the inane pulpit I'm resonating in like an electric teddy
bear pretending to be Odd's apocalyptic vicar-Teufel. Spigot Andress, with feely
tips at the breast pan. Get Goethe's logic auf. Frische milch ist nicht zu übertragen,
blow tendril dots at the linguaphones! Corrupt data as doot doot doot, the crinkly
domaine of audience extra [some bravura percussion on yoghurt pot, then,
in conclusive vein
]: No conundrum but the present one: one bootless
fool and thirty chimpanzees in waiting. No serum before the panic fix, no scrum
so dense the rules aren't shrill enough to cut a knife. When Blenkinsop laughs
with Ponsonby, the carriage waits for the Georgey Gallows. It's corrupted socks
and the peels bare quick with the half light. In Tianenmen disaster fuck, in
fog you-meant damned with guttering lights. No soliloquy can fix my exit lights,
in Brooklyn or Sankt Pauli. Okay, that's it, let's play the party tape
[pause for wild applause from all of ten people in the audience, then party tape beginning with Percy Mayfield's "Send Me Someone To Love" and carrying on with Johnny "Guitar" Watson's "I Don't Think So" from Bow Wow (1994)]
Aktualisierungsraum: Inanobenja Music & Disco Playlist
1. Lendormin - Denti/Phlegmosaurus 8:00 [+ 1:00 silence]
2. Percy Mayfield - Send Me Someone To Love 2:57
3. Johnny "Guitar" Watson - I Don't Think So 5:29
4. Prince - My Guitar 3:43
5. Frank Zappa - Titties 'N' Beer 6:13
6. Derek Bailey w/Tacuma/Weston - S'Now 7:49
7. Duke Ellington w/Mingus/Roach - Money Jungle 5:25
8. Eugene Chadbourne w/Thomas/Black - Electric Ladyland 6:53
9. Chuck Berry - Woodpecker 3:33
10. Pinguin Moschner - Duett Duell 3:49
11. The Dells - Zing, Zing, Zing 2:51
12. David Murray w/Hopkins/McCall - Hope/Scope 8:00
13. Swamp Dogg - Sam Stone 3:57
14. Evil Dick - Hair Spider Stuck To Sock 7:13
15. Winifred Atwell - Blue Sunset 2:40
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