As nerves and insecurity set in before the opening of my little show last Thursday, TK, a friend who has lived through many of my dramas, sent me a great email pep talk. He knows precisely zilch about contemporary women artists, or any artists for that matter yet managed to write the following,
Listen, there's not a shadow of a doubt that you are the new Tracey Emin. I reckon you're easily better than Gillian Wearing, Christine Borland, Angela Bulloch and Cornelia Parker PUT TOGETHER. As for Tomma Abts, you leave her IN THE DUST! Louise Bourgeois isn't worthy enough to carry your paintbrushes. Yvonne Rainer shouldn't be allowed to breathe the same air as you in my opinion. Bracha Ettinger, Sally Mann and Eva Hesse don't belong on the SAME PLANET as you. You and Rachel Whiteread - gimme a break!! Rosemarie Trockel - f*ck off before I get angry…[etc etc]
With such blind loyalty propping me up and both The Husband and parents actually on island, it was a grand evening. I even got a little press coverage with one of the local TV stations covering the opening and doing an interview with me. Half way through filming I felt a gentle but persistent tap on my thigh that was instantly recognizable. I thought maybe if I ignored it, the seven year old attached to those annoying, tapping, fingers would vanish. Or perhaps his unobservant father, sipping wine and chatting in the corner, would lead his offspring away. But the small person didn’t go away and his father just kept refilling his glass, oblivious to my plight. When I could no longer ignore my now bruised leg being poked I asked to take a break from the filming. With exaggerated gentleness I inquired as to what exactly my precious bundle of joy needed that was so urgent.
“Mommy,” said Second Born, “I like the exhibition but I just don’t get the dust in the bottles thing. That’s stinky.” His nose crinkled to emphasize just how stinky he found the art.
“You don’t understand conceptual art because you are a sweet little boy who is only 7 ¾ my love.” I replied in a sugary voice that concealed rising hysteria.
Of course were there not so many witnesses present I would have tossed the kid at his father while yelling,
Nasty, precocious, little critic! I am a professional artist at work right now, not just your slave of a mother! Don’t you dare disturb the filming again looking all cute and innocent! And by the way, the dust thing works!
But in front a film crew is not the place to have that little meltdown moment. A blog on the other hand cannot blush with embarrassment at being a bad, selfish mother and therefore seems the appropriate forum for venting these vile thoughts buried deep in my psyche.
The extent to which the artwork can withstand scrutiny will unfold with time and I really wish I could tell you more but I am too close for that. So, I have been persuaded to hand over the rest of this week’s blog to another for a critical review of the show. This reviewer, as fierce and blunt as Second Born, has also imposed the condition that I do not edit the writing. High-risk strategy yes - but then so is taking public transport in Bim and I plan to try that next week just for fun. Later...