donderdag 23 december 2010

early cold (snif)

Well, that’s about it then, the first decade of the new millennium. Seemed like such a promising venture at the start, but then most new things do. More recently it has the same sort of taste as the first decade of the last century of the last millennium which sort of tastes bittersweet if anything... or even quite acid. What does surprise is the speed – things seem to need to go faster all the time and slowly cracks are appearing – the proverbial standing on clay feet comes to mind – a bit of overreach perhaps? For this office Gruzemayer things have been slowing down rather than speeding up and that seems quite a refreshing tendency, and produces some interesting imagery of time and space bending slightly... here an illustration form the train, and the thoughts of pharmaceuticals this sad old man entertains while whooshing through the snow... thinking of throwing the Royal portable out of the window at speed... but the windows don’t open anymore, and it’s been a long time since we’ve see such a mechanical device where most now have their flaptops.
And a good one to you too.

woensdag 29 september 2010

FiftyBus still unsure of it's whereabouts

prototypical bus

The fifty-fifty bus excursion / 10th of October 2010
Ambulant meeting conference or colloquium as you please...
Has all the hallmarks of a regular meeting – confusion, miscommunication, a clarity that makes the Amazon look crystal clear... but all in all one might consider it a wonder that it is taking place at all...
The format is somewhat A2B, a field trip by bus from Argos in B to Bonaparte in A and back again... The whole affair will be split down the middle between Fumoir and Fifty-fifty, and associates. The notion of ‘Fifty-fifty’ as red thread through a consideration of the ‘salon’ effect – the tendency of like minded artists to group together for various reasons, more often than not one of protest or opposition to the dominant tendency of the day... but also for ex & interchange... which is perhaps more the case here...
Taking it only from the short period of regular editorial meetings in the eighties would be selling the idea short, so we’ve decided to embed the whole thing historically and then highlight the most recent trends –say from the seventies, already an interesting fifty-fifty period between the sixties and the eighties... no, really?

At this point the specific venues have still not been fixed in stone, iron or paper bags for that matter – it is a constantly fluctuating situation which will surprise even the participants once they realize that they have been had again by what has become known as fifty-fifty...

More soon...

dinsdag 31 augustus 2010

Fifty-bus still in depot, but revving up...

Closing up August and September at the door - considering the next step...

Fifty-fifty project for Argos still slightly hazy but becoming more focused... the bus trip that is slated for the 10th of the tenth month of two thousand and ten will be construed as less of a nostalgic re-visitation than a rolling research in itself... seen as we can’t recreate the places as such we can but reinvent ourselves... with a critical note I might add... quite a few comments are such as to make you think “nothing matters” – ah, and that’s a discussion we had some twenty year back also... so any good argument likes it’s pro’s and con’s.
The trip tries to encompass some of the precursor elements and give a little sketch of where the tendency is leaning towards also... even though this is a process in flux we might as well attempt to steer towards it. The exact itinerary is not yet ready for purpose, but promises to be an interesting round-trip for all parties.

zondag 9 mei 2010

vers un fifty-ELM-project

Fair winds have given a fresh waft to the old fifty-fifty archive and here we consider some options for referral:

given.... ( from letter may 10)

Thus this project coming from another corner of the fifty-fifty universe was like a breath of fresh air... finally a different way to approach the matter from a different angle, making a broader sweep with a more general brush... it’s about all artist-initiative-type congregations... and 50/50 as a case in point... but the project is a lot broader than that, and to some extent I think ELM wants to use the specific experience of 50/50 to illustrate an overview of a history of such sorts of “congregational moments” in history (as lined up in a book by Marc Partouch – “La Ligne OubilĂ©”- as well as to contextualize today’s groupings and gatherings...

In order for this project to be interesting to both insiders & outsiders there is a certain amount of preparation that might be considered at this early stage: the collection and collation of material (and if at all possible a small brochure might be produced also) and the consideration of activities, dates and general agenda-planning.

I myself will try to glean the 50/50 archives for useable material (I have not really done much since the colloque of 2008, and moving didn’t help) – specifically video and photo (dia’s mostly from that time, and time-consuming to digitalize) and to work out a possible itinerary / modus operandus for the event itself with Dialogist-Kantor, ELM and others still to be included – ELM proposes the scheld’apen as venue – seems good)

I am also thinking of using this opportunity to try and refurbish the pod-version of LJA, the “La Jeune Avrill DUE” ( see ) with more fifty-fifty content and will be squeezing an interim issue in (end of may) to make room in the September issue for more specific 50/50 content – so, if you might consider contributing, keep in mind that it’s a black&white affair on A5 format – and to have ready something by end august... would be nice to have it on hand during the ambulant meet.

Given the aforementioned consideration I thought it might be a good idea to reinstate a general meeting or some such picnic on the Quatorze Juillet (Mercredi) in order to coordinate, regurgitate and extrapolate on possible activities pertaining to the ambulant project... Venue still to be arranged, but let’s keep the date open for the time being....

donderdag 1 april 2010

April's Fool, Avrill's Folly

Well I’ve been getting myself into hot water by being too critical of all the goings on around me, just sort of firing off a running commentary on allsorts and being a bit prickly pear shaped and hopping grumpy... must be springtime...
The grey and depressing sleet of the last months has found a way to the surface and spews forth even without encouragement from my natural tendency to be critical of all things... it seems to be an automated function by now and less the product of careful consideration and/or thought... Wondering all the while if it’s just me or is the world getting fatter and more obnoxious all the time?
To cheer me up I think of all the thousands of Gulag detainees who dug out the white sea canal and paid with their lives for the glory of father Stalin... that way I can consider my small and feeble existence as quite comfy by comparison... and so escape my own irritating nagging for a bit... This came about through the theme of this year’s Ostend retreat proposed by Hioco: Belonorkanal – though the unsmokeable smokes are mostly just empty tubing, the little bit of tobacco they stuff down the end hits you like a howitzer just when you don’t expect it... a real working class hit.
I think I still have a packet bopping around somewhere... but in any case this easter Monday seems a good moment to stand still and consider the many thousands of nameless victims that dug the trenches though which even today ships float freely from St. Petersburg to Archangel.

zondag 17 januari 2010


Well; it was Art’s birthday and I didn’t go to the party... didn’t feel like exhibiting my toothless grin and shrugging with hollow laughter... but I did have fun: By way of celebration I went and bought a box of pralines from an International Chocolate Consortium (ICC) and went & sat on a public bench outside the former Royal Palace in downtown Antwerp... sucking on dark chocolate while tossing out the white chocolate ( never understood that concept) for the birds...They’ve been having a tough winter & could use some fat. Meanwhile the demise of a friend and the earthquake on the news lingered in my head as I watched the passers by – and thought of Filliou’s consideration for the unsmiling Metro passengers back in 1963 – and still with all the consumer goods surrounding them I don’t see much improvement today.