Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Terrorism Fatigue


Nine days have passed since the five year anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre. In those days I have been tossing around the idea of going all social comment on my readers. (Social comment art, after all, is my favourite kind of art and Art Express my favourite annual art exhibition - those art kids know a thing or two about politics). Anyway, can I tackle the twin towers?

I woke up early on 9/11 five years on. Switched on the plasma. Sat narcotised by the looped terror footage. Realised I like short sentences. Decided to call in sick.

"Are you sick?" asked Marcy, the receptionist at work.
"I've come down with terrorism fatigue."
"Oh darl, I know what that's like. If there's anything we can do to help please let us know. We are here for you."

I hung up the phone and put on some Enya to calm my nerves. Valium's never been my thing. A plane flew overhead, vibrating the windows of my house – something I've never noticed as much as accepted, living as I do under a flight path. Gotta move - planes might start falling from the sky and I can't afford house and contents insurance being an artist whose medium right now is the blog. Does that make me new media? Searching through old boxes of old media – VHS to be precise – I found what I was looking for: La Bamba. That scene where the plane crashes in the sky has been like my favourite image since like forever. It has a strangely calming effect – more calming at least than the horror that Lou Diamond Phillips was never a bigger star. Para bailar la Bamba Para bailar la Bamba.

After playing the scene is all kinds of motion – fast, slow, freeze frame, reverse – I switched it off just in time for an episode of Oprah. Thank the Lord for the W channel. Makes my Foxtel subscription worthwhile. This will be the third post where I mention Oprah. Well, dear readers, if you haven't realised by now, she is my favourite female artist after Tracey Emin. Interviewing a 9/11 widow who was paid millions in compo, but then became a big consumer whore much to the chagrin of American taxpayers, Oprah turned to the audience, and said "You have a hole in your soul." The 9/11 widow just nodded, a lonely tear trickling down her botoxed cheekbone before confessing she now throws up after a spending spree. Bulimia has taken new shape. Never one to let a moment pass by without acknowledging what a fattie she once was, Oprah reminded us that, had she lost Steadman to 9/11, she'd have eaten her pain.

"Hardly a day goes by when I don't think about 9/11. It's mainly when I'm getting dressed in the morning that I think about the 3000 who died," said Oprah to her nodding audience of buffed upper middle class whiteys. At that moment, I switched off the plasma, rewound my copy of La Bamba, and got out the art supplies to make some post 9/11 art. Culture is so post 9/11 right now and if I don't make something to secure my relevance then I may as well never apply for OzCo funding again. Using cardboard boxes, I replicated the towers as costumes to wear next time my performance art collaborator helps me crash an art party or two. This piece is called:

Crash parties, not buildings (2006)
Mixed media
POA

3 comments:

Gricegrocers said...

Should I join Oprah's Book club?

Gricegrocers said...

It's a rhetorical question. She has done a lot for the important contemporary writers of these days.

lauren said...

love the new work! the buildings would go so nicely with the checkpoint soldiers found around the city on the day of the anniversary - you'd make a charming couple and i'd vote for you as prom king and queen.

perhaps we should start a group of artists whose main medium has become a blog through either true genius, utter laziness or a good excuse for procrastinating. we could communicate only through interpretive dance and letters on free postcards.