TOO MUCH COMFORT
27 January 2014, Cervera de los Montes
That comfort comes too late;
'Tis like a pardon after execution;
That gentle physic, given in time, had cur'd me;
But now I am past all comforts here, but Prayers.
Willian Shakespeare: Henry VIII
On Friday, I gave a talk on Syria in an event organized by the Communist Party of Spain. It was a peculiar feeling, everybody agreed with me in everything. I'm used to speak in public but in contexts where the most of the audience are against my points of view. I felt cozy being surrounded by comrades and sympathizers but too much comfort didn't kick me with the usual adrenaline flow I get in public. The politics and the arts are different places. Actually, I find more enjoyable being hated and misunderstood.
FRANKENSTEIN IN GENEVA AND ALEPPO
21 January 2014, Cervera de los Montes
I’ve never been to Geneva, but I know the town from Kieślowski’s Red and Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Sabina, the painter, moves to there from Prague). Also Shelley’s Frankenstein operates in Geneva.
The Geneva II Middle East peace conference begins tomorrow. I want peace in Syria but not for any price. I don’t care about the name of the president but I do care about the multicultural, multiethnic and multireligious Syrian society based on secular values. I’m suspicious about negotiating with terrorists or their puppetmasters. My dream is that the West admits that hey are backing the wrong side, a Frankensteinian monster they created for their geopolitics, and would help the Syrian Arab Army to crush the Islamist madmen, who put in danger every country and every person who doesn’t agree with their sharia delirium
Meanwhile I’m preparing my talk about Syria on Friday in Esquivias, a village in Toledo. The event is organized by the Communist Party and the other speaker is Francisco Frutos, who was the general secretary of the party. I’m going to tell about my experiences and project my slideshows Syria for Dummies and Syrian Democracy.
Heavy misfortunes have befallen us, but let us only cling closer to what remains and transfer our love for those whom we have lost to those who yet live.
(Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus)
16 January 2014, Cervera de los Montes
Last fall, Nutella - the popular chocolate spread brand - tried to imitate the huge success of Share a Coke campaign where Coca-Cola was removed from the cans and replaced by poplar names of people.
Nutella launched an offer to order via Facebook personalized labels with consumers' names and stick them on jars they buy. I got names of communist heroes Marx, Lenin, Mao, Che and Ulrike Meinhof. It is a savvy work but unfortunately it results to be against my leftist ideology. My own interpretation is that it depicts the revolutionary leaders ridiculized and reduced to a sweet paste eaten by capitalist for breakfast.
I'm unable to control my art and its meanings.
OUR DAILY BREAD
10 January 2014, Cervera de los Montes
I like reality. It tastes like bread.
I do art about things I hate. That's why I get annoyed when I find something outside of my studio that resembles my work. Turbo Realist art is - as its definition says - realistic and verisimilitudinous. I'm used to find Sakkinen ready-mades in cities like Beirut or Berlin but not in my everyday life in the small village where I live. However, globalisation is not only vertical but also horizontal, the country side begins to be as capitalist as big urbes.
I went to buy bread in our local, traditional and nameless bakery - a place that is called just "bakery" and sells no branded products but only their own bread and sweets. I got my barra wrapped in a paper bag sporting Burger King's logo. It looked like an evil joke that people who by bread to accompany their homemade meals are a target of junk food chain's advertising. Obviously there are no fast food canteens here. The idea is just to remind villagers that their life has no value far away from whoppers and shopping malls. The global economy can't tolerate any brand-free zones and launches its furious attack to the last fortresses of innocence.
NEW YEAR'S IMAGE RESOLUTION
04 January 2014, Cervera de los Montes
My wife asked about my New Year's resolution. I promised to lose more weight but she said it was too superficial. Actually, we both know that this year we must think about money, much more than we would like to. Our plan is to build a new house and we need to convince a bank to grant us a mortgage loan, which is not easy when one of us is an artist without a monthly income. I was lucky to have a three and a half year period of monthly payments from the Finnish Art Council and private foundations but I lost them since I joined the Communist Party and began to do openly propaganda in the support of the Syrian government. Maybe it's good - I want to triumph or at least survive in the capitalism without any charity. Now it's time to begin to sell my art works.