18 October 2018, Pepino
One of my favorite lists is the Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge written by Jorge Luis Borges - he mischiefly attributes it to an ancient Chinese source. The list divides animals in categories: Those that belong to the emperor, embalmed ones, those that are trained, suckling pigs, mermaids, fabulous ones, stray dogs, those that are included in this classification, those that tremble as if they were mad, innumerable ones, those drawn with a very fine camel hair brush, et cetera, those that have just broken the flower vase, those that at a distance resemble flies.
The list appears in Borges' text The Analytical Language of John Wilkins published in 1942. I think it's time to update it to the 21st century and add few categories: those that are genetically modified, lolcats, anthropomorphic Disney characters, those who appear in breakfast cereal boxes, in vitro livestock, Hello Kitty and friends, pig mascots that advertise hot dogs, those that star Angry Birds video games, those that have extinguished as a result of the climate change or other human activity.
DEAR LEADERS, STAY ALIVE AS LONG AS POSSIBLE
05 October 2018, Pepino
Bad Hair Day Leaders appears on the cover of Die Presse Schaufenster, a monthly supplement of the Austrian newspaper Die Presse. When the journalist Daniel Kalt contacted me, I was sure that he had heard of me from Simeon - who just made The Best of All Possible Worlds book with me - or Florian who organized my show last year in Vienna. Surprisingly, Daniel told me that he had found the works on Instagram searching things about Benin where I was in residency and Louis painted the portraits of the most powerful political leaders for me last March.
It's great that the works get media visibility but I'm getting anxious because I haven't found any option to exhibit the pictures. Sometimes it takes several years between executing a work and showing it but this project can't wait much longer. The 14 leaders are still in power but there are some that have fragile health. There could be elections, a coup d'état or a revolution undermining my work.
When some of my presidents, chancellors, supreme leaders, kings and prime ministers are out of power, the work looks inevitably outdated. There might be a period of few years that it's not very interesting but then it will gain again importance as a historical document of our time, the era of the Syrian War and Brexit, the epoch of the love story between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.