MY FAVORITE CONFLICTS IN 2009
28 December 2009, Cervera de los Montes
Assam conflict, Battle of Mogadishu, Battle of Wabho, Battle of Alasay, Battle of Am Dam, Battle of Chalai, Battle of Dahaneh, Battle of Daecheong, Battle of Kamdesh, Battle of Kilinochchi, Battle of Mullaitivu, Battle of Now Zad, Battle of Paranthan, Battle of Puthukkudiyirippu, Battle of South Mogadishu, Counter-insurgency operations of the Second Chechen War, Eastern Congo offensive, Gaza War, Garamba offensive, Guanajuato and Hidalgo shootings, Honduran coup d'état, Insurgency in the North Caucasus, Iraq War, Kokang incident, Naxalite-Maoist insurgency, Papua Conflict, Sa'dah insurgency, Sobat River ambush, Sri Lankan, Army Northern offensive, Sudan airstrikes, Third Battle of Elephant Pass, Tripura rebellion, Tuareg Rebellion, War in Afghanistan, War in Somalia, War on Terrorism.
SHANGHAI CALL GIRLS
23 December 2009, Cervera de los Montes
I've been baking ginger bread, cooking gravlax, looking for Santa's costum and tasting the wines for the Christmas evening dinner but today I needed a decent working day.
First, I was drawing an Anti-Turkish Communist Sheriff from Cyprus, and then I received from Raul a proposal to do something for a show called The Metamorphosis at Other Gallery in Shanghai in January. I took the prostitution advertisement page from yesterday's El Pais and glued on it some older ads I've collected from the same paper. It looks genuine and gives the impression that half of the call girls in Madrid are Chinese.
Some years ago, all the Chinese girls were sold as Japanese geishas or sakura blossoms. That was the time when the idea of Westerns of China was gloomy and backward. Now everyhting has changed and the Made In People's Republic of China label sounds sexy and attractive.
IT'S THE END OF THE YEAR AS WE KNOW IT
19 December 2009, Cervera de los Montes
It’s the the end of the year as we know it (and I feel fine). Now I’m thinking more about the menu for the Christmas Evening than my works but I suppose it’s the time to make a summary of my victories and defeats during the year.
I had several solo shows from Berlin to Beijing, and group shows from Madrid to New York. The biggest exhibition I did, was with Jani at Amos Anderson Art Museum in Helsinki, which got enormous media coverage and I became some kind of art celebrity in Finland participating in television talk shows and quiz shows and giving interviews to all printed media from the newspaper of the Green Party to Elle magazine. Our exhibition Jani and Riiko's Free World was even featured on the TV news.
Another highlight was my two-month residency in Beijing and the shows I did there, including 798 Beijing Biennale. I also participated in my first museum show in Spain at Musac, León. My wall painting installation at Kiasma was my first time in the number one museum in Finland. And another new thing was Art Basel where my collaborative cable drawing installation with Jani was shown and sold.
During the year, I did several installations, one series of paintings with Jani, in Helsinki, and another series with Judas, in Beijing. I made drawings, objects, posters… I also painted a hotel room, which was renamed Riiko Sakkinen Suite, in Hotel Klaus K, Helsinki.
I sold large paintings to Finland’s best Museums – Kiasma and Helsinki City Art Museum. Finally, I was awarded with a one-year working grant from the Arts Council of Finland.
One more extra project was Trickle-down Theory, the show I curated at Korjaamo, Helsinki, with almost 100 artists and, on top of all that, in one of my visits to Finland, I found time to lecture in several universities. And during the year, I was traveling around Europe in the meetings of Pepinieres developing future residencies for young artists.
For my numerous projects, I traveled almost the seven seas and visited Basel, Beijing, Berlin, Biarritz, Bordeaux, Bucharest, Helsinki, Lisbon, León, Maldives, Nicosia, Paris, Skopje, Tampere and Turku.
After all, I could also tell a negative version of all this - about the canceled projects that occupied lots of time, about some gallerists that made my life difficult, and about the economical problems when I found impossible to convert the visibility of exhibitions and media into sales, but maybe I don’t tell this story, because I need to believe in the positive version of 2009 and face the beginning of 2010 being more ambitious and vigorous than ever before.
15 December 2009, Cervera de los Montes
I don't miss most of the Finnish Christmas foods but every year I prepare glögi - Nordic mulled wine - though my wife and her family think that it's disgusting and that the wine would be much better without spices and heating. Historically, wine often went bad, and adding spices and honey, it could be made drinkable again.I don't know if this was done in my tiny Spanish village. There are hundreds of ways to prepare glögi and this a recipe I created this year. You can try to make it also with red wine. The quality of the the wine and the vodka is not important. I wouldn't use wine that costs more than one euro per liter.
A bottle of vodka, White wine, Almond liqueur, Sugar, Water, Cinnamon bark, Cloves, Dried ginger, Raisins
One week before preparing the drink, insert the spices in the vodka bottle to extract the flavor. You can keep them in the bottle during the whole holiday season but remember that the mixture becomes all the time stronger.
Put in a small glass few raisins, a couple of centiliters of the flavored vodka and two teaspoons of almond liqueur. Heat the wine but not too much, add it in the glass and mix in two teaspoon of sugar. Fill the glass with hot water and stir.
11 December 2009, Cervera de los Montes
Barack Obama received his Nobel Piece prize and defended his anti-pacifist positions saying that "a non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies". Playing the nazi card makes me think how to up-date statement - a non-violent movement can not stop the United States marines.
My friends met Obama in the White House and he promised to have sauna with them when he visits Helsinki. I hope they invite me to join them. I still admire Obama but he should understand that his biggest enemy is not Iran nor North Korea - they can hardly be global players even with a couple of second-class nuclear warheads - but the monstrous superpower the United States of America.
DON'T PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD
08 December 2009, Cervera de los Montes
I went to movies with my daugther and we watched Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs. It's an American animated film mixing rather superficially Twister and Super Size Me. It wasn't any master piece but I think it looked very much my art with all the junk food and the pseudo-criticism of the consumer culture.
The anti-hero Flint comes up with an invention that converts water into food and is named "The Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator" (FLDSMDFR for short). First, it's raining cheese burgers, then entire all-you-can eat buffet and, finally, a tornado made of the all-american kids' favorite spaghetti and meatballs destroyes the world monuments from the Great Wall to the Eiffel Tower. Maybe the film has a serious message and makes us think of the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place at them moment in Copenhagen or the 100000 people each day directly or directly for hungere diying, but at least my four-year-old daughter ate her dinner faster than ever before.
2PAC AND KIM JONG-IL'S NIGHTCAP
02 December 2009, Cervera de los Montes
My favorite cognac in Hennessy. The reason is not that it has been mentioned in the lyrics of the rappers 2Pac, Kanye West, Nas, Dr. Dre, The Game, Ghostface Killah, Xzibit, Digital Underground, Tech N9ne, The Notorious B.I.G., Eminem, Nate Dogg, Kid Cudi, 50 Cent, Afroman, Obie Trice, Mobb Deep, E-40, MC Joey-B, Lil KNYPP, R.Kelly, Jamie Foxx, Ludacris, Lupe Fiasco, Das EFX, and AZ but because the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is known to have a penchant for Hennessy. He is reportedly being their number one customer over the past ten years.
I've heard rumours that for an aperitif Kim Jong-il sips Hennessy Paradis. After the lunch he enjoys a generous glass of Hennessy Timeless. His afternoon favorite is Hennessy Pure White and the nightcap choice is Hennessy Beauté du Siecle displayed in an über luxurious chest designed by the French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel. Ten different artists collaborated on the chest which is made from melted aluminum and mirrored glass. It has a bronze key and at the press of a button the bottle rises up on a tray. The bottle is Baccarat crystal and set in a metal lattice designed by Guerlain. Beauté du Siècle is a limited edition cognac that was blended by cellar master Yann Fillioux from Hennessy reserves, which are up to 100 years old with the youngest being 47 years. Only 100 bottles of were produced.