Mathias & Mathias 'Artie'
Tranen 2017, Art & Life Social Aesthetics Obscured season
Curator Charlotte Sprogøe
Photo Jan Søndergaard
Af Mathias & Mathias dec. 2016
»Art has left the building,« art officials announced at the public address. »No encore? No extras? No nothing?« said the audience, more annoyed than disappointed. »So that’s the thanks we get for coming all the way to see art first hand – it gets cold feet. Honestly, that is bullocks,« one said. »I was looking immensely forward to it. To just let go and surrender myself,« said the next. »Letting the muses amuse you with the art they care for with such compassion, that you must become inspired to think differently« said another. »Muses are a myth and you know it. So is art … Art be what art might think it be! I’ll go to the café now and ask the waiter what this month’s special is.« Another one in the audience turned as well and said with cheer »Hope it’s tomato soup. Haven’t had that in years.«
In the midst of the colossal confusion many turned on their heels and went for the café to get some coffee. A group of elders was standing in front of the glass cabinet with cakes naming out loud to one another the cakes on display. »White brownie with pecans, NY Caramel pudding pie, cheesecake with buckthorn…«. A young couple took place at one of the tables at the large window. »Let’s pretend to be food critics who are handing out stars,« the young mansuggested
»Yeah, and also including the decor of the place, the hygiene and general atmosphere. Oh, and let not forget the service, a good maitre d’ is half the experience, the full experience is never just the food,« his partner interrupted excited, quickly as if she was just waiting for him to make that special proposal. At the table next to them a fussy old man sat in his seat, looking with blame at his wife and the unreliable young staff, who was supplying his wife with coffee and biscuits. A father of three interrupted the elderly man’s alert meditations on the staff’s talents and doubtful intentions, asking if he could grab the empty chair in front of him. »It’s taken!« the old man replied starkly and zoomed back in on the espresso machine operation. The father of three kept scouting around the café looking for an unused chair while the mother was breastfeeding their youngest. The youngest looked like a mess.
»I can’t understand a word of what is being said here,« one complained holding the exhibition text. »You are holding it upside down, hon« his girlfriend chided him. »Silly,« she added.
»What are all these people doing in the café … And, and where is the art?« said one official with apprehension in her voice. »The art has fled the building.« »Yes! It seems utterly to have disappeared,« one official consented. »The art has what!?« »The art has fled. It’s gone, vanished into thin air.« »Damn!« she cried out, tiptoeing and stretching her neck to its maximum to better scan the full area of the cafe. »Such a diva. Exhibitionist with integrity, ha! That doesn’t exist. Dialectical BS, just a primadonna. Search the area. It can’t have gone far,« she commanded. A group of officials, curators, and art people ran off looking for the art with the art handlers lackadaisically tailing the people at the back of the group. The audience remained in the café, watching with perplexity and surprise the desperation of the professionals.
»By which name should we call on it?« one mystified official asked another. »Art, I guess,« said another. »Art, aaaarrrt, aaarrrt!« »Aaaarrrt, aarrt, aaaarrrt!« The officials ran around like headless chickens calling on the art to retrieve it from its hiding place. In the café the guests could observe the officials desperately looking for the disappeared art. The guests were amused. »You see, that’s entertainment« one said, almost swirling his wine over the rim of the glass onto his shirt.
»Who says that art is missing!?« mumbled the director with a heavy frown, as he descended the stairs from the top office. »I sense nothing but art here, are you people not sensitive to the smallest of impressions? Can none of you feel the bliss of the ephemeral and accept what is always present?« Getting evidently more and more eager the Director concluded: »All of you are feeling it, being within these walls. I know you are and I know that you do feel. Maybe the most apt of you will even bring home a souvenir for life (of the immaterial and everlasting kind). For now;enjoy the wine and coffee! I’ll see you in the galleries in a bit. I know I shall!«
At the public restrooms a queue lined up, people needing to urinate and others who had had too much cake. The pressure was on, tension. Some more desperate than others. A man in a wheelchair pushed by his devoted wife, who had never regretted her life choices, became first in line being the only one entitled to use the disability restroom. No one had dared to use it just thinking what it might stir up. It was not exactly red carpet nor he the VIP, but for a one second people felt envious of his disability and his advantage in this situation. »I’ll take it from here,
darling« he said to his wife in a warm and caring tone, as the door to the restroom closed automatically behind him. The wife – or now to the people around them a woman in the prime of her life – was all on her own, staring into space with a fragile look on her face. Was she about to cry? No, she was fine. Her contact lenses were merely troubling her. Actually, she needed to go the girls’ room herself but the size of the queue made her suppress her urge. Instead she walked out onto the terrace lighting a cigarette while looking at the staff in their desperate search of the missing art. She laughed and coughed. By now her husband was done with his business and he was calling her name. But no devoted wife heard his call which was becoming more and more a crying and shouting. »Help, help, somebody help me« he screamed but nobody was paying him any attention. People were too preoccupied withtheir lavatorial reliefs.