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The Doll Blogs
All works of art start as potential. Similarly, all relationships start as potential. When I meet a person I try and see not their mask, with it's defenses, but what's underneath. I get accused of refusing to acknowledge who a person is choosing to be right now. When that person is arrogant or rude or selfish then my friends say, "Clyde!!!!!! THIS is what this LOSER is about." But I say, "Hold on people, this is only what this person THINKS they are about." So this so called Loser person is confused. But if no one sees their potential then they may not ever see it themselves and that would be tragic.
Monday, March 5, 2007
Arguing with people is a waste of precious time. Fine you can be right if that's what you need to be. I'm off. Usually I go to this private gallery where I work right now. Surrounded by art all day takes me to places that I have never seen. All works of art start as potential. Similarly, all relationships start as potential. When I meet a person I try and see not their mask, with its defences, but what's underneath. I get accused of refusing to acknowledge who a person is choosing to be right now. When that person is arrogant or rude or selfish then my friends say, "Clyde!!!!!! THIS is what this LOSER is about." But I say, hold on people..... this is only what this person THINKS they are about. Some of my friends, I know this for a fact, see this quality as a weakness.... a naive approach to life. But you see I don't think it is sound judgement to close the window for change to anybody. So this so called Loser person is confused. But if no one sees their potential then they may not ever see it themselves and that would be tragic.
I can get lost in a picture and found again. After a painting has revealed its secrets to me, I am a woman changed forever. The coveted job of working on the project "Women Artists: Late 20th and Early 21st Century" has kept me busy over the last many months. Featuring Minimal Art, Op Art, Performance Art, Media Art and Interactive Installations, and Artisan Handicraft to name but a few. Although I have had the opportunity to work on women's installations in the past, the exposure I have had to the vision of these women has shaken me from slumber. Paper strips coated with wax transparently hang.... covering a huge space and stops me in my tracks. The drawings of trains, a chain link fence, a cityscape rendered with precision. The order of Toba Khedoori calms me. The merging of cultures in the paintings by Mona Marsouk brings together the future and the past the east and the west that proves there can be a synthesis of the global dilemma that we have to wake up to and face daily.
The love I have for art was bred in me by my grandmother, affectionately known as Gran. Her father had taught her how to look at art being an art critic himself and encouraged her study in painting. He of all people understood the plight of women painters. He would always take her to watch painters create and encourage her to take out her sketchpad that she carried everywhere. By the end of a workday he would come back and pick her up after she had been the mascot of that particular artist's studio for the day. This is how she really developed her stunning technique, by allowing the masters to tell her their secrets. Because this was before the second world war, Paris was teeming with painters and sculptors.... most of whom my grandfather got on with famously. So the story goes, his uncle had been teaching at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture until the wave of the impressionists divided the art world in France in the nineteenth century. Apparently his allegiance to the new movement of Impressionism alienated him from many of his colleagues. Uncle Claude, as Gran would call him, secured a position eventually at the Salon des Independents which was established in 1884. He lived to embrace Post Impressionism and Symbolism. Lots of isms...
Since that time someone in the family has been involved in the growth of independent galleries throughout France. A cousin of mine outside of Paris has most of Gran's work saved for the generations to come. A thought of Gran and her other female contemporaries enters my mind when I am surrounded by modern women artists. The struggles that these women endured remind me of how far the woman's art movement has come and how far it still has to go. When I think of Lizzie Sidel in her struggle to be recognized as an artist in the mid to late 19th Century, it reminds me of the inequalities that women painters and sculptors have had to endure. The wealth now of art from women has not solely been shaped by the desires of men but from a back catalogue of women artists of the past. Women expressing and reacting to different emotions being liberated even indirectly by WW II were artists the likes of Leonora Carrington, Meret Oppenheim, Ithell Colquhoun, Toyen [Marie Cerminova], Tamara de Lempicka to name but a few. These women among others gave the world a new way of defining female sexuality. I can see the inspiration that these artists have had on some of even the most controversial female artists that are in the present exhibition that is about ready to open. Soon now, very soon now. Every breath of mine is devoted to this opening.
The museum has had all kinds of threats from different religious groups, (too many to name) from just pure ignorance. One of my best friends dropped by and security called me down. As I let her in past the protesters she exclaimed in disbelief, "Clyde, Dahling, can you imagine me, ME wanting an invite to the museum, But HONEY, this is the bomb." Nonononononononononono just rushed out of my mouth louder than I intended, but security backed off as I pulled my friend away whispering, "Just don't say the word bomb."
Posted by Clyde at 3:26 PM
Labels: art, clyde
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
East and West
On my way to work, it becomes apparent that the cultural divide between east and west grows daily even though the world is becoming smaller. Over the past few months I have been exposed to perspectives from many women from many different social backgrounds. If I had not been shown through art that there are kindred spirits even in cultures so extreme from mine, then the divisions between women of color or women of a different god or women of a different political party could have been frighteningly erected through my whole internal system. The great divide, separating me from like-minded women, could have been fully operational even without me being aware of it at first. Just because of cultural differences, which we associate with an enemy.
That said, I have been moved by two women with such unique styles and visual voices yet both brought up with strong Islamic influence. They both address our complex modern issues and taboos as women who are a product of the west as well as the east.
Shirin Neshat arrests your heart with her photo series "Women of Allah" where exposed skin is covered in Farsi. Text by other Iranian female writers, who cover the topic of female sexuality, is what is written on the body of each woman in her arresting photographs.
Just a needle and thread is all Ghada Amer needs to shock and titillate, free you from your troubles, and pull you into her world where you cannot help but be aroused. Aroused no different than a man can be with a female erotic object. Do you walk away empowered by an expression of sexual feminism or do you walk away having to come to terms with the picture of women as erotic sexual objects as desirable? Herein lies the massive difference between cheap thrill girly mags and art with sex as subject. You cannot escape the effectiveness that "toying with control" has, which some of these women artists are addressing, as they tackle the multifaceted subject of female sexuality. In the case of Ghada Amer the viewer is agreeing to take part in viewing women as erotic objects because her technique screams "a modern chick can still knit" as you the viewer drinks in these poses of pornographic women, poses that you will find on a man's sex for sale wish list.
There are installations that come and go without me calling up friends and telling them, "This is something you have to see." But I was curious on how some of my friends would react as more women's art on this topic arrives for the opening next week.
Posted by Clyde at 9:25 AM
Labels: women's art east west
Friday, April 13, 2007
The Bitchy Co-worker Incident
Art by women of women speaks to me about a deeper truth of how "I am" than when male artists approach the naked female body. I am drawn to certain artists more than others.... that is just being honest. But I try to remain open so that the public does not feel my preference when they're walking through the installations.
More than any other approach, when a female artist makes herself the subject and or the object of her exhibition I find it confrontational. That is not a negative. In some cases the work makes me feel exposed or upset. In others, I was made an accomplice without knowingly agreeing to this. Once it turned me on. Once it made my skin crawl.
I welcome these feelings. This is why I wake up in the morning, to be moved to think and feel. If a visual artist has no impact whatsoever on me, then I am sad. Because sexuality is at the heart of this exhibition, lack of impact is not an applicable phrase in this case.
I have been working constantly, basically sleeping at the museum so that the opening would be perfect and make deadline. So, when Santa asked me to go to see the live broadcast of a dance show competition, as disappointed as I was, I didn't want to leave the paintings or the photographs.
One night I found myself at the end of my rope, which is a place I don't get to often. The vibes in the museum had been ignited it seemed by a poisonous substance. Bitchy green monsters were oozing out of one of the women that works here. That kind of manipulative person can be wearing on the brain. Once she had left the building, I began to calm down. I decided to walk around and double check my reactions to the artwork without this woman's snide remarks about a lot of the women artists. Why we can't be more supportive toward each other as a community of women, I have no idea. Then out of nowhere I felt someone watching me. I turned around quickly, as you do, and there he was... the Bitchy-Green-Monster- Person's on and off boyfriend.
'Why do you let her get to you?' was the question he asked. I answered, 'Let's not give her more credit than she deserves.' 'What do you mean by that' was his comeback. 'Look, anybody and I do mean anybody, who talks so viciously about other contemporaries, artist or not, will get a reaction from me it's really that simple.'
He walked in without looking away and chose to stand between me and the paintings and sheepishly requested, 'Will you give me a tour from your perspective so that I can feel as passionate about these artists as you do? I work here too Clyde and I need an injection of this adrenaline that you carry for these artists.'
'What about your relationship with you know who?' I could barely say it. He looked shocked and shook his head, 'What relationship? You've got to be kidding. You-Know-Who is a psychopath and a stalker and I'm not far from getting a restraining order against her.' I had to laugh just because it is crazy how we all can over- react to what one person says, not realizing that they live to stir up trouble more than they need air. I remember folding my arms possibly to protect myself saying, 'Kyle, I don't need another stalker in my life, even if it's your one.' Out of no where he gave me a hug and said 'you can't let harmless envious people dictate your every move.' Out of my mouth before I could stop came, "This is not about my every move Kyle this is about roaming around with you in a deserted museum after closing except for security.' He grinned that grin and said 'Sounds like one of the better ideas I've come up with in quite a while.'
So I kept a slight distance for all kinds of reasons and began to walk him through the exhibition.
Posted by Clyde at 7:03 PM 47 comments
Labels: art, co-worker, kyle, museum, santa, sexuality, women
Friday, May 18, 2007
Because some of the artists that I felt we had to represent are performance artists, video and stills from their Live Performance was collected and then presented as documentation of the original event. This is a retrospective. Therefore, no performance artists in "real time" have been included. There was a panel of a few of us arguing the pros and cons and frankly I felt that to subject a performance artists to masses of people who would not be focused on their art form would be mixing still life and 3D.
The concept of this particular exhibition is "Visual Hall of Fame," if you will of the women form the historical period of the mid to late 20th century and the early 21st century.
But, and this an important but, the theme for this specific section of the exhibition was designed around artists that create with the female body, their own or another woman's as the central material.
As I walked Kyle through the intoxicating maze of the Body of Woman, I saw him in a new light. He was humbled. He was entranced. He was disturbed.
First up was work represented by Valie Export... one of the early radical performance artists that sent ideological shock waves through the patriarchal male-defined image of woman as object. Whether inflicting pain, not as a masochistic act, but as "signs of history revealed in actions involving the body"... . or tattooing a garter on her thigh in 1970 as a "sign of past enslavement," Valie Export was one of the liberators of the female body (a woman who my friend Santa calls a true originator).
We walked on. We stopped. There were moments of quiet as we stood in front of the paintings by Marlene Dumas specifically from the series Strippinggirls because there were no words as he drank in "Cleaning the Pole", "Cracking the Whip", and "Caressing the Pole."
From a representation of one of Vanessa Beecroft's live installations (Show.1998) to representations of Carolee Schneemann, Kyle was drawn to the inspiration that Schneemann has clearly had on Body Art as a medium. When we arrived at the powerful images of Hannah Wilke , "I- Object", there were tears as he had to sit and collect himself after having viewed Hannah's "Intra- Venus" series which documents the artists' real life battle with cancer.
After Kyle's experience with Wilke's use of the genre, I dropped him smack dab into the Digi- universe of Natacha Merritt. Some people have referred to her work as pornography. My friend Isabel calmly remarked, 'Stay neutral Clyde or else you can't represent the artists equally.' Kyle cracked a smile, as I thought he would, when I pulled my hands from his eyes after I had gotten him in the perfect position to experience this artist. Guys always smile when they view Merritt's photographs. Women are on all sides of the fence on this one, that's one of the reasons I wanted to include her. This work causes debate amongst feminists who surprise themselves by their reaction to these intimate sexual details.
One performance that I daresay Santa will be more than happy to have missed would have to be when in 1994 the performance artist Elke Krystufek masturbated in front of guests, even her mother, at the opening of the group exhibition "JETZTZEIT." But the question asked by a few that were actually there is what resonates with me still. And that question is, 'Was I, the spectator, the voyeur in this piece, or was it I who was the object of desire for Krystufek?'
There is more to see than can be shown in a couple of hours so I decided to end the tour for Kyle with the power house duo of Shirin Neshat and Ghada Amer. It really is hard to follow the impact of them together. He grabbed my hand and asked, 'Will you show me more? I know there is more why stop?' I honestly responded, 'There's always more art Kyle. Come back on Saturday and if you really want to see more then you will want to make the effort to show up.'I'll be here by 8 sharp,' was his declaration. I left him with, '9 sharp would be better.'
Posted by Clyde at 3:00 PM
Labels: Carolee Schneemann, Elke Krystufek, Hannah Wilke, live performance, marlene dumas, Natacha Merritt, performance artists, Shirin Neshat, valie export, Vanessa Beecroft, visual hall of fame
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Where do I begin?
While driving on the Severn Bridge on my way to Cardiff, Wales I felt the sun for the first time in days. I would be lying if I told you that the shock of the last week had worn off yet. I chose to drive myself from the airport to rehearsals for the ADP tour because I needed to clear my head. I did't consider that I had never driven on the wrong side of the road before. I flew into Manchester and a pair of very kind eyes seemed to size me up effortlessly. He gave me a map, explained everything he thought I would need to know in order to get to Wales and physically I got there without a hitch. I knew if I didn't drive myself and talk through the last many days of hell, I would be useless to everybody and that's not what I want. I had packed my bags before the art exhibition I was involved with. I had planned it perfectly or I would never have taken the job to be involved with the gallery in the first place. What I didn't count on in a million years was this sense of failure that I would have to contend with after putting so much time and love into this visual art presentation. I had written my thoughts down the morning after the gala event. I need to post it so that I can move on...
The opening has left me tired and feeling empty. The night it-self was buzzing with excitement. Was it a success? The reaction has been explosive... positive and negative. I was taught as a child from my grandmother that this kind of reaction, when you are the gallery, is never a bad thing. There have been lines of people wanting to see what all the ruckus is about. So, from that standpoint, there is no reason to be down. What bothers me, when I can quiet my racing thoughts for half a second, is the way some of these artists and their works have been mis-understood. When I read all the critiques, I am left feeling as if I have failed some of these women artists. "Maybe just maybe" I think to myself, "if I had helped to present them in a different sequence, maybe then the literal mind would have been more open to the abstract." Of all people, my friend Santa was the one who actually predicted to me on the night of the opening what some of the papers and the online reports would say about some of these women. At the time, I was horrified when I saw her giving this well-known little man a mental dressing down. Only our friend Isabel saw this and as I stood frozen and shocked, I think I saw Isabel smile calmly almost as if to say, 'Let her go she knows what she's on about.' So I stayed out of the way. What I did not know in that frame of a second was what Santa had already ferreted out.... What the critique of this little man would be about the exhibition. And I say the word "little" not because of his looks but because of his heart. But it was Santa who realized first that this critic was going to slice the work of the sensitive, powerful art and only praise one or 2 women in the whole exhibition.
Because he writes for such an influential paper, this does matter.... in our world, unfortunately. I had personally called some of these women artists originally when their agents had been reserved about such a broad concept. I explained how I would personally be involved. Having had some success over the years with exhibitions they chose to trust me and eventually they agreed. The gallery is happy. Business is booming. I have heard nothing from the artists or their agents since the reviews have been published. I woke up to a bird tapping on my window. I took it to mean, 'Clyde come outside.' Am I running? Maybe. I keep getting texts from Kyle, which is thoughtful. But I have nothing to say, not right now. This is not about him so I have to work through it myself. I realize the response from the reviews is out of my control but I was so sure, so positive that these artists would be understood because of the way that I conceived their presentation. Wrong. All wrong. How did I get it so wrong?....... If I didn't have to be in the U.K. imminently I would be jumping in my car and driving. Driving where? It wouldn't matter. I just have to get out of here.
Posted by Clyde at 12:26 PM
Labels: art, travel, UK
Friday, June 8, 2007
Use of Light
I had needed more time in Paris so until recently I had stayed on. After having played my first show, I had to come to terms with the reality that I've waited my whole life to express certain emotions about certain events about certain people. After this show, it was agreed that I stay in Paris and process this intersection of feeling. Not until I immersed every chakra of my whole being as I walked through the Musee d'Orsay did I begin to consider my real father. Not my stepfather or as Pip calls him, my step-monster, but really consider my birth father. He was an artist. Yes he is still alive. No we have never met. My mother had come to study in Paris from the States. He was married; she was feeble and ill. It had gone on for so long. A small group of painters had moved around him. It was she who was a model in several of his paintings that I have observed from afar. There's not a lot to tell really. She got pregnant. He couldn't leave his wife. She fled back to America, never looking back. She remarried when I was 12; at 13 I moved in with my Gran and with my Granddad- to this day, the healthiest choice I ever made in my life about anything. I understand him more now. To watch people look at his paintings, I see him through different pairs of eyes without the rejection. I'm beginning to get to know him by studying how he works with light. There've been so many visual artists in my life and I wonder if that's because I just wanted to be close to him. Not for long, not to be the center, never that. This morning it was early as we drove into Vienna. I had slept with art books that are filled with masterpieces. Isabel encouraged me to learn about my father as an artist, not as my father as a man through the eyes of my mother. Not as a father that never knew his daughter. This is a beginning of an unknown relationship. Now how I was privy to such an intimate scene that I'm about to write of is a mystery, or was it fate. Through friends of Gran in Paris, I was invited to a family evening. I watched a little girl try and play the piano; no it was more like an electronic keyboard. The names of the notes had been taped to the keys. Someone had been trying to teach her. What a great idea I thought, although sticking pieces of tape on Tori's Bose with the keys written out even for the most precocious little girl in the world, would probably be the right idea but definitely on the wrong keyboard. Still, I filed the thought to tell her anyway. She's always up for a good idea even if it's not one she applies to herself. So here I was, enthralled by the teaching methods and the little girl, Sophie. She got mad. I mean really upset. She threw herself on a chair nearby hiding her face, she started to cry. A happy quiet kind of man sat down at her small keyboard coaxing her back to it, no lie. This patient human sat with her and sat with her, ignoring the party, ignoring the grown ups- Sophie, Sophie we try again... go glower. Let's start slower. We need a metronome, oui. But Papa... And so it went- back and forth, encouraging her with kindness and gentleness they began to make progress. She was still upset and I smiled. I woke up today in Vienna, smiling again with a new patience and many art books studying a painter's use of light.
Posted by Clyde at 5:31 PM
Labels: light, paris, vienna
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
A picnic had been prepared by us with everything we would need for an overnight sojourn if required. Isabel and I drove; she had been here before. She has been anywhere and everywhere particularly if a wolf pack has ever traversed a particular terrain. Isabel, I'm convinced now, is a she-wolf disguised in human form. Some humans are closer to animals than to people or I should say, more trusting of animals than people. Laws of nature are ingrained in Isabel. She had seen that these iron miniatures in Vienna had caught my eye. I was compelled to purchase a few specific creatures from an out of the way art shop. Leaving Vienna she said, "we need to get you into the forest Clyde. Nature paints as well as any of your respected masters".
With that statement she was exacting her plans into place. The Black Forest if I hadn't been before I'm certainly am now convinced is alive with stories, or tales, or legends. Can legends be real life happenings concurrent to this modern age, but always on replay if you can cross dimensional space? I've been pondering. On the way into the Forest, Isabel informed me about the many editions of folk tales or fairytales that the Brothers Grimm had compiled. They had been compiling since the early 19th century. What I found noteworthy specifically was that the brothers were linguists. They stumbled into this gathering of stories, which are now read slightly less than the Bible and Shakespeare. With all of this historical information being explained to me on our drive, I wasn't positive where I was being led...after the picnic and sufficed to say with Isabel's picnics you can't pinpoint which herb or which root or which mixture of both is affecting you. For the most part it can be subtle- for the most part. But then there are always those times when you feel as if you've walked into a painting and the painting comes alive, well this was one of those times. There I was in a waking dream state and the Forest was holding all possibilities open for me. I've never had a fantasy of being on a game show, any kind of game show where you can pick to experience what's behind a curtain or what's behind a door or how much money is printed on the inside of the box. The idea of getting it wrong makes me hyperventilate. But here I was watching Isabel's long graceful arms reflecting the moon in the full light of day, forming an arch and pointing to different paths that I could take in the forest. I asked her "Can you tell me what each path holds for me?"
"No Clyde I can't tell you that."
"Because I don't know what each path holds for you. It depends on your choices at every turn."
I looked around; there were seven choices. In retrospect I believe now that there were seven tales, or stories that I could have walked into. I walked onto one and then something in me thought- I need to choose a more complicated path. So I crawled over some fallen wood, silently Isabel followed me and I looked at her and said, "Can you tell me the path that I didn't take".
She smiled and said, "You chose not to walk into the story of Snow White and Rose Red."
I was disappointed I must say I've always loved that story.
I looked at her and said, "Can I go back and have that one".
"Do you really want to?"
I said, "No I've chosen this one".
"Alright then you will know soon enough."
Within about fifteen minutes or so, there was no doubt in my mind that I had walked into Little Red Riding Hood. Hour after hour we got deeper and deeper and deeper into the story, watching it all happen before our eyes. I began to consider with every step the word Predator. This word gets used a lot in the animal kingdom. It is a word that when I say it, I don't see animals. There is a specific set of eyes. I didn't see the wolf for one moment, as anything but a representation, a human predator and that face will be different for each person that walks into this story. With different twists and turns on the path, I began to figure out that my choices would play out different versions of the story. I never knew how many versions there were of Little Red Riding Hood. As I approached the final chapter of the story, I heard the trees whisper- there is nothing to be afraid of, girls will become women, and no predator can stop that. Many hours later Isabel and I sat under the stars talking about the experience. She reached out for my hand and then took both of them, looked me in the eye and said, "You made the strongest choice you possibly could Clyde. You didn't walk the victim's path. Do you understand how you took control of the situation"?
I looked up at the darkness of the sky, the trees were still swaying, there was a warm breeze. We were staying in a little town within the Black Forest. I had chosen a version of Little Red Riding Hood that I had never heard before. You don't know what you're choosing until it is upon you because you walk onto a stone or around a tree and all of the sudden you've walked into the next dimension of the fairytale itself. How Isabel finds these worlds, I don't know. But once you've made your choice you can't walk back through the portal when you cross over into another chapter of the story. Then the events play out before your eyes. In this way you are a participant although you're not one of the characters themselves. Little Red Riding Hood was in front of me at all times, just by inches. And she couldn't hear me, but I could hear her as well as all the other characters and creatures. In this version, my little red riding hood saw through the wolf's disguise, tried to escape by tricking her grandmother with the excuse that she needed to defecate and did not want to do so in her "grandmother's" soft bed. The predator grandmother allowed my little red riding hood this quick release if she promised to come back instantly, while tying a string from her devouring paw to the little girl, around little red riding hood's wrist. Clever Red slips the string over something else and got away.
Posted by Clyde at 2:36 PM
Labels: Bible, black forest, Brothers Grimm, clyde, Isabel, Little Red Riding Hood, Shakespeare, vienna
Monday, June 18, 2007
Once Step Closer
The last week has been beyond taxing as far as the traveling schedule goes. I watched quietly from a distance as everyone wrestled with the demands. You gotta figure that in a group of so many people there are the obvious professional travelers, they are ones that take to it no different than a duck to water and then of course there are the white knuckle vodka drinkers that are praying from the moment they walk into the airport to the moment they walk out of one. Out of the posse, I would say we're all relatively decent travelers. With Santa it's always about her bag limit, with Pip she wants to fly the plane, with Isabel there's never a drama. Tori has to travel with her mom hat on and I, well I'd rather not be around so many strangers. After the Oslo show Santa went off with Isabel to explore the Norwegian coast. Apparently Isabel had some friends that have quite a spread there, so they drove spend the night and then would meet us in Berlin. The idea of Santa in the countryside is a 7 on the 1-10 shock scale, however, I have been noticing some pretty odd behavior form her lately. The party girl that glimmers as the lights of a city rise appears to be in a more contemplative mood. Oh of course there's a passion for all that is alive and breathing and sensual, but there's something else there now, a pinning that's just me, that's just conjecture on my part. A strange occurrence went down over the last couple of weeks. Essentially some pro footballer mentioning no names and that would be soccer for those Americans reading this just flies in to take Santa to dinner. How they met up I don't know, probably at one of Nef's crazy gatherings. As much as I can tell, it's strictly platonic from Santa's end. The last time he came in and took her to dinner I heard her door open at around 11 in the evening. I had been doing some research on my computer and something in me just decided to look. I don't consider myself a snoop. I try and mind my own business, but I just had to see for myself if this guy was flying in because he was getting a whole lot of something that she wasn't telling us or if the platonic show on her part was really for real. I heard a pertly click of high heels go past. I quietly opened my door and there she was all by her lonesome, happy as a clam, going into her room. Now as we all know, some girls pop up to their room do a quick spritz and the gentleman comes knocking within fifteen minutes with chilled champagne. So fifteen minutes goes by and of all things, my phone rings.
"Clyde would you like to pop in for a nightcap?"
I acted surprised, "are you on your own?"
"Of course I'm on my own silly."
We had our nightcap, after a few sips I gathered up the courage. I said, "Santa baby a star footballer does not fly in more than once, bearing gifts just to be friend-sies"
"Clyde I swear, hand on my heart, I am not leading this geezer on."
"What have you told him then," I asked her.
"Well, I've told him that I'm not in a place to start a relationship and I'm not sleeping with anybody that I'm not going to have a relationship with."
I looked at her with my hands up in the air, "And..."
"And he says when you are ready, I'll be there. I've told him I may never be there. I've also told him that it's best if I don't see him until we're back in London because there's a lot to deal with."
I looked at her and said, "Because we're closer to St. Petersburg isn't it."
She was noncommittal and waved me a goodnight. We leave Deutschland and begin entering into Poland, once step closer to Russia.
Posted by Clyde at 9:59 AM 22 comments
Labels: berlin, clyde, Isabel, nef, norwegian coast, pip, santa
Monday, June 25, 2007
Could I live here
Awake now since before 6am, I am in the midst of processing the past few days. Prague is a possible place to explore living in for a while, I had considered Paris but I am of the sound mind that Paris was the canvas for my mother's adventure. Also my birthfather has laid claim to that city. Knowing all of this I had decided to allow a place to speak to me and possibly become my next destination once the tour comes to its natural conclusion. I write now of my experience of Prague from sweet memories as I sit in my hotel room in Budapest.
May I begin with the most important tip I was given. Walking is the only way to fully immerse yourself in the old section of Prague. Knowing what I know now would've saved me having to buy a pair of Adidas after naively setting off in a pair of flip-flops. Cobblestone streets are everywhere and truth be told you won't want to stop exploring. I must have walked more in Prague than anywhere else in Europe thus far. I was on my own which may have been a blessing as I go over the events of the last few days. By being alone, Prague itself became my companion. Isabel had invited me to go with her and her trusty camera but I wanted to be a tourist and she needed to be a photographer and we both knew those can be two very different journeys. I've been giving Pips her space. We've known each other for so long that words aren't really necessary. I can feel her and I know that she is on the hunt. When she's ready to formulate all that she has been collecting there will be a knock on my door usually before daybreak with room service in tow and a dissertation of information. But until then she stays in the shadows gathering clues and clocking every player's move. As for Santa....well I'm blowed. Pardon my French but what other expression can cover it? Gobsmacked, utterly speechless. A jaw dropper. We walked into the hotel in Prague and suddenly Santa stopped dead in her tracks. Across the lobby was a tall dark handsome staring back at her. Suffice it to say that Santa has not been seen since, not even in Bratislava. Word has it that the two of them are flying into today. I honestly know no more than that.
Posted by Clyde at 12:19 PM
Labels: tori amos clyde blog paris prague live
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I really shouldn't laugh. I realize that the whole unfortunate incident was and is not a laughing matter but now that it's over, I can't suppress the hysterics. Firstly, traveling has been frequent and touring has been eventful in many and varied ways so I apologize for not submitting an entry in ages. Yes, many events have occurred. Yes, I want to write about them but before I begin, I must report the bizarre and hysterical. There we were in the Istanbul airport getting a coffee and Pip was last in line getting a few things. All of a sudden this huge man commented on how long she was taking. Extremely rude and the quintessential Ugly American he was. Oh brother. You have no idea what he got. She turned around and told him to back off and he wouldn't so she proceeded to loudly undress him in front of the whole line ending with his itty-bitty teensy weensy penis. Whew. In the heat of the whole affair you began to see the Ugly American male giant shrink and the small American female grow in size and I thought boy, that idiot bully had no idea the tongue lashing in store for him. He just picked on the wrong girl. Other than that, Istanbul was calm. Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque holding their secrets within their ancient walls...my mind began to wonder how such complexity can be created with so few tools. The awe these creations inspired is justified. The heat was toasting me a slight brown. I was basking in it. As I am here in Athens, I sat outside with friends at a cafe tucked away in the hills on the way to the Acropolis. I refuse to think about any problems today, they will all be waiting for me when I take my rose colored glasses off.
Posted by Clyde at 11:15 AM
Friday, September 14, 2007
Still Life of Sydney Harbor
Soon after the tour ended in Europe, I had been invited to stay with some friends in San Francisco. Going back home had not been an option for me at this time. I guess the only way to deal with certain unresolved relationships is just to avoid them all together, so I did. I met a lot of people hooked into the art scene while I was in S.F. and its made me think about what I want to create now that I'm not living in the shadow of a great artist. I didn't realize how incredibly intimidating it can be to be involved with somebody who is so naturally good at what they do, so I've been doing an excessive amount of self-editing for the past few years. So much so that I've finally faced the fact that I've edited myself out of my own destiny. What is my destiny as an artist? I've never given myself the green light to even try. Yesterday I spent the whole day going from ferryboat to ferryboat in the Sydney Harbor. In its own way Sydney reminds me of a crazy cocktail made up of San Francisco, L.A., and London all perfectly shaken up. Because I've never been here before, I didn't know what to expect and for the first time I decided not to go to a museum in order to define a city. There is a freedom that I was drinking in with every ride that I took. The sun was beaming down almost beckoning me to come here and although I met some people in San Francisco that have affected me and I won't bore you with that now, there is plenty of time to talk about all that. But I'm not convinced that a budding artist wouldn't have a lot to inspire them if they resettled here.
I told Santa about it and she rolled her eyes and said, " Mon dieu, you can't be serious Clyde. You've only been here a little more than a day and you who never makes an impulsive move is considering moving thousands of miles away from all of us?"
I smiled and drank the champagne that she gave me because it was her way of telling me that she would miss me.
Posted by Clyde at 10:36 AM
Thursday, September 27, 2007
It had been decided that I would play Brisbane but as we all stood in the venue at soundcheck, I didn't feel in my soul that I was the right choice. Santa was asked to step up. She gave me a tilt of her head, a gesture I found immensely telling. In this gesture was the present and the future. By serving the whole she would sacrifice playing Sydney. We all knew it! Do the numbers
Pip of all people, voiced, "Let me do this Santa, I know what playing Sydney means to you."
"Yes Pipster, but do you know what playing Brisbane means to me?" And with that she was off.
Pip hugged me and said, "Jesus Clyde you realize that Santa's handed you the Opera House?"
I smiled, "She has hasn't she... In this second, old friend, I have fallen in love with that compassionate tart."
Pip actually gave me a husky grin, "In this moment old friend, I'd almost fight you for her."
For me, leaving Sydney is almost like saying goodbye to a special friend, but we have to move on. I know that there are other places to experience on this tour. Still, I want to highly recommend Sydney as a place to spend some time if you just need a change in your life, but still want to be in a city. To all the friends that I made while I was there, you are treasured.
Posted by Clyde at 9:56 AM
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
How a book comes to be in your possession...friends that have passed over to the other side must sleep at specialty bookshops. Cover art beckoned me from the display window; trancelike I walked through the open door. Titles I have not seen before, words tapping my flesh demanding my attention. I wanted to open the pages, those which had transfixed my senses, and then rest my bones to the page in order to merge. It became apparent that a specific order of images wanted to meld with my person. Each of my charkas had chosen a visual counterpart union. A joining of paper and flesh. Trees infused with visions seep into a lone woman. Blocking out then detaching from given surroundings, I took the stack of books to an aisle that whispered, "We are alone". At the moment when I had the images perfectly adjusted, I lay down next to this vertical cacophony and then proceeded to gently place myself over them.
"Jesus Christ Clyde!! Busloads of blue hairs are attacking," Santa turned to me then immediately whipping herself back around opened her trenchcoat- blocking my intimacy from the prying stampeding herd. I touched each image for the last time through the technique of imprintation through the act of a deep breath or seven deep breaths in rapid succession.
Before leaving Australia, an actor, a force and a woman had brought gifts for us. The wine that her family produces dates as far back as 1843. I am drinking the 1843 Freedom Shiraz as I write these thoughts. Synchronicity is what I live for. More poetic than the religious mantra, "a miracle," synchronicity is the true music of the Universe, thoughts harmonizing with matter. Ideas and actions. Union. The Red Tree, a children's book, somehow got mixed up in my things. Someone mistakenly had placed it in my travel bag. The fact that Tash and I have the same make of travel bags has, at this moment, dawned on me. On one of the pages, a striking picture stared back at me...letters spill out of a megaphone. Hidden surprises have been illustrated by Shaun Tan, the effect better than the best Easter egg hunt. The Red Tree has captured my doubts and given them a new job to do. Their new job is not to doubt but to faithfully find the magic imaging etched into every page. Faces form out of hundreds of leaves. Swelling to storm proportions inside the little girl's room. Magic is still alive on something as simple as a piece of paper.
Posted by Clyde at 2:56 PM
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