Turtle Clan Worship & Tribulations

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 about  “Life Tools Power Objects” project

Napo B - Prêt à Porter
Napo B – Prêt à Porter

I arrived in Marseilles with approximately a hundred and eighty dollars US on me, the first night I stayed in divey hotel away from the harbour, in a room stacked with furniture which had to climb over to get to my bed. Surreal and funny if you’ve had a few glasses of red wine, but in the morning it was a sinking feeling as I got up and ready with my only lead, a friend of a friend name and phone number.  After meeting at a local cafe she agreed to let me stay in an empty room in her apartment in exchange for some handy work that had to be done.

Right away I had to begin my mission in Marseilles, which was to paint for ten days, have a sell out show and then travel to the next destination, this is something that my friend Anna Boghigyan had done for years. Her approach of art making as a social network of coffee houses and studio flops or couch surfing, this is pre cell phone and internet era. She would hang out, paint and draw inscesantly while socializing, have a show, sell out, get a plane ticket and move on. She had given me the name of Jean Pierre Allis, a Marseilles gallarist and Sylvain Gerard a local artist, despite my introductions they both kept me on hold for sometime. So I had to move on to scouting out potential galleries, which brought me to Le Panier which was  the Lower East Side scene of Marseilles, with small galleries collected around La Vielles Charitée, cafés and atteliers. Le Panier is the ancient walled city of Marseilles, with narrow twisted streets and four and six story stone buildings blocking the sunlight. I checked out the galleries and was drawn to La Gallerie Palinure, where I met the gallery director Christine Cabannes, I talked about my plans of doing a performance in the square across from the La Chartee. She let me know, I might get arrested and I should consider presenting my work on sunday afternoon in front of the gallery.

While working on the apartment fixing stuff I had to go to a local hardware on the harbor. The place sold art supplies and I was floored at the price of oil paints, but fortunately I had decided to bring over forty five kilos of paint supplies so I narrowly escaped having my plans of making paintings and selling them collapse before my eyes. While looking around the store I wandered into the back store room where boxes of antique low relief wall paper sat at the centre of the room.  “Monsieur, c’est fermee” a clerk had discovered me but after a bit of chat I was told I could help myself to what ever I wanted because they where getting ready to chuck it out. The only art supply I bought was liquid lucite, something banned in North America and supposedly toxic, but oh what an amazing medium to work with. I had also brought drawings, acetate drawings that I could project with a clear bulb onto the painting, written notes. All this material built with layers of antique wallpaper and lucite which became the canvas for my turtle paintings. For ten days I painted and spent the evenings, at openings, at parties, in bars at cafe, then went home and painted some more.  I spent allot of time going to openings, early on I had made my own invitations and was busy distributing them, I would ask to leave invites in the galleries and exchange would distribute and promote there shows. As it turned out, the  gallery would be empty and available Sunday for me to show, for one day; so I decided I would do a performance presenting the turtle paintings. The evening of the the opening the gallery was packed with people, with even a crowd outside smoking cigarettes and drinking wine.

Below is the turtles and text from that performance, and the idea of the “Prêt à Porter” exhibition, ready to go, and that is how it went with the show selling out in an hour and happy art lovers carrying away all the turtles to their new homes. Anna’s formula of the travell

The Bivouac Performance

“People have gathered in the gallery, I am down the street at my friend, Hubert Oddo’s gallery studio waiting.   At six o’clock I make my way to the gallery, carrying the turtles, I am barefoot and dressed in pajamas, hair hanging down to my back, I enter the gallery and lay the turtles face up in front of me.  I pick them up one at a time, holding it in front of me so I am hidden. Speaking for the turtle I recite a short verse that describes the scene depicted on it’s shell. Afterwards I move to specific spot and hang it, and return to do the same with all twelve turtles. The turtles are the apostles of my human desires, aspirations, tribulations.


Cooking DNA with mirrors
Cooking DNA with hand mirrors

La cuisson de la DNA  avec les miroirs à main est  fait avec l’aide de miroirs pecission fabriqués  après l’arrivée des Vénitiens à la Cour de Louis Quatorze. Sans l’utilisation d’appareils de bonne qualiter, il ya une chance de se réveiller avec une tête de tortue.


Arrival of the infamous drag queen, Catherine De Medici to  Marseille.
Arrival of the infamous drag queen, Catherine De Medici to Marseille.

Peter Paul Ruben et sa peinture de l’arrivée de la drag queen infâme, “Catherine de Médicis” à Marseille apparu dans les rêves de Napoléon vers 1500. Quelque part les gangs planches ont été sabordé dans les quatre directions, permettant aux gardes de Catherine de rejoindre un homme sur le bord du quai  qui joue au petanque.


Censorship & Art

La mère et le petit enfant sont au Musée des Antiquités et l’Art, de l’art malheureusement passé et oublié. L’enfant se complaît dans une peinture depuis longtemps oublié des chaussures de Louis XIV, et à côté de lui un tableau par Jacopo Zuchii peint en 1541, intitulé “Psyché Surprises L’Amour”. La vue des fleurs explosent du sex de psyché  ravit l’enfant. L’éducation involontaire de l’enfant a son propre calendrier, aucun parent ne peut arrêter cela.


Sexborg Madness
Sexborg Madness

Le miroir à la main, je te cherchais, et de toute façon je ne pouvais pas te voir, et ça ma fait plaisir et ça me fait peur. J’ai mes propres semences, ma vie, ma propre histoire et vous votre propre histoire. En l’absence de ciel, les anges ne peuvent pas rentrer a la maison, et toutes les abeilles son venu comme la pluie pour me sauvé par un baiser. A l’arrivée du Mistral  Les Demoiselles Sur L’Herbe prend du recul androgyne dans la nature brute.


Time Forgotten
Time Forgotten

Le temps a oublié un enfant, elle est sous son couvre-lit a baver sur ses catalogues de semences parce que le printemps sera bientôt là.  Pendant ce temps ailleurs, “M. Kronos, le tribunal voudrait savoir, avez-vous manger vos enfants avec une cuillère ou une fourchette, ou les avez-vous dévorer comme Goya nous a montré dans ses peintures”.


Glamour Puss
Glamour Puss

L’heure du raffinement est ici et ont appersoit le reflet de Bernini qui examine le lapin “Glamour Puss” fascinés par sont reflet   Dans le l’atelier, nous entendons sa femme enceinte demander: “où est votre humanité”, à laquelle il répond: “Je garde mon humanité dans le miroir”.


NB 1996

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