HELSINKI VODKA - HOW FINNS RELAX
31 March 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Long and diligent work of Ukrainian and Finnish specialists was crowned by the creation of Helsinki vodka - unique for its combination of “Lux” class spirit, made of selected sorts of grain at the best factories of Ukraine, and extraordinarily clean artesian water, being subjected to five levels of cleaning and having definite content and softness. Helsinki vodka has been made to satisfy demanding taste of those who can compare and choose a decent combination of softness and cleanliness of taste. As any elite drink, you need to taste Helsinki vodka to feel its extraordinary, mysterious and clean flavor.
Helsinki Vodka - is a genuine Ukrainian product but if I showed it as art in Helsinki, everybody would think that I've made up the brand. Even in the globalized world it's sometimes enough to take things from one place or context to another to fill them up with meanings. But this idea is hard to realize: in Finland, consuming, selling and advertising spirits is extremely restricted and it would be difficult to import the Helsinki Vodka bottles and illegal to sell them in a gallery.
MANIFESTO OF REALISTIC ART
28 March 2008, Cervera de los Montes
I’ve been invited to do a collaboration for …might be good, a digital art magazine published by Testsite, a project space in Austin, Texas, where I did a show with Jani some years ago. I made a new drawing for them using a local prostitute's internet ad.
Testsite's Laurence and Mary Katherine were concerned of the legal issues of publishing the genuine telephone number. Mary Katherine said that the United States can be very strict about such things. But it's not only the conservative Texas and the politically correct United States. In December, I did a wall painting at Kunsthalle Helsinki with a local prostitute's ad and Riikka, who curated the show, got a nervous about it.
My art is real and true and that’s sometimes difficult and shocking to the people and the society. Imaginery worlds are beautiful but we are in this world. I think that the function of the art is to show how the world is. Utopian art is criminal! There are enough paradise iseland on the TV. This is the manifesto of realistic art.
DOMESTIC TERRORISM (PARIS REMIX)
26 March 2008, Cervera de los Montes
These are the labels for the Domestic Terrorism (Paris Remix) bottles, that I'll show at Galerie e.l Bannwart in April: bouillabaisse, cyclosarin, döner kebab, tularemia, ketchup, mustard gas, coq au vin, cyanogen chloride, champagne, yellow fever, camembert, cholera, french onion soup, Marburg virus, Coke, miso soup, sarin, guacamole, soman, mayonnaise, brucellolis, café au lait, tabun, gazpacho, machupo, spaghetti bolognese, Q fever, whisky, smallpox, chutney, pastis, agent 15, crème brulee, chlorine, consommé, instant ramen, borscht, kolokol-1, ratatouille, diphosgene, chicken curry, tsatsiki, mycotoxins, cuisses de grenouille, chopped liver, hydrogen cyanide, HP sauce, anthrax, paella, shigella, cuba libre, lewisite, cognac, scrambled eggs, saxitoxin, sauce hollandaise, ebola, couscous, baked beans, phosgene, marmalade, chloropicrin, hummus, bubonic plague, petit suisse, psittacosis, chardonnay, glanders, Waldorf salad, typhus, and wonton soup.
22 March 2008, Cervera de los Montes
The change from the hectic Helsinki to the tranquil Cervera was even bigger than normally: now we are completely isolated without telephone lines and internet connection. Copper is very valuable at the moment and Telefonica´s cabels have been stolen. If I were a thief, I´d steel something sexier, for example sports cars or designer bags but I understand that everybody can't do just fun things.
Now I´m doing only the most urgent work: the Montehermoso project proposal with Judas, chemical warfare milk bottles for Paris, and a Gold Wax illustration for Sylvian magazine. Most of my time, I´m going to spend fixing and ordering the house: Viivi is sending in soon a photographer to take pictures of our home for the Finnish Trendi magazine.
FIDEL CASTRO STYLE
17 March 2008, Helsinki
On Friday, I lectured in Tampere University of Applied Sciences. Fanni had booked me for seven hours and I was a bit afraid beforehand thinking that maybe I don't have enough things to say. But finally I had no problems, the students listened me with adoring faces and I was like Fidel Castro speaking hour after hour on the podium. I felt inteligent and important but the disappointment came in the last minute: a fourth grade student asked me what is a curator. I was speaking them about literature when they couldn't even read. That night in Jani's amazing birhday party at Hotel Klaus K, back in Helsinki, I met Minna and Petri, who are both professors in Tampere, and I told them that next year I need a whole week to get my message through. Today, I give the same set in the Academy of Fine Arts here in Helsinki. Maybe there they now the alpabets. The A is for Art, the B is for (Warhol's) Banana, and the C is for Curator but the real question is, should the young artists sleep with them or not.
12 March 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Jani phoned me. Tomorrow, he comes to pick me up at the Helsinki Airport. He's my best friend. He changed the date of his big birthday party at Hotel Klaus Kurki for me. Then he told me that a gentleman with an aristocratic surname visited his studio, bought the work that Jani just had started to paint, paid immediately €5000 in cash and asked to have 20 paintings more.
I asked Jani to analyze how that happens. And why it happens to him. I go to lecture with the title Young Artist’s Survival Kit on Friday at Tampere University of Applied Sciences and I do the same think next Monday at The Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. Anyways, I’m happy that Jani has money because I’m always broke. My Artfacts ranking is 5000 positions higher than his but I’d change my ranking points to his €5000 any time.
10 March 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Zapatero’s capitalism with a human face won the Spanish elections yesterday. I’m somewhat happy because his rival Rajoy had promised to turn the clocks back to the dystopian times of Franquist dictatorship. Even though Zapatero is not going to save the world, his government makes living in Spain a little bit more alegre.
The electoral campaign between the socialists and the conservatives was hot but it was even hotter in our house the day before the elections: we had a fire. An electrical network inside the wall short circuited and flamed. I was surprised that I kept calm and knew hot to act. I ordered my wife to take our daughter to the patio, I got the fire extinguisher and put out the fire. I felt like a real man saving my family and the house. Now we need an electrician to fix the electrical system of our house.
I think that Zapatero is like me, he can use the extinguisher but what we really need is a professional electrician, not a firefighter aficionado. We need to change the entire system.
06 March 2008, Cervera de los Montes
In the 1970's Any Warhol said "The most beautiful thing in Tokyo is McDonald's. The most beautiful thing in Stockholm is McDonald's. Peking and Moscow don't have anything beautiful yet."
Now the world is much more beautiful. There is a McDonald's franchise even is Cuba - in the infamous U.S base Guantanamo Bay. You can also find an authentic and beautiful Big Mac in Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Gibraltar, Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia , South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela.
I DON'T WRITE LOVE SONGS
04 March 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Next Sunday, the citizens of the Kingdom of Spain vote for the parliament and the president of the government. We immigrants don't have the right to vote. I must act other ways: curse to PP's loudspeaker propaganda car and teach my two-year-old daughter to say "I hate Mariano Rajoy". It's not difficult because her biggest nightmare is Santa Claus - and Mr. Rajoy has same style beard.
I don't write Christmas carols. I do political art. But I prefer to listen to love songs. Yesterday night before the big TV debate between Rajoy and Zapatero, the respected leftist journalist Iñaki Gabilondo said that "we like politics". I don't like politics. The people who say they do are perverted. Politics is necessary but disgusting, just like cleaning the toilet.