DOWN WITH THE DESIGN
27 November 2009, Cervera de los Montes
Helsinki was appointed World Design Capital 2012. You can imagine how self-satisfied the Finns feel. Krista phoned me early in the morning and said that she remembered how I was speaking in Skopje against the design. She said that we should do an anti-design project for these smug an patriotic celebrations.
Design is a modernist concept that was used to construct concentration camps and killing fields. In the infamous totalitarianisms of the 20th century everything was designed and the society and the oppression worked like a machine. Everything was controlled and there was no place for chaos or creativity. Even though those utopias collapsed, now it seems that some people wish to design a beautiful neoliberalist totalitararianism and the architecture, urban design and industrial design are they powerful tools.
In the modersnit era celebrated architects built Le Corbusier ghettos to separate the white and the black, the rich and the poor. Now the machines to control people are build by Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid. Houses, blocks and neighborhoods that have defined and inflexible functions.
Design makes people numb and passive – easier to control - because every designed object has only one determined use. Designers may be creative genii but the users of their objects and concepts are not allowed even to think.
26 November 2009, Cervera de los Montes
This year, I don't have to travel anywhere any more. What a luxury life! I spend time with my daughter playing in puddles and constructing a gingerbread house. We wrote to Santa and the Kings from the East asking a bunk bed for Keka and Bebe, her favorite dolls.
I'm also back in the studio, now occupied with the hanging paper scrolls I bought in Beijing. First, I was thinking about drawing on them but I think calligraphy is more exciting - this means in my case writing lists. I've proposed to Emilie to show these works in Paris in the beginning of 2010, interesting to know what she thinks. I'll use some old lists and now I'm working with a very extensive index of Chinese escort girls. One of my favorite girls:
Education: Middle school
English level: Good
SARDINHAS EM AZEITE
22 November 2009, Lisbon
I'm having a coffee at the Lisbon airport (the Portuguese coffee is the best in the world), after attending to a Pepinieres meeting designing the future residencies and mobility for young artitsts. As always, the others want more residencies and talk about how to extend them to other planets and solar systems. I try to remind them that in few years we may not be flying around like we've used to but they say that I'm just a boring tree hugger. And of course it's possible that I've been lately flying more than anybody else in the meeting. Anyways, I'm trying now a virtual residency, as a pilot project, with Achilleas at his Artos Foundation in Nicosia. We'll design this week what a virtual residency means.
I'd prefer not to travel but I must admit that Lisbon is always a beautiful experience. Carla took me on Friday night by a ferry to the other side of the river to walk in the abandoned industrial riverbank and watch the city lights. Saturday's high light was an authentic Fado place - no tourists - where Paulo took us to have dinner. I just felt unsocial and escaped after the meal without saying goodbyes and the other continued dancing th night away. Sometimes, I have nothing to say to anybody.
RIIKO SAKKINEN SUITE
16 November 2009, Cervera de los Montes
I'm very happy with my new permamnet wall painting in the Riiko Sakkinen Suite in Hotel Klaus K and Helsinki was fo course fun. I had dinner with my mother at Demo, one of my favorite restaurants in the world, and also Klaus K's (K is not for Kinski, I think) 4th anniversary champagne dinner was cool. I drank every day champagne in Helsinki. Maybe it's too much luxury for me. Some of my friends there don't care about the money because they are filthy wealthy. After that, it's difficult to land to my real life and compare the prices ofthe products in a discount supermarket. Or maybe I just love this double life. I'm not sure.
This time, it was also difficult to come back due to the strike of Finnair's pilots. Klaus K's lovely Noora helped me to reroute my cancelled flight and I arrived in Madrid via Zürich but my baggage didn't. Then I missed the last bus to Talavera and I had to rent a car. It was hard to fight against sleeping the last kilometers but I survived and now I'm home. On Thursday this time I'm flying to Lisbon.
HK CURRY FLAVOR CUP NOODLE ROBOT IN HELSINKI
11 November 2009, Helsinki
I'm painting a mural in Hotel Klaus K's Envy Plus Suite that will be renamed Sakkinen Suite on Friday when my work is finished. A huge Hong Kong Curry Flavor Cup Noodle Robot on the wall envies both traditional and contemporary Finnish food, from mykyrokka to pizza Berlusconi. Marc made clear that everything must be politically correct and I understand that. If you want total artistic freedom, you paint canvases in your studio, not wall in hotel rooms. What I like in this project, is doing my first permanent wall painting that is not painted over after an exhibition.
WHOM I THINK OF WHEN I MASTRUBATE IN HOTELROOMS
05 November 2009, Cervera de los Montes
Cheryl Cole, Megan Fox, Jessica Alba, Britney Spears, Keeley Hazell, Adriana Lima, Elisha Cuthbert, Kristin Kreuk, Anna Friel, Freida Pinto, Ana Ivanovic, Abbey Clancey, Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Kate Beckinsale, Summer Glau, Frankie Sandford, Marisa Tomei, Thandie Newton, Zoe Salmon, Natalie Portman, Olga Kurylenko, Katy Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Ali Larter, Jessica Biel, Hayden Panettiere, Eliza Dushku, Eva Mendes, Louisa Lytton, Amber Heard, Gemma Arterton, Diora Baird, Konnie Huq, Doutzen Kroes, Keira Knightley , Kimberley Walsh, Jennifer Metcalfe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Carla Bruni, Eva Longoria, Marissa Miller, Rihanna, Rachel Stevens, Maria Sharapova, Jessica Jane Clement, Emma Watson, Kelly Brook, Holly Valance, Alessandra Ambosio, Katie Melua, Georgie Thompson, Charlize Theron, Amii Grove, Isabel Lucas, Miranda Kerr, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts, Beyonce Knowles, Nicole Scherzinger, Alexa Chung, Alesha Dixon, Jessica Simpson, Madeline Zima, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Garner, Vanessa Hudgens, Odette Yustman, Malin Akerman, Heidi Klum, Hilary Duff, Kristen Bell, Emily Blunt, Holly Willoughby, Kate Moss, Taylor Swift, Christina Hendricks, Emma Willis, Katherione Jenkins, Emily Scott, Gemma Atkinson, Katherine Heigl, Michelle Ryan, Victoria Pendleton, Carmen Electra, Elizabeth Banks, Sarah Harding, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lily Allen, Lisa Snowdon, Christine Bleakley, Billie Piper, Ellen Page, Evangeline Lilly, Rachel Riley, Gemma Bissix, Dannii Minogue, Fiona Bruce, Lindsay Lohan, Mischa Barton and my wife.
Next Monday, I fly to Helsinki to paint an Envy plus Suite of Hotel Klaus K, so I'm going to spend almost all the next week alone in a hotel room. It's not going to be as lonely as usually - Jani sleeps and paint another room in the hotel.
IN MY SHOES
03 November 2009, Cervera de los Montes
A while ago, I got a peculiar request, I was asked to donate my shoes to a museum. Belgian Veerle Swenters and Pierre Bogaerts have been collecting artists' shoes for 20 years, including footwear from Martin Kippenberger and Georg Baselitz, and they have a stunning museum building in Kruishoutem, Belgium.
Now I'm waiting for UPS to collect my old pair of Brazilian Dupe flipflops, that I really never used because I hate the thong passing between the toes. First, my idea was to send there my old Campers that I've used for painting a couple of years but I found out that I had already thrown them away - I really didn't think that they could be worth of something and even end up in a permanent museum collection. Maybe it would have been more courageous to send just the jandals but I added a framed ad of a Brazilian prostitute- almost all services, home and hotel visits. Sounds like me.