DO YOU LIKE VOTING AND BEER
27 January 2012, Cervera de los Montes
Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.
I bussed to Madrid to vote in the decisive second round of the Finnish presidential election. My first round candidate, Left Alliance's Paavo Arhinmäki, didn't make it to the final duel and I was thinking not to travel 240km, pay €17 for the trip and lose one whole working day to vote Green League's Pekka Haavisto who I consider to be a pure right-winger in sheep's clothing. An openly homosexual president would give a shiny and liberal image to Finland but I believe, in the Marxist way, that the politics are about economy and in that issue the Green League is just like the conservative National Coalition Party. So I was thinking about not voting but my Spanish wife said that I had to and drove me to the bus station.
I felt awful after submitting my ballot at the Finnish Embassy but then I had some beers and hummus in Biblos, my favorite Lebanese bar in Madrid, whose owner Toni is politically as radical as I am. The only thing I dislike in the bar are the posters of FC Barcelona and visiting it the day after they eliminated Real Madrid from the Copa del Rey. Before traveling back to the village I had lunch with Abdul in Yulong, the subterranean Chinese bar at Plaza de España - it is just like any informal eatery in Beijing. The noodles are good but the dumplings are frozen.
If they organize a third round of the election with one candidate who would obtain 100% of the votes, I'm definitely not going again to Madrid.
THE BLACK BOOK OF DEMOCRACY
24 January 2012, Cervera de los Monte
The democratic regimes have killed, tortured, deliberated wars, built concentration camps, financed terrorist groups and employed weapons of mass destruction. Where there is a conflict, theres is a democratic country involved directly or indirectly. This is why I did The Black Book of Democracy: Crimes, Terror, Repression.
Other books with similar titles are The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (1997) and Le Livre Noir du Capitalism (1998).
CORRESPONDENCE WITH A CURATOR
20 January 2012, Cervera de los Montes
Fragments of the correspondence between the curator Siv Hofsvang and the artist Riiko Sakkinen:
20 May 2010
Dear Riiko Sakkinen,
My name is Siv Hofsvang, curator for the arts organization Punkt Ø in Moss, Norway. We are preparing an exhibition under the title Momentum Design - Art, Design and the Space Between. The exhibition will run from 3rd July to 3rd October this year at the Momentum Kunsthall, Moss. The curators of the upcoming Momentum Design, and myself especially, hope you will participate.
8 June 2010
We are insuring the works from nail to nail, and we are paying the artists a small fee.
19 October 2010
Really nice you will send me the press material! By the way, I remember that in the beginning you mentioned something about a honorarium. Is this still a valid thing?
18 November 2010
I received the LV bag work back. Thank you! You wrote that you "send both the documentation pictures and the press clippings as well as additional info from the exhibition within short". I didn't receive these (yet). Have the paintings been shipped back to Helsinki? By the way, last summer you mentioned something about a honorarium.
11 October 2011
I hope this finds you well. I'm back from maternity leave, therefore the late reply. Hopefully the paintings arrived in Helsinki well before last Christmas. Have you got the documentation and the honorarium?
12 October 2011
Congratulations for your baby! The paintings arrived safely in Helsinki but I didn't receive the honorarium and neither the documentation.
27 October 2011
Do you think that I still could receive the honorarium? I just heard that (name omitted) who participated in the show too got it already last year.
6 January 2012
I try one more time and then I´ll give up. You wrote me last year October asking if I had received the honorarium and I told you I haven't. Is there anything what can be done? Or should I accept that I´m not going to receive it never?
NO MORE INSTANT NOODLES
16 January 2012, Cervera de los Montes
I'm making drawings about Monterrey, one of most dangerous cities of the world. When I visited there last year I saw big recruitment ads of Fuerza Civil, the new police of the state of Nuevo Leon. They offer fantastic things to the new officers but that made me just to think how risky job it is to fight the drug cartels.
Fuerza Civil is looking for men and women like you, heroes who want the best for their families and community. The basic salary for a uniformed rookie is over €80 thousand per year. It's not bad in a country where the workers earn less than in China. The novices also receive a huge life insurance, extra help with the mortgage, a private health insurance and grants for their kids from the elementary school to the university.
I found on internet also an ad of Los Zetas cartel offering good jobs for ex-soldiers and promising that they don't have to eat instant noodles. No idea if it's genuine or just a joke. And is it more dangerous to be a Zeta hitman or a police officer?
OXFORD CAPACITY ANALYSIS FOR ARTISTS
12 January 2012, Cervera de los Montes
Certain traits of your personality can play a very important influence on your career as an artist. Your personality has everything to do with your personal relationships, your income, your future, your life and your art. You could find out more about your personality by taking our free Oxford Capacity Analysis® personality test for artists here. Brought to you by Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre London.
- Is your facial expression varied rather than set
- When voting, do you vote the same party ticket straight rather than studying the candidates and issues?
- Do you often feel upset about the fate of war victims and political refugees?
- Does life seem rather vague and unreal to you?
- Are you sometimes convinced of the correctness of your opinions about a subject even though you are not an expert?
- Do you cope with everyday problems of living quite well?
- Is it easy for you to relax?
- Do children irritate you?
- Do you sometimes wonder if anyone really cares about you?
- Are you always getting into trouble?
08 January 2012, Cervera de los Montes
One of the best things of being married is that you can discover in your own library books you didn't know. Today, I found out that my wife has a xeroxed collection of books by the Russian formalist Viktor Shklovsky, famous for developing the concept of ostranenie, defamilirization or estrangemnet, which is an artistic technique of forcing the audience to see common things in an unfamiliar or strange way, in order to enhance perception of the familiar.
Shklovsky writes in the essay Art as Device that the purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. Defamiliarization is a basic satirical tactic and very close to what Turbo Realism does - though we are aware that people don't perceive nor know the world around of them much and that's why our goal it to show it to them as it is.
Shklovsky states in another essay that paintings are not at all windows onto another world — they are things. I could agree but pointing out that the Turbo Realist paintings are stones that break the windows of the banks.
Now I'm going to sit by my fireplace, drink tea with sugar and read Shklovsky's epistolary novel Zoo, or Letters Not About Love.
DO THEY KNOW IT'S CAPITALISM
04 January 2012, Cervera de los Montes
There's no need to be afraid
in the Capitalist world
We let in light and banish shade
and in our world of plenty
we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world
in the free market economy
Where nothing ever grows
no rain or rivers flow
Do they know it's Capitalism at all?
Free the world...
Free the world...
Free the world...
Let them know it's Capitalism
(Do They Know It's Christmas" is a song written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in 1984 to raise money for relief of the famine in Ethiopia. It was performed and recorded by Band Aid featuring Bono, Phil Collins, Paul McCartney, Boy George, Sting, George Michael and many others. The sleeve was designed by Peter Blake.)
CASINO ROYALE WITH CHEESE
02 January 2012, Cervera de los Montes
To begin this year, I'm going back to Mexico. Not phycisically but finally I begin to work with the material I got from Monterrey last June. I bought two huge bags of candy, took the wrappings and tipped with the content the hotel cleaner. The working title of the drawing series is Casino Royale with Cheese.
Vincent: You know what the funniest thing about Mexico is?
Vincent: It's the little differences. I mean, they got the same shit over there that we got here, but it's just...it's just there it's a little different.
Jules: How do they call the narcoterrorism?
Vincent: They call it a Casino Royale with Cheese.
The Casino Royale massacre was a narcoterrorist attack that took place in Monterrey two months after my visit to the city. Over 60 people were killed when at least 12 hitmen of Los Zetas cartel sprayed gas, fired shots and threw grenade into the casino compound. Monterrey became an increasingly violent city in due to the rupture of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas.
And I'm going to draw chili flavored candy.