29 April 2008, Berlin
In the morning, I don't know anymore where I wake up. I left Paris last Friday. On Saturday, we went to Carlota's name giving party and then to Gabriela and Roberto's wedding but escaped after the dinner - the Spanish weddings include dancing and heavy drinking until seven o'clock in the morning. On Sunday, I catched my flight to Berlin but before that my daughter sprayed corrosive fireplace window cleaner in her eye and we speeded to the hospital.
Now in Berlin, I'm painting a pig on the Bourouina Gallery wall. It's the biggest painting I've ever done (if you don't count the Louis Vuitton monograms last August at Korjaamo). The funny thing is that meanwhile, I have a professional painter painting the walls of my house. I just hope that I'm going to earn more than him.
FAVELA CHICK AND CONCENTRATION CAMP COOL
25 April 2008, Paris
The opening was fun. Emilie had got many bottles of Finlandia Vodka but to my astonishment they were all with lime, mango and grapefruit flavor - not exactly Finnish. We had dinner at Nonno that served Southwestern French style food what was just like in home: chorizo, salchichon, morcilla and jamon. Of course, cheese was ten times better than in Spain. I shared the table with my three gallerists: Emilie, Amel and Bert. Emilie said that she had sold several works - almost sure. I said to my gallerists that I don't want to know anything about the sales before I get the money.
After the dinner, we went to a discotheque called Favela Chick - the name is terrible, Concentration Camp Cool would sound equally fun. After that place Emilie and her friends moved to Baron where she had taken me too on Saturday but I decided to stay drinking beer in a terrace with Jari and Antti. Finnish male artists don't dance.
MY SPEECH FOR THE OPENING DINNER
23 April 2008, Paris
Mesdames, messieurs: I’ve heard that Paris is the most beautiful and romantic city in the world. I don’t know if the people who say that mean they like the monuments, the statues and the palaces of the fallen empire. I saw them before when I was in Paris and I found them repulsive. Symbols of power are not romantic, they are pathetic.
This time, I’ve found a new Paris in Belleville, are more true and attractive Paris—which I adore. And I’ve eaten lots of delicious noodles here that taste just like those in the Peoples’ Republic of China.
Many of the Chinese businesses in Belleville have a poster on their shop windows saying, “No Politics, Go Olympics.” Some European and French politicians have decided to change the world by boycotting the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games. The Europeans call that defending human rights.
This week, the socialist mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, named the Dalai Lama an honorary citizen of this city. At the same time, the Third World is suffering a new kind of alimentary crisis: the shops are full of foodstuffs, but people don’t have the money to buy them. It’s a slow genocide committed by the neoliberalist First World. Decorating politically correct dissidents is much cheaper than resolving the real problems of global capitalism.
Once, France was an empire. Now the state has handed the empire to Carrefour—the company that invented our beloved and sacred hypermarket. Now the Chinese are demonstrating in Beijing against Carrefour hypermarkets—the new French colonialism with artificial strawberry flavor. Liberté, égalité, and everyday low prices!
A TRUE PAINTER IN BELLEVILLE
20 April 2008, Paris
The ice cream cannibal wall painting is almost finished. Usually, painting makes me a bit nervous but shaping and dripping the rasberry ice cream was super fun. I felt like Willem de Kooning, a true modernist macho painter. Emilie videoed me and the neighbours were wathcing the spectacle through the gallery window. Then we had some noodles and dumblings for lunch, Belleville is 72% Chinese (and 15% Arab, 8% French, 5% Jewish), and it's good that I have lot's of Chinese drawings with me. My future is here and the world's future is in China.
17 April 2008, Paris
Krista, who curates the art section of the Finnish Market in Paris, phoned me when I was at the Madrid Airport. She was hanging the art work and said that she couldn't find a hammer and asked if I could bring one from Spain. I replied that maybe it's faster that she goes to buy one. She thought that it was an absolutely fabulous idea. Yesterday, I installed the work I've done with Jani and the market opened today, but I didn' go there. I don't like representing my fatherland.
The day I arrived, Emilie, my Parisienne gallerist, picked me up at the Orly Airport and took me to the place at Rue de Suez she has rented for me. She had prepared for me a grocery bag with tomatoes, apples, potatoes, cheese, butter, steaks, eggs, bread, orange juice and Carambar candys. I said that it was extremely kind from her but that I was not going to cook in the flat. I gave her all the food back - except the Carambar that I'm going to use for a drawing - and asked her to take me to a bar for a cold beer.
APRIL IN PARIS
15 April 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Today, I got a grant of €7000 from the Arts Council of Finland. Money makes me happy, or at least relaxed. I was living an economic catastrophe, now I can pay my debts to everybody. And maybe I can buy a Louis Vuitton wallet. And I'm going to Paris this afternoon. And Billie Holiday sings on the radio:
I never knew the charm of spring
I never met it face to face
I never new my heart could sing
I never missed a warm embrace
Till April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom
Holiday tables under the trees
April in Paris, this is a feeling
That no one can ever reprise
12 April 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Never before, I’ve prepared two important exhibitions at the same time. I’m going to Paris on Tuesday and before traveling there I must leave everything planned, packed and ready for Berlin, too.
Galerie e.l Bannwarth, Paris, Human Rights Damage Our Economy: White walls, ice cream cannibal wall painting, five placards, 72 Domestic Terrorism milk bottles, three counterfeit Barilla pasta boxes, Colon(ialism), 35 drawings.
Bourouina Gallery, Berlin, Consommateurs, Applaudissez, le Spectacles Est Partout: Purple walls, 12 placards, window painting, graffiti on the wall, Anti-police Rocket Launcher, a champagne Molotov Cocktail, three bottles of Rebel cream, 40 drawings.
BE REALISTIC, DEMAND MORE CHEESEBURGERS
09 April 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Amel wants to have the 40th anniversary of the May ’68 as a loose theme of my show. I like the idea, because he opening is the 2nd of May and the show is in Berlin, where the big riot in the 1st of May is a tradition. I have several ideas for the title of the exhibition.
Original ’68 slogan: The revolution is incredible because it’s really happening. My version: The neoliberalism is incredible because it’s really happening.
Original: Be realistic, demand the impossible. Mine: Be realistic, demand more cheeseburgers
Original: Humanity won’t be happy till the last capitalist is hung with the guts of the last bureaucrat. Mine: Humanity won’t be happy till the last communist is hung with the guts of the last activist.
Original: Revolutionary women are more beautiful. Mine: Neocon women are more beautiful.
Original: Comrades, stop applauding, the spectacle is everywhere.
Mine: Consumers, applaud, the spectacle is everywhere.
THEN WE TAKE BERLIN
07 April 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Sometimes things happen very fast. Yesterday, I got mail from Amel, who is opening a new gallery in Berlin. Today we've been planning the exhibition details. The opening is in three weeks and half. Next week Tuesday, I fly to Paris, install at the Marche Finlandais, do the wall painting in Emilie's gallery and come back home for one day to party at Gabriela and Roberto's wedding. I hope I have time to wash my clothes. And give a kiss to my daughter. And then I'm off to Berlin.
Something is changing and I have a good feeling about the future. But I still don't have any money and I'm using my mother's Visa card. I think that a 31-years-old artist who shows this spring in Helsinki, Paris, Berlin, Mexico City and St. Petersburg is not supposed to ask money from his mom. But I'll pay it back to her - when Emilie and Amel soon sell my work like hot cakes. Or like oiled Kalashnikovs. Or like uncut cocaine. Or like kidnapped Moldovan prostitutes.
PC BDSM FANTASIES
06 April 2008, Cervera de los Montes
This season, I’m not really interested in Formula One. My favorite pilot Fernando Alonso and my preferred scuderia Renault – I drive a Renaul too – have no space on the podium. Last week, the Formula One boss Max Mosley’s Auschwitz orgy was much more curious than any car racing. If I got it right, Mr. Mosley had contracted five prostitutes who were wearing concentration camp prisoner uniforms and whipped him clothed in Nazi garments. Mosley’s father was a British Nazi leader and Mosley himself has a dark fascist background.
Mosley defends himself saying that sex is a private thing and he did nothing against the law. I think he should have stated that it was his ritual of apologizing and regretting his misdeeds. After all, in his role play, the holocaust victims, played by the call girls, had subverted the power and the sinister SS Mosley was punished - that sounds completely politically correct. I have politically correct BDSM fantasies, too: A Spanish conquistador spanked by indigenous people of Americas, a Spanish guardia civil whipped by Moroccan immigrants, a Chinese police officer caned by Tibetan monks and a U.S. general water-tortured by Guantanamo inmates.
BOYCOTT BEIJING AND EVERYTHING ELSE
03 April 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Some Western European countries are planning to boycott the Beijing Olympic Games. I agree with these brave defenders of the humanity. We must boycott all the countries that don’t respect the human rights. And boycotting sports events is not enough. I hope that the moralist European Union governments prohibit the companies of their countries to operate in the People’s Republic of China. That could change the world.
I’m not going to show my art anymore in criminal countries. I’m considering to cancel my shows in Russia (limits on freedom of expression), Mexico (arbitrary detentions, ill-treatment and violations of criminal suspects), France (abuse by police officers), Germany (torture of terrorist suspects) and Finland (the length of the civilian alternative to military service is punitive). I’m going to boycott also Spain, because the abortion is illegal here. I’m not going to buy any Spanish products and I recommend that nobody buys them – including my art, which is produced in Spain.