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Post Mortem Syndrome - Ebola Syndrome


29 August 2010, Cervera de los Montes

When we landed in Madrid, I was feeling awful. I thought I was getting sick but my wife said that it was the result of the cuba libres, gin tonics and vodka shots consumed at Krista's dinner, Raoul's birthday party, and Eeris and Elina's wedding. I said that I was feeling typical flu symptoms like body ache and nasal cogestion. I was still able to drive the family safely home from the airport to the village (120km) but then I fell down on the bed and couldn't get up before this morning.

During the days in bed, I was sure it was ebola or Marburg virus (previously known as green monkey diease). My daughter suggested that it must be chickenpox. I told to my wife that I wanted to give her some (detailed) instructions to manage my legacy and how to organize my post mortem retrospective. I was thinking that could I phone to Pirkko or Janne , the directors of the most important art museums in Finland and propose them the show. But then I really would have had to promise that I was going to die. The good thing is that now everything is perfectly planned and I'm going to put the plans in an envelope that can be opened only in the case of my death.

A Funeral, A Wedding, And A Birthday Party - Ten Thousand Waves


25 August 2010, Helsinki

It's a strange vacation. On Friday, I was in my grandfathers funeral, on Saturday it was the turn of a Jewish birthday party and yesterday I assisted in an informal wedding of friends.

I also had a meeting with Suvi at Kunsthalle Helsinki, where my solo show Encyclopedia will take place in October. I need some Chinese noodle boxes to cover  the projectors that are used for the slide show and Suvi promised to start collecting them because there is a fancy Oriental restaurant in the Kunsthalle's building. Unfortunately, I had only ten minutes for Isaac Julien's mindboggling video installation Ten Thousand Waves. I didn't have time to get much about the content (China)) but it was superbly beautiful and undoubtedly the best way to show a multichannel (nine) video I've ever seen.

After the Kunsthalle I had a meeting with Eeris about the series of screen-print series we are doing, and then I rushed to a Nepali lunch with Raoul to talk about the paintings that I made with Judas last year in Beijing and are being now shipped to Helsinki. Some of them go to the Art Copenhagen fair and then we are planning an Arrieta Vs. Sakkinen show at Korjaamo next year.

Close Reading - Mian Mian: Candy


19 August 2010, Korpilahti

I've bought several books during the last weeks but it's difficult to concentrate in reading even during the vacation though I'm I´m here beyond the broadband connections in the paradisaic summer place of my family- I'm a father to two small kids.

Some people tell that reading is their hobby but it has seemed always strange to me because I consider it a very basic act, almost like breathing. Maybe a yogi could be an aficionado of breathing. I love to spend hours with newspapers but now I want to read some essays and especially fiction. Recently, I even told in an interview that my hobby is contemporary Chinese literature but maybe I did because I couldn't point any other spare time activity.

These are the books I've got and hope to be able to read during the next week:

Roberto Bolaño: 2666
Mikhail Bulgakov: Morphine
Mikhail Bulgakov: Notas en los puños / Ivan Vasilevich
Chun Sue: Beijing DollXiaolu Guo: Chinese - English Dictionary for Lovers
Xiaolu Guo: Lovers in the Age of Indifference
Xiaolu Guo: Village of Stone
Siri Hustved:What I Loved
Danilo Kiš: A Tomb for Boris Davidovich
Carlos Labbé: Locuela
Jennifer 8. Lee: The Fortune Cookie Chronicles
Liu Heung Shing: China
H. Lorelli: Kamo
Mian Mian: Candy
Masahiko Shimada: Me convertiré en momia
Tao Lin: Eeeee, Eee, Eeee
P.L. Travers: Mary Poppins
(found in our summer cottage)
Pablo Vázquez: Las chicas terribles

Generational Curtains - Curtain


14 August 2010, Korpilahti

Like all the immigrants, we don’t have to think about vacation destinations. We come to Finland every summer, although this time it’s not like other years. My mother phoned me when we were packing that my 98-year-old grandfather had died. Just in time to put n the suit case a black suite and not only Hawaiian shirts. And just not in time for my grandfather to meet my son who was born in April.

My wife says that I'm a countryside hick because I get exited of the luxury. I spent my Finnair miles to a business class upgrade for all the family. I wanted that my son air travels for the first time in style and comfort. I don't care that much about the complimentary champagne but the smooth treatment that the wealthy and the privileged receive. In the economy class my kids would have been labeled misbehaving but in the front side of the magic curtain they were called vigorous.

184 Channels And Nothing On - Cctv-e


08 August 2010, Cervera de los Montes

When I was a kid in the social democratic Finland in the 80's, there were two TV channels. They broadcasted from 5pm (when people stopped working) until 11pm (when people were supposed to go to bed) and 8.30pm was the prime time for the news that were aired on both of the channels simultaneously. I had heard that in America they had countless choices of TV channels. Bruce Springsteen sang a man came by to hook up my cable TV / We settled in for the night my baby and me / We switched ’round and ’round ’til half-past down / There was fifty-seven channels and nothin’ on. The number is famous for the Heinz slogan 57 varieties.

My wife got us (a free offer from our broadband provider for 12 month) yesterday 184 TV channels, a pay per view video on demand and a hard disc to record programs. I asked the technician who came to install the stuff that can I see the Finnish TV. I still prefer those two governmental channels that I watched when I was kid. He said no but that now I have Al Jazeera, Fox News, Russia Today, The Chinese CCTV in Spanish, MTV España, MTV Rocks, MTV Dance, MTV Hits, The Poker Channel, Art Channel, Discovery Turbo, Barca TV and Baby TV.

I don't have time for TV, though I know that you can learn a lot watching it. Warhol watched TV while he painted. I think that I'm not going to watch any of these innumerable channels but I like the feeling that I have them.

Cours De Peinture Par Principes - Roger De Piles


05 August 2010, Cervera de los Montes

Roger de Piles was a French 17th century painter and spy. I like the surprising combination because they are precisely the professions that my daughter told me that she wants to have when she will be grownup.

De Piles was arrested in the Hague carrying a false passport and he was imprisoned for five years and spent the time writing about art. The most famous book he wrote is Cours de peinture par principes avec un balance de peintres where he has ranked artists giving them points in composition, drawing, color and expression. His top favorite was Raphael who got 17, 18, 12 and 18 points.

I love lists and tried to rank some of my favorites. I don't use de Piles' categories but aesthetics, content, attitude and expression.

Pablo Picasso 19-3-20-19
Andy Warhol 7-12-19-2
Yves Klein 17-8-13-13
Jean-Michel Basquiat 16-6-9-16
Martin Kippenberger 5-12-20-11
Ilya Kabakov 18-16-6-5
Paul McCarthy 9-13-17-20
Jeff Koons 4-12-16-2
Ai Weiwei 7-12-15-3
Yoshitomo Nara 20-13-11-14
Rirkrit Tiravanija 1-10-17-9
Damien Hirst 2-4-17-4
Santago Sierra 6-20-13-4
Thomas Hircshhorn 19-14-15-18
Bjarne Melgaard 16-3-14-10
Jonathan Meese 2-3-16-17
Judas Arrieta 17-9-13-12
Jani Leinonen 9-19-16-2
Misaki Kawai 15-7-12-12