Monday, 2 August 2010

Mid year report

"Jo is struggling with motivation in the face of ongoing employment rejection and her extra-curricular activity is suffering as a consequence. She remains only an occasional joy and a more-often-than-not distempered willful misery guts. Her success this semester will be entirely dependent on a statistically unlikely lottery win and/or a rare moment of open-mindedness on behalf of someone somewhere in an HR Department."

"It's been a bit of a beige month - one that will mostly go down in history as the month of the headache. Not the month that was a headache, though any honest sub-editor could certainly get away libel-free with that headline too, but the month of the headache. Two weeks and counting now and it's like the hangover without the liquor and I'm not sure where the fun is in that. I'm waiting now for both test results and new glasses, but it's been extremely dispiriting, both the getting sent home from work "because you look terrible" part and the too exhausted/foggy headed to write, think, read or focus generally on anything beyond the comforts of the sofa.

Two things have struck me while in this state.

1. The art world continues on without me, oblivious to my absence - bastards - and if I don't put myself in the way of people who might want to work with me/employ me/help me/publish my writing then no-one is going to. Fuck.

And 2. If my career is going to continue choking then I want to be consoled/distracted by the company of family and friends and daily ocean swims. Neither of which are particularly cheery realisations given the reality of where I live and what I still am obnoxiously determined to accomplish while I do. Crap.

I'm waiting to hear back about a couple of freelance pitches and have a job application due at the end of the week, so things to keep me busy and plausibly hopeful that change is around the corner but it ain't easy being beige.

It's four weeks and three days until LB and I leave for Turkey and I can't wait. Some Aegean Sea goodness, some warmth without the humidity and some serious dedication to the delicacies of the Turkish pantry. Bring. It. On.

In terms of other distractions of late (apart from cake and Pimms) there have been some surprise visits from old friends and family members over the last few weeks which has been joyous. Cousin John was here for a week and on his last day here LB and I met him for lunch at Borough Market and a vague plan to do something "cultural". Chorizo sandwiches and halloumi burgers out of the way we all stood around a bit hopelessly quasi-brainstorming things we might like to do. I suggested Tate Modern, casually mentioning the current Francis Alys exhibition that's been garnering rave reviews only to be met with what can best be described as a montage of expressions ranging from "Really?... do we really have to? It's the weekend and I want to do something fun" to "Thanks but I think I'd rather have root canal while flying long haul economy". Their fate was sealed when I happened to mention it happened to contained, gulp, video art.

"Video art is poxy", said LB and the deal was done. Like naughty school boys in need of reform I dragged them along South Bank, forced them to buy tickets for the exhibition and frogmarched them to the second floor. I told them they didn't need to be too open-minded, lest their brains fall out, but a little bit of non-poxy consideration for the in fact beautiful work of Francis Alys would probably be good for them.

I think it would be going too far to say LB loved it - he conceded it was "interesting" and Cousin John I suspect got more out of it than he'll ever be prepared to admit but all in all I think it was a most worthwhile afternoon, if nothing else for the smug satisfaction I got out of bullying two non-art lovers into two hours of film and video art. It's ridiculous the art world doesn't want me.....

Especially, especially, because I've given them so much love and attention lately....

'Exposed' at Tate Modern:

Ernesto Neto at the Hayward:

Christian Boltanski at the Serpentine:

I mean seriously, Art World People, this is love I could be giving to cake. Or the sofa. Or ANYTHING ELSE BUT YOU. I'm not asking you to pay me well, I'm just asking you to love me.

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