Honey, I know we’ve been getting into more disagreements lately — about how I haven’t paid rent in awhile, how I don’t contribute emotionally or monetarily, how I don’t do things like pick up my socks or whatever. But I’m here to remind you that, as your partner and, more importantly, as an artist who lives and breathes his work, these little annoyances are actually examples of my immersive, trans-temporal artistic practice.
What you see as a pile of unfolded laundry that’s been at the foot of our bed for more than two weeks is, in fact, a short-term installation, an exploration of the futility of contemporary life with respect to humanity’s relationship to capitalist processes such as the textile industry. Is it a perfect work? No, it’s clearly still in process, but that’s why I’ve been loath to fold up those concert tees from when we went to see Radiohead.
Yes, you’re right, the dishes in the sink are a totally other matter. Those dishes are more of a performance piece rather than an installation, perhaps counterintuitively. I’ve only started exploring performance as a medium, but I’ve become quite enraptured with the idea of non-performance as performance; namely, in not scrubbing pans, spoons, and cups, and thus allowing “unwanted” remnants of man’s waste to compile. You see, it’s then that this non-performance actually creates, rather than diminishes! Isn’t that deliciously subversive? I feel that if I could continue non-cleaning the dishes, say for the next month, we could really get somewhere.
I can see you’re confused, and that pains me, because I thought you of all people would understand my work. Remember that time when I was traveling in Greece and Italy for three months and didn’t email or text you back once? And how, after your misplaced anger towards my “ghosting” subsided, you got on board with the idea of my delinquency as an important exploration of Foucault’s concept of bio-power? You showed so much growth then.
Let’s consider last night. When you paid for that Seamless order — the wings were delicious by the way — while I binge-watched the fifth season of The Office for the third time, did you stop to think about the way my “freeloading,” as you put it, was an extension of my continued investigation into our economic system in the face of a society which is, in effect, post-scarcity? Were you aware of the way the piece was teasing out various cultural tropes, with you in the role of the mother-giver? And how your eventual exclamation of “being totally over-paying for my lazy ass” was what the piece was driving towards, an anti-invocation of the love/hate/pain/pleasure paradigm? Were you aware of your own mortality? No? I’m crushed.
I absolutely agree that couples counseling would be a fruitful thing to do. In fact, I’ve been considering the same thing. You’re surprised? Don’t be! I’m all about collaboration. In fact, I’ve started compiling a list of fellow artists-slash-filmmakers-slash-DJs-slash-playwrights who could help us really create something that breaths fresh life to a staid old scene. Imagine it: a play-turned-dance performance-turned-open-ended grief session! I’m imagining something in-your-face yet tender, building on Abramovich’s work on immediacy or even Ono’s erasure of mediator. We can google venues tonight!
Yes, yes! I love that you’re packing up. You know that I’m a skeptic of humanity’s agency vis-a-vis the monolithic capitalist superstructure, but your leaving this place and, presumptively, me, definitely presents an interesting if ultimately futile counterpoint. These are important questions. What ARE you doing here? Why HAVE you wasted so much time with me? WERE your parents right? How DO I pay for my phone bill? Fascinating! And all this time I thought you were just a corporate peon at your job as a production manager. Congratulations: You are a true artist!