solo exhibition

A month long live performance!

Basically, I sat in bed in the gallery for a month and typed shit on my laptop nonstop and it got dataprojected above my head. I did not talk. I only talked via typing.

I typed whatever I wanted. The audience were requested not to talk to me, via a poster. I told fortunes and guessed people’s clothing brands. All via typing and making snap judgments.

It was hard to look audience members in the eye.

Mars Bars were left on a seat for people. Unbeknownst to them, they were purchased by me from the Reject Shop.

They sat in the dark and watched while I typed.

Thanks to an article in the Adelaide Advisor, I got a stalker. A man from Bowden. He tried to get into bed with me, on two different occasions. I finally broke, and told him to go away, using my real voice.

I now have about 400 pages of word document typing from this performance. It’s drivel. Alot of it is personal drivel though, as it’s much easier to be open with complete strangers.

I thought I might print it out and vaccuum seal it and turn it into a footstool.

This performance was bought to you by Doogie Howser, MD.

AEAF Catalogue Anastasia Klose

I left a blank book at the front of the gallery so people could write their responses to the performance. This turned out to be an inspired move, as many people wrote in the book. They needed a right-of-reply after being blathered at in silence by me.

Audience Feedback

-My Mom gave me this notepad for xmas. She wants me to be positive. I’m a natural born cynic. I appreciate what you’re doing. No one else has done it. It is a beautiful concept, and I wish I was sober and could stay to read every word you write. Alas I am among the night devil that calls my name. You inspire me. Thank you. Don’t stop. Mollie from New Orleans. PS I look forward to more of your work. I will google you ha ha. But seriously THANK YOU.

-I hope you were joking about Satellite of Love sucking, it’s my favourite song of all time. Harriet. 

-I hate jazz too.

-Weird Unit!

-I came here after the physio (stress), and this has been an additional release. As for being wrong, we’re in this together I think.

– Happiness is knowing you are right, don’t you think? Katherine.

-I loved what you wrote. About your Mum. Lynne. 

– Why are you using a Mac? Macs suck arse, Lol.

– Get out of bed and do something with your life.

-Hello. What a strange experience. I felt all kind of things I wanted to say 2 u. It was like being in an ad. Thanku 4 the experience. Remember to breathe.

-(2nd page of letter. I’ve lost the first)….We only have now. You are living now. Sorry if I’m ranting. But my mom taught me to live for NOW! Trisha from Canada.


Drawing Thoughts

I draw when I feel something, some sort of emotion. If I am not sure what I am feeling, and if I can’t define it, everything in the drawing turns murky, and it fails. I usually don’t draw when I feel nothing. If I do, it’s a disaster. Feelings, for me, are attached to images, memories, to a certain sensibility, and to particular colours. The stronger the feeling, the stronger the content of the drawing. I like drawing, it’s a simple, humble, and honest medium.
The drawings below are from 2010

Satan’s Church drawing

I saw the film Anti-Christ, by Lars Von Trier, and really liked the imagery of the forest, and the strange animals. I was interested in the idea of nature being evil, and beautiful landscapes being places where very bad things happen, and alot of suffering takes place. I just thought I would make a drawing about this idea, although it’s probably not apparent in the drawing.

So Sad drawing

With So Sad, I made a drawing about sadness. That claustrophobic sort of sadness where one feels oppressed by the world. When I was doing the drawing, I thought alot about that depressed sort of sadness, and how cheesy/corny it is to do a drawing about it, how lame and how teenage. And that’s why the drawing looks pathetic too, and badly drawn.

Something to Live For drawing
 A hopeful drawing with beautiful colours. It is quite joyful, and made in a joyful mood. It is a simple drawing about love and feeling optimistic. I like cats, they are a constant companion and I often draw them.

I remember Anastasia as a child lying in bed, face to face with the little grey tabby cat, Claude. Two faces on the pillow, each looking at the other.  Cats were her favorite things to draw.  She still looks at them, to draw and film, as if the details of their worlds reflect something of the joy, boredom and tragedy to be found in one’s own life.  Donkeys, too, seem to her to have individual lives, their quiet demeanors so often belying the burden of life’s abuses. For her, each cat and each donkey has its own unique biography.  Revealing something of these biographies is important to her.   But what does she see in the lives of animals that some philosophers fail to see, or see only as a lack or deprivation?

Aristotle believed animals to be deprived of speech.  In his view the sounds of their voices expressed only pleasure or pain, whereas “speech” – and this is what distinguishes, in his view, the human realm – is made to express “the useful and the harmful” and the “just and unjust”.  Heidegger, too, believed animals to be “poor in world”, deprived of speech, without relation to being and to death.

Speech, the voice, the mouth and ears bring us to the face. The face is what hears and speaks and sees. For the philosopher, Emmanuel Levinas, the face becomes the figure of the other in his or her singularity – the neighbour, friend, refugee, prisoner, the derelict, or lover. It is to the face of the other that our ethical responsibility, “Thou shalt not kill,” is addressed and received.  Does an animal have a face? Derrida addresses this question in the ninth seminar of volume 1 of ‘The Beast and the Sovereign’ as he meditates on D.H. Lawrence’s poem ‘Snake’.  Certainly, cats and donkeys have eyes and ears and mouths, but does this amount to their having a face, a visage, so to speak?

Though Levinas left hanging the question of whether or not an animal can be said to have a ‘face’, he is surprising on what he understands a ‘face’ to be.  For the face is not only the arrangement of features on the head, “the whole body –a hand or a curve of the shoulder- can express as the face.”[1]  The poet Rainer Maria Rilke gives an even more radical account of faciality whose meaning and origin begin with recognition of the nuances of surfaces.

But let us for a moment consider whether everything before us, everything we observe, explain and interpret, does not consist simply of surfaces?  And what we call mind and spirit and love: are these things not only a slight change seen on the small surface of our neighbour’s face?

. . . and this contour of the mouth, this line above the eyelids, this shadow on a face– perhaps they have previously existed in exactly similar form: as a marking on an animal, a fissure in a rock, a hollow in a fruit. . .

There is only one single surface which suffers a thousand changes and transformations.

The Rodin book

An ethical engagement with the world demands our attention to the ‘inflexions and demeanours’ of living surfaces or what Raimond Gaita calls a ‘naturalism of surfaces’:

“Everything is on the surface, provided of course that one has an imaginatively rich sense of the surface.  Recall the words of Coetzee’s character in The Lives of Animals: ‘It is not the mode of being of animals to have an intellectual horror: their whole being is in the living flesh. If I do not convince you, that is because my words, here,  lack the power to bring home to you the wholeness, the unabstracted, unintellectual nature, of that animal’s being.’ The power that she wishes her words possessed is not the power to take one, speculatively, into what is hidden below the animal’s skin.  It is the power to show that everything that matters is there, that nothing is hidden, that the capacity to see depends on having a rich conception of the surface, a rich conception of what it is to be a living thing and therefore how to describe what it does and what it suffers.”[2]

Hence, for Gaita, ethics must include one’s paying adequate attention  to the rich world of appearances.

Does not Anastasia’s attention to cats and donkeys ask us to see through a narcissism where ethics belongs only to the human?  Does she not ask us to see through her language of lurid colour, textures, marks, juxtaposed images and unsteady camera work – to the human face of the animal and to the animal that each of us is.

[1] Emmanuel Levinas, Totality and Infinity,  trans. Alphonso Lingis, Duquesne University Press, 1992.  P. 262.

[2] Raimond Gaita, The Philosopher’s Dog’, Text Publishing, Melbourne, 2002. P.127.