The thoughts of Chairman Momus.
This is Failed Comedy, a Momus verbal improvisation performed on October 27th 2013 at the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw as part of the Crikoteka conference The Book Lovers, themed around the collision between the visual arts and the novel.
The original idea — first developed for a possible performance at the Performa Biennial in New York — was to do a standup comedy act so unfunny that I’d “die on stage” and exit to the sound of my own footsteps. But at an Emotional Lecture performed in Glasgow the week before I’d come up with the Basic English idea, and used the Crikoteka performance to develop it.
Crikoteka, incidentally, is the foundation continuing the work and maintaining the archives of Polish theatre director Tadeusz Kantor. Thanks to the wonderful Ricky Demarco, Kantor was able to bring productions of his plays to the Edinburgh Festival. I saw Wielopole, Wielopole and was very impressed by Kantor’s absurdist energy and humour. More on my early veneration of Kantor here.
Pots on Video, my essay in the new Mousse, in full.
“Although it relies on both, the capitalist system prioritises exchange and consumption over use and production, and part of this is a hiding of the making of things and the using of things. Dealers are valued above makers, and what’s new and flawless above what’s old and flavourful. So part of the fascination of pot-making on video or film, for me, is the sense that I’m glimpsing something almost taboo: the non-industrial production of a useful artefact by a maker whose name and opinions I am told and whose face I can see.”
Hygiene, from MOMUSMCCLYMONT.