Answer: Tilbud's best friend is one of a kind. He could be a distinguished artist with an independent oeuvre of international renown but is not. There is nothing to be found on this one, no matter how far back you go. Don't bother to spend early hours on him. He is a little more complicated and not so primary as his gabber. Actually with him it is getting all a bit obscure irritating incestuous conservative and annoying predictable salon anarchistic to convey on this blog with so big but so little ears and then also just lax and suffocating egocentric, so not to be followed, so time consuming, so nothing.
Q: Some gossip maybe?
A: Just that he supposedly went to art academy to improve his left hand, haha!
Q: And what are these two going to contribute here? And why so reluctant to talk about them earlier on?
A: The first question i had expected somebody else to ask me but i guess the road of life we take we take alone. Yes, yes, i know: watch out for the embroidered metaphors! ... Well, Tilbake and Tilbud just contribute like Sluik or Carla do and Bratu still could. Unlike his name Tilbake is really into the new, in starting i mean. He just has problems with the middle part but that is where Tilbud is such an outcome. The end is still ahead. It might at first sight not be clear for the rare visitor what is who's and that in itself is part of the orchestration of this whole monster. With the descriptions given it should be however easy to recognize the individual signature and different intonations once this thing is on the road. Oh, it is a long process where only a few get a view. Not sure even if anybody should understand this interview let alone read it. Go away beauty or beast... look or see... followers and collaborators! This is time consuming! And time is money and money is scarce and we are nothing without so go and do something more useful and earn, earn!
Q: Getting upset about something? Is it the second part of the question?
A: I have only answers and answer the questions, so i control this interview and start with me Me ME!
Q: Sorry but that is not a fact. Remember the opening, chicken: how am i?
A: Scramble bloghead! I am both, idiot.
Q: what is: I am both, idiot. Who is both? Can i be both too?
Photo: is that Tilbake coming back or just dropping off something?
Answer: What about them.
Q: Easy, easy, just wanted to ask where Tilbud and Tilbake went on holidays this summer? Carla obviously goes nowhere without the keys and Bratu is presumably still strolling through mountainous clouds but where did the other two go?
A: Aha, willing to answer that question now. Tilbud always goes last minute charter or to the camping with family. Actually not sure if he has family. He tends to identify himself quickly as a family member or friend of the family, like some uncle or friend of an aunt. He is a true budget man. More del Sol than del Arte and honestly convinced Bakkum is a hot place to be.
Q: More info to share about him? Please, no gossip, merely observations?
A: Tilbud could be described as a necessity, a useful inter-regional artist playing in sub-towns and hinterlands. He knows the back doors and the scenery or is part of it and many. Lots of output with average input. Little Spiderman tends his web. He dreams of filling important white cubes but ends with wet walls. Never gave up thinking somebody in the brave new world needs him. A continuous emerging artist. But also a bit off or leftover, still mentioned once in a while by equal colleagues. Not enough balls, an escapist hiding behind too many constructed realities. Tilbud is not even his real name!
Persistent though and moving around a lot using the popular AiR. He is an enthusiast linkedin facebook guy who in the mean time can be so easily overlooked but nicely fills the space given. He gets googled once a month average by anonymous searchers.
Q: More nice things about the guy?
A: Lover of bottom shelf products or the get3pay2 section. Yes, a charter artist of the best kind! No harm done, after all most of us are. Always good to have him on board, irreplaceable. Like the bass-player in a band or the tuba in the philharmonic: good for a beer and a laugh. Nothing wrong with the man and is that a problem. He comes in any color or shape and provides any color asked for. Du Ringer Vi Bringer!
Q: A friend?
A: Oh Yes, Top 5! A true companion in the art and crime world. What would we do without him. A good tone just pops out when there is enough noise around. He is a charter artist in residence and an island hopper which makes him a good name dropper. Likes to call himself Tilbake's best friend. He is in a way just that, which makes him a juicy guinea pig for the empirical researchers. Of course i simplify things now and decrypt with ax and claw but that does not feel too bad once in a while.
Q: And Tilbake?
A: Tilbake does not holiday but went to Mexico or Armenia and is not back yet as far as i know.
Photo: Composition with flowers – Johnny Tilbud 2009.
Question: As long as i do not mention the girl for a while, or T&T? OK, i reflect in other words: still waiting for Bratot, the lost Jura Lamb?
A: Ha, that is a good one! Well i said he is kind of rűcksichtlos straightforward, self assured and black and white from the beginning did i not? And i also said i just start and he can jump on the boat later. Whenever he wants and with whatever attitude or intentions. So this is a paste job. It is really not that i am trying to or am able to discover another Himalaya ape on high altitudes to save him or it from drowning. This is a variant on the fittest and i am love drugged.
Q: Do i watch out for cliches and metaphors and repeating what is already said like i do now and do i watch out for the listeners behind the back who pretend they are just passing by but nail and burn a person on recyclable crosses, who play with ones moral conscience and want me to crawl up to them and say: please or this is what i said when i sincerely do mean something different?
Q: Ahum, if this interview is an empirical exercise, does it work now after writing about 4000 of these self reflecting words?
A: Thumb up, at least that is what it tries to be. Smile!
Q: Professor Y and some other looser meeting on a bench in the park?
A: The emotion of spoken language through the written form! Just reflect on that a bit, dear Professor Y! get your noodle in gear!
A: Well, interviewing oneself, and publishing it, is a kind of observing and testing ones inside as much as the outside. Writing thoughts out loud is a form of word science. Ha, I guess most people start looking for some Freudian link but that is too easy for me. So, Louis Ferdinand Celine and his Professor Y is not so far fetched and closer to me. Also in another sense though. He did create that text out of frustration not being heard in the days after the war. Nobody took him serious or bought his books anymore. Well do not shout into my face i should not have a claim to equal that noble writer, i would not dare, but there are some interfaces here. If that is the right word... Falling asleep!
Q: Aha? No, sorry, i am not on a roll today... so i struggle but also avoid to continue this silly mirror battle leading to pseudo intellectual blabla, faceboy!
A: Go to bed... Although it is raining outside and i haven't sorted out the holiday snaps yet.
Q: Will i get a story while i fall asleep or should i count the sheep?
A: This monkey gets no sweet today. Where have i been.
Q: Can i have the last word? Is it really pouring or just raining or more like drizzling?
Photo: Grimstad, 24 July 2009, Sluik seems to forget to look back but does nothing else.
Question: She died a few years ago. What now?
Answer: I count the characters of this opening and halfway the word dropped in the second sentence it is already 140. I really have to practice more to become a devoted twitter...
Q: The ultimate goal is a web-novel in 140 characters... the full coverage of the history of mankind in 140 characters... or just a scientific report on the inevitable extinction of human intelligence within 140 generations beginning in your family in 140 characters or worse the explanation to the ultimate and perfect web page resembling a black Malevich painting made by somebody like Tilbake or even Tilbud in 140 characters? Oh, let me read a Manifest in Twitter! Airplane emergency instructions in 140 characters? Mayday, Mayday, we are going down, Yahoo and Yippee?
A: No wonder nobody takes me seriously. Obviously i have never twittered in my life let alone seen a twitter and already i act like, or better, am a perfect old grumpy farting big ass.
Q: Pffft, thought it was someone else? At the door i mean, yesterday?
A: I am with limited or no expectations. I had some though but left them gradually along the road. But i do not want to go into that direction. Let me take a turn and get away from the silly gun-incident. That will all fall in it's place. I have no worries. O.K, i guess i started here about twitter because i need so many words just to get going. I could not do without the words around the keywords. So back to the root: this whole business started with the remark of Bratu in that interview where he called himself an empirical artist and i thought that was funny. So, let me ask a question: How do i look at art empirically? Can i? May i? Does it make a difference for others?
Q: So Carla ...?
A: Forget her Q, she is a puppet who died in an air raid in 1955!! Let me answer my own questions!
Q: i did not start, did i?
You say yes, i say no, you say stop and i say go go go!
Photo: Sluik goes on confession along the main road into Chania early June 2009.
Question: Am i Viking enough to do that?
A: No... but who cares.
Q: I am honest? Is anybody honest? Does true honesty exist?
A: Shit, i was wrong. Stop right there now. Easy does it. Hands up! Gun down!
Answer: No comments.
Q: She seemed to have stopped at the key moment of the affair and right in front of the first door.
A: No comments.
Q: When and IF she picks up her feather again will she really reveal everything? Limitless and regardless i mean and not considering anybody else's feelings or privacy? Will she do that? Does she do all this out of love and care or is there something dirty cooking...
A: No comments.
Q: Does Senis know about this?
A: Haha! I make myself laugh now. Can i move on and stop blabbering and looking for smoke?
Q: The Spotlight Kid! First record I bought from my first honest earnings, long time no hear! O.K, i focus: how am i now? Oh, I have so many questions. Is the train going too fast or did it actually never leave this station or is it not a train but a boat and can it sink? Did Bratu get lost on Swiss Ararat while looking for a rare animal couple to bring home? Still a nice guy? Me? What am i made of and am i on my fittest. Do i fit? Am i going somewhere? Is this going somewhere. Are we going somewhere? Do i realize how serious i take all this? Is black humor racist? Do things matter? I mean in a big way. Do I really stop drinking water from plastic bottles until i die thinking it makes a difference? Will i be there when i die? Why some people die before me and others after? And how many before and how many after?
A: Wait, give me some time to answer or even to think...
Q: Do answers matter and do they make a difference? And how much difference do answers make and for how long? Is thinking good or bad? Is a person heard if he or she talks even to one other person. I know, it is the old story but: do we hear when we speak and speak again after we hear? Can i give time or should I just take it? Is time really so relevant? Am i alone and with how many alone? Maybe I should get myself lost and found too! Do I want to hear my answers? What is relativity really, if i think of it more than once. Does it fit me and do i still fit? Do i ever listen to somebody else? Do others matter? Getting tired of this...
A: Me too, so let me finish today with the following anecdote:
There was this old man in the garden. He was really old: 94. And he spoke a little of German and English. He studied Theology in his time and i think he also was a teacher in it, later. But he already stopped decades ago, also bothering about that. He told me he was born the same day as ???? I never heard of this person and have forgotten the name now, but it seemed really important for him. I had to ask my Hilde later and she said it was some Norwegian hero from the 17th century. So i told him that i was born on the same day as Albert Einstein. He replied that he had been in his place of birth. He took a little thinking time and said: Donau – Ulm! When was that, i asked. Oh, I remember clearly he said, it was in the year of the world exhibition in Brussels, 1958 and I went there on a moped. During our talk a plate with slices of mango and kiwi were served. He ate it all. Then he said he was still frequently swimming in the fjord near his house and that it got him into the local paper recently. I was not listening anymore. Too busy thinking about the year Einstein was born. I went inside the house and looked it up in Wikipedia. When i came back in the garden the moment had passed to continue the beautiful conversation we could have had.
Q: Sssh, think i heard something or body.
Photo: Sunset on Løvstakken 21 June 2009. Sluik makes a difference and waves at himself.
Just read in the newspaper that grasshopper number 1 was found in Bangkok dead beginning of this month and aged 72, hanging naked in a cupboard wrapped in cables around neck and balls. Hmm... weird... I guess he was rehearsing really hard for his role in the next TV series or Tarantino movie and things got out of hand. I still like David Carradine but I guess this will not get him an Oscar. I will speak only good of the dead and family.
I just returned from a real charter holiday. Something I never did before or for the last time when I was watching Grasshopper getting smarter and smarter. It wasn't my idea but a special offer last minute booking was arranged in a second and the following day I sat with my girl and son Thor next to a pool in Crete! Didn't forget to work a little though and I caught some images which I will scatter all over these pages. And I admit I actually enjoyed the trip much. The water however in the pool I only touched with a finger.
The weather was really bad for me: the sky was cloudless blue and the temperature during the day 35 Celsius. It gave me a hard time to keep the colors out of the images and make it doomy and gloomy and environmentally correct, haha! It was my first time in Greece but I did not see much old and ancient except on a postcard or two. We stayed just outside the, in summertime Scandinavian, town of Chania on a small tidy resort called Lotus Suites. Next door neighbours were shiny BMW & Renault dealers, convenient LIDL and IN.CA mega supermarkets, bowling and midget-golf centre GOLDEN FUN and a 24 hour shop called STASI where the rubbish bin is called Nirvana. Yes, it was all really a temporary Nirvana! However hard I try I can not find any bad words about the place... maybe the mosquitoes... I will only speak good about the Greek.
So you see, I really have the feeling that I became a wiser man and that it is all thanks to watching David. Then, I mean. I somehow lost contact with my brother lately and I will stay out of cupboards in Bangkok. I promise.
Photo: STASI 24 hours shop, Chania, 9 June 2009.
Answer: Yes, of course I agree. But why the hurry? Tudor did not even jump on the train yet. Not a single essential photo is made yet. Not a soul outside knows about this blog or project or book, ego document or whatever. There are no deadlines. There is no pressure. There is no fast solution to be expected from this auto manipulation to end the hype called world crisis . No Venice prize falling on this ticket. It is not going to get our stomach filled and pockets monetized or our unique and outstanding artistic achievements finally acknowledged, affirmed and established in huge white cubes.
Q: Oh shut up! So, what to do with them, the words i mean: night, displaced, coziness, curtains and expose??
A:I guess... for the moment... it will sort out itself once the whole thing is moving. Usually I have no idea where it all leads to but... I have some idea... for me the keywords, or as one wishes, chapter titles are the cement between the bricks of the house. They will help us to focus on our story. If i look at the photographic works Sluik and Bratu made in the past i see the following comparisons and crossovers: we both like photographing without light sometimes and take the eye more serious than the camera, explore the edges of visual beauty, trying to emphasize the exceptional and astounding in the most common banal and basic and in the mean time the limits of what a viewer might except if they see anything at all of the whole we show or fail to open up.
Q: Hey, wait a minute, now i get it! This is all bull! This whole, so called, self interview is not much more than an uprated and dressed up fancy email to Tudor Bratu explaining in rough lines what the great artwork should and could develop in and actually also explaining the opposite: that i have no clue? And i do it like this so at least the first page of the project gets some kind of stuffing? In the spirit of: let's get a lot of text so it probably is intellectual and that looks smart to the contemporaries who might get lost on this blog attempt? Isn't that a little pathetic, pretentious and silly and childish and boring and thin and thick?
Photo: Sluik got his final wisdom tooth pulled last week.
Answer: yes or actually some key WORDS in this case: night / displaced / coziness / curtains / expose.
Q: so tell me now, who is this Carla and who is Tilb...?
A: Persistent man! OK, i give the uninteresting truth: a Chinese puppet found in between the rubbish and now hanging on the wall down the stairs in the house i live in. She needed a name and Carla was available / seemed suitable. In this blog she is meant as a balance to prevent the male to take over totally. But that might give away too much and is weak and boring if everybody knows... so i just said that she is dead. At least since 2005 but probably longer and she is buried in Belgrade. She might be an artist or curator or collector. Yes, i like that last option best. War-related of course. She died in that 1999 thing over there... a tower victim of the old type.
Q: She is not some pretty young Latvian girl who got into some wrong business west, wants to go to cozy home but has got to do some paying back first?
A: Ha serious, i really did not think of that! Hmm... just made the titles up randomly thinking of what Bratu and i could visually deal with (or not). Where we could have the dialog and the confrontation, the gaps and the supplements.
Q: Can i get personal? Did i have enough sex lately?
A: What i admit is that i often have no clue what i start with or even end up with. It is just a matter of associative brain jumping. When i now think of it i like that Latvian version. I am actually plain figurative and anecdotal. A deadly conservative if it comes to that! On the other hand this whole thing does not need a head and a tail... yet.
Q: What about truth and honesty?
A: Another beauty of this medium is the constant possibility to edit and delete, add and dispose as much as you want. Any time! Nothing is real here. Everything is easily faked, fooled and manipulated. There is no end to it! Facts come from You Tube and Wikipedia, made by another bunch of onliners. Also their passion and commitment is more precious than their accuracy or knowledge.
Q: So a description for the perception of truth today is that it is a kind of personal subjective empiric experience of ones own observations and that we make vague deals with our direct neighbors in what we actually believe?
A: Yes, i guess so... and that is not too spectacular. The world might be a thick jubilee issue of the National_Geographic with white sharks and the revival of the Vikings for some but for me it is much more like Robert Walser observed almost a hundred years ago after a good sunday walk in the mountains:
'We don't need to see anything out of the ordinary. We already see so much.”
photo: Dear owners of Danone, please contact Sluik for a business proposal (and for a private matter).
Answer: I like to approach new challenges, i almost said work, in an associative way. Just get out the right tools and set of keys and hit the road. Sounds simple? Well the magic is actually in the set of keys. In this case Tudor Bratu gave me the initiative to come up with a frame and at the moment of this writing there is not more than that. We could end up with a monster or a beauty.
Q: that worries me?
A: I like it either way. Beginning this year i initiated an online gallery for visions. It turned out a little different than i thought but is a different expectation (mistake?) not as much a learning process as a success formula is?
Q: watch out for clichés and metaphors!
A: With a book it does not matter much when it is written or read but here that is essential for how a text is perceived. As much by the writer as well the reader. It is a fascinating process of awareness of time i get into when i deal with this medium.
Q: it makes in the mean time the question, of who and how many reading it when, pointless and mediocre.
A: Yes, this actually really touches the blogging process. Time becomes a main issue to consider. And then there is the location of consumption: weblogs in the kitchen and printed matter in the dining room! If i may clarify for the ones who do not get it: In the last one you get to see a menu (maybe) but in the kitchen you sit between the ingredients.
Q: So, here we are dealing with the true sketchbook and the perfect sized atelier?
A: Yes... well to stay with the food-example: on a McDonalds level of course. A safe playground dictated from somewhere telling me i am in Heaven and the world is free and the sky is the limit and the access is for all and i can even monetize it!
Q: that reminds me. How is the tail doing?
Photo, Natland 10 April 2009: Sluik has a natural worry he is not taken seriously and is just being looked upon as a clown.
Question: ...hmm... Let me continue asking myself questions: Bratu joins later?
Answer: Yes, young and busy till the end of this month in Antwerpen and Utrecht. Exhibitions and agendas! Oh, i left that all behind me! I wrote him I would just start and he can jump on the boat later. Whenever he wants and with whatever attitude or intentions.
Q: What do i expect from the collaboration with him?
A: It is another road and a similar road to the ones taken before but just slightly different. Different asphalt, different views and destination (?), new model car and good company. I expect to see some new things with him. Does not have to be big. Discover a new piece of the puzzle. No, not a whole new puzzle and expect is also not the word: hope maybe... i belief i do. Tudor Bratu gives the wheel a swing in a direction i do not anticipate. Get my drift?
Q: I hope he does. Who do i expect to pull the wagon?
A: Balance is boring and i am not much of a type to follow. For the moment i just want the whole lot to move somewhere and then go against it a little.
Q: Where do the other names come from? Who are Carla, Tilbud and Tilbake?
A: There is nothing most men do or like better than talking about women. So that explains Carla. But i want no trouble so I told Tudor she is already dead.
Q:so Tilbud and Tilbake are men?
A: For the moment: forget them!
Q: What did they do wrong?
A: Is nobody listening to me?
Q: I just do not know yet, do i? Other question: so this is supposed to become an important work of art? Contemporary? Visionary figurative? Postmodern empirical? I have a name for it: Emotional constructivism or what about real virtualitivism?
A: Leave immediately my tail alone or i will shoot!
photo: Sluik cowardly did not open the entrance to a cellar in the centre of Chisinau, Monday 27 April 2009, although he was very curious.
Question: How am i?
Answer: Could do better, next question.
Q: So, i am making a blog together with Tudor Bratu! How did it come to that?
A: Well first this endless blogging: i have been since November last year kind of into it. It started with an invitation to participate in some group blog. Not long after i opened one for myself containing short stories. I kind of like the idea of the accessibility. The quickness and irrelevance of audience. I have to say i always have been a bit skeptic towards this medium. Now i just want to help getting it full, haha!
Q: I want to come back to that later. What about the collaboration with Bratu?
A: Do not know if it is relevant but i knew the work before the man. It was in Bucuresti during the first Biennial for Young Artists in 2004. I was kind of an artistic handyman and (card)board member and he participated as an artist. I directly liked his work. It is kind of rűcksichtlos straightforward. Self assured and black and white. So, we met and later he came to Chisinau, twice, were i lived for a while. He bonded me to him, haha! Anyway: about a week ago he wrote me if i would like the idea of making a book together. I just finished dealing with Senis Besmegenis so his timing was perfect.
Q: Senis melted down totally! For ever...
A: Hmm... do not know that yet... anyway... really thought Tudor came with the right invitation in the right time. And now i hope he is the right man! Can i say a little bit more about the blogging now?
Q: No, not now. Not today.
photo: 17 May 2009 Bergen Norway. Sluik and son Thor are listening to the National Anthem from their balcony.