July 22, 2016

M HKA Museum Interview with Kati Heck and the Extremely Slow and Painful Death of the Wild Wild Midwest Variety Show

For three months of 2015, Colin, Orla, and I lived in Antwerp, Belgium during his artist-in-residence at Het Bos. It was a strange and surreal time. I still don't know if I enjoyed myself. It is all a blur save these few memories.
Memory #1: An aerobics class I joined for several weeks at the top of an old Turkish bathhouse with a beautiful stained glass ceiling and women wearing Hijabs doing choreographed Jazzersize together. It was in Flemish. I remember an instruction that sounded like "annaboven." I think it meant "up."

Memory #2: Orla had her first high fever in Antwerp. We took her to the emergency room and a nurse and a student attempted to take blood from her tiny little hand. They couldn't get the needle in correctly and blood was dripping everywhere. It went on forever and she cried in a way that made me cry. Her hand was bruised for a month and if I look closely I can still see a tiny scar.

Memory #3: Orla had her first stomach flu. I sat on the bedroom floor against the wall holding her all night while she vomited on me. Gross love.

Memory #4: Watching the Jordie Shore and Are You The One? on MTV with Colin.

Memory #5: The terrorist attacks in Paris. A week before the attack we were there visiting a friend of mine and another friend said to me, "You can really feel this tension in the air here, like something is about to happen." I didn't think too much of that because I couldn't feel the tension. A week later in the middle of the night we watched it unfold on television in horror and disbelief. It was an extremely strange feeling to be that close. And it was eye-opening seeing how Europe was bearing so much of the weight of dealing with the refugee crisis that America was largely responsible for and doing very little about. I saw armed soldiers and tanks in the streets of Antwerp.

Memory #6: We took an impromptu trip to Ireland to visit friends at the end of our stay in Belgium. There was a wild storm that lasted three days while we were there. The house we were staying in flooded.  We were at our good friends house for three days eating, smoking, drinking, and watching the wind howl outside. I saw the wind lift two wheels of a car.

Memory #7: I had the honor and pleasure to interview Kati Heck for her exhibition catalogue Holy Hauruck at the M HKA Museum in Antwerp, Belgium. It is a five part interview. Kati is one of my most favorite people on the planet. I have scanned if you are so inclined to read them. It is a five part interview, enjoy.

The Extremely Slow and Painful Death of the Wild Wild Midwest Variety Show

Yes, it's over. We tried. We loved the show. We made every effort and spent a lot of time trying to make it happen, but we had to let it go. It pains me to say it, but if I'm honest it got to be too exhausting to deal with a latently sexist and self aggrandizing so-and-so who never kept their word. I'll leave it at that. The show as it was is dead, but we aren't, so I still have hope that it will take on a new life, in a new way, someday.