Fresas and Calaveras

Jack Heard es un pintor de Los Ángeles. 
Presentará objetos en el piso y en los muros de Bikini Wax.

The funny thing about whiteness is that it's really more of a redness or a pinkness.

We were on a vacation with our moms, like when we were kids, be we were not kids.

We were touristing in the third-world, poisonous creatures and Eco-adventures. There were very poor people, and Europeans buying souvenirs. We did some parasailing and river rafting.

At the end, we found ourselves in an open-air auditorium. Matthew Perry was giving a lecture, our mothers were gone. He was talking about our trip. I think he had been with us, but I don't remember seeing him. He said that it made him loose faith. That he couldn't help feeling as though we were all part of a big experiment-- that the whole world was just participating in some grad student's double blind psyc. thesis. He didn't want to feel this way, but the trip had made it impossible for him to believe otherwise. He was sad. You and I exchanged knowing glances.

The house I grew up in was quite small. A steep, narrow staircase led from the first to second floor. My room, just one and a half times as long as my bed was wide, was just big enough to also include a tiny green desk and chair, where I can remember spending most of my time. I like to bring my hand just above my head and turn my palm up to the sky, "since I was ten I could touch the ceiling like this", I say, "but it was lined with beautifully ornate copper".

Idleness is rural in essence. It is based on a sense of 'natural' merit and balance. You should never do too much. It is a principal of discretion and respect for the equivalence between labor and land: the peasant gives, but it is for the land and the gods to give the rest - the main part. A principal of respect for what does not come from labor and never will.

You were with me, we were standing at the entrance to Cuautemoc metro, just a few blocks from where I am sitting now. You had given me a gift. A birthday gift I believe. It was a wallet, but the real present was the collection of membership cards you'd put inside-- SAMs club, the American veterinary institute. There was a card for free visits to an optician, a music supply store's business card, one for medical marijuana, and one for a famous children's bookstore. Your whole family was beaming. You thought it was a very good gift. I agreed.

People in the street believe me to be French. At least anyone that has ventured to guess has thought so. Sometimes German, but mostly French. I'm flattered by this. Once a prositute insisted that it was the case. Either gay or French, she sited my polke-dotted shirt as evidence.

I've been down here painting, mostly strawberries. And trying to rig these headlights to plug into a regular 24 volt outlet. It feels different from what we were talking about at my studio. But the approach is more or less the same, materially, technically. Now there is a theme. I guess there often was in LA, it just didn't get talked about. Objects that I would get hung up on, materials I would seek out for some unknown reason. The big difference here is that there is a lot of representation. Not just actual strawberries, but the image of the strawberry, over and over. I can't claim it's abstract. I paint it. I photograph it when I see it. I cut it out from magazines when I find it in them. Sometimes though, they look like raspberries. I bought a record the other day by a band called Fresas (strawberries in Spanish). There is a lot to like about strawberries. I have always enjoyed finding them tiny and wild in the backyard, and wondered why it was that straw was a part of their name. In Mexico fresa also describes a person who looks to be, is, or aspires to be of the upper class. I guess that even the representation of somethings contains the ambiguity of pure abstraction.

We never locked the front door. But if it somehow got that way, the keys lying on a wicker stool next to it were not enough to open it. It required a deft hand, and some tricks with your foot. I think it was because both the inner and outer door bore large, ornate knobs, and did not fit together in the door frame. One would always push the other open when slammed shut.

In the light of the headlamps, a huge, dense crowd, shrouded in the mist rising from the ocean, a contorted mass of bodies and faces. The men, who were hidden away out of the heat, reappear around strings of slaughtered chicken's steaming entrails and charcoal fires as night falls. Two women at the top of the dune are belly-dancing, calling people in to the wall of death. No artificial light, a silent ferment. Faces, eyes, clothing, animals. The language guttural, the poverty visceral, and a seething which is that of epidemics. Everything - even the figures of the women, the hum of voices, the salty linen hangings, the laughter - is potentially violent, obeying primitive injunctions. Those of the harem and the seraglio.

Everything makes us impatient. Perhaps we feel remorse for a life that is too long, from the point of view of the species, for the use we make of it.

An accident at an air display, and old lady's heart attack, an exploding rocket, a falling roof-tile, everything triggers off a process of infernal responsibility. Real crimes would be preferable, crimes caused by passion and not by pollution, by evil and not by prophylaxis and the empty wanking of oligophrenic consciousness.

This is how ennui works…

Jack Heard

  Jack Heard, Bikini Wax, Mexico City