08/12/2012. AxeMan’s new neighbor, just one kilometer (6/10 of a mile) away on foot, had a housewarming where she (the artist was present) unveiled plans for the spectacular Marina Abramovic Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art designed by Rem Koolhaas. All she needs is about $15 million to build it, the theory being; Build it and they will jump aboard Amtrak and come. But when AxeMan introduced the concept of the Tennis Court Oath to several people he knew, he drew blanks. Par for the course; he was often oblique, obscure and arcane. But didn’t they know about the French Revolution? Were they asleep in world history classes? No matter. It’s a happening thing. She handled real art world questions deftly. “Are you aware of the shelter for homeless men a block away?” She said (paraphrasing somewhat), everybody’s gotta be someplace – why not them? It’s a new day in Hudson. Again. AxeMan is looking forward.
The whiny fool and his cohorts are now claiming that the President gave “gifts” to his constituents; Latinos, students, all the usual suspects. Gifts! The gall (after receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from a few ultra-right wingnuts) is either comic or sociopathic. Even fellow Republicans who were on the conference call (along with a reporter from the NY Times who was invited to sit in) were in total disagreement.
Here’s why. Go to axeman.see.me now and click the little star on the top line (toward the right side) that says support. They say all AxeMan needs is 25, repeat, only 25 supporters to qualify for something or t’other; money, a billboard on Times Square, so on and so forth. He will believe it when he sees it. This new piece, an homage to Ray Johnson and David Weiss, is on the the see.me opening page. That’s it.
AxeMan has been placed by his boss/alter ego in a drawer (aka – flat file #60) at Pierogi gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, nestled amongst several hundred other artists. He’s pretty comfortable, but he wouldn’t mind coming up for air now and then. Visitors welcome. If you can’t read the text (kind of small here) you could go to this link on his website to try to fathom it out. Might not be so easy. A gallerist there asked AxeMan’s boss to describe himself. Boss thought for a moment and said, “Non-linear visual narrator.” “Why not,” said the gallerist, who had failed at first and second glance to get some of the references, which was okay with the Boss. “but I really like how it looks.”
So how about the The Death of Detroit? Not glam enough? Pictured below is 1887 Grant Street, Detroit, MI. Detroit hasn’t got a lot going for it except a lot of people out of work and a ton of empty lots and houses, several on this very street. Possibilities, no?
And then there is Hudson, NY, a formerly down at the heels town in an ongoing rebirth, hand-in-glove with the continuing passion play of Marina Abramovic? And Abramovic has Lady Gaga. There is art in both cities. One may lose it (the Detroit Institute of the Arts, as well as the rest of the city), and the other, The Marina Abramovic Institute, (MAI), hopes to find immortality. AxeMan, in his typically elliptical fashion, is reminded of all those old Caddies buried in the Texas semi-desert; the once great Ant Farm’s Cadillac Ranch installation. Cadillac Ranch is facing destruction because the money guy, Stanley Marsh 3, has been accused of (but not tried for) possible sex offenses against youngsters. Jeff Blackburn, an Amarillo lawyer who founded the Innocence Project, and is, like Marsh, a descendant of one of Amarillo’s first pioneer families, says, “I can tell you this town is better off for having had him in it for as long as it has. Yes, we’ve heard rumors, but they’ve always remained rumors. If it turns out they are true, then we’ll do the right thing.” He hopes (as does AxeMan) that it ends well, whatever that is. But AxeMan is wondering if a new iteration could spring to life in the urban desert of Detroit. Yes, there is a Grant Street (kind of short – about four blocks), but there are vacant lots on it. Thus, (GR)ANT FARM. AxeMan’s boss wonders what it would take to get hold of some funked up Detroit wheels that bit the dust and bury them nose down on those lots. You know the names (or maybe you don’t). Hudson, Edsel, Rambler, DeSoto, Studebaker, Packard, Henry J, … hell, too many to mention. AxeMan can see the rusting hulks, tails up, gathering weeds until something better comes along (like small factories). He’s even envisioning a Kickstarter campaign to get some weed, er, seed money. Hell, Marina Abramovic is doing it, or trying to. She’s asking for $600 Gs to build her Kool-House (ultimately $20 million) in Hudson, NY, coincidently only .6 km from AxeMan’s own abode. And there are a few weeds around that one too. If the Abramovic explanation about “Why Hudson?” is to be taken seriously, then they might have inhaled a whole lotta weed. In her/their words, “MAI’s mission of exploration is defined by an appreciation of time and space that is inherently obstructed by the pace and nature of the city. Hudson, where America’s first school of art was established (is she alluding to the Hudson River School?) has a rich history of slow and measured appreciation for nature and the arts, and thus serves as a perfect environment for the institute.” Neither AxeMan nor his boss have the foggiest idea what this means, but it does sound like (gr)antspeak, a lingua franca they had better learn, pronto.
AxeMan gave a couple of bucks to become a ‘Founder’. It was the neighborly thing to do, since he lives only 5 blocks away from her proposed new home in Hudson, NY. He was glad she got her $600,000 from Kickstarter. He’d already gotten his own $2700 a couple of years ago. But what about the extra $61,452 for Phase Two? Maybe this could include one of the ‘local’ crew putting a sign on the door over the current chalked one asking, “Is This Art?” It could say, “This IS art, sometime in the not so distant future.” And he is wondering, what happens if he shows up with his head screwed on? Dos he still get his promised reward of a hug?
AxeMan, thinking he is impervious to concussions, wonders about The Boss who seems to be losing ‘it’ amongst many other things. His father loved to watch the Friday Night Fights on the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports. He sat next to his father on the bed in front of the TV, watching his father scream like a maniac. And there was a time when The Boss loved football. Mostly it was the images.
Photos dating back to the late 1950s which weren’t so different from the Robert Capa war photos that took up space in his collective unconscious. The images were narratives, dramas unfolding in an instant. As he kid he had few skills and little strength, but he loved the running around doing anything and everything to keep from getting hit. But AxeMan has seen The Boss get a little weepy reading about the legions of men suffering the horrendous brain damage that lead to dementia, Alzheimer’s and suicide. He showed AxeMan a picture in the New York Times year end magazine, The Lives We Lost. George Sauer was a superstar of his time in the early 1970s. As it turns out, Sauer hated the game he played so well. It was a family tradition he could not shake. “He didn’t want to be anything but a poet and a writer,” John Dockery, a former Jets teammate and roommate during road games, recalled in a NY Times 2008 interview, “but he was given skills he didn’t want. He wanted something else. He walked away from the money, from everything, because it was too painful for him.”AxeMan didn’t like to see The Boss cry, especially when he was incapable of crying himself. Welcome to 2014.
The Boss noticed that Art Forgery seems to be gathering steam. The courts and the art blogs are full of stories about the ‘new’ legit. Not wanting to be left behind, he lifts an idea from a hot new Brit-com, nowhere men, who claim that science is the new rock’n’roll, declaring himself a forager, not a forger. He is getting pretty effing tired of having to explain everything to AxeMan, but he does not see cutting the cord yet, lest the alter ego come back to bite him on the nose (which he/it will). Stay tuned.
As The Boss travels down, up, down, up, down, across the path of his new identity: NonLinearVisualNarrator, AxeMan is hanging on for dear life. The Boss thinks he is creating puzzles for his followers, of which there ain’t many, and those who try have hardly a clue. One friend, not an FB friend, but a real one, tried using google to figure one out. Came up with seven possibilities, none correct.
An American Hustle if ever there was one. Thanks to Kickstarter, AxeMan made a new friend in the UK. Then, The Boss appropriated the friend for himself. AxeMan discovered the theft on The Boss’ computer. Apparently the new friend is using this new piece to open his own new project in London on March 14th, 2014. Why? The Boss is in kind of a tizzy. It’s a long story (maybe), and odds are the Brits don’t know shits about Richie Incognito. It has something to do with Fenella Fielding, England’s first lady of the double entendre. He’ll believe it when he sees it. The details remain sketchy, but AxeMan in London? Stranger things have happened. The Boss would cross the pond just to see it, but The Friend says the event is oversubscribed. Believe that and you’ll believe anything.