We’ve ceased digital communications with each other for an indefinite period of time (beginning June 2014). In lieu of phone or email correspondence we’ve been liaising via snail mail and impromptu meetings.
Kate & I invite you to attend “An Occasion” at White Lady Funerals. We will be interviewing each other about studying comedy, our relationship, and being artists. For the occasion we have asked artists Erika Scott, Courtney Coombs, Martin Smith, Joseph Breikers, Tim Kerr, and David M Thomas to make a work that is not funny.
Sunday 27th July
White Lady Funerals
270 Kelvin Grove Road
Please be prompt and enter through the chapel.
Proudly Supported by Brisbane City Council
We recently put together a pin board of images, objects, text and email correspondence from our time in Texas with The Art Guys.
Stuff we made/things we did:
- Made spy-cam hats and looked for Yeti in Jack & Mike’s studio backyard.
- Glued Jack’s beard hair to our chins (far right image).
- Took photos of ourselves mimicking ‘lookalikes’ in ‘H-Texas’ – Houston’s Premiere Lifestyle Magazine (large image, bottom right) (Winter Issue 2014).
Pin board exhibited at ‘Why Not Walk Backward’, a group exhibition at Gertrude Contemporary in May, 2014. Image by Christo Crocker.
A very good example of how technical comedy is, is “beating the car”…everybody thinks its hilarious and it is very funny, but the first time I did it it wasnʼt funny at all, because I was using a stick or a branch that was too rigid and as I hit it with this rigid branch it just wasnʼt funny and then I went out and started hitting it with a floppier branch and that wasnʼt funny so I went out and thought well, its something in the middle, so I went out and got another one […] and suddenly it was hilarious. Itʼs very nice that when I run out of the shot from that point of view thereʼs an element of surprise simply because we donʼt know why Iʼve run off […] Itʼs not just that an idea is funny itʼs that an idea done exactly right is funny.
– John Cleese (BBC, 2009)
Kate and I are home bound in 24 hours and wanted to share with you a few thoughts and some photo highlights from this three-month comedy crusade through Chicago, New York, Houston, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
In all honesty we’re feeling relieved to be returning home. We’re in need of familiar faces and surroundings in order to process everything we’ve experienced. The trip was as much about honesty as it was about comedy. Honesty isn’t always funny.
We’ve collected a few quotes which go some way to characterising this moment in our thinking about art and comedy.
A preamble: I (Kate) was compiling this list of quotes and really wanted to find something from Louise C. K. to add into the mix. I think he is working in the territory that we are exploring.
There was a blow up a number of years ago about a comedian Dane Cook. He was alleged to have stolen a number of jokes from Louis C.K. and felt some serious internet wrath for a time. Louis did not validate or disabuse the public of this allegation but in this NPR interview talks about how awkward he felt about the situation and how he decided to address it in his show Louie. He wrote a scene in which he needed to ask Dane Cook for help getting tickets to a Lady Gaga show for his two daughters. The scene plays out with Dane getting angry about Louie not coming to his aid and Louie carefully admitting that he did believe that Dane had stolen the jokes (unconsciously perhaps). The situation remains unresolved yet Louis does discuss outside the show that this exercise brought him and Dane closer. We like this use of real conflicts brought into the realm of representation. We have an image of wanting to be on the edge of our artworks, to be leaning over toward the viewer inviting a hive five, a handshake, a poke or an embrace.
The quotes below speak to our excitement about the relationship between comedy and openness or vulnerability, and how we can connect (with) people as we play in this field.
A great thing about comedy is taking people to places where they have fear and foreboding and making them laugh in that place – Louis C.K.
The truly mad are not content to merely tell stories; they have to act them out – Fanny Howe
Most jokes are experiments because you don’t know when someone’s going to laugh[…] I think if you’re experimenting and innovating the form and surprising the audience and surprising yourself by what’s possible to get a laugh then I totally think it’s art. And what I think is great is that comedy unlike art has this very specific response so you know when it works. With art it can be so much more amorphous because you don’t really know what people think. With comedy it’s so nice you know if it works and then you can kind of move on from there and in a sense I think that makes comedy move more quickly and change more quickly than maybe art does. And I think in a way if art audiences were a little more honest with their response to work then maybe art also would excel as quickly. – Miriam Katz
Here are some highlights from the trip ya’ll.
ERWIN WURM SCULPTURE IN NEW YORK
HOUSTON AND THE ART GUYS
ART GUYS / CORK IDEAS LIST
HANDMADE TEXAN SPYCAM HATS
REMOTE PERFORMANCE WORK FOR BOXCOPY, BRISBANE
CAKES BY ALICE LANG
AT THE HAMMER MUSEUM – HOME BOUND
Things we learnt in Vegas:
- Sunlight has no place in casinos
- Ma Po Tofu at P.F. Chang’s is the healthiest & cheapest meal option in town
- The Bellagio has the worlds biggest (unimpressive) chocolate fountain
- There’s a ‘secret’ James Turrell work in the Louis Vuitton store
- Downtown is better than uptown