The Rock Climber Part III (wip)
Before it all ended up like this, I was a labourer, an art handler to be precise, which looking back, seems less absurd now than it did then. My belief in the potential of art to change anything had waned seriously and I had turned back to music. I couldn’t find an overview of art that wasn’t in some way over-inflated, upsold, exaggerated, most of the good stuff existed in bubbles of ever decreasing size as the universities churned out heavily indebted students obsessed with the conservative arts, and watered down any chance of real cut and thrust. I found the implications of the art market too painful to contemplate and so I started to ignore anything made on a large budget. As an art handler I would regularly visit the houses of the extremely wealthy and discover works which formed the joys of my youth. Now sad, hostages to a world they were never intended for, shut away, muzzled, silenced. My biggest disappointment was that some of my favourite artist were implicated in this stale and seedy uroboros. Extraordinary works of great capacity for political and social change, hung as status symbols by people who would never, ever experience the conditions which led to their production. These palatial abodes took on the feel of great hunting lodges, the heads of previously wild artworks, decapitated and hung on the walls like trophies. It always struck me how, like wild animals, if the only traces of artistic wilderness were to be found on the walls of the rich then they were simultaneously removed from the public realm, depriving the poor of culture. A doubled castration. My wealthy clients often employed art consultants, I always thought these people were like taxidermists or whatever you call the people you employ to behead and mount your kill after the big hunt. Very often I felt I could actually smell blood in these art mega-mansions. The level of uncertainty amongst the wealthy art owners, was always remarkable, they often behaved like a child receiving a present; ‘Oh, I love it, thank you so much, just what I wanted….what is it?’. Their lack of understanding for even the physical capabilities of those who assisted in their wonderful adventures was the most astonishing thing. I was once asked to hold a large work up on a wall above a staircase so the client could see how they felt about how it looked. Run of the mill stuff, however this work consisted of 16 large individual frames which I had laid out on the floor. I explained the problems with the request but was met with a strange disbelief which I thought verged on madness. ‘So your saying you can’t hold it up for me?....I need to see it before I decide…’. I was perplexed by the reaction and at first wondered if my relative lack of experience had led me to miss something, I racked my brains but just could not think of a way to do it. On the way home that day a few things started to make more sense to me. This extremely wealthy client had immediately requested their private jet to be readied as soon as we had finished, needing to get to Milan as soon as possible. There was a universe to which this person belonged, where anything is possible, literally anything and it was not regular to have to think about the individual physical limits of those lubricating life for you. How many hands and arms a servant has, is not something they want to have to think about, after all they are paying, whatever they want to happen is the thing that should happen and the idea of human physical limits is an inconvenience which had clearly been forgotten many years ago.