Slide Show - Images (mostly) from The Illustrated History of Painting


Thursday, June 2, 2011


Dear Commandante Mc,D.

I am confident this courier dispatch will get to you without event …as by now all city sectors have been secured by Brigade Manageriale (or BM).

The Artists-Provisional-Elite (or APE) guerillas have been effectively routed from all but the most defensively hardened studio and exhibition redoubts, on the Canterbury plains. There are of course still unaccounted-for artists (at least in name) in Christchurch – but, of the remaining hostile-creatives, the larger portion of this unmanageable population has been provisionally recruited to BM scouting, intelligence-gathering and visual propaganda units. While a remaining, relatively small, scattered, number of the ‘ungovernables’ have been run from the territories - or disarmed, re-educated and moved to designated bohemian reservations. Resettled, as a matter of course, in undesirable territories set aside in the post-conflict city plan.

Once rubble has been cleared and the central city reestablished the Bureau of Artistic Affairs (or BAA) will appraise the High Administrative Command Kadre (or HACK) of their long-term plans for importing authentically wild-artists from elsewhere – as we will still require spectacle and pageant content-providers for SCAPE, the Arts Festival and other civic entertainments.

The ongoing expansion and funding of enlisted and officer corps ranks - in both arts-administration and cultural-bureaucracy - will not only deal to the logistical challenge of sourcing and temporary importation of wild artists (and their native finery) but will also provide an expanded audience base for the wild-artist shows we have planned.

The only foreseeable problem – in terms of re-establishing a lively, post-conflict, downtown-milieu, for petit bourgeois boulevardiers (and the bohemian-for-the-weekend crowd) is the inevitable loss of colorful characters - mostly artists, I regret to report. These ‘types’ will no doubt be missing from the cafés, bars, domestic salons, soirees and event-vernissages. And, since the remnant reservation-artist population - who in the past have provided a reliably colorful counterpoint to the ranks of: professionals, family-trusters, academics, business-people and administrators - will (no doubt) be reduced in presence. Early reports form wild-artist holding-camps are that newly domesticated artists are demoralized, listless, devoid of attitude and (frankly) no fun.

In response to the historically proven difficulty of inducing out-of-town-and-visiting wild artists to linger in town awhile - a town otherwise devoid of artists and color – we have devised a brilliantly simple remedy. After any given wild-artist show the good burghers of Canterbury can go for coffee or drinks and talk……. to one another.