Pretty boy with a shaving cream beard.

Jack has a pale voice with body. His shorts as I remember them reveal everything about his being while remaining just slightly above the knee. We connect after a break of roughly two years. He tells me he was hit by a car and I laugh. His foot still hurts but other than that he's back to painting.--------------------- I try to explain as best as I can without being annoyed by myself that I would like to write a space for his show that builds a connective tissue between works which can only exist as ideas anyway. Aside from the opening, no one will be available during the show to hold regular hours or oversee the exhibition. None of the parties involved will be present. I wait for images and links. I wait for works in the conservative sense that never arrive. I’m hating Jack for this but love him for how much he frustrates me. I call him Juicy, Juicy Mangrove, or even Juiceteria when I'm feeling affectionate, but never Jack. I don't think he's a curator but think he curates concepts into works of his own. The press release and this text are the only surfaces where the artistic positions will meet. As Juicy says, all knife, no handle.---------------------------------------------------------------
Over the phone, Juicy explains a few of the works he wants to be a part of the show using mostly hyperbolic adjectives. He doesn’t know yet who or how many of the artists he invited will participate. He tells me about a basketball game he played where some prepubescent Hasids hustled him and his older friend. We talk about Zeus, a dog he had when we first met who seemed too tired to actually be alive. Sometimes Zeus followed on command but mostly he ignored hearing his name which sounded like Juice in its echo. We agree that this show exists mostly in its marketing. He tells me about a guy who works with babies and a woman he met on the dance floor who is reproducing the scent of an Apple store. He says a Norwegian gallerist will be wearing it as perfume. I stand near the window so I can smoke and he goes in and out of whispering because he’s in someone’s kitchen in Portugal. I’ve never been to Oslo but he says the space is on a street next to a coffee shop and that it’s small. Once Juicy and I spent five hours driving to the west side of LA because we were too distracted to follow a single cardinal direction. When we got to the museum we had trouble seeing anything beyond our own ideas and Juicy said he felt guilted into looking at a triptych because of the security guard’s posture.----------------------------------------------------------------------Eventually Juicy sends me the press release. The works are untethered from the site of the gallery but it’s standard fare. An elusive proposition followed by ten artists and ten interpretations of their work cross-stitched into their bios. I continue waiting for images that never come. I feel stubborn and want to write a space for the works to gather in, and for the words to become a surface that never stops reorganizing views of itself. I don’t want to write a fiction but am not afraid of a space that is untrue. I send him a revision to my bio that makes me sound more interesting and qualified than I am. I complain about typos in the press release. He responds that all of the bios will be revised but they never are. He sends me an email from someone who attended the opening that sounds like it never happened. A really high couple stole beer and no one who committed on Facebook came. I visit the gallery’s website and look at images of people hanging out at other openings. There’s a small step that takes you down into a room which is just below the sidewalk.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Whenever I try to think my way into the show, my head becomes a cotton ball. There are fluffy edges which I can almost touch but its interior is beyond reach. It’s not void as in the void. And it’s not quite naked enough to reflect its own structure. It’s made of fibers that bend and contort whenever any part of the cotton ball is approached. It’s an oppositely charged magnet that drifts away from the touch.--------------Finally, I give up on waiting for something more tangible from Juicy and send him a version of this text that I thought was more or less finished. After some months he responds. It’s the surface I had been waiting for. An exhibition figured in time, that multiplies. Heavy with air, the works resist being assembled into an easily consumable container. They remain where they were made if made at all. They remain in transit, as words, pixels, marks, fragrances, interactions and regrets.

Hello Seth,

After months of feeling too guilty to respond to your requests for images, I opened this email to find that you had in fact written a text. Surprised, I procrastinated further with a cigarette on the balcony. I thought of how I might apologize. What could be said about this show that I might not lose all credibility? (I'm much too worried about my reputation; how did that happen to me?) I thought I would dig through my archives for all the bits of documentation I could find (better late than never). I thought I would write about how sorry I was and what a shit job I had done and that you might be assuaged, that you might even be charmed. I practiced the voices of Peter Wächtler and Josef Strau and thought of my insufficiencies. I hoped that my own admonition would emancipate me. I began to feel uneasy in this strategic apology and again didn't know what to do.

I sat down and read your text.

Of course you already knew exactly what had happened. You knew three months ago when you wrote it. No explanation was necessary. I realized that I couldn't admit failure to escape judgment, but that judgement didn't matter and that failure was the only thing to talk about. I felt for the first time like I didn't really want to bury the show and move on, but that I would really like to see this text get finished.

I do genuinely feel a need to apologize. Mostly because I remember that you were very busy when we were talking about this, and that you might have been thinking of other things when I distracted you with this nothing. So I am sorry, but maybe you can make it worthwhile. So far it's a great start.I wonder if it is something you still think about at all. And I wonder if this piece of writing can mean anything to anybody but us...Below I did include the documentation I could find. Maybe a few more words about the works in the exhibition could expand its potential audience.

Anyway, I love ya and I'm thinking of ya.


****************************** Eva Barto, the artist that was meant to replace the website with a project of her own, kind of disappeared. We didn’t have the technical know-how to support her, she thought she could do it herself, then communications petered-out. I haven't heard from her in months, but she is happy and showing in Paris.****************************** The gallerist, Maria Veie, who was meant to wear the perfume eventually received the bottle and tried it out. I’m not sure how that was negotiated between her and the artist, Clémence De La Tour Du Pin, but she told me that she didn't like the smell and that it made her uncomfortable to wear. She has since shown my work at a state-funded art space she directs north of Oslo. I haven’t spoken to Clémence since I put her in touch with Maria but saw her here in Frankfurt when she was applying to the school. I don't think she remembered me at all, and I didn't try to remind her.****************************** I really upset one of the oldest and most professional artists in the show, Ulrika Segerberg. She made a curtain especially for the gallery. It was supposed to block the window, but it never made it there. It was never even collected at the post-office and then it got lost in an automated 'return to sender'. Weeks after it was intended for another show in Sweden, it arrived back at her studio in Germany. I paid her for the postage, but it was a real bridge-burner on my part, apologies not accepted, and with good reason. She sent me this photo before she put it in the mail. I didn't see that it said “du/ich” until now, after almost two years in Germany.****************************** The other piece that was supposed to be shown in the gallery was by Bryn Lloyd-Evans. It was even documented and returned. It can be seen on the demon's mouth website today, just below a picture of what seems to be a small wooden highway in the sky. So that worked as expected. He also gave me a game of pick-up sticks that he made. I was supposed to play them at the art fair I was working at during the opening week of the show, but I was violently ill and didn't play games with anyone.****************************** In January, months after the show in Oslo came down, the work by Loup Sarion was installed in my studio on 4th and Wall St. just as I was moving out. It’s an adhesive photo print that goes from the bathroom door onto the bathroom floor. It’s still there and the current residents like it. I documented it on 35mm film before I left, but then I opened the back of the camera before the film had rewound. A sort of picture came out. I took the roll in to get it processed a couple of weeks ago. Loup and I both like this picture quite a bit.****************************** Another artist, Jon Bernad—this is the baby guy—continues to try to organize people from couch-surfing to meet in front of the gallery and do something together for some amount of time then take pictures of themselves doing it. Every so often I get forwarded an email about a new prospective meet-up, and then another about it not working out...**************************** Jon Bernad’s wife, Isabelle Le Normand, made a Wikipedia entry for Jon that she wanted to include in the show.****************************Beck Flannery made some drawings that where printed at the Art school in Oslo and hung in the hall there. He wrote about travel and was interested in how the images he sent might get ever so slightly reformatted when cheaply printed with different paper size standards in Europe, a subtlety that may only have come out had the show been very carefully produced.**************************** In Mexico City, the artist Daniel Aguilar Ruvalcaba has been working on and uploading instructional videos to YouTube that range from the absurdly impractical "How to Eat Faster", to the Freudian "How to Reset Blender to Oral Stage". I asked him to include them in the show by leaving them on YouTube.****************************

opened at Demon’s Mouth in Oslo, Norway on December 5th 2014 and was curated by John Matthew Heard.