Just showing off that I have visited Paris.
This one has to be called “aujourd’hui” simply because the word is written there – even though today is a Wednesday not Friday (again as written). I thought about “back of a blurred bus”, “missed the bus” and “stem” but in 40 years time when it is rediscovered in a pile of papers in my office the curator at the Tate would simply retitle it or at the very least put (aujourd’hui) after the real title. It would be” Back of a Blurred Bus (AUJOURD’HUI)” or even more ludicrously “Untitled (AUJOURD’HUI)”. There would be a section in the catalogue – I still call them that even though they are great intellectual tomes showing off the cleverness of the curator and his/her friends – a section that talks about the influence of French culture and art on my life and work. So to save trouble and confusion it is called “aujourd’hui” and for the avoidance of doubt the word is torn from an info sheet from the Pompidou Centre when I went to see the Matisse “Paires et Séries” show last year. That show was extremely interesting, but after seeing the rest of the work exhibited there I vowed never to complain again about the purchasing choices of the Tate!
A bit of a different style today and another little homage to Kurt Schwitters.
It is also dedicated to the memory of Franz Hug, Flag Thrower at the 1936 Olympic Games, whose autographed photograph I still possess. I met him when I was a boy on holiday in Switzerland when he gave a performance of his flag throwing skills and also played the alpenhorn, the biggest horn a man could wish for – as a 10 year old I was quite impressed! I think he did some yodelling too, but that wasn’t so impressive. Franz Hug also appeared films: the hugely popular 1955 “Cinerama Holiday”, “Postman’s Holiday” and Laurel and Hardy’s “Swiss Maid”. I believe his roles were limited to flag throwing!
I keep a little framed copy of Franz Hug’s portrait on my desk to cheer me up if I am low or soothe me if I get enraged by the injustice of the world. It reminds me of the futility of all things we humans do and, at the same time, the great things ordinary folk can accomplish with a little application and madness.