A long time ago, someone honest asked me if I washed my legs in the shower. He asked me this because he didn't. He said he couldn't see the point, didn't really know where to start, and that they probably weren't the dirtiest part of you. I thought for a while, and then realised that I didn't wash my legs either. We were working at a restaurant at the time and asked one of the waitresses whether she washed her legs in the shower. She said she did and looked at us as though washing your legs in the shower was a basic human instinct.
  From that day on I made a conscious effort to wash my legs in the shower. More recently I realised that in washing my legs in the shower, I had given up washing my arms. This, I realised, was the sacrifice I had unconsciously made. Most people have a standardised shower time - dependant not on how dirty they feel, but on how long they normally spend in the shower. My internal timing mechanism was not about to lengthen my allotted shower time simply because I had decided that the cleanliness of my legs should be a priority.
  This is how it remains, although because I agreed with my friend that legs probably don't need washing that much, I don't really put the effort in. Also, water from a shower moves in a downward flow, so your legs probably get a rinse anyway, whereas your arms get no attention unless you make an effort.
  I was thinking of switching attention back to my arms, or maybe starting a rota (Monday = legs, Tuesday = arms, etc.), but I'm not sure the effort would be appreciated.

Maybe we could establish some truth through the inter-subjectivity of the comment box.

Which do you wash, your legs or your arms? And why? And how?
I would like to teach in an art college at some point. When I do, I will pin up two pieces of paper on  either side of the studios. On one will be written


and on the other will be written


And the students will choose which group they want to be in.

I'm not sure what happens next, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
The Pursuit of Fecality by Antonin Artaud

There where it smells of shit
it smells of being.
Man could just as well not have shat,
not have opened the anal pouch,
but he chose to shit
as he would have chosen to live
instead of consenting to live dead.

Because in order not to make caca,
he would have had to consent
not to be,
but he could not make up his mind to lose
that is, to die alive.

There is in being
something particularly tempting for man
and this something is none other than
(Roaring here.)

To exist one need only let oneself be,
but to live,
one must be someone,
to be someone,
one must have a BONE,
not be afraid to show the bone,
and to lose the meat in the process.

Man has always preferred meat
to the earth of bones.
Because there was only earth and wood of bone,
and he had to earn his meat,
there was only iron and fire
and no shit,
and man was afraid of losing shit
or rather he desired shit
and, for this, sacrificed blood.

In order to have shit,
that is, meat,
where there was only blood
and a junkyard of bones
and where there was no being to win
but where there was only life to lose.

o reche modo
to edire
di za
tau dari
do padera coco

At this point, man withdrew and fled.

Then the animals ate him.

It was not a rape,
he lent himself to the obscene meal.

He relished it,
he learned himself
to act like an animal
and to eat rat

And where does this foul debasement come from?

The fact that the world is not yet formed,
or that man has only a small idea of the world
and wants to hold on to it forever?

This comes from the fact that man,
one fine day,
the idea of the world.

Two paths were open to him:
that of the infinite without,
that of the infinitesimal within.

And he chose the infinitesimal within.
Where one need only squeeze
the spleen,
the tongue,
the anus
or the glans.

And god, god himself squeezed the movement.

Is God a being?
If he is one, he is shit.
If he is not one
he does not exist.

But he does not exist,
except as the void that approaches with all its forms
whose most perfect image
is the advance of an incalculable group of crab lice.

"You are mad Mr. Artaud, what about the mass?"

I deny baptism and the mass.
There is no human act,
on the internal erotic level,
more pernicious than the descent
of the so-called jesus-christ
onto the altars.

No one will believe me
and I can see the public shrugging its shoulders
but the so-called christ is none other than he
who in the presence of the crab louse god
consented to live without a body,
while an army of men
descended from a cross,
to which god thought he had long since nailed them,
has revolted,
and, armed with steel,
with blood,
with fire, and with bones,
advances, reviling the Invisible
to have done with GOD'S JUDGMENT.

I was searching for stuff about Jason Rhoades' piece at 'Walking in My Mind' at the Hayward, because of it's references to the creative process as ingestion/digestion/expulsion. While side tracked by his collborations with Paul Mc Carthy (another artist who I will write about on here at some point), I found this wonderful story on, of all places, Kanye West's Blog.

Here is the link to the original story on the Guardian site.


and here is the text in full

Giant dog turd wreaks havoc at Swiss museum

Inflatable artwork blown from moorings and brings down power line

A giant inflatable dog turd created by the American artist Paul McCarthy was blown from its moorings at a Swiss museum, bringing down a power line and breaking a window before landing in the grounds of a children's home.

The exhibit, entitled Complex Shit, is the size of a house. It has a safety system that is supposed to deflate it in bad weather, but it did not work on this occasion.

Juri Steiner, the director of the Paul Klee centre, in Berne, told AFP that a sudden gust of wind carried it 200 metres before it fell to the ground, breaking a window of the children's home. The accident happened on July 31, but the details only emerged yesterday.

Steiner said McCarthy had not yet been contacted and the museum was not sure if the piece (pictured here) would be put back on display.

The installation is part of an exhibition called East of Eden: A Garden Show, which features sound sculptures in trees and a football ground without goalposts. The exhibition opened in May and is due to run until October.

The centre's website describes the show as containing "interweaving, diverse, not to say conflictive emphases and a broad spectrum of items to form a dynamic exchange of parallel and self-eclipsing spatial and temporal zones".
After a weekend of real sickness (a nasty virus that affected everyone I work and live with), I'm reminded of how illness forms mental states. The strange delirious logic of nausea, the dulled nihilism of stomach pain and the momentary elation that comes from the pain leaving, from health returning.
  I have a friend who has had several bouts of pancreatitis (more painful than child birth, or so he tells most of the women he meets). In hospital, when he needs serious medication, the doctor asks him to rate his pain level. But he cannot remember if this pain is worse than the pain he suffered the last time. We have no memory for pain, no way of judging it in relative terms.
  Every time we get sick we experience it as though we have no basis for the feeling of illness. We might get more used to the processes involved, (I'm a seasoned professional at waiting until I'm in the toilet before I vomit, no matter how suddenly the urge comes upon me.) but the pain, and the essential sick-ness, of sickness is new to us, every time.
A game me and my girlfriend were playing last night. I can't remember how it started, but it involved basic puns using the word 'poo' and the names of politicians.

David Camerpoo (David Cameron)
Harriet Pooman (Harriet Harman)

Hazel Poos (Hazel Blears)
Tony Poo (Tony Blair)

Bill and Hilary Pooton (Bill and Hilary Clinton)

Gordon Brownpants (Gordon Brown)
{published concurrently on arkaanalysis.com and ashortdescriptionofmypoo.blogspot.com}

A short description of my dream

I am hungover. I am at work. The sky is already darkening as I chuff, sullen-eyed and greasy, on an afternoon cigarette, casting what has become an increasingly accepting gaze upon the turd which has now sat clinging on to the step by the fire escape in the smoking area for over a week. I receive a text message: 'Yo, would you email me a critical write up of that dream you had about pooing yourself?'

This instantly strikes me as problematic. The pooing dream happened at some point between falling drunkenly into bed on Tuesday night and farting myself awake on Wednesday morning. Sam Smith's Alpine Lager, while cheap, does have the unfortunate side effect of producing something akin to an all-night anal yodel. Though I might as well point out now that I did not actually shit myself in my sleep, I merely dreamed about it. I will return to this point.

On Wednesday night, drunk again, I mentioned the dream. I clawed around in that dark and hazy part of the mind that seems to shut off so quickly after waking from a dream for some more details on the dream, but what I could remember was quite limited. By the time I was invited to critique my unconscious defecatory hallucinations on Thursday, all I could really remember was the dream as I described it on Wednesday night.

In this dream I pooed myself, but a lot. I pooed myself a lot, loads. I think I was clad in some kind of denim trouser of yesteryear, maybe those cut-off shorts I threw away last time I moved house. Anyway they were sopping with brown, and I was in a swimming pool changing room, or maybe a leisure centre, except in some kind of massive toilet hall, full of horrible cubicles and open pits. I can't remember whether this was a horrific scene or something relatively normal. By which I mean, normal within the context of the dream, normal in the way that certain things can seem completely normal in a dream, which on reflection are utterly abnormal and disturbing. Some kind of hosing down happened, possibly with a shower head. All I know is I pretty much cleaned up the mess and got out of there without any adverse consequences. I don't remember seeing or speaking to anyone in between the terrible event and its resolution.

The dreams that seem to stick with me most these days, indeed often the only ones I have or ever remember, are those soaked in the emotions of fear, dread and anxiety. Social anxiety, embarassment, pure moments of panic. One recent nocturnal adventure peaked with a terrible moment of realisation, as I applied gel to my hair in the mirror, that I was completely bald from the ears upwards, with great tufts of hair coming away in my hands. Shock, then horror, then fear, then sheer rage as I went absolutely fucking mental and started wheeling around the room kicking the shit out of cupboards, doors, windows and thin partition walls. I woke up and for a moment was truly terrified, before suddenly becoming aware of the hair on my head and the sound of my alarm going off to wake me up for work.

Am I afraid of going bald? Probably. Am I afraid of shitting my pants? Well I'd rather it didn't happen, but I don't fear it in the same way as baldness. I feel I have more control over my sphincter than I do over my genetic make-up and my susceptibility to hair loss. So why the dream? Was it purely a by-product of the Alpine fart yodels rippling through my guts? Did my sleeping brain detect a peak in activity in that part of my body and convert it into a narrative?

I don't profess to know a lot about dreaming, and I certainly didn't intend for this dream to be subjected to a critical appraisal. I'm sure I've had many dreams far more suitable for such an exercise. Nevertheless, the fact remains that I shat myself in a dream. A lot. At the time this seemed to have no tangible consequences in the real world, in terms of actual pooing. But now I can see that there were consequences. That when I shat myself in my dream, I did produce something, just not shit in a literal sense.

What I did produce was a critical review of a dream I had about pooing myself.