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When you sit down to write a joke you are doing this:

OO


Where each O is a reality. They are both north magnetic poles that resist and resist and flip over and pinch your goddamn finger. You want them to find a shared point; a singularity from which the reality of the first part can be lead astray (ashtray) and end up barreling down the curve of the second reality – hustling around the bend and down the stairs before it can apprehend that, based on its previous assumptions, nothing makes any sense. Then the bewilderment, then the yawning of new realizations, the glance back to that singularity beyond which everything is TILT, beyond which the blue lens is now red. A joke is winking your left eye and then winking your right eye and then coming to a see-sawing between the two winks that coalesces into plain old vision. Vision is always made up of two competing scenes: the left and right eye – the winking between them proves that it is an illusion. Two complete and contradictory spheres vibrating in the same space.

In a joke there is economy: “Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.”1

When a piece of art makes a joke it is an agent independent of the artist: „Among our articles of lazy hardware we recommend a faucet which stops dripping when nobody is listening to it... “2

 

the works in this series explore joke-making as an artistic methodology, allowing the special function of linguistic one-liners, the nearly simultaneous apprehension of two conflicting realities, to exist in objects and images – lending them an abiding power and agency, not just as comic-objects, but as comedian-objects.


1. Maybe Groucho Marx, who knows.
2. Marcel Duchamp, collected in André Breton, ed. Anthology of Black Humour, trans. Mark Polizzotti (San Francisco, City Lights, 1997) 280.