Sunday, February 22, 2009

02-22-2009 Surreal Art Dream

... we join the dream in progress. I am either Tim Powers (the author) or one of his characters (a sort of almalgam of the protagonists from "The Anubis Gates," and "Drawing the Dark"). I am in a darkened French cabaret. Based on the music, it must be around 1970.

The cabaret walls, floors, ceiling and furniture are painted black (and reminds me of the black box theatre at Reed College). Severely sloped seating surrounds a cramped square stage area on three sides. I remember it was difficult to move around, as one had to step around other patrons' chairs and tables.

A man and about ten women began their stage show. They were pale. The man wore a black suit which had been randomly slashed in many places so that his white shirt ruffled out from it in all directions. He might have worn a matte black top hat or bowler. The women seemed to be wearing accordian-folded black crepe paper or crinoline which fell in streams from where it was gathered at their shoulders; I am unsure, I think they were wearing very loose, low scooped, peasant blouses (too short to be a proper chemise) underneath. My sense is that they wore black footgear, as I don't recall seeing their white feet. Everyone stood still, in a Fossie-style tableau, with burlesque (variations of naughty, nasty, pouty and amused) expressions on their faces.

A four-four beat began on a tambourine. The man started to move and started singing in English, a sort of patter song about a special word (I don't recall the words, only the sense of the beat). For the sake of description, it went something like,

"Va-VOOM! When a fellow's got a something that will catch a lady's eye --"

"Va-VOOM!" sang the ladies (with a French cabarette accent), and they stayed in place, but took on a new tableau.

"he'll ignore it or conceal it but no matter what he tries -- "

"Va-VOOM!" the ladies vogued again ... the song went on for a verse or two more, and the chorus was "Va-voom! Va-voom! Va-voom! Va-Voom! VA-VOOM!" at which point the ladies unfroze from their vogueing and worked their way in two's and three's throughout the theatre.

The next time the chorus of "Va-Voom" (or whatever the word was) came around, several of them had worked their way over to where I stood and picked me up, then careened around the crowded black theatre shouting "Va-Voom!" with other groups of their male-carrying sisters. I'm trying to keep my balance, but really, there's not too much I can do because squealing cabaret dancers have a hold of my feet and calves and if I'm not too careful I'll get clobbered by a chandelier.

There's a break, and I'm trying to pay for my drinks. I think I'm still Tim Powers (or one of his characters), but I've got my shoulder bag. My tarot cards fall out of my bag and land underneath the high heels of the cashier, who is having an argument of some kind with one of her co-workers. I don't recall if I was able to retreave my deck, but I do remember trying to slid my cards out from underneath her feet.

There's another break, and I've woken up in the streets. I think I'm in Paris, but I'm not sure. I'm in a stone street, and it feels like it's 4 AM. It's dark and shadowy, and when two policemen walk by, I learn from their discussion that I am a famous artist wanted for displaying obscene art (I never did figure out in waking life if I was a painter a sculpter or what). There's some more that I don't recall, mostly of me dodging roving police, and at one point it's day time, and the French citizens are out. Two fifty-something men are walking along the sidewalk and one is saying (about me) "But he eats his Mueslix plain!"

I'm unsure about what happened next; I think I was working my way through the streets installing guerilla pieces of art. I made my way to a university of some sort. There was a covered colonnade of some sort -- flat roofed, white concrete, supports which were square rods holding up a thin flat roof. The art students there were having some sort of interactive art show. One of the student's pieces was him sitting on a small wooden bench in
a white, oxford shirt (looking very clean-cut), holding a sign which read "25¢ for tequila." They recognized me and begged me to do more public art.

By now I was wearing a plastic chest with slits cut into it. In each slit was a marble. Each marble was a fortune. I went around and invited people to reach into the slits and pull out a fortune. I remember explaining the divinations; but I don't remember the content.

Eventually, two art commissioners chased me through a building. I've forgotten how I knew them; my sense is that we were friends at one point, but that I threatened them somehow. The chased me through one of my installations: a black wooden ladder; the legs were square dowels which rotated -- making the ladder a kind of turnstyle or gate.

There was another break, and I had a book deal with them; the rest of the dream was a quick flash through the book's pages, which consisted of icons or illustrative photos for a particular design concept.

And then I woke up.


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