Barbara thinks there’s still time for another climax, another crisis-and-resolution before the end of the ‘sham. In fact, she’s even gone as far as to prescribe the type: a romantic encounter. She’s been itching for it to happen ever since the beginning. I can just imagine her sitting at her laptop in her Camperdown apartment (only a few blocks away from the gallery where I type these words) scanning my paragraphs for some clue, some hint of juicy gossip that might sneak sideways, and unintentionally, into the blog postings.

Sadly, for her, this literary device – this climax – this culmination she’s been waiting for – has not come to pass. (At least, not that I’m letting on!)

After our discussion on this topic at the exhibition opening, Barbara sent me a text message:

In TV dramaland
it’s called URRT –
sexual tension
but in the end it
is resolved! X

Oh Barbara! If only you’d come along to my talk on Friday night at the Bowlo, in which I described my Cornflakes performance (circa 1996). In Cornflakes, I ate a bowl of the ghastly cardboard cereal each night, in front of a live theatrical audience, in a vain attempt to train myself to beome “unselfconscious”. I hoped that by repeating such an ordinary activity, in such an un-ordinary setting, I could make the activity ordinary once again.

This experiement was perhaps the first of my large and interesting failures. Night after night, the audience prayed that something would happen. Night after night I disappointed them, merely returning to my seat, no punchline, no resolution, no catharsis.

I’m sorry about that, but it’s what I do.

Maybe this aesthetic strategy of mine is a reaction against that very “TV dramaland” to which Barbara refers in her text message. You know how disappointing those TV shows become once that tension is released? I’m thinking Bill Murray and Andie McDowell in Groundhog Day, Mulder and Scully in X-Files, heck, even Big Bird and the Snuffleupagus (although in their case it wasn’t strictly romance, or was it?). Who wants resolution when it comes out cheesey anyways?

[Note: re Mulder and Scully, the following comes from the wikipedia entry on the X-Files, regarding the feature film produced in 1998:

The film also marked the first, and passionately talked about near kiss between Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. It was the kiss many fans had been waiting for since the beginning of the series in ’93, but others felt that the sexual tension between the two main characters was better left unfulfilled.

There you go: “better left unfulfilled”!]

Instead of fulfillment, what I offer is a disappointingly casual blurring out of the end of the project into the regular run of my everyday life. What I offer is the continuation of more-or-less-the-same, with slight incremental changes over a long period of time. What I offer is the spectacle of myself growing older, imperceptibly slowly.

Sorry about that.

However, you know, it’s not all up to me. I’m only one blog writer of a potential hundred and twenty one. There’s a whole cast of characters in these here pages, dear reader. Feel free to write your own Fan Fiction, your own “slash”, yeah, go to town on it! You write it, I’ll publish it! (general disclaimers apply regarding defamatory material yadayada etc).

Or better still, make yer own blog and I’ll link to it.

4 thoughts on “anti-climax?

  1. Madge Gribble

    Monday again – and another black Monday, because I’ve got to wait five long days before I see you again. I should be feeling utterly miserable if I hadn’t got so many wonderful hopes and memories to keep me company. And after all, it was only yesterday that we were together beneath the water tower, so I really ought not to grumble.
    Dearest, I tried to tell you last night how much I love you, and I don’t think I got out a fraction of what I really meant. The man from Sydney Water telling us to take our activities elsewhere interrupted us and so I thought I might make up for that in this letter – and now I’m even more stuck for words. We must find a way through that fence again…there must be a time when we can be alone…but I cannot get carried away. I am writing this in my lunch hour. Old Hickey is peering over his specs, and I must again take up my post, typing interminable invoices for funerary drapery. I wonder if he wrote letters like this to Mrs Hickey a couple of hundred years ago? It’s hard to believe.
    It’s just on two now, so I must pack up and get back to the grindstone. Good-bye sweetheart. I’ll write again before Saturday. And I’ll think of you all the time.
    Your own loving Gribby.

  2. David

    Sticking with the TV dramaland theme ….

    Of course, if the Unresolved Tension (Sexual or otherwise) is resolved (if it hasn’t been already without us knowing), then Lucas and the ‘sham could be accused of jumping the shark, and we’d know that it was all downhill from that point on.

    We’ll know, if Lucas starts typing “Today, in a very special instalment of the ‘sham …”


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