Monday, February 25, 2008

Duchamp and I

Today my friend Sam and I went to Duchamp, Man Ray and Picabia’s exhibition at Tate Modern. Even though I have always been fascinated by the Dadaists but I wasn’t actually in the mood of being exposed to “art” today. In fact it has been a while that I am strictly avoiding “art” and “artists.” But then we were driving aimlessly around London with nowhere to go to and we then found ourselves in front of the Tate Modern with a vacant parking place. So we reluctantly decided to go to the exhibition.
At first we talked about entering the building and exit without seeing any of the exhibition. That would be Dadaistic. But it was cold outside. So we compromised and agreed that we go to the exhibition for the time span of an hour that our parking ticket allowed us, but avoid looking at the most famous piece: Fountain.

I have made it into a principle to avoid what tourists do. For instance I managed not to see the Eiffel Tower when I went to Paris, nor have I ever seen the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, nor the Parliament’s dome, Reichstag in Berlin and many other tourist attractions or works of art that have been reduced to tourist attraction.

Anyway, Sam and I went to Tate Modern and as you could imagine it were not easy to overlook the Fountain. So we did see it in the end. But I wanted to make a manifestation, a disrespectful gesture towards Duchamp’s artwork. So I decided to take a photograph of myself, standing in front of Fountain, the pissoir, with my hand covering my eyes. But the guard said that rules of the museum do not permit visitors to take photographs. I told her this is a Dada exhibition, what the hell is “rules.” She seemed perplexed; I think that was the first time she had heard that word. But she repeated with more emphasis that it was “against the rules.” We got very disappointed. But we couldn’t accept that, could we? So after a while I wet in front of the pissoir and Sam quickly snapped a picture with his mobile phone.

That was a little act of Dada. But I am not really satisfied. I am thinking to go back to the museum and this time pee in the pissoir. Just wonder what would happen to me if I do that? I am sure that the Dadaists would laugh their ass off in their graves.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pære-ker-dansk

Introduction: February 21st has been declared the International Mother Language Day by UNESCO. For this occasion the text below has been published today in the Danish major newspaper, Politiken. It is my first poem in Danish and it pays homage and alludes to the poem "World's Citizen in Denmark" by the Danish renowned poet, Benny Andersen.
Upon the news of the publication of my poem in Politiken, Jens Burau has drawn the caricature you can see above.
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Pære-ker-dansk
af Vahid

Køb bananer hver morgen
Og to kolde fra kassen
Jeg spiser leverpostej
Og har onde drømmer hver nat
Det smager godt
Selv om nogle siger det er klamt
Men jeg er ik’ ramt?

Jeg taler dansk med munden fuld af rugbrød
Med fløde
Og danser med Lars og Danebrog i hånden - rødt i rødt
Jeg danser to-tur til Vejle,
Kald det kærlighed sejler op ad åen og raballer i strædet
Jeg danser til dem alle
"Men jeg danser dem temmelig udansk."

At være baggårdskat det er et hundeliv
Men det rager mig
Hallo!
Jeg bor heldigvis på asylcentre
Hvor du fra?

Jeg bor i Danmark
Min seng er fra Serbien
Min kæreste fra Chile
Madpakken fra Røde Kors
Min au pair fra Thailand
Min fugleinfluenza og ecco sko fra Indonesien
Min løn fra Saudi ”Lykkelige” Arabien
Mine sår er fra Afghanistan
Og mine lidelser fra hele verden.
Men nu
“Lyder de mere og mere som danske”

Jeg betaler skat, stemmer i Tarm,
Arbejder i Malmø, for at bo i København,
Får abort i København,
Jeg mister mig selv i mængden,
Bliver buret inde i Guantanamo
Og dør langsomt på Riget
“Men midt i det hele er jeg så pære-ker-dansk
Alverden samles i mig
Og bliver godt rystet sammen!”

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Note: 21. februar er udnævnt til International Mother Language Day af UNESCO. For at fejre mærkedagen, vil jeg dele mit første danske digt med jer. Jeg benytter også muligheden til at hylde en af mine yndlingsforfattere, Benny Andersen og hans digt Verdensborger i Danmark.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

They Hate Hookers (Trailer)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Same story: different times & places

After thirty three years a photographer captures a similar scene of people thrown out of window in order to escape fire.

This happened today in Germany. Parents throw the baby off window to save him/her fire. Many years ago, on On July 22, 1975, Stanley J. Forman captured the picture bellow on Marlborough Street where a woman threw herself and her baby off the window to escape fire.
This is amazing! Same thing twice, only photographers were better at their job in the past!!