Monday, April 14, 2008

CURDLE JOURNAL 11-12/04/08

Friday 11th April.

HARD night again, wake in a fright to pump for 4am, then sleep through 8am alarm… body not used to these sleep patterns yet. Get ready, open gallery, call a few people, reporter doesn’t call me and I can’t be bothered chasing so no idea whether the photographer will turn up on Monday. Not fazed as have enough publicity I think, there should be a bit of passing trade on the weekend days and have quite a few visitors and art projects planned. Acquaintance has read about CURDLE and comes to check it, then Collective Matt comes in with cow milk, red, blue and yellow food colouring and detergent. We fill two shallow dishes with milk, then place a drop of each colour in them. Slowly let detergent drizzle into the milk and… WOW! Its totally amazing! Something reacts and the milk starts to move, the odd bubble, then the colours collide, merge, form stripes and reptilian patterns, swirl and blend and separate. More colour, more experimenting with dropping detergent from above, slipping it down the sides of the dish, dotting it over the surface. Its amazingly fun and random, and we come up with all sorts of ideas to make prints and experiment further with human breast milk when mine comes in.

Speaking of which, my milk is coming in amazingly slowly. Even with fennel, milk thistle, heaps of fenugreek and water, and four-hourly pumps. Nipples really starting to hurt, and still only getting maybe 5 or 10mls each time (combined). Not sure what else to do, but body feeling pretty knackered and stressed so thinking of bringing it back to five/six-hourly pumps. Expensive hospital pump is USELESS for this purpose, so have to do most of it manually. Ouch.

And I must strange subconscious slip of the tongue, Freudian perhaps- sometime yesterday I started referring to my pumping times as ‘feeds’, as in ‘I missed my 8am feed’. WHAT has happened here? And I keep doing it without thinking, catching myself referring to the pump as if it were a/my baby. Odd.

Aside from this, read a big chunk of Natalie Angier’s Woman: An Intimate Geography and giggled and made lots of notes, and read through another few bits and pieces. Sketch out some projects to propose, wonder if I should do a show on the last night? If so, what? Have an idea that a friend mentioned, but have to think some more about it as would be quite involved and probably quite physically intense and not sure if that would be a good thing after ten days of bugger-all sleep and mental exertion and boredom and cabin fever. Night ended when a few friends dropped over, we had some wine and beer, then a totally unexpected visit from Necrotitties and Miss Kate, before crawling up to my mezzanine and collapsing. There goes Day Two.

Saturday 12th April.

Day Three. Didn’t do middle of the night pump to see if it made any difference, which is probably just an excuse for not getting up but… when I pumped at 8am there was the same amount of milk- miniscule- anyway.

11am. Gorgeous weather, and I know that the Surry Hills festival is on today, and one of my favourite club nights tonight, and a friend’s farewell and a bbq and I’ll miss it all and suddenly I have no idea why I am doing this. Don’t feel like I am achieving anything amazing- no major work done, no big revelation, not even much milk. Just a slow creeping madness and doubt. Still, there will be more parties and clubs, there’s always more booze and dancing- of that one can be sure.

Time to reassess aims and outcomes:
Make milk. Gradual. Have achieved more previously without this tedium and ouchiness
Make art. Much planned over the next few days, so have to be patient. Having trouble conceptualising this whole project as ‘art’, as now I am doing it suddenly it seems really mundane. What does it matter where I cook my porridge or rest my weary bones or sit and pump? What gives value to any of this? Believed in it before I did it, and still do to some extent, and suspect that its just the sheer exhaustion and realisation of quite how long ten days is that is starting to send my thinking a little haywire. More coffee, more coffee, more coffee. Need someone to bring me cheese pockets or chocolate or other treats…

Woman sitting in a car outside the gallery seems in about the same state as me. So far since I have opened the shutters she has had a wild laughing conversation with someone on her mobile phone, eaten a pile of strawberries and thrown all the leaves onto the footpath, slept, stared out the window, checked her makeup in the side mirror, and started playing very loud music. Would befriend her but she does seem considerably wired.



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