Tuesday, June 15, 2010

the end of failure

After days and months dedicated to falling short of meeting any obligation, we will cross paths in our discrete trajectories, within the elliptical expressions of reversals, underwater worlds of incredible and thorough loss.

Failure. Do you remember when we used to run with this word, owning it as prize-winning job title and life strategy?

Artistically and academically, thrilled by its abject potential, we mined failure for all it was worth. We glorified living in flats with leaking ceilings, prided our attempts to flunk out of Painting 101, and bonded over beers stolen from the next table over. The possibilities seemed endless, visually manifested through scribbly line drawing, undocumented (ephemeral) public interventions, and deliberately pseudo-anti-gallery processes. We were the founders of post-conceptual working methodologies. We collapsed the space between intent and action, rejecting content and meaning; whatever the new project was “about” was beside the point--what mattered was how it made you feel or how it functioned, in-context; we fore grounded extremes of social isolation and its antipode, and worked in earnest to tease out universal aspects of the human condition through vigorous processes of elimination.

Crucial to this endeavor was an art scene that implicitly supported our efforts by providing access to bottomless drinks and comp tickets to anything in town. In recent years, this model of aggrandized poverty and excess has been replaced by one of moderation in every aspect of life. The worth of this extensive collection of shortcomings, wrongdoings, and disappointments that we worked so hard to attain is, given more contemporary concerns, lost upon our parents and potential employers. Concerned mentors and career-savvy peers who saw this coming politely refrain from criticism and gently forward web links to employment sites and coupon days.

The End Of Failure

Katrina Lamb

Summer 2010.


from A SHORT PLAY ON FAILURE by Harry Aclund, 1999.

Andrew Mackenzie-Oh timelord, we have heard your cries from the future. We are the oracles you called. You have succeeded in distorting time.Andrea Garner-Yes, Lord knows how blind you have been: all here are from the past, like it or not.

Timelord- Then you are not real.

Chorus (sing)- A Ha. Are we real. Real or false. Are we real. Real or false.

Timelord- By Davros what are these voices -- my failure is confirmed, Am I real or false? My success is a fraud, it is not possible at all. My failure is my inevitable tragedy.

Chorus (Sing)- But we are here, we are real, you are false.

Nickie Smith- Yes we are here for you, we have come for you, to rid time of you. We come in the image of friends, but Davros sent us to destroy you; your success is your downfall; your success is to be our end. you could say your failure.

(she strangles him)

Timelord- My success? my success is my downfall. I have run out of time....


Narrator- And so we witness the madness, and the death of our hero - a self-proclaimed failure, who's success was his downfall, although he (tragically) only knew this on his death. He was surely a sacrifice for the stability of time itself at the command of the mighty Davros, but we are running out of time too, and our moral tale must close upon this sadness.

Chorus (sing)- Our tale must end, our tale must end,

this sadness is so overwhelming,

the Lord of time is dead, the lord of time is dead,

this sadness is so overwhelming,

or will he fight the mighty Davros on another day,

in another time.