So many works of public art defy categorisation or fall across all the conventional definitions. Sometimes we even like to make work in private. These projects we call special ... though we like to think all our work has some kind of a shine."
Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life
Artatwork are the publicists for this brilliant visual history of photographic practice during apartheid.
We know we don't usually stray far from our public arts obsession but, considering the bank imbalance and the luminous nature of this particular giant work, we could not resist.
We do have dreams about re-installing the entire show, which is now on at Museum Africa in Johannesburg until end June 2014 (after runs in New York, Milan and Munich), into the streets of inner city Hillbrow - frames and all.
While this of course is a completely wild notion, it is perfectly aligned with our thinking that the arts in public space will encourage audiences into private arts places .. and into public art places that appear to be private.
It's a challenging legacy of apartheid that many of our public institutions in the arts are not considered welcoming and are often intimidating places to visit for the majority of working-class people.
Be that as it may, great publicity, including a campaign to encourage working-class people (on whom this show is really focused), is attracting record numbers to this significant exhibition, featuring the work of over 70 brilliant South African photographers, more than 500 images, ephemera, 27 films and a book.
For information about Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life, visit our companion Tumblr to the exhibition - and visit the exhibition itself, take your friends, take your family, tell everyone.
IMAGE CREDITS FROM TOP TO BOTTOM
Photograph © Omar Badsha. Street performance, Victoria Street, Durban, 1980.
Photograph and (c) Noel Watson, Security forces with dogs hold back crowd protesting against Minister Piet Koornhof being given the freedom of Soweto, 1980.
Photograph (c) gille de vlieg. Cyril Ramaphosa and Harry Oppenheimer, opposing heads of the union and the biggest mining company, 1985.
Unidentified Photographer. Members of the Black Sash making their signature item of dress, 1955. Courtesy Museum Africa
Writer Percy Zmvuyo with photographer Omar Badsha looking at a Black Sash protest image at Rise and Fall of Apartheid in Joburg 2014 - Photograph by Masimba Sasa.
Curator Okwui Enwezor. Hands the size of Venice at the Rise and Fall of Apartheid Preview in Joburg 2014 - Photograph by Masimba Sasa.
BOOK II CHAPTER ONE
28 April 2014
Book I of The Troyeville Bedtime Story ended with a recurring nightmare replete with regret.
#lesfolies welcomes you with open arms to Book II.
28 April 2014
#lesfolies says she meant every word even in retrospect.
In case you are wondering as you are wont, Dear Johannes is well and has been traveling all over ~ and his heart was taken, almost exactly like these photographs ~ of Our Tom and His Louise.
She also says I must tell you she is happy to hear how courageous you are.
Further and more, she is thankful to her sister who came from The Wales to wake her up from such a long sleep.
With a kiss and warm home-made bread. After one hundred dark nights.
30 April 2014
All this while The Troyeville Bedtime Story was taking time out, #lesfolies tells me the children were not. Day before yesterday these four beautiful people were playing something not exactly like Cowboys and Indians, but close, under the most beautiful trees in all of that same time.
None of them know anything at all about the girls that were taken in Nigeria and #lesfolies says she did not tell them and is glad they don’t.
From left to right: Question, Siya, Nicholas and Eno.
1 May 2014
Nomqibelo also carries the blessed name of Martha on her head, as if it too is not loaded.
There never was work that Nomqibelo did not turn into done. #lesfolies is her Number 1 Fan for May Day, because she makes light, of every thing.
The words have taken over. Here. There. Everywhere.
14 July 2013
Whew. I feel much better now
#lesfolies and Dear Johannes hereby declare an artist by the beautiful name of Olaf Breuning our neighbour. This is because Jo found a work of his called COMPLAINING FOREST and then he knew exactly how to prune the trees above your bed back into themselves.
I feel much better now.
Dear Johannes said in Afrikaans we say I love you Lesley
Sigh said #lesfolies like that. The bonds that tie us together are indeeds.
The duvet has clear, clean water for the birds and your eyes. The trees have words and new winter washed socks not like your old pair that are stretched and losing their colour and my heart, my heart is playing fooligan again in the branches.
Oh what a relief.
17 July 2013
Is it safe?
Caroline came in through the email window. Beautiful, intense, careful. Wondering and writing about whether making public art helps to make a place safe.
Today #lesfolies and Dear Johannes got this message from her:
“We had a lovely time at the bed yesterday — it was nice and warm on the concrete. Someone has encouraged all visitors to FART.” Do you think it is safe to fart? Maybe Caroline knows.
22 July 2013
by the time you get to bed you may find one or both gone
come to bed soon Dear Johannes
#lesfolies is pleased to post these lovely missives from #sweetscaroline her own self. in exchange for the really inside stories from Jo, she, and an accomplice of her own whose name is known to #lesfolies, left these nipple-lindts.
Our lips are sealed.
26 July 2013
Zenzele Simelane, who had his picture taken once, high up, on a time by Tjo Highness, came seeking us out with proof:The Troyeville Bedtime Story joined the revolution without its own knowledge. Zenzele is the bearer of this significant news, something he found inspiring in light of the missive in sticks.
Found in a last Sunday’s Sun which is how it is this crisp winter.
Come and visit. Feel free.
7 August 2013
Zandspruit in Troyeville
A lovely letter comes from Derin Adebulehin who works at the most interesting office of Young People in International Affairs and whose job it is, amongst other things, to engage.
Derin is intent on making imagination work in Zandspruit. Of course #lesfoies and DearJ were a bit blissed out by her missive. The Troyeville Bedtime Story and Candy Chang’s Before I Die. Yeah bebe.
Zandspruit is in the Deep North and it sure seems like the-unkind-of-place you might want to be neighbourly about. It is a bit rough out there, being a lots of people who live in a crazy small spilling-over squatter camp near the Lion & Rhino Park. But then people used to say that about Troyeville. Hey Jo. And we just made our own game reserve. Hey Jo said #lesfolies again. He just gave her one of those looks.
It was not long after we received her first message, before Derin and her colleague, himself by the name of Rudi with an eye, were found taking time out to discuss their dreams in public. There was also a Leon present, a philosopher from Monash University, from where Derin just graduated. But he is not in this picture, even though he is fully in it you can tell when you meet him.
And if that was not enough, Derin introduced #lesfolies to a leader of The Church in the Castle up the road opposite the Spar, so that we can also engage here at home, mostly, they both hope, about the big rubbish dumping going on near this most busiest place of worship. Derin goes to that very church and she is determined to make herself useful, a character trait that has endeared her whole self into The Troyeville Bedtime Story ~ by her very nature.
Actually, #lesfolies is quite keen to evangelise the entire congregations of the worlds towards visible neighbourliness. Rabbi Perkier Than Usual.
We join Derin in looking forward to what is really going on in Zandspruit
Speaking of which: Some folks followed the To See More sign at the bed on this very day and came to the Troyeville Tea Garden to do exactly that. Ms M Mhlanga hosted them around as if the reserve was an accredited arts and culture destination. She’s very good that Martha. At everything.
9 August 2013
Tolstoy, says #lesfolies in quite a deep voice, wrote that empathy for decadent members of the ruling class makes society worse, rather than better. Here is Bongani, an artreprenuer in Troyeville selling work appropriate to the game reserves of the society in which we have become befallen. We are not sure of his rain plan says Johannes who is, himself, working in the cave so as to keep dry. He is making high art for the masses with Zenzele and not a cent spent.
9 August 2013
Jo writes all over
Johannes has always had his way with words and these are for you, on the occasion.
Inspired by Olaf Breuning’s beautiful work Complaining Forest, the man has spent many days now bending and painting sticks with Zenzele. Right now he is also bending over leaves though this is not yet shown.
Olaf wrote to say he is pleased to be of service. So is #lesfolies.
12 August 2013
they are playing our song
No one could think straight it was so quiet.
The silence boom across the city
So loud #lesfolies has to close her eyes
I heard you the first time she said
13 August 2013
In which movie, says #lesfolies does Dear Johannes remember everything even the secrets he was never told?
You keep coming out of the desert at Darras, Texas, with your memory in tatters said the voice who always wants to know where is my pen?
Write it down when you find it he told her. Write everything. Write your love. Nevermind if it is left unread. You will never know if you have been muted anyway.
16 August 2013
throws in swimming pool free
21 August 2013
it was a long time ago. he was much bigger than me. he worked in the city and he had a ferrari. and yes it was red.
when he left he took each and every single financial record and all and any evidence of work done in the decade prior, with him to where he ensconced himself. in a live broadcast studio in the bespoke penthouse of another white building on the other side of town. there was not a newfangled thing he did not acquire.
we used to sit and listen to him making interminable speeches about bicycles going round being the same as the complexities of international trading in the same one-thousand seater where they had the annual pantomime. in a spotlight. at a lectern. with a logo on it. afterwards, every one would go up to him and tell him how great he was over cold processed slices of meat on toothpicks with an olive. and sausage rolls warmed up to burn your heart to ash at three the next morning. the discussions were tender and no one dreamed of asking who the blonde was, though when the finger food was finished they were caught with their pants down in the car in the parking lot because security mistook him for a hairy bum trying to hotwire the ferrari.
one beautiful morning i took him by the scruff of his neck, twisted his tie around his head, and hurled him flat onto the bored room table. and then, with my knee up his adam’s apple, and my face in his face, as fast as you could say was he really once in charge of all the money, i zikked off his moustache. i knew it was attached by velcro.
i never shot anyone though. that was Dear Johannes. He shoots up the sky that guy. gets me. right between the eyes.
#lesfolies is aware these lyrics are different from Cher’s original, but if you listen closely you can almost hear the strains of the Nancy Sinatra cover.
My baby shoot me down.
29 August 2013
G'nite my best guy
The Troyeville Bedtime Story is stretching itself out along Albertina Sisulu Road. Because that other guy was wrong says Dear Johannes. It is not the end of the world. Unless we missed it.
When you go to sleep think of me says #lesfolies, thinking of you, oh holy Moses.
And if you toss and turn and the day will not go away, remember that affectionate, generous shin splint and arthritic services for mutts are all available in your neighbourgood. #lesfolies loves the way Johannes carries you.
You may as well. #lesfolies can hear you thinking: I bet she says that to all her millions of suitors.
20 September 2013 : CONTENT WARNING! GRAPHIC VIOLENT IMAGES
I saw them your words, walking out of our story, into the park as if, and on to the line, here ~ and in the afternoon they were out in the sun, letters that I never got shame, where I saw them before, electric snakes with the moon, and before that in fire hung out to dry in the branches of trees, faded threads along the neighbourhood’s ocean of engines moving, sweeping, in and out, in and out of town.
Words made for words, run baby run wound around my bark, tied with men’s breath, tides of sad and isolation, tides of solace, bliss, small comforts, the veins of painted leaves.
Ndosi lemphisi. Young men come with their own stories leaping from ladder to branch. Search words on google. Find one irrelevant video. Find nothing.
The National Security Agency know nothing. Does that mean they are not real either? Well here it is now. Ndosi lemphisi. The sting of the wild animal, the tail of the dog. Burn it and you can steal the world out from underneath the universe. You can leak the sacred truth out from underneath some stranger’s pillow while they sleep, unsuspecting. Or you can burn an old vinyl the young men tells me and he says that he knows.
The whole city looked on. From behind the inside lights, windows facing walls and through closed doors, we all saw The End. We all saw that tree and knew it was not. That tree in particular. Why that tree now? Neruda said there were too many names.
One way or another we were all cast in the same movie though it was not (a film, not yet, or the end), nor some portend, but, still, some saddest of all and strangest fate befell that beautiful dog after the fact. This is not a statistic.
What is the blue? What is blue? Blue. Where is this word? What do words do? Tied up with string, my tongue.
Life does not die.
For The Tale of the Dog, I have only this small, and useless: Last night I saw you run with bright eyes through our story, through every Chapter going back years, the way you were before you existed.
Thanks due to Pablo Neruda.
23 September 2013
until you are alive, again
#lesfolies tells me that The Troyeville Game Reserve is as wild place as any as you are likely to visit in your search for the comfortable way to view the most exotic of all stark naked tribes running around our light-filled darkest Africa, world-class hyenas salivating for disasters, leaving their victims half-eaten for tourists armed with umbrellas and Nikons, windswept and without a care in the world, lenses zooming in from the safety of the customised viewing vehicles called Twitter and Facebook and Fuck That.
She says she wants you to know. She never clicked on the links to watch the chemical attacks, nor any of the photographs of the babies wrapped in white, nor the current massacre-a-minute spectacle, but she saw them all, clearly and anyway. She knows they are there. She left to go another direction.
No amount of main arterial route, underground pipe, mining or moustache activity, no amount of extensive media coverage winning the wars, no amount of wear a suit, earn a salary, brand your life, no amount of make out as if, can change this undeniable fact: The Troyeville Game Reserve is South Africa’s only inner city free range habitat for the most dangerous of all nocturnal creatures. We love despite and are proud to be considered amongst the wrong side of the tracks.
Even the trees in Dear Johannes’s eyes find ways to offer themselves ~ as openings, escape routes, untrapped sky doors, especially made for our most distinguished (and arguably most sane). If the good and quiet neighbours will look carefully, there is always a way out ~ through inexplicable branches that have grown like this for just such a moment, as if we planned it. Maybe we did.
And, for the monsters among us, then, out of the oldest leaves and the paint we stretched, and the windings round that wounded the inside of your hands, #lesfolies says that Dear Johannes and The Zenzele need no reminding thank you very much, that if you attempt to mess with beauty by distributing food parcels to stall generosity, if you wish to strike fear in the hearts of the meek, make promises you do not intend to keep, you had better beware: we will love you until you are alive again.
2 October 2013
That Bottom Line
Long ago #lesfolies blood sister Arlette designed this bench in Los Sandtos and #lesfolies wrote the sentence on it that says love sits way above the bottom line.
It still does and it always will. Even though that bottom line weighed far too heavily and with toppling over results at the recent art affair (the one which is called Joburg but which actually happens in America, Los Sandtos).
This picture of the picture of the bench is #lesfolies picture of the picture taken by the photographer his own self, David Goldblatt. We were a bit delighted that he took this picture of our nice place to sit down at all, and then put it up for the affair and then took it down when the affair went awry and then put it up again after everyone nearly kissed and made up, sort of with nuances which is a kind way of saying intractable.
Also taken, put up, taken down and put up again was this very lovely picture by Mr Goldblatt of this not-ending-anytime-soon story that you your own self are reading right this very second. And this is #lesfolies’ picture of his picture of this story. I am explaining all of this just to avoid confusion.
All of David Goldbatt’s images that were taken, put up, taken down and put up again were about many things, not least including how it is that what is up has a bearing on whether we - all - are up or down.
10 October 2013
Rushes off on complete rebranding exercise through wild wind.
A solemn declaration is to be made.
Inbetween many conversations in passing traffic about small crowds of deranged people with red balloons and bakkies.
Singing uit die blou van onse hemel, uit die diepte van ons baie seer to the tune of like a mer err err err err maid.
Or The Statue of Liberty. Or the Rain Queen.
Is almost struck down dead by lightening. But survives.
Come let us pray ~
Dear Good Gods, please let it rain. Please let it pour. For like a few days even. And please let us be thoroughly cleansed of all prevailing idiocies. You said there would be only seven years of drought. It must be over soon then, surely? Where is the love? Show us a sign. Go on. Be a devil.
Photographs by Nomqibelo Martha Mhlanga. Fabric by Nomqibelo Martha Mhlanga. Found stapler by Nomqibelo Martha Mhlanga. Lots of laughing and carrying on and wondering what Dear Johannes will have to hasay by Nomqibelo Martha Mhlanga.
6 November 2013
Still. When #lesfolies asked the young man now with a learner’s license to drop her in the middle of this story on the way home, that’s how it was, it was, that is how it was. She had the best ever in history yoghurt for breakfast, fat mulberrys dripping with eat.me.now., and thin slices of apple cut to the most delicate of turns, big spoonfuls of it, hungry and wiping her mouth in rapture, a salute to the chef in a town in a world where not being hungry is a sin.
A sin she tells me.
Ask me no questions said the spokesperson and I will tell you no lies. We are getting sleepless nights he said it over and over. Dear Johannes is missed as if Marlon never made it.
Making this with you for so long even though you up and chucked before we even saw the bricks lying there, undone.
You see what you want. Just like me, #lesfolies thought out loud.
Auntie. my name is Kyla Brown. We live in the valley, you know Auntie, down there. She points and leans against him, shaped as her voice, the colour of leaves and bark.
Get off this street. You are not allowed here. You are not verified. You are verified but your piece of paper is not validated. You have the wrong colour piece of paper. You have no right to sell bananas so cheaply. Why do you make the tomatoes look like marbles? This is New York do you not know that? Do you think this is a game? You must not come here with your accent. You do not look right. You are not the public. You are rubbish. We have to clean you out. We are sweeping you off the face of the city. Look at our big broom. Have you ever seen such a big broom? Look how much we like telling you how pro poor we are. Stand in this queue. No, stand in that queue. There is no queue. There is no clue either. How did this happen? I thought you were in charge.
Beautiful young people doing whatever they like in the Troyeville Bedtime Story. Which is as it should be said #lesfolies. Something like normal. Whatever that is she shouted at the top of her voice.
Here is Michael Barends, Jamie Kock, Chanell Wala and Kayla Brown. They live in the Valley of Happiness where the #innercitymeansweep is not evident. Not yet. They said they would help to pick up litter if someone would just pay them, just pay them, if someone would just pay them. Don’t worry Auntie, our parents are not on the interwebs or Facebook or that stuff you know, they are not on it.
28 April 2013
I left your free gift on the bed yesterday. I hope it fits whoever got it and that the purple floral suits them.
There was a letter in a card. Hand written, unusual for #lesfolies, and an image of Nina Simone, with the caption ‘rebel with a cause’.
28 April 2013
The old man and the sleep
22 May 2013
Put myself in your shoes
Martha sewed a lock of my hair into the left pocket of the jacket.
She was also said to hear it was stolen. She said you were charmed.
She is even more romantic than #lesfolies. When the flowers die she arranges them even as they wilt.
23 May 2013
An anonymous tip off alerts the Hit Man and the Chief Warden at the Troyeville Game Reserve that there is treasure in a cannister somewhere at The Troyeville Bedtime Story.
Not knowing any of the rules, we find said odd looking cannister and think it might be a terrorism incident, complete with gas or chemicals.
Also, Dear Johannes nearly gets electrocuted seeking it with his long left arm. Not knowing any of the rules we break them and take it home and study it on the dining room table.
Which is also the kitchen table. Which is also the place where treasure is conceived.
On learning the rules we complete the (short) form and restore said cannister to a very slightly different place where you can go find it without danger of electrocution. Very few people know that we have wired the Troyeville Bedtime Story for future hot water bottle use.
31 May 2013
Streey Artist, Anthony B.R.
About a week and a half ago, #lesfolies was wandering around in the Troyeville Bedtime Story when she found, first these worldly belongings, and then the owner of them, one Mr Anthony B.R.
She asked him if she could write about him and he asked her how that would be possible considering she knew nothing about him.
He said this while looking her in the eye the way the young Jewish man had, long ago, when he gave her the number of a yenta he thought she should call. Anthony said he was 45, originally from Mauritius but he had grown up in KwaZulu Natal, in Durban, he said, sketching yachts. Now he lives in Joburg, close to his daughter house down the road on Broadway.
Anthony made this sketch of our bed especially for us and, although she still does not know anything much about the man, she knows he is a really street artist.
22 June 2013
The earth moved for Troyeville
Who would have ever thought you could move over two years of work from one place to another simply with a red stripe and a new marker?
But you can. The Troyeville Bedtime Story is now located in the new improved South Africa.
Ish tells me that Kitchener was a bad dude and that Bezuidenhout was a farmer. I wonder who was Viljoen? He is still around that Viljoen. And so is this story.
Notice for international tourists: get off the plane, get on the Albertina Sisulu Highest Way and drive straight on that road all the way until the corner of Viljoen. Now you are at us.
4 July 2013
Mom read to Susan yesterday, after Susan told us about her life and everyone wanted to be together.
Victor Zulu brought his son Sibunelo to come and sit in the shade at the Troyeville Bedtime Story. Today.
Who can say in advance what an experiment will learn? #lesfolies thinks we are the Higgs Boson we are looking for underground in Cern. The universe accelerates right through us and our little tale becomes less and more significant with each fleeting moment if there is one. She has been given a license. At the very top of the permit it says Renegade.
This is the most delicious juice. It quenches thirst and comes free with disruption.
14 December 2012
28 December 2012
#lesfolies figures her feelings
do not add up
sometimes when she closes her eyes
she can see them
the way ideas come to you
look what Dear Johannes made for us
it was not easy
he said he was up on the tallest part of the trees over the bed after doing 300 sit-ups a day for weeks. he says he wishes us to be nimble. he is my really friend.
3 January 2013
Neither the Hitman or #lesfolies got much sleep last night. #lesfolies has decided to do something big every single day including editing out, and himself is having choice waking dreams. We are both intensely involved in how The Troyeville Bedtime Story is going to unfold at Gallery Momo.
We cut everything up. We put everything up. We take it down. We put it up in new rooms.
We are mixing it up and breaking rules and looking for very special thin hand made beechwood frames as a matter of urgency. #lesfolies is going to do a whole performance at the Gallery on 31st of January 2012. About waking up or sleeping she has not decided as both are also mixed up right now. If you are not there she will just visualise you and talk straight to your heart.
11 January 2013
TED was in my dream
I'm sorry officer. It wasn't me. that's what #lesfolies always says when she can't breathe. TED and her were practising reading out loud when he fell on her. And he weighs a ton and a half, I swear. You try carrying him up and down the driveway at the Troyeville Game Reserve. Then you'll be sorry. She was trying to scream for help but she was squashed.
In case you are wondering that is MY bed. I don't know what #lesfolies thinks she is doing. She has her own bed. I am going to tell her to go lie in it. She is so disruptive. Honestly.
I mean just look at her. Hyperbolic is not the word.
Thank you TED. Thank you Johannes Dreyer. Thank you everyone who wanted me to go and get all renegade in California in February 2013. I'm going. So is #lesfolies and all her kindred.
You are going to have to control that woman. She only has 9 minutes. 9. Count them.
Just don't let your sing ok. Whatever you do: do not let her sing.
And when she gets that look on her face you know she is dreaming of you.
You have to watch her like a hawk.
Ok. I'm taking over from here.
That's my TED. Got him when I was two when I nearly died and they cut my throat open without an anaesthetic because the doctor was in shul because it was Roshashona. My Uncle Ellie gave it to me. The next day, even though I had just had a tracheotomy, my mom and dad said I would not shut up for a minute. TED taught me from early on that there's no time to lose.
The #TED2013 Speaker Programme is here
That guy Kees with the duck who made me laugh for days. There's Rose George talking good shit. Shit flies around that woman. She's great. And the Beardy Man is coming! The Beardy Man! Remember him? I embedded a youtube video of him to cheer myself up after I got all romantic and sad when I found Toulouse L'Autrec's 'Dans le lit' painting. I know you remember. You and I live in some kind of synchronous neighbourhood.
11 January 2013
I love my neighbour
#TED refused to come up from the Troyeville Bedtime Story after he came to #lesfolies in a day dream, so we left him there for hours until the lights went on despite the fact that a number of our close-by collaborateurs said he would be gone when we returned.
We are surrounded by a force of good in the dementia.
Solomon could not believe his eyes. He said he needed his picture taken please to give to his dying mother next week. He said "it is the last picture" and disappeared into the hood. He got a big surprise.
TED threw all the soft grass cuttings on #lesfolies for 9 minutes to the second. Johannes timed it. He said it was replete with silences and texture, surprise, drama and great epiphanies. He is very good, this TED.
After he was very good he was very itchy so #lesfolies gave him a good scratch. For a moment, she was his tree bark. There's no place like home he said and then he burped and Johannes was polite and pretended not to notice.
Sipho came. Sipho has no home for long now except in his heart. He sleeps most nights in the park near the small green sub-station. Every night he switches the festival of lights off before he goes to sleep and winds up the extension cables and uses them as a pillow to keep his goodwill safe. I've grown accustomed to your face he said to TED.
He is also the kind of guy who hits the pillow and is gone. #lesfolies wonders where.
16 January 2013
DEAR TROYEVILLE BEDTIME STORY CHARACTERS
Please come and celebrate with Johannes and #lesfolies. The latter says nicely that: I must ask you to please tell all the chinas that love The Legend on Troyeville's Left Bank, and also please tell the art collectors you know that Dear Johannes's work is not that dear, not yet. Though his eye, she says, is actually and also and completely dear to me.
There will be a limited quantity of fine wine and interesting characters everywhere on the walls and others standing on the floors talking about the ones on the walls and making eyes at each other.
#lesfolies loves creating good fortune, and this tale. She says she wonders if it is true, this exhibition.
Thank you Michael Kier for teaching me the politics of celebration and no fighting. I have to learn them both all the time.
Our neighbours, close, you know who you are, far and wide, you too: love is better than nothing, hey. Hold tight.
* The coincidence is noted. But this bear was always there and it works. #lesfolies is looking at it. She says it is telling her something and she is listening so she has to go.
18 January 2013
The memory is in the paper
after you wake up you go somewhere and this happens and that happens and then you do other things and then something else happens and you have to go somewhere and after quite a while you go back to sleep and you go somewhere and this happens and that happens
you are alive in dream
from space to place to paper
anyone who can make a decoration from a toilet paper roll and a blister pack is someone says Johannes quietly and fast
#lesfolies is inside the printer playing in the ink
28 January 2013
We have been framed
dirty teddy is under the paper at the framer
see. joe the framer is on the right. on the left is jo of the city we know and love so well.
speaking of the latter he was so happy he wanted to bring the first framed work home from The Frameshack in Booysens Reserve before it goes to the Deep North to Gallery Momo. Here it is at home in Troyeville, still in search of lost time.
and here is Martha and me reading the Top 10 things to do in South Africa this week in our most favoured Mail & Guardian thanks to Laurice Taitz who is a main character what counts. We are there on the top left with words like thrilling and most significant public art. Look at Martha's face. She says she has the right fashion for Thursday. I so hope you will be there to see.
29 January 2013
HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF
Good Garth His Own Self. Watching me reading my talk for TED2013. Oh shut up #lesfolies.
She says no. She says it's too exciting for words which is why, after the next sentence, there will be no more. Today.
1 February 2013
here is josé of
as a younger man
he practised photography
here is nadine hutton's beautiful photograph of josé just last night, inside the window, playing nice.
11 February 2013
NEIGHBOURHOOD TARGET PRACTICE IN PARKTOWN NORTH
before The Troyeville Bedtime Story
Gallery MOMO is the most beautiful place on 7th Avenue in Parktown North, our neighbourhood in the deep distance.
This is Khanyisile without whom life would be far less worth living.
And here are Motusi and Ernest who are respectively enthusiastic and earnest and 100% flipping amazing.
These guys are from Xcel print who made the wallpaper and put it up with such good grace in such a big hurry.
Karen and Ijeoma are upstairs with Monna and Lee. They are all far too gorgeous to show and also #lesfolies hereby admits that her pictures of them are all blurry. They were also working speedy gonzales style.
15 February 2013
WALK ALL ABOUT
come hear the story straight from the horses' mouths. #lesfolies says don't say neigh. and please bring people who don't know what to do with their wealth. we know exactly what to do with it. one of our number is the world's leading distribution agent. and every print sold keeps The Troyeville Bedtime Story uncompromising and unfolding and finding its own way forward in the neighbourhood of the world.
25 April 2013
The Troyeville Bedtime Story and it’s new Online Shop have been in beta mode for a few months which is another way of saying #lesfolies has been #lesmissing for some time. But she will never leave you. You must know that by now, even though things change. As they are wont. One thing she is sure of, is that you are in fine kettle.
After our favourite story’s world premiere exhibition at Gallery MOMO in the Deep North, #lesfolies went to TED2013 as herself, to speak about the very bed, and the high tower (the one in Hillbrow ha ha). This life-altering experience, combined with two currently unmentionable cataclysms (quite like catacombs), all contributed greatly to the busy ms, albeit sometimes the business was one of retreat and the other was and remains a desire to have foresight.
All profits made by the sale of selected photographs by Johannes Dreyer as beautiful limited edition prints on archival paper, go towards the tale and its tellers who are determined to keep the physical and the online Troyeville Bedtime Story fiercely independent.
If you are curious, like the story and the photographs, know someone who is pining for one on their wall. Or if you run a hotel and you need them all. Don’t hesitate. Just click on this glowing sentence.
#lesfolies and Dear Johannes will remember you in their dreams.
Images of our competition shops sourced from the Wikimedia Commons with thanks
Time transpired. #lesfolies was #lesmiserables for long and she lost her voice though the Troyeville Bedtime Story continued and Dear Johannes was looking at her with big eyes wondering what happened. By the way nothing happened. That was the issue. Then. Sometimes the silence in a tale is more significant than all the words.
14 March 2012
This looks like another #lesbin to Dear Johannes.
Somebody's getting in big trouble.
This happened yesterday. What's more, in the early hours of this morning, a visitor from Spain googled 'lautrec red haired' and landed here on #lesfolies's blog - on a post of the "Dans le lit" image which you can find on the family tag to the right if you are also feeling like the hot-blooded Spanish man.
Troyeville's Lautrec was here too early this morning, fixing a mouth and adding his own touches here and there.
And Troyeville's Basquiat came to visit while he was at it. And Dear Johannes told #lesfolies this visitation resulted in a whole lot of goings on that she had to concentrate on to understand and it was a bit difficult with her own goings on going on.
I wonder what is big trouble and whether you can also get a rosette for it.
To lose. To find. Evl Jon unearths lost treasure everywhere others see only trash.
In the dark in the night everywhere people have dreams shining through fear and old plastic - that a man was covered in this morning where we found him - on our way to school, fast asleep on the Troyeville Bed, with two legs sticking out. Shoes on.
Story for another day.
26 April 2012
There is a National Exotic Fruit Fly Surveillance Programme taking place immediately above our beloved bed in Troyeville, Joburg. In other words, in the tree above the Troyeville Bedtime Story. We agree: This is indeed the perfect proximity in which to survey all kinds of fruits and exotica.
We wonder what the Deparment of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries are finding out with this bucket. A google revealed many interestingly-named pdf files from www.daff.gov.za that went exactly nowhere and then #lesmots got bored with that and stopped.
Dear Johannes did not see the DO NOT TOUCH POISON sign until he had inspected the surveillance equipment which you can see his hands doing right here and which same precious hands he used immediately thereafter to return said bucket to its perch. He says he further then proceeded to immediately forget to wash those same hands straight afterwards.
#lesmiserables is pleased to report that the most aesthetically pleasing man on the Western Edge of the Reserve is not dead. On the contrary. He is doing a good imitation of an Exotic Fruit Fly Himself and she is considering reporting him to the Same Surveillance Programme so that they can get him in their bucket for a close-up view.
9 May 2012
A mm or two out
That's Rafael's boot holding the frame in place. After he tested it, he decided it was a millimetre or two out - so he has taken it back into the workshop. The time frame is immaterial as our story has no dead line lying somewhere choking on a spreadsheet. #lesfolies' frame of mind is a bit out too, but then we all have our limitations. Even master carpenters have their limitations when it comes to what it might take to sandpaper her brain to a better fit.
Moral: This is why so many people tend to frame their affirmations.
25 May 2012
Once, upon a time
#lesfolies loves this. also toulouse l'autrec. the kiss, 1892.
11 July 2012
These two early blossoms in winter came to visit the Troyeville Bedtime Story this week because they are the backing vocalists in a band that was making a music video here in the Troyeville Game Reserve, Jhb. #lesfolies thinks they look like Russian Dolls.
We are intensely busy right now looking for a sponsor/s to give us what we need to make the Troyeville Bedtime Story into a Wireless Hotspot for our neighbourhood. We have a small grant from Business and Arts South Africa to install a webcam here soon - so that you can obsessively visit the neverending tale to see what new mischiefs are going on. Every 60 seconds.
We also got a famous guy who makes animal webcams helping us for nada because he wants to be a leading character. More on this in due course says #lesfolies.
By now she hopes you know that her really self auditioned for TED and that she's made it to the candidate list with another 20 South Africans who all want to go to California to spread their good ideas like home-made butter on the sandwich of international klout. #lesfolies thinks it would be just marvellous if you, your own self, would go look for her video audition here in the Joburg section and rate it. It is a short story about this very bed in Troyeville.
11 July 2012
The Bedtime Story, Troyeville, Johannesburg Photograph and Copyright, David Goldblatt, 8 April 2012
Never in her life so far did #lesfolies imagine that his own self David Goldblatt would say that the Troyeville Bedtime Story "triggered something" in him. But he did. Some time back, And today, in response to #lesfolies' ardent desire to talk at TED he sent her this photograph. Never before published. Wait till Dear Johannes sees this. He is going to plutz.
24 July 2012
Conversations sur l'oreiller ii
Juste à temps, Dans le lit, ze zigned original oui, un acrylic sur metal, conceptualisation par Chevalier en Armure Brillant, Sir J Dreyer, par l'artiste lui-même Mal-Jon, encadrée par le maître-encadreur de Rafael-Beelearts Rue.
Comment nous aimons l'amour et Henri du Toulouse-Lautrec ici Troyeville, Ville de L'or Bouffon.
7 August 2012
"The outlines of the trees were sharply reflected against the golden-blue snow as delicately as in certain Japanese pictures or in some backgrounds by Raphael. They lengthened on the ground at the foot of the trees as in nature when the setting sun reflects the trees which rise at regular intervals in the fields. But by a refinement of exquisite delicacy, the meadow upon which these shadows of ethereal trees were cast, was a field of Paradise, not green but of a white so brilliant on account of the moon shedding its rays on the jade-coloured snow, that one would have said it was woven of petals from the blossoms of pear-trees."
And my fingers bled today. The quote is from In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust.
7 August 2012
21 August 2012
Outside in the Ministry of Fabulousness
For the first time in its nearly two year history, The Troyeville Bedtime Story exhibited itself inside - at the Ministry of Fabulousness' combined exhibition in Kramerville in Johannesburg this last Saturday. For this breathtaking miracle (when a green park goes to visit a building's 3rd Floor), Dear Johannes and #lesfolies decided we needed to take the headboard with us and hang it over a girder.
Last time we moved this cast we had to roll it onto site like Egyptians. This time, we decided to use the original - and much lighter - headboard (bought for R450 in Primrose last year January and used to make the famous mould) and give it the full concrete treatment. Here you can see Rafael de Saint Beelearts and one Artwell (indeed) taking great care to make our little notion.
Here it is, hanging on steel rope that Johannes's china by name of Skilpad installed for us with the kind of good grace you only get from growing up nice. Behind it, you can see some of our proofs - which sold quite well #lesfolies advises - and are stll available at exactly R750,00 inclusive of all our dreams which is more value than all the appreciation you get in the entire global contemporary fart market.
This is the man Mr J Dreyer his own self, surrounded by celebrity photographer Sally Shorkend both of them dazzled by works by Other Artists include Merle Payne and Huge Fraser. Indeed the event was studded with stars with names like Ariane and Bieber and Hilton-Barber and Chipps, Bannister and Basson. #lesfolies thought she might die of all the good company not to mention Merle's eyes ... but when that happened Dear Johannes sent her out to buy pizza because, he said, I can also feel I am eating myself now.
The really miracle happened after lunch with an intra-planetary visitation, especially in honour of our oft-neglected inside space, by The True Gobot from the Maria Fidel Regueros Galaxy - seen here welcoming a strange but friendly alien with nice bumps on her chest.
Humans took close-up images of the Gobot for our scientists' to study how exactly to make good dads.
After this shoot, The True Gobot did his own curatorial inspection and pronounced it the most interesting site for sore eyes in his section of Our Split Infinity. The Gobot's rating increased #lesfolies bliss ratio as well as the value of The Troyeville Bedtime Story's very first limited edition prints. These (two) lay revealed on paper that lasts for a century surrounded by fragile tissue which does not last at all though in our minds it crinkles like your eyes do when you are happy to see your child.
21 August 2012
An Open Letter to Dear Johannes
my friend #lesfolies wants you to know that she is blessed to work with you. she says you have the sacred fire.
she asked me to tell you, also: she is thinking of you and your family tonight in vereeniging.
baie dankie vir alles johannes
you are the city's name
2 September 2012
Sister of another brother
zanie knows all #lesfolies words
6 November 2012
A man by the name of Michael Mamabolo saw The Troyeville Bedtime Story as he was driving into town from Eastgate Shopping Centre, one day a long time ago.
Since then he has seen it on the internet many times, all the way from Polokwane in Limpopo, South Africa, he told #lesfolies and Philski on this last Saturday when he came past, especially, during a visit to Joburg to see if the duvet was real.
To touch it, he said. He half-lay and sat on the bed and imagined who might have slept there before his long journey. He never saw #lesfolies but he did tell her not to put his picture in the newspaper. Only put it on the internet he said twice.
#lesfolies was sleeping late, a habit she finds endearing. btw in case you ever need to know: #lesfolies does not believe in waking anyone. #lesfolies is a tiger mom but she is not the one who is the tiger unless provoked by a bully though, sadly, she finds no solace in that.
I prefer to be the one who is ravaged she told me once, late.
It was a beautiful morning in the Valley and she had been waiting for a whole party touring the Troyeville Art Departments with Drew and Ish, neighbours from two other mothers. The light caught her in a dappling and she succumbed to the pleasure of a power nap before they arrived, dreaming all the while that Johannes Dear was catching flying snails and putting them in a bucket for foolhardy people from another country to eat or put down their dresses.
#lesfolies is also a hardy fool. in case you didn't notice. ha. this penchant has contributed greatly to where she finds herself generally and where she found herself on Saturday when the touring party arrived, walking along Bezuidenhout Street as if, in sunhats and determination towards their last stop at the most favoured Troyeville Hotel.
This was not the snail part of the dream. I am sure they had prawns.
When she woke up #lesfolies gazed at the humans as if they were not there. They seemed somehow to be clouds, pink and blue and beautiful ghosts, almost fifty of them, walking around with conversations in the city's east edge. In the waking up dream, she saw Drew bringing up the rear and walked, in her sleep, all the way to the main road, barefoot and hardly conscious, to go and get him and make him feel nice. He thought he might be imagining things and he probably was, as were they all. They were dreaming the Troyeville Bedtime Story and found themselves inside it, here.
After they had heard the story which included her imaginary view of the sky, #lesfolies went back to sleep and that's when Michael arrived, and Philski, who took these pictures* so Dear Johannes could see everything while nursing his wounds and longing for home.
* The Snails image arrived by sms from the most beautiful man on the Western side of the Reserve with a message to say the hand that pressed the button on the old camera was also bitten by a rat but that a new lens for the Nikon was within grasp. #lesfolies is delighted by this latter news though sorry to hear the former was a rodent.
Having laid our bed we make in it said #lesfolies says after the fact. Note: she did not say we made out ~ as if. Writing on the 24th of December in the Year 2012 in the post-end era, #lesfolies is sitting at the same window as at the beginning of Chapter One and most of Chapter Two, with a view. Our story has a way of continuing is what she was thinking to her own self when she finally worked out the new Joomla uploader so the story could indeed continue to be re-posted here in chronological order, or thereabouts because of the unfathomable. It is rather strange to go back in time, getting caught in warps while doing cut-copy-paste.
Most of this particular Chapter is devoted, as is Dear Johannes, to beautiful portraits of people who came, as if drawn.
15 September 2011
YOU - IN THE FAMOUS BEDTIME STORY
You are cordially invited to please become an eccentric / leading character (or an extra) in Joburg’s Famous Bedtime Story and have your portrait taken - by artist-photographer Johannes Dreyer - at the legendary unmade bed on the eastern edge of Johannesburg in Troyeville.
You may also use this opportunity to tell a short bedtime story of your own (or sing a lullaby) that will be recorded. Selected portraits and audio files will be featured on this blog, the AAW! Art Project Management website (www.artatwork.co.za) and the online resources of the Joburg Fringe. They may also be used in publicity that appears in the media, including online social media.
If you (and friends and family singly / together) would like to pose for your portrait with the bed, please consider wearing pyjamas (or whatever you do or do not sleep in) and feel free to bring your own props, accessories and ideas – though they should have something to do with how you feel about bed and dreaming. Or waking up.
21 September 2011
Rozanne from Kwela, in Troyeville
In breathless anticipation of the Joburg Fringe 2011 and Johannes Dreyer and #lesfolies enthusiastic participation, the Famous Rozanne from Kwela graced the Most Beautiful Bed yesterday. You can see a feature on Johannes on Kwela on Kyknet on the 28th of September 2011 at 8pm - that will include more interesting activity in proximity to our most favoured duvet. We are looking forward to the water pistols, kaalgat, crocheted and dimpled portraits that will be made possible by all of you over the next four days. There will be fresh oranges or something like that. And apparently there will be surprise art attacks about which even we know nothing.
22 September 2011
Once, high up, on a time
Teddy. Johannes got him for R20 per day from the pawn shop up by Appolonia Street. (Postscript: and in the end we rescued him)
Isaura Mazivile and her beautiful son Albert who was very scared of the monster Teddy but who was comforted.
Ophelia Wainwright wore very little underneath.
Francis Ngala, Shane Tlhako, Thabo Sebako and Shaylin Marks came from the flats above
Gretha Brazelle also had boots on and read the newspaper with her new retro spectacles with the red frame on the top only.
Phillippa Yaa de Villiers reminding herself.
Sicelo Sithole and Johannes Nkosi from the Engen Garage opposite the bed.
Tayo. Evl Jon's son who runs and jumps and hides and shouts and leaps and runs some more.
Here he is again with his dad.
Kwena Ramaboya and Phindi Ndlovu who came especially.
Kayla Joubert my neighbour that I just met with John Colombi and Ayanda Ogqoyi who had dark glasses on before he posed.
Agrenet Mbatha from down the road says Martha.
Anthea Moys and Kyla Davis and Tea Cup
Zenzele Simelane and Khaya Phakathi with some of the oranges we shared.
Papalups Yaa de Villiers
Audrey at the End (Postscript: It was not.)
23 September 2011
In search of lost time, we found Tayo
he brought his dad
his dad had mobile artwork
tayo sorted everyone out
tayo in the artwork
23 September 2011
He said it sounded silly
when #lesfolies asked him to come and have his picture taken. he is right of course, thank goodness. we should rather be busy with more important matters. cash flow. rugby. the violence. stuff like that.
the bed though, has taken on the shape of a cardboard box with holes in it. it distracts us with sheets that cannot be found on computers. and we keep finding beautiful women inside it. with accents. and shoulder blades. there are also other things inside that bed. you can just imagine.
here above is audrey who #lesfolies has known since 1979 when you were little and she mistakenly thought she was already grownup.
you can see audrey takes her tasks very seriously. he would be impressed with her ability to put together a budget and a production schedule but thank goodness she decided not to attempt to impress him but rather to focus her more bountiful skills on johannes and #lesfolies.
and here is anthea, who #lesfolies has known for a much shorter time and with whom she has had such intense outbursts of fanciful that they were epiphanising.
on silliness: it is silly to go to eastgate shopping centre in peak hour. and it is silly to say no when you mean yes. it is just plain stupid to say yes when you mean no. but it happens. i love this project.
24 September 2011
damien drank the material one. the same concrete substrate out of which we made the duvet. he always told us that it was the most environmentally-friendly option. or something like that. he said you can drink it. and then he did. i was not there. but he does not seem too badly affected. hey.
ag man. here he is comforting kyle. because kyle thought damien was going to turn into the headboard from the material one. but damien didn't. see.
kyle was feeling okay after that.
24 September 2011
Early in the morning a slow bus came past the bed, driving politely behind the trolley pusher. Johannes made me look. Sometimes i think i can see but i don't notice the most important thing.
Troyeville's Transport Consortium gathered for portraits in their boardroom - Thabiso Mokolo, Tebogo Mpopo and Thabo Jane. They parked their trolley's in the Reserve Stables.
Ian Clarke donned his Casual Friday outfit in complete empathy.
Edward Francisco and #lesfolies are wandering what is going to happen next.
24 September 2011
The day before what we remember
Yesterday was not Heritage Day but a lot of the kids in Troyeville went to school all dressed up. Here are Sangeliswe Ceberhulu and Promise Muyeni who stopped on their way to Assembly to look Johannes in the eye. They had plenty of time until the siren.
Antoneita Gucrucaga and Aliya Mondlana were also dressed up. They came at about 9 in the morning and Johannes asked them how come they were not at school again because he knows a lot about what is going on in the neighbourhood on a lot of days not just the day before Heritage Day. They did not answer that question and so he said they must rather come on Saturday.
Sofia is not near school. She stays at home in bed and sleeps late.
29 September 2011
Breakthough evidence: Astral travel works
The Troyeville Wild Life Society published a paper today revealing scientifically explosive evidence of OBE or, as it is more commonly known, Astral Travel. According to the paper, the image included above, is the culmination of centuries of searching for proof of the phenomenon - i.e. in which the journey occurs in environments that "may be populated or unpopulated, artificial, natural or abstract, and the experience may be beatific, horrific or neutral." *
According to the lead researcher #lescompletelymiserablesbutcarryingon, she is the only being that remains unsurprised by the findings. "This is because I have always known that we will find what we want inside our dreams and this has been supported by many oracles including the ancient Runic oracle which advises that what is yours will come to you."
The evidence, i.e. the greyscale image above that was captured last weekend by the Research Team's Hit Man Dreyer, correlates accurately with the following message received by #lescompletelymiserablesbutcarryingon - from Nokhanyo-Okano Mhlana - on her Fleabook Post a few days prior to the manifestation.
"Kisses and cuddles to all of you that will be there...I'll do an astral trip and I'll be there in my spirit form...in the joy, laughter and colour- see my smile:-)"
#lescompletelymiserablesbutcarryingon says that she is certain that the synchronous dream circumstances, combined with the views of the subject (listed on her Fleabook Info as being "Free Thought-Surfing Sangoma"), produced the OBE evidence. She would like to acknowledge and credit all the stakeholders.
* For those interested in exploring The Gistology further, it may be found here:
1 October 2011
putting the children to bed
Here is Sebastian Pienaar who came with his dad who I have known a little for a long time and who also lives close by with a view of the famous bed.
And this is Sebastian's friend whose name is José Hyman. His dad is good at music - #lesfolies has had some good dancing experience of that.
And from the flats, these kids play often with the bed and they know more about it than any of us - they are: Aliya Mondlana, Pai Gucracaga, Surprise Ndzimande, Junior Cherenta, Shawn Mondlana, and Antoineta Gucracaga
This Odin Superboy de Kock also came with his folks but was called to attend to an emergency during the shoot and used the bed as a launchpad to fly off over the city on a mission.
His locum arrived just in time to relieve him of his Troyeville Duties, the Angel Matilda Kalima Her Own Self.
Alfie Coetzee, who works at the Mercantile Bank nearby (which is a very ugly building in #lesfolies opinion though that's neither here nor there), brought his daughter Linelle (right) and her friend Amy Roy because they were nagging him because they kept being bored at the bank waiting and waiting for the dad and watching the more exciting things going on just over the road.
Here's the second Sofia, (both spelled with an 'f') who arrived in the same amount of days and who brought her mom Frances to the shoot. Frances hopes that Sofia is going to be the most eccentric of all characters in the story. She is so far.
Not counting Myer the Taub or the Teddy.
1 Ocober 2011
The Friends Francoises
himself pienaar with troyeville's vladislavic bez valley reader
enter also himself known affectionately to #lesfolies as frankie.
she also likes the way he wears his hat.
1 October 2011
The Sunday Morning Hunt
The visitor told the neighbour the newspaper was replete with stories about big men in search of beasts with teeth. The neighbour was nonplussed. He gazed towards Bezlehem, listening to the sound of traffic. Roaring.
4 October 2011
Man about town
Mark Straw leaps in his sleep and dreams of his family far away.
After his portrait session at the Outer Fringe he went to the Joburg Art Fair in his pyjamas.
4 October 2011
There are other beds. I was just reminding myself of that trawling around, finding out about What Size Mattresses and The Better Sleep Council. I found some ridiculous text that may become useful. Then I went to the Gistologerian Enclave and found these people. "Dans le lit" Oil on Canvas. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec dated 1893. Its current home is the Museé D'Orsay next to the Seine in Paris which is not Troyeville, though it is also on the left bank. I think you will like it.
5 October 2011
one martha only in the whole world
one chili only in the whole world, with pepper
6 October 2011
Chili David Kier who reminds me a lot of his dad Michael who would not believe how big is his boy.
Daniel Zachariah Franks, Chili's first cousin who reminds me a lot of his dad too.
8 October 2011
Jin Shin Jyutsu in Troyeville
Some people you just love with your whole heart. Here is Tessa from around the corner. Michael Kier was besotted with her and could not control the movement of his mouth in her company. You could hardly blame the guy. In fact #lesfolies says that in those days of their first meetings, when Tessa came around the atmosphere in the house changed to charged and there was a lot of laughing and playing of guitars.
Some things are more important than territory, like how much love you give before you leave, no matter which persona you are using, or what you learn to find your generous. According to Tessa #lesfolies is very good at getting people to do silly things and as a reward for this she has offered #lesmiserables a session of Jin Shin Jyutsu. #lesfolies sometimes forgets that she is one of the most fortunate.
8 October 2011
Mayibuye Dalai Lama
#lesmiserables and her friend Hanli from The Valley of Happiness are busy putting on pinstripe suits and getting on the Gautrain at Rosebank to go to OR Tambo Airport to wait for the Dalai Lama. Meantime, two days ago, #lesfolies suspects it was one of the neighbours in the Troyeville Reserve who was in a similar mood when posting this sign on the bed.
Many ideas, like those that come from the Dalai Lama, inspire the makers, documenters and communities who live near the famous bed in Troyeville.
Not least amongst them are the many other bedrooms on the Reserve;
The teddy bears in their houses;
The original contemporary artwork on their walls;
The extraordinary nature of their architecture;
and their strange pets and bedfellows.
30 October 2011
Other peoples' families
#lesfolies has this sense that every one who has come to the bed has revealed themselves in a way that is usually reserved for family.
Perhaps this has something to do with Johannes Dreyer's way of looking through the lens.
It feels like he wants us to see ourselves when we feel safe.
#lesfolies loves these family portraits of Aleisha, Odin and Renier.
About longing and sanctuary: Charles, who helped us right at the beginning when we started making the bed, (to turn the pile of rubble into a strong foundation), is in detention in Lindela. He got taken away to the jail even though he had all the right stamps. He is from another country and we are trying to bring him home so he can be here with his wife where he belongs on Sunday mornings.
One of #lesfolies' grandfathers came to South Africa when he was just 13 and conversant only in Yiddish and Russian. There was no Lindela for people like him. He was taken in by a kind tailor and slept on the shop counter. Now we will all live here.
22 November 2011
The bed is black
On a lighter note on this dark day, during parliaments' vote on the Protection of Information Bill, Johannes says that "the Troyeville bed is such a media slut."
(Postscript: That is not true. The neighbour says #lesfolies has Attention Seeking Disorder)
5 December 2011
No Celine, No Guignol
Basani and Pauline reading Celine's "Guignol's Band I & II"
I wonder why that book? Not for me on this Monday morning Celine's cursed raving on about how ugly we become, how we get old, how hopeless it is.
Though I like this: Si vous n'êtes pas riche, vous devez toujours regarder utiles. And I like google translate.
12 December 2011
In my dream
you did this while i was sleeping. that was in my dream.
and you were there when i woke up. thinking i was dreaming.
the first thing i saw was stars and birds and people flying.
i told you everything from the beginning.
18 December 2011
Jen. Den. Married this year after thirty-two years of collecting tsoris. I love them. I have known them that whole time. Their bed is always unmade I swear. And they never come to visit without iced-tea the way Den makes it and they bring it in a a 10litre petrol cannister. I swear. We have good times kvetching together and making grand plans. When I look at this picture I get farklempt. They have always treated me as something more than gehockter leber. Even though I wonder. Jen is the baleboosteh of note. Den is full of rachmones.
21 December 2011
just victoria. with josé. and sebastian.
There could never be more love says #lesfolies. Or more costume changes.
Real life is the best part I ever got and I am impersonating myself as intensely as possible. It is all for you.
19 April 2011
The picnic that never happened was so beautiful it broke #lesfolies heart in more interesting looking pieces. Martha made Emergency Scones with fresh whipped cream (#lesmiserables did the whipping) and strawberry jam and waterlemoen konfyt and the owner of Kitchener Hardware Herself came with two of her grandchildren. We had real good coffee served with the scones on a table close by to the bed, on which the most glorious duvet was temporarily installed for the non-event. (Significant Aside: Temporarily due to rain and the kind of epoxy being used not going well together ... anyone wondering where the duvet went should be advised that it is safely waiting for full sun.)
A Nimrod character who #lesfolies think lives in the outside-world on the Panorama Ridge, and who Johannes promises is really Basquiat, brought us what was left of a cupid garden sculpture as a gift. Drew Lindsay arrived all sleepy in a blanket-dress like #lesfolies had never seen and Auds and Garth were the first of the visitors that were not coming but did anyway, in their stylish white Polo and monogrammed white matching gowns and garish shoeish-slippers. They get these kinds of things because they have a penchant for overnighters at local hotels near the airport where the beds are big and there is 24/7 room service.
Garth had sunglasses on and a fat cigar to go with his other penchant for pastries they brought themselves because Auds left her phone at home and didn't get the message that we had cancelled. As did a number of other most appreciative diehards to whom the Troyeville Game Rangers are undying grateful.
We were so sad and desperate in the morning when the sun didn't come out and it started to rain on our little parade. We felt like the sky. We sent away the portable toilet. We sent sad messages.
When the redhead arrived #lesmiserables knew everything would be okay. There was always something about her freckles, and the Thunderbolt's silk pyjama pants seemed to enhance each one of them, like a decision to love.
#lesfolies thinks it was the Minister for the Most Glorious Consultation of the Complete Art Whole who brought that morning's City Press. Her and The Notorious Poet had a story inside it about women around the corner who had bravely decided to wade through floods the day before to clear the storm-water drains in the neighbourhood since our city is currently all trashed due to such and similar reasons.
It was entirely coincidental that the same paper ran a headline that morning about the now legendary bed. Damien and Johannes are not sure which one of them is the Minister of Love but they were pleased to the point of blushing furiously and #lesfolies and the M.T.H.A.F.K.R. head honcho are in turn delighted that so many really artists occupy important positions of power and media space in the current climate change.
Rumour has it that a number of neighbours, family and friends in proximity and / or spirit are curious as to why the bed is left unmade. An enquiring mind is good thinks #lesfolies. The neighbourhood children have no questions though. They can see this is their place for climbing trees and dreaming and the creases in the sheets and the Sunday-morning lazy style looks like a real home and good-at-games to them. Ishvara and Raymond concurred with luminous faces, as did Jonathan who looked dignified and as if he had stepped into our bedroom right out of another era.
Having a new view of things this beautiful boy took pictures of us while playing Tarzan:
This first one is of the Troyeville Poet Laureate aka The Notorious One and the Grivas Minister of Love and has #lesfolies' hat in it. You can also see to the top-right of the image that the local Tibetan Singing Mutt was running around in the cool breeze like a Powder Puff pretending to be a Headless Chicken.
And this second one which is how things should be and how they were on Sunday, even though you were sorely missed.
Toward lunchtime the sun came out, like it does, says Martha when we have a party in the Troyeville Game Reserve. All protocol observed. We went home for veg soup and warm conversation.
22 April 2011
Good Friday Annointment
My biorhythm metre says I am happy today but not at all intelligent.
Facts only then:
The duvet is now permanently installed on the bed. There is a burst main pipe on Fuller Street and so the reserve is without water. My dog Helen of Troyeville is gone. The biorhythm metre is not 100% accurate but there is no metric for shadows.
It is definitely Friday. And it is good that the duvet is done and rigorously tested and inspected.
There is an Open Heavens Assembly somewhere near the Troyeville Spar. It started early this morning with Annointing and Miracles and will conclude at 6pm tonight with a Chapter titled Digging Deep. They have a public address system with an echo that carries across the valley. I wonder what Digging Deep sounds like and for how long it will go on, or for how long the duvet will stay bright white which is the colour of Material One.
We are thinking about it and will experiment.
We appear to have time, though this last is as unknown as what happens when we do not. In the meantime, you can take it that I am inventing a more intimate ceremony during which I hope something soft lands on your head and takes your breath away.
25 April 2011
Feeling the water
johannes: what a moment
johannes: the white duvet has turned into a bird bath
Johannes: nogal mooi so ek dink. please enjoy the day.
26 April 2011
Bed wins TOP STAR AWARD!
In loving memory of the Top Star Drive-In that used to be around the corner on a mine dump, Johannes Dreyer has awarded us with sweet, kind words and The Main Prize for "going ahead with no trepidation" on the first proposal from his sketch pad which looked something like this exactly (including the star ....)
Here is our Award which we received to a Standing Ovation and Thunderous Applause:
In bestowing the Award, Johannes's short, sweet speech included these trembling words: "I want to thank you and Damien for making dreams come true. Check how close we came to the target. I also learned, not only about cement and material 1, but also about myself and hopefully have grown from the pillow test de rorshcach."
The latter follows here:
In receiving the Award, #lesfolies was heard to say "I'm not sure how to repay them for making The Now Legendary Bed with Such Good Grace. What do you give such rich people? Perhaps supper?"
29 April 2011
When does it stop?
i have patched up the vents
i have taken beautiful portraits
the duvet is whiter than before
7 May 2011
the do not disturb sign on your door
is clear as the sign on the sky
this very morning
24 May 2011
Someone left this on the bed last week sometime and then Charles took it and highlighted a passage about the maths they used to calculate the date. Yesterday Johannes said he thinks they are trying to rush things and this morning Charles came to see me and said that I must not worry because we are still all going to die. Then he asked if there was something he could do for me. I said yes please work in the garden.
1 June 2011
Today I am the King of Spain's daughter, Juana of Castile. These memoirs of mine may be found in the Wikipedia:
"The story of Juana attracted authors, composers and artists of the 19th century romanticist movement with her qualities of unrequited love and moral fidelity.
Most historians now agree that she had either melancholia, neurotic depression, a psychosis or a case of inherited schizophrenia at the time, and was not insane or 'mad' as was commonly believed."
According to an ancient chinese story, a pear is a pair though each must eat their own and they should be ripe and ready and taken with relish. The juice should run down each of your chins and you should visit each other after baking them with coarse salt and some of this:
22 June 2011
AND THAT'S NOT ALL ...
Today was Zack's second day in his new furniture shop, which, after months of scouting, he finally selected due to the abundance of available square meterage. He has bespoke built-in skylights and natural features. Zack is selling chests of drawers with compartments so secret they cannot be found except in wishes.
To celebrate his new showroom, Zack is offering free Jhb city views and bottomless memories - and drawers, of course, for only R400 each. The Troyeville Wild Life Society wishes him all the best with his new adventure. If you require his cellphone number please enquire herein.
10 July 2011
The Free Spirits of Troyeville
6 September 2011
The tale that will not lie down is republished here by #lesfolies and Dear Johannes, in chronological order, apparently,
from original posts that keep moving due to such and similar, from blog to blog and now to the original Tumblr
The story continues even before it has begun and well after when it started. Although you may never know when, although you might, the neverending tale unfolds first, as it happens, or not, as the case may be, on the corner of what used to be for a long time Bezuidenhout Street and what is now Albertina Sisulu Road and Viljoen Streets in Troyeville, Johannesburg, South Africa which is where I am now, writing at an old school desk overlooking a famous garden on the hill with a view through windows everywhere of a green canopy and the eastern inner city skyline. From this beloved district, the tale manifests online, including real and imaginary episodes, chapters and whims, you can never be sure which is which. And then it comes here. And you read it. Just like that. And sometimes you may even return with pleasure to see if there is more yet and what will happen next. And sometimes you become a leading character. Some of you know who you are.
You, are most welcome
4 Feb 2011
Neighbourhood Target Practise #3
Following the "suffering more productively" manifestations via grass-cutting love letters #1 and dustbins #2, the matriarch (and some of her most ardent minions) in the mansion-on-the-hill aka Troyeville Game Reserve, has her sights set on a load of rubble on the corner of Bezuidenhout & Viljoen. The offending facebrick eyesore has been in this pathetic state for at least 1million and two drive-by's, and, despite the beautiful work done by City Parks once a month in the area, the detritus remains neglected. Further inspired by the bravery of millions of people around the world who are sick and tired of asking for permission to lead a better life, we will no longer let the situation remain habitually dire.
The truth is, even when it wasn't rubble, the irredeemable yellow facebrick (my worst) object made no sense: It was just an inexplicable platform with an equally inexplicable thing on top of it; of no apparent use and never good to look at it.
Local hitman Johannes Dreyer is conspiring with concrete formworker Damien Grivas of Bez Valley to ensure the view will, at the very least, soon become more interesting. In pursuit of their plan, #lesmiserables and the hitman spent some rainy afternoon time in Primrose this week sourcing a suitably kitsch headboard. Found for R450.00 in the first second-hand shop on the right. Watch this public space.
10 Feb 2011
State of the Imagination
The Troyeville Game Reserve began its latest in a series of ongoing Neighbourhood Target Practices in the early hours of this morning, timing happily coincidental to the more talkative kind of dress-up-in-the-Mother-City affair scheduled for later on this evening. The series is focused on creating employment for Dangerous Artists (not to be confused with the Conceited/Precious* variety) while simultaneously:
1. Reducing the eye-sore factor currently overwhelming the state of the nation.
2. Providing tangible / experiential evidence of the value of even a modicum of lateral thought.
3. Going against the instinctual Fear Factor component inherent in making a permanent public artwork for reasons that are not yet fully known but which appear to be less of a priority.
In an excerpt from her paper on "the state of the imagination" #lesfolies reveals that "... extensive research clearly shows that having more respect for what you see around you inspires activity which is good for cardio-vascular circulation. Furthermore, taking action is known to be a more productive form of suffering than being so used to shit that you live in it, drive past it, stop seeing it, get used to it and bring your children up so that they never even question it."
In the image below, local hit man Johannes Dreyer can be seen with Troyeville Game Reserve Ranger #1A, Charles Himself, using moerese mallets to break up the offending facebrick platform on the corner of Bezuidenhout & Viljoen. According to #lesmiserables, "This is the first phase of a larger and far more ambitious plan to literally embed artists and other friendlies, not only in this specificity, but also in the state of the nation. According to the research report this type of activity is particularly critical at a time when the nation must endure an inordinate amount of pontification, a feature of the annual party politics season that plays itself out in badly read and / or vacant speeches, posters with strangers on them in lurid colours and all night summits that do not include we the people.
For this, and a number of other reasons also related to making choices, #lesmiserables is reported to be appreciating some moments of bliss.
16 Feb 2011
Parking off in the bedroom
now being cast in concrete. discreetly. no we are not going to do anything in orange this year. though if you know someone who wants to make a lot of dayglo orange nylon kites, and fly them, you should let me know.
20 Feb 2011
Please meet this particular trio of wastrels currently making their presence felt in the park. This group of almost-living creatures spend their time abusing themselves in public space. They are often joined by others of their ilk, broken bottles and white pipes, and of late this has resulted in about four hours of time spent holding on at Jeppe Police to no avail. The fall-out is relentless and predictable, manifesting in intellectually-challenging texts and the late-night desecration of #lesfolies' love letters. Johannes, Damien and Charles were just finished with the plastering of the base for the bed they are making on the corner of Bezuidenhout and Viljoen in Troyeville when these fine scribes found themselves inspired to respond.
We are making our bed to lie in it.
20 Feb 2011
The Politics of Celebration
don't go the same way every day
no no no not like that
you look so beautiful. what car rental company do you work for?
is this the best work you've ever done?
faeces with penis rising (star sign riposte)
when asked what he was doing to build the image of the nation, michael kier, master of the complimentary insult and probably the greatest host on earth, said "No man leave me alone now i'm busy." Here is his trowel, recently discovered and being put to good use on the embedded-artists' installation currently in progress in the Republic of Troyeville.
25 February 2011
the stunning pink silicone that was cast yesterday has set beautifully.
today was spent working the back side of the mould with plastic strips.
we were very unfortunate in that the silicone we used did not hold and we lost a half days work. plan b (nails) worked just fine and we are catching up quickly.
the team will continue tomorrow and complete the mould using fibre glass, which has to set.
on monday we will do some fine tuning, polishing and what-what on the mould to get it ready for pouring on Tuesday the 2nd of March.
at this point the headboard must cure for 7 days.
during this time our plan is to complete the base and cast the duvet and pillows.
on monday the 7th we would like to put the finishing touches to the base ... sheets .
thursday the 10th we look at taking the cement headboard out of the mould, and installing it on friday the 11th.
(RETROSPECT NOTE WRITTEN ON 13 APRIL: This timing was a dream ... but no one minded as this went well with the process. We continued in good spirit)
28 February 2011
The Glistening Bed
back in the golden city. my sister stephanie went to visit the hit man today so she could see for herself how making the bed is coming along. she said it looks like coconut ice. the latest notice from the bedazzling pair looks more like jhb to me. shiny and sticky.
a late night mail advises it is the aforementionables' pleasure to tell me that they are getting ready to empty the original headboard from the brand new mould and will still be pouring on the 2nd of March. I am further advised to be aware that this is on Wednesday and not on Tuesday as previously stated. he also says kind regards with which i agree.
in the morning, this:
sunrise over the headboard
crossing all fingers that the mould will shed the motherboard like a jelly says hitman. matriarch likes waking up to these views.
1 March 2011
A Neighbourhood of Handy Men
life is worth living when you are up to mischief. and, as we near completion on target practise #3, plans for #4 are now in too tempting to keep out of top secret conceited planning phase.
2 March 2011
making a place for dreaming involves carrying everything closer to the place where the neighbourhood will bask. specifically from the hit man's house on the hill to the next door neighbours' who have generously welcomed the chance to host a sleepover for the cast and curing of the cement that was mixed today with an important concoction to avoid cracks.
9 March 2011
What we do for love
shhhh i am sleeping
dreaming in my old duvet that martha found that used to be blue and white
dreaming of the stars you can see in front of your face when your eyes are bright
dreaming of the good ideas you can see when you fold your mind carefully
waking up to sheet music by the troyeville park-off ensemble
11 March 2011
after the inevitably fierce pillow fight, close to tears and flat noses, feathers and tempers flying, talk of single-beds and separate-parks, there was some delicate making up to do and we did that, though it was quite hard. everyone loves each other even more now and we are taking care as the cement is not the only texture around here with an expiry date.
i used 10-parts sweet pastries to 2-parts tea as an aggregrate so we don't crack under the strain, a tension that comes about as a direct result of the difference between our high ideals and harsh realities. the concoction worked well, although it took the whole day yesterday for us to cure, and, like the base of the bed which was completed at the same time, we have to keep ourselves quite well protected for a few more days.
the hitman sends me a mail late in the night to say the security man in charge of the danger of button addicts in the dark is vincent, and the sky is indeed studded with lights, one for each day of increasing longing. he also tells me he was there, with his bra mo, when "die mooiste hondjie in die wereld walked in the most scary shadows" and he sent me this evidence and confirmed that "die koek was lekker".
our creased sheets are revealed, as fragile as our outbursts.
13 March 2011
some people have those eyes that look at you as if they love you. only they can't look at anyone in another way because their eyes are just like that. they were born with them to mothers who never recover. the rest of us just get looked at and hope for mercy. or we go along with it as if we are loved because making eyes and wit is a way of living as if there is noone looking at you sideways or through a keyhole or, as in a humourless marriage, with a finely-tuned microscope, set to critical.
sometimes we just carry on as if nothing matters except our own little skyline, online, deadline. the war comes right into your bedroom with an image of one child being carried through the end of the world by a big man weeping with no sound, a wall of water and skyscrapers takes out the whole planet right in your own living room and then you turn over on the couch and dream as if it is a movie because it reminds you of one that you thought would never end. some television stations think the images are not harsh enough because they are competing for audiences who prefer feature films so they add stirring music and branding titles to disasters as if they are movies. it becomes harder to tell the difference between the simulations and families who have lost everything. words start making out as if they are meaningless because they do not touch you.
i don't know many people who own up to not running soup kitchens though it is clear there are a lot of us. auntie bee says we survive by making out as if because we all just want to make out.
yesterday the headboard was installed. we are all making out as if it is made of velvet because it is made to look like that, as are the creases in the plastered base made to seem like the lines your sheets get from a night of langour.
the duvet and the pillows will complete the tender contradiction, soon.
25 March 2011
the hit man presents
once, high up, on a time
5 April 2011
Special Doom Down Duvet
sounds like a song
duvet doom dee duvet doom dee dee doom duvet da da.
and it is. to be sung to the tune of your favourite dirge.
and it goes something like this:
we thought it would be easy and it is not.
that's the chorus. actually. and it always is (not easy).
the chorus is the sure thing as you go through the dangers of making double-beds in parks and just about all other real life experiences.
the song itself on the other hand is more like a play. here's a short treatment for the script:
oh so you think you are going to make a whole bloody double-bed duvet in concrete? i'll show you. KAPOW.
J&D make duvet mould and leave it to dry in garden at Troyeville Old Age Wild Life Home for Nice People. Making the duvet mould is difficult. Who makes a duvet mould? Are you mad? Yes. And what of it? New materials are required. Fibreglass is imported. Care is taken. A lot of care is taken. Tempers are better than controlled and everyone mentions how beautiful it is and how much they are lookng forward.
J comes every day twice, entrance stage left, to cover and uncover the mould using leftover black builder's plastic to make sure it doesn't get wet while it is drying. Inbetween being here, he manages his own sub-text as do we all.
J & #lesfolies go with the Manzana Character to a solar trade show to look for solutions to making the hot water bottle hot and the possible bedside light (or alarming clock) switch on automatically at night, by the light of the sun.
#lesfolies walks into the exhibition hall (stage centre) and is immediately given an iPod. She thinks it is because she is in a good mood.
Mission accomplished. A kind person makes a solar-powered special ceramic heating pad donation to the project. He says it's going to crack inside the duvet but it's going to work anyway. Ok cool. He says he will courier it in time for the concrete pour on Tuesday.
Serendipity abounds. The donator whose name is Johan just like J without the extraness turns out also to happen to know one of #lesfolies's abundant supply of sisters and she confirms he is a dear, also like Dear Johannes. The QC who stamped the heating pad for quality is notably also a Dreyer. J&D see this and arrive for the concrete pour feeling like if it's Tuesday this must be Belgium or some other romantic comedy (in which only temporary things go wrong or go wrong, but only temporarily).
This is even though it is raining and the signs are bleak.
Things go to worse nevermind Belgium. D says the water in the concrete is so wet (like water) it is being absorbed into the mould so they have to take it out and put in another special liquid to make it work. J says that's because the mould is so dry. #lesfolies nods her head though it's swimming - but she trusts them completely. They go off. A few minutes, hours, phone calls or documents later D comes in looking fearful and says he is scared the mould is going to crack if they pour the concrete inside it.
Instincts flare. J joins the new scary meeting and an extensive scenario planning session ensues. The outcome is to get some Material 1. This is not concrete but is a very good environmentally-friendly and durable alternative product that you can also drink when you mix it. #lesfolies is keen on that. She thinks she should tell her dentist all about it next time she feels like a construction site. It will look softer than concrete says J whose face is like a monument. It will be white says D who has paled significantly and says he has to breathe.
The Material 1 is ordered for Thursday delivery. The next-to-worst-case scenario is that J doesn't like it and #lesfolies doesn't like it and D doesn't like it. The best case scenario is we do. In case of next to worse case we resolve we will then use the Material 1 pour as a Master for another concrete attempt that will be made after rubberising the Material 1. It's exciting again either way. The Material 1 apparently takes 20 minutes to dry.
In the meantime, as we consider the uses of adversity, the significance of process in the making of contemporary liminal work and other memorable lines like what is yours will come to you, here is the Duvet of Doom, just as J who took these pictures, left it today.
8 April 2011
Apple of my eye
Yesterday we found this on the bed. Not a bite taken out of it. Yet. It is still there this morning. As I write Johannes and Damien are pouring Material 1 into the duvet mould. I think I will snuggle up inside it when it's done and go to sleep for 100 years.
10 April 2011
Love and respect
Damien and Johannes worked so hard yesterday.
They were covered in dust.
We had chickpea curry for lunch.
They sat at the table as if they were balancing on the tips of their bums so that they didn't leave a fine film behind. Not that Martha would mind. Martha likes men that work like dogs.
We were loving the work though I was more of a spectactor with opinions.
Every time I looked at Damien his face seemed more open, and rosier.
And I noticed Johannes was putting one foot in front of the other quite deliberately, except for once when he cleaned up heavy things very fast like they were made of so much baby powder. He said we must be careful of the fibreglass edges they are still going to grind so that we don't cut our fingers. Johannes is not a nonchalant kind of man.
He and Damien and Charles and Temba carried the duvet to site, with the pillows, for its first fitting. Johannes remarked that it was so light.
Then the three of us tried to look at the bed as if we had never seen it before. Children came. They were shouting spaghetti, spaghetti and posing for Johannes on the pillows, on the sheet, on the duvet. One of them was about four with high-heels, tight pants, a hairdo and an expression. I have thought about her a lot since yesterday. Everything was red and she had a walk that went with the outfit that I had once for a short time when I was about fourteen.
Damien and Johannes are going to smooth all the sharp corners and brush off and wet the dust and carefully blend some of those folds but the three of us have to decide now whether or not to leave the duvet in Material 1 or use this as a master for concrete.
I think we all felt very lonely though we were together, trying to make that decision.
I decided to sleep on it.
I tossed and turned. My dreams were confusing. It was hot. I woke up so many times.
Everyone went home. The world looked big.
16 April 2011
T'was the night before the picnic