Painting and Fiction: The Birthday Party

RND/ To consider a conceptual painting-fiction of The Birthday Party, which by all accounts was a success. There was even lemon cake. And yet his soul was still deep in Permanent Social Lockdown.

3148 x 2874 .jpg, from a photo by Robert What.

The Birthday Party

Ideal / Idealized Cost for such Conceptual Work: £750k – contact Rob for details

Fiction Space

[..] she often wears plastic inflatable fairy wings on her birthday. This ensemble arrives complete with a blow up magic wand. Yet while he smiled endearingly upon witnessing this manifesting aesthetic, he said nothing, feeling a strong sense of ideology about The Scene. He suddenly wondered about the bizarre violence underlying the most innocent of our choices. It wasn’t the mere choice to wear plastic fairy wings, as the strange iron fact of their enactment within the Social Space – as if, in order for The Birthday Party to take place at all, there’s no way they could not have been worn.

All of a sudden, these wings were not the wings of breaking some protective wall and letting oneself go, expressing one’s spontaneity of feeling but rather theatrical, staged, egotistical – wings with which to regain correct social distance from those beings without with the ability to fly. Of course, nobody at the party remotely thought like this. It was by all accounts just another pleasant day in permanent social lockdown.

For a moment at least the wings appeared as a retroactive signifier of near future meaning, projected into some absurd Eternal Birthday present. The notion of all language as alien and communication as impossible began to fill his idiot mind. Despite the pleasant and convivial company, he sat there on his own with a warm beer in hand, idly wondering to what extent our very existences, the ground beneath our feet depends upon entire unacknowledged sets of dangerous and untested assumptions.

Just what is the particular plastic Reality Model we base our whole lives on, simply so we can breathe from moment to moment? On whose weary shoulders do we sit, fairy kings and princesses, merely so we can continue silently enforcing the notion that whatever we do is always perfectly Normalized – somehow universally acceptable, morally without shame or reflection – shiny chrome smiles in the dark inverted virtual light constantly projected from our own pure ontological backsides? A silent and casually cruel, wanton naivety often seems to inform every move we make as we flutter through this empty world – babes with knives and wands in the shallow digital woods.

Speaking of naive. He’d spend hours the previous day expertly curating a party playlist, adjusting the volume and bass on dozens of tracks. He imagined everyone would get busy dancing and would at some point compliment him on his amazing musical taste. But it everybody just sat there checking their evil hyper-corporate smart phone slabs. He suddenly felt like a total try-hard, a useless fifth wheel, jealous of their advanced Social Network which he couldn’t afford. He was planning to dance with Birthday Girl at some point, show off his own Cool Moves but in the end merely felt desperate and hungover. Sunburnt and alienated.

When he finally slunk off back indoors to nurse his empty skull, few noticed or mentioned the fact of his unremarkable disappearance. Good riddance, professional misery boy. Luckily a passing UFO saw his existential plight and temporarily rescued him from his pathetic suburban desires. How it’s quietly maddening, not to able to reach out and touch another lonely soul. Except he’s the only one that’s lonely. In fact he plans to stay that way.

  • La Femme D’Argent – Air
  • Birthday – The Sugarcubes
  • Feels Like Summer – Childish Gambino
  • Had To Hear – Real Estate
  • Stiff Upper Lip – ACDC
  • Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner – Black Uhuru
  • Ziggy Stardust – Bauhaus
  • Snoop Dogg ft. Pharrell – Beautiful
  • Blue Suede Shoes – Carl Perkins
  • Jammin – Bob Marley
  • Teaser – Brad Wilson
  • Wot – Captain Sensible – Wot
  • Express Yourself – Charles Wright
  • From Nowhere – Dan Croll
  • Let It Whip – Dazz Band
  • Need U (100%) – Duke Dumont
  • Girls on Film – Duran Duran
  • A Little Respect / Oh L’Amour – Erasure
  • Good Thing – Fine Young Cannibals
  • Inner City – Good Life
  • Good Thing Going – Sugar Minott
  • Altered Images – Happy Birthday
  • Nakamarra – Hiatus Kaiyote
  • Like To Get To Know You Well – Howard Jones
  • I Need A Roof – The Mighty Diamonds
  • Need You Tonight – INXS
  • Baby I Love You So – Jacob Miller
  • Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag – James Brown
  • Cavalier (Samuraii Remix) – James Vincent McMorrow
  • The Harder They Come – Jimmy Cliff
  • August 10 – Khruangbin
  • Fresh / Get Down On it – Kool & The Gang
  • Into The Groove – Madonna
  • Midnight Special – Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Night’s Introlude – Nightmares On Wax
  • Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang – Dr. Dre
  • Paid In Full – Eric B. & Rakim
  • Forget Me Nots – Patrice Rushen
  • Above The Clouds – Paul Weller
  • West End Girls – Pet Shop Boys
  • What’s The Frequency, Kenneth? – REM
  • La Bamba – Ritchie Valens
  • Miss You (Long Outtake) – Rolling Stones
  • Mandinga – Rubén González
  • Evil Ways – Santana
  • Soul Limbo – Booker T. & The MG’s
  • Rockin’ Me – Steve Miller Band
  • Tequila – The Champs
  • She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult
  • Let’s Go To Bed – The Cure
  • Bohemian Like You – The Dandy Warhols
  • Louie Louie – The Kingsmen
  • J’aurais Toujours Faim de Toi / The Bed’s Too Big Without You – The Police
  • Talking In Your Sleep / What I Like About You – The Romantics
  • The Way You Do The Things You Do – UB40
  • The Hardest Button to Button – The White Stripes
  • Under the Boardwalk – The Drifters
  • Money’s Too Tight (To Mention) – Valentine Brothers
  • Gimme All Your Lovin’ – ZZ Top
  • Don’t Go – Yazoo
  • Les Amants – Les Rita Mitsouko

Summertime Blues Playlist

// how to play big science