Saturday, July 16, 2011

Have You Heard About The Turd?

I've been laughing all evening.

It all started yesterday. The Management has been on a rampage lately. An email went out informing us that we could no longer hang whatever we wanted to on the walls. The email explained that if we want to put up art, we have to get it approved by The Management. The threat is that things will get taken down if we don't play by the rules.

That's beyond ridiculous. This is supposed to be an "artist's community." We're the ones that live here, so we should put whatever we want on the walls. We shouldn't have to ask them if it's okay and we definitely shouldn't have to worry about anything being taken down.

When I was in high school, I wrote a rap song about Freedom Of Speech. I'm tempted to call a meeting with The Management and bust it out, but my rap career is far behind me.

Anyway, so many people got upset over the email that The Management sent a follow-up email in attempts to settle everyone down. This one was very long and unnecessary, but there was one part that caught my attention:

First, we want to be able to hang work that is respectful of the environment in which the work is displayed. There is some artwork that is not appropriate for public, or semi-public space. For an extreme example, work made with feces or raw meat that smells and is unhealthy would not be appropriate (I have had this happen in other art venues, so its not out of the question to happen here).

I don't think anyone here would have thought to put feces or raw meat out in the hallway and call it art. The whole thing was so ridiculous that I just had to make a bunch of signs that said this:




Coming soon:

“Poop In A Bucket”

A performance piece

and art installation

on the 3rd floor

I swear, I'm usually more mature than that. But if The Management is going to treat me like a third grader, I'm going to have to start throwing the word "turd" everywhere. It's just how it goes.

It started out as just a couple of signs, but then The Poet and The Chef caught on to me and encouraged me to make more. We ended up putting them all over the building late at night. I went to bed feeling radical, accomplished, and very, very amused with myself.

I woke up to a text message from The Poet informing me that all the signs were gone. I couldn't believe it.

I went into the kitchen to find The Chef hard at work on an artist's statement for "Poop In A Bucket." He read it to me and I nearly cried I was laughing so hard.

This is what it said:

A time based self generating work celebrating the diversity of open sourced sustainability into cohesive holistic creation. Reflecting much of the origins of nature and life itself, and the deconstructed consummation of unified, intentional and the chaotic into systemic absolution. An exploration and celebration literally into the acceptance and dialectic opposing denial inherent in community building designations and appropriations.

Deeply exploring the ongoing compulsion and underlying societal psychological memes in the pursuit of this intercultural expression, relating attitudes, ecological dynamics, and basic human rights, sometimes denied, like downtown, for example.

Work resulting in an vast oeuvre in a sometimes dynamic continuum from the intimate personal inner expression, into an outward manifestation with purpose, need and urgency, often with a magnitude of proportion.

These primal responses enabling the creator and viewer alike the full experience of the works denouement : in a gallery setting, a hallway, a paper bag, a bucket, an editorial, a policy statement, a broken agreement, a corporate office, a modest building of humble origins harkening back to a simpler exposition, or bravely forward with technological apps.

POOP IN A BUCKET captivates!

So the signs went back up, this time accompanied by The Chef's ridiculous statement. I couldn't believe that The Management had confiscated them already. I mean, those things were gone first thing on a Saturday morning! Ridiculous.

At one point during the day, one of my neighbors informed me that they were going to call the local paper and try to get "Poop In A Bucket" listed in there. I also heard that The Chef was threatening to send his statement out to various media outlets as a press release. I decided to wash my hands of the whole ordeal. From there on out, I would have no idea where the concept of "Poop In A Bucket" came from.

Shortly after that, The Poet knocked on my door with some news (I can always count on that man for current information). He had figured out who had taken the signs. It was not The Management at all.

It was the crazy lady that lives downstairs.

I don't think I've talked about this particular character very much, mostly because she's so absurd I don't know where to start. But here she is in a nutshell: She's in love with The Poet, she makes her own fake eye lashes, she has episodes of extreme agoraphobia in which she has to order people to bring her mini-donuts from the gas station, and she is currently reinventing her style into a look she simply refers to as "Elizabeth Taylor: The Rehab Years."

So she saw the signs last night and was outraged. And she crept around the halls at three in the morning, taking them all down because she believed a whole hoard of "venture capitalists" were going to make a visit to the building soon and she wanted it to look professional.

Of course, she did not suspect that the signs were put there by little ole me. She naturally assumed it was all The Chef's doing. And though she is usually great friends with The Chef (when they hang out, it's strangely reminiscent of 90's Brit-com "Absolutely Fabulous"), she called him and blew up at him over these stupid "Poop In A Bucket" signs. Of course, The Chef wasn't about to tell her who really made the signs, so he just told her to get over it.

Now we just have to wait and see what The Management does when they see the signs on Monday.

This is all way more controversial than it should be. Also, I have a fear that before this is all over, people will actually be pooping in buckets and I will secretly be responsible for it. But I guess that is what will happen when you try to shove censorship rules onto a bunch of artists.

Ack. I feel a rap coming on...

Free speech is important to me
Without it we would be in agony
We'd be a communistic country
Yo Karl Marx, that wouldn't work for me!

Like I said, my rapping career was short lived...

Anyway, that's all I've got tonight. Stay tuned for more drama and hilarity!


  1. I'm not sure why your blog hasn't gone viral yet... This stuff is blogging gold!

  2. Oh Lauren - Your commune tales never fail to delight and confuse me.

  3. Lauren, you always make my days even better. Seriously, you should just start writing your life into a sitcom. It would be hilarious.

  4. This comment is completely unrelated, but I talked to my brother yesterday. He lives in Portland too, and he told me he went to an 80s dance night. It made me think of you.

  5. This is absolutely hilarious. Poop in a bucket. I love it!


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