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LEWIS GESNER: Truthful Lies

A Pregnant Fly, A Hungry Dog, and a Cat in Heat Enter Otherwise Unattended Art Exhibitions


Testimony one: A Pregnant Fly

…feeling like I could burst. I must have upwards of six hundred eggs, maybe I can get six or seven batches out of that, increase their chances. I remember when I was a larva, seems not so long ago, pushing my way out into the world a few hours after I arrived, an innocent little drop. How was I to know the life that lay ahead? Ah, to be yet born, to be a perky maggot, to be a young and optimistic fly again -. Now, to be on the verge of my last act before I repose into that great windowpane in the sky, a dried out shell of an organism, so much house dust waiting to be swept away, gives me pause. Let me land here on this wall and enjoy for some small time, the limited revelry of a house fly. Maybe it’s because of a previous life, as another creature with more singular and forward directed eyes, that I can imagine what it would be like to not be hung with these wrap around viewers, through which I am confronted with a multitude of images, rather than the one I know is there. Still, these compound goggles help direct me to where I need to go, and for that, in this short life, I should be grateful. What else may I ponder? Well, rising, I can feel that left wing hinge is starting to go. I had better dump my loads, and soon, before I’m just another grounded bloater expecting a footfall on her. What’s this? Where I would expect a flat white wall, I see a swirl of lines, and such vibrant color! And ridges, and furrows, like mountains from a magazine (a fly’s only way to travel the world is to land on an open photo magazine in a dentist’s office). Whatever its intent, I think, considering my state, it will have to suit my needs. Odd, I can usually tell the purpose of a thing. Something warm, it’s where you sleep. Something moving, helps you go. Something smelly, you should eat. Lacking those, then what is left? I have to think, a place for me, and any others who may come this way, to rid themselves of spawn and progeny, an incubator of the foul and rancid, as that is what becomes of all that exits without a cause. So, here it comes, and bombs away! 

Testimony two: A Hungry Dog 

Smell cleaner, disinfectant. Smell varnish, oil product, pine, dirty iron, like slight rust on nails, rough fabric. Smell human, deodorant and sweat, hear a distant voice, locate, there in back, be quiet, they won’t come. Here’s the prize, a table radiating a circus of smells, I smell cheeses, cheddar, gouda, and blue I would say, pepperoni, like on a pizza slice in someone’s trash, something acrid, oh, that’s wine, hummus, God, wouldn’t touch that if I wasn’t starved, ham, olives, three kinds of cracker, one made with sour dough, and shrimp, and chicken wings… God, I’m drooling a puddle, what good luck. Okay, have to have a strategy, want to rush in but I could lose it all if I don’t plan. I might be able to reach a cheese plate that’s near the edge without jumping up, just stretch my neck and lick the closest slices until they tumble over the edge – low risk, but the supply available will be quickly exhausted. Hearing one voice, not two. Check around the corner, there he is, in a swivel chair, on the phone, faced away. That betters my chances. So I could do a snatch and run, and get as much as I can fit in my mouth, or a couple of gulps before he chases me away, or I could deal with him first, and take my time. Well it’s been a while. Used to be a guard dog, before I got stupid and wandered off. I think I could still pull off a surprise attack – just go for the throat and don’t let go until he stops moving. Then feast at my leisure. Wow, that’s a beautiful landscape painting on the wall… okay, kill, kill!

Testimony three: A Cat in Heat

If I’d had a choice I would have gotten myself spayed. Now look at me, stiff legged and gyrating. Can’t stop moaning. Meow, meow, sound like a slowed down recording of Michael Jackson. And I hate contemporary art… but I love it ! Established, emerging, primitive, conceptual, it doesn’t matter, I want to “do” them all. Always sneaking in, hiding out inside until it’s lights out, like a common derelict. Why, my ancestors were revered in the courts of Nefertiti, I’m no street cat. How I’ve tried to quit you, you delicious art objects, but every time I think I’ve conquered my addiction, they put a billboard up announcing a MOMA or a MET exhibit, and I’m pulled right back in. I suppose I should give myself some credit though. I used to be all about that, musking the walls of the museums, shagging the artifacts of performance artists and marking installations. Toning it down has helped my own self-image, as well as kept me from getting kicked repeatedly in the shins by museum guards. Now I largely do the smaller galleries, sneak in on the private showings, and target exhibitions hung by special guest curators who I know by reputation as mounting the most current trend setters. Sorry, I digress, this show looks promising, I can jump up on these pedestals pretty easily, and these constructions are so appealing, like a cross between the capture of the sensual gesture points of the erotic action painter, and the spiritual seductions of a conceptual folklorist – and I think I can wrap my legs around them too!         

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