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Between candy in the village and home

A project by David Colosi, 1992
Installation title: Between Candy in the Village and Home
Text title: Between Candy in the Village and Home (In Three Parts)
Exhibition & Performance: Highways Performance Space, Los Angeles, CA
Photo credits: David Colosi
(The painted floor in the Highways gallery - depicted in the images below - is a late 1980's installation by ACT UP Los Angeles commemorating their friends and colleagues who have died of AIDS. I made this installation, and performance, with these voices speaking through and with my work.)


David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Home

Prefatory Essay:  Jack Jumping Over a Series of Candlesticks

I wanna be a star in a band, play instruments with my hands like those basement bar boys, low bass fiddle, wooden boxes and a string to tighten, or be a bongo player and deep bass percussion displayer, piano pounder, electric guitar rounder, Pete Townsend, I’d blow them away. I wanna be Superman and music man.

Mr. Brain Suck bring me luck. Vacuum suck me fame by going to Jim Morrison’s grave, to CBGBs, Haight street, Monterey, Fillmore, Wembley. And after all the stars I’ll walk on stage where they walked, and, “osmosis bring it to me.”  Stepping into their...footprints fused. David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Home

I’ll play in a garage or basement,
landlords will hate me,
I’ll drink a lot,
take a lot of drugs,
practice solos,
make faces for a camera,
I’ll be humble,
sit in a corner,
read my poems and
for the limousine lost in the neighborhood asking directions: 
“Stop, wait, who lives in that house?  That music, what is that music?”
Quarters in a jar,
rags to riches,
“Man, what are you doing here?!” 
Small town to Broadway. 
My landlord will forget the rent,
be our manager,
our first fans - the kids on the block,
our message:
love somebody,
love yourself.David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Home
I’ll dress cool,
sign autographs,
go through a drug phase,
find Jesus,
lose him and take more drugs,
never sell out. 
When I get old I’ll
live in a mansion,
write an autobiography,
fans will pilgrimage,
new musicians will tribute me,
I’ll write bitter songs,
all my friends will die,
I’ll die,
the world will never forget me and my songs.

David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and HomeSo my band.  I’m the lonely band member.  Where’s my bass player, where’s my guitarist, my drummer, and washboard player?  I can’t play a note.  My lonely band, my lonely instruments, they’re not even real David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Homeinstruments, I can’t afford real ones.  I’ll never be a great musician because I don’t have money and the right equipment and skills.  Fame makes great artists and great music.  Where are my fans, my fame, my record contract?  I’ll never be a star because waiting takes too long and the only way is to be discovered.  Where’s my turn?  Where are the discoverers?  Now or never.  Save the world, I could.  They missed out.

Drug store job.

But wait, so what if I can’t afford instruments, don’t have any musical training, or don’t have computer sampling skills,  where’s my place, what about my needs?  I can’t be a great musician?  This is the 1990s, the age of consciousness.  I’m not being represented, I’m bawling, discrimination calling.  My voice not being heard, I'm censorship hollering.

So my resume to my audience for review,  “Is he oppressed, too?”  My box checked on the application for a voice.

Form of discrimination (check a choice):  David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Home
Sexual orientation
(describe fully, attach 2nd sheet if necessary)

My entry:  Musical Ability.

My credibility established, can I continue my show?  To be a spokesperson on all areas of oppression including those I don’t know?  My dues paid to the Art Union, I can speak and be heard, responsibility proven no matter how absurd, to proceed with fervor to expend my creative facilities with vigor graphically depicting the problem left undiscovered. 

What a time to ask for a system of thought.  How could the climate change so rapidly as to require a decisive step away from individuality?

Make-up-for-lost-time philosophy, celebrating Moses '92 eye-for-an-eye reactionary action, and even Steven, even Susan, philosophy condition, the pretend-you’re-doing-something solution by people-who-affiliate-themselves-with-art tradition.  A concern for people instead of David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Homehip reaction and displayed expired good intentions turned career and fame game and the next movement in art.  Issue by the dollar, what people buy money and mind. David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Home

Rings of magazine and gallery life preservers are thrown to artists who slip into the latest trend and to an audience who loves them. Greatness is made by exposure. They're in the business of narrating by creating the lack of mention. Time strainer can only rearrange its holdings. 

Screams of "CENSORSHIP!" at politicians and the art ignorant who want fistfucking videos stopped miss their mark when you find out it’s not, but gallery owners, collectors, and other artists at the LA art fair. A booth by a non-profit offers apprenticeships in self-censorship. Jesse Helms is inconsequential.  Look in your studio.  Bow to the buyer.  What’s your potential?

Gallery philosophy:  “If galleries don’t sell and your work doesn’t sell then you don’t make money and you can’t keep making art, so if you want to make money and keep making art then you have to make art that will sell.”

Artist philosophy:  “I’d like to make money by doing what I love.” 

Skilled labor equals good behavior and politeness. 

David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Home“It’s your money, your life, your standard, be what we like.” Buyer in control.  Jesse Helms is inconsequential.  Look in your studio.  Bow to the buyer.  What’s your potential?David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Home

Sure, art can make this social, political, economic, and cultural change that some seem to think, if buyers and the public could gaze at works of art as sublime junk bonds, “Those prices, we’ve been had, who needs art in their pad during a recession?” and see their resuscitation as giving mouth to mouth to a fish.

Then artists could watch a gallery owner with a baseball bat taking full swings at the locked gates leading to her bankrupt gallery doors and reach in to wrap the sticky band from David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Homedry dollar bills around her nose so she doesn’t smell her own decaying body after it’s slung over the same barbed-wire gates as the shaking remote control doors jerk open and little bits of lips fall into their hair.  As they pull them out wad, rip, and scalp, with brains underneath, they stick them in her face and yell, “How much for this, how much for this?”

They will laugh from below, “I will love making smores over the flames coming from under the “For Lease” sign on your bolted David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Homegallery door and mocking you as you ride the bus because your car was repossessed.  Why do you think you can evoke my sympathy by telling me your bankruptcy problems?  Your problems are my achievements.” 

But this crumbulation could be cause for celebration on the occasion of the extinction of artists who would lower their standard of production before their standard of habitation and galleries who edit artists to the demand of buying parties, and for the welcome of artists to make work they want to make rather than need to sell.

Between Candy in the Village and Home

David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and HomeDad David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Homeasleep in the hammock, shade covered, free breezes blowing, take your hat off, z-z-z snoring.  Baby at the lake wrapped in a life preserver rested on a rock, and look to the side to not turn back to spot the baby rolling to the water, the left alone totter.  Mom asleep in the lawn chair, sun baking and book reading, tied the tot-strap to the baby in the stroller and the other end to her wrist, the bus ran over, the stroller tumbled over and strap snap in the door and the bus pulled away, the baby outside, crumpled in a crowd.  But left freewheeling or swimming the kids start to singing.

David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and HomeBetween candy in the village and home a boy fallen on his knees and the basketball he was holding rolls and gets caught under the front bumper of a car in a parking garage.  An Oldsmobile, Brian notices, and the car alarm didn’t go off yet but “It could when I go to get the ball.  It may not have an alarm, and if it does the owner probably isn’t in hearing range because parking garages are usually five layers thick and the elevator to the third level takes a few minutes.” And he’s not going to damage the car or steal something, he’s just going to get the ball out but since it may have an alarm he thinks he should wait or try to ask the owner if he could please get his ball out from under his car.
David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Home
And a Brownie brought to the family as evidence by Westec to show “Yes Queen of hearts we caught the little girl selling tarts, so we gagged her and filled her pockets with stones and threw her in the ocean attached to this rope and cast her in and out and again the whole time eating her cookies.”  (Giggles and hands over mouths to cover crumbs and chocolate on teeth to try not to outburst gluttony).  And the queen cried David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Homeand yelled and screamed and spent David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Homeloads of money to have both of the knaves hollowed out and hung as windsocks on her porch in Malibu because they didn’t save her any cookies.

Brian doesn’t want them to think he’s doing something wrong, “Just watch me as I pull it out. It’s all I want. That’s it.”

David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and HomeHe wants to check the dumpsters for cans or bottles, 2 and a half cents each.  Locks, cameras, monitors, alarms and all sorts of expensive equipment to prevent other people from making a few cents from their garbage.  The security guard shooes him out every time because he’s paid to make everything run smoothly and nothing gets in the way of the money he’s making or the company is making because if the company slows down then he can’t make money, so it’s best for him if everything runs smoothly.

David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and HomeAnd he could do it and be done with it.  There’s no way the car owner is going to walk in at that moment, and if he did it would just take some explaining. But it’s usually guilty until proven innocent with questions like:  “What were you doing with a basketball on the third floor of the parking garage?”  And in court they would produce a map of the city with all of the basketball hoops highlighted in orange, both publicly and privately owned, indoor and outdoor. Someone would have been paid to David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Homescout them out for three weeks.  And the lawyers would make educated guesses as to which hoop Brian, the ten-year-old kid, was heading towards or coming from, if it was logical that he would have been at or been going to (without ever asking him) the hoop closest to his house or if he was given a ride to a particular one or whether he could have walked the five miles from the farther, less practical, one because of the Carl’s deli nearby with soda pop, Cherry Coke, known to be Brian’s favorite refreshment.

When asked if he had ever been to Carl’s or was aware of their special that week on wild cherry flavored Coca-Cola soda pop with the 1992 Magic Johnson can – “The possibility of finding the basketball edition, Your Honor” projected the prosecuting attorney, then adding, “In order to find out if he wants to be like Magic when he grows up.”            


David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and HomeOverruled.

“Prosecutor, continue."

“And I noticed your Converse, their star symbol.  Maybe you want to be a rock-n-roll star like, Freddy Mercury?”  To the jury:  “We can’t have our children idolizing porn-miscuous stars.  The pope boycotts basketball because the players are sluts.  Fact:  Magic number 1,000 and Wilt stilted, 20,000.  Converse too because they continue to use Magic in their ads, so we the responsible people of the justice system wear Adidas.”  As the prosecuting attorney pulled the sneakers off of Brian’s feet, Brian remembered what he knew the letters to stand for:  “All Day I Dream About Sex.”

David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Home“Objectionable!” hollered but denied.

A pair of Adidas, the Billy Jean King style, were brought out and fastened to his feet.

The judge: “Discipline is within - order - in the court.”

And the lame boycott brats and bandwagon jumpers believe in community procedures and spout “I have my own ideals” like good conformist believers.  Useless responsibility gives placebo security by doing your part in inventing futility.  Make it a point to let us know how conscious you are, self-gratify, and here’s your pat on the back.  I don’t want to be in your club.

Brian answered, “Huh?”

“A 'huh',” the court responded.  Note was taken of this, and he was asked to say no more.David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Home

“I have no more questions your honor,” the prosecuting attorney.  “He’s of no age to answer anymore questions or speak for himself or know the implications of his answers or say the right things.  We’ll make decisions for him based on how we think he should become so he can have good idols and heroes:  to be a judge or lawyer and serve the public.”  In a whisper to the judge, “We should find out what his parents or babysitters let him play or get away with.”

To have a stiff drink on the sunlit patio and to spill it on your friend’s pants and wish to lick it clean on the stove top before your mother gets home and realizes the babysitter fell asleep on the couch while you watched TV and played quarters on her stomach and had friends over on the floor inebriated with telephones next to their heads all yelling mothers from the last call, “I’ll be David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Homesleeping at Kevin’s tonight.”

“Hello, Hello, Jack?  Who’s Kevin?”

Court was adjourned for one week from the present day and exact time in order for a more thorough examination of the locations of the basketball playing facilities and to decide on how best to discipline Brian and to investigate his family situation and write headlines about his sexual history.  

Brian was denied his basketball for the week that was still underneath the Oldsmobile which was circled with yellow caution tape and protected by the armed response services of Westec (for it was discovered that the car did have an alarm system at the time of the proposed crime, David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Homebut it hadn’t been switched ON).  The owner of the car (who had been absolved of appearing in court both because his presence was deemed “unnecessary” and it would have been a sacrifice of his time) was given a rental car, a newer model than his own, paid for by the court until the case was closed.  Brian was not given a temporary basketball.

The judge, Sir Tom presiding, proceeded to the parking garage with the prosecuting and defending attorneys to get a better look at the site, to see if David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Homethe ball were new or old in order to determine if it was necessary to have another trouble shooter log either the sporting goods stores or the garage sales, thrift stores, or other possible locations equipped for the sale of a new or used basketball. (Brian could have been walking from one of these locations).  These would be highlighted in green.  If the ball were new, Brian’s parents would be questioned as to how a boy of this age had acquired so much money. Steal it or beg?  Charges may be brought against them.  They would also consider whether he had gotten the ball from a dumpster and ask the store owner with property rights to the dumpster if he wanted to press charges for trespassing or theft or if he cared to charge Brian for the price of a basketball which could be made in payments from work he could do in the community.  But he, our as-of-yet unaware thrift store owner, was preoccupied.  He would rather send unsold over crowding things to the dump than have someone get them for free.

This time was no different. She had been told often to get out of dumpsters and to get a David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Homejob to pay for the shoes, sweaters, and toys she’d found.  So she set them back and took them after he left. Mary waited the next morning across the street from the dumpster to see if the store owner David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Homecared to check if the shoes were still there.  And, out with another bag, he, she figured, decided, “What the hell,” he’ll check.  She turned her head toward a passing bus when he spotted her across the street.  Instead of stomaching it, taking it, " everyone else in this grimy city does....  We can’t keep letting these people live off of us.  I can pay my way,” he thought.

And when homeless Harry puts a gun in your belly, you’d be the one to say, “Why didn’t you just ask, ask nicely, and I may have given you something.”  But he’d asked a million people, a million times, every time nicer than the last.

Mary sat on the bus stop bench and unobtrusively wiped the spit off her face from the frothing mouth of the store owner who stood above her pointing, “BICKER, BICKER, BICKER, ZING, SPUD, CURSE, WRINKLE!” And then he bent down and pried the shoes off her feet with Mary on the pavement turning and rotating with every twist he made.David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Home

And she found herself in dreamy reminiscence of the December night she had slept on a bench in the LA train station in the early morning when Sally the police gally flipped her off, twisted her arm behind her back to show she was serious when she said, “I told you last night and the night before.  We don’t want you in here.  You scare people.” And she woke, 9 or 10 years old, late for school, from the cold of her sheets ripped off - her mother's new wake-up tactic. (She had stood above her laughing at her nakedness). But now she slept fully dressed.  And she had one recurring dream, every time she slept she dreamt of blankness and nothing happening.  Never ten David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Homeminutes uninterrupted by passing cars to drunk kids saying, “Hey, honey baby,” then exclaiming her smell, or big Sally the police gally twisting her arm behind her, kicking her to make sure she’s awake.

And now with the twisting of the other shoe, the store owner looks both ways and jogs across the street, lay-up and slam dunk in the dumpster and goes back into the store.  An hour later and Mary digs them out again, and here he comes across the street to retrieve the ball and score again, and neither one has rules.  Mary watches him dribble by swinging the strapped together shoes above his head down an open court/road and easily pop them back in the dumpster.  But she too has years of experience.  She crosses the street a few blocks down, sneaks up from the back side of the building, grabs the shoes, waits on a park bench for the store owner to come out - looks, “My turn?”  “Yeeessss!” power forearm motion. Then over he comes and takes off with the shoes and does a back hand-spring over an oncoming car, does a spin and a behind the back lay-up.  All the drivers applaud singing the same tune on the same radio station, “Good shot Charlie, Good shot Charlie, Good shot Charlie, do it one more time.”

He made sure there was always something in the dumpster they could play with, trying not to let her know that he was enjoying himself.  And when she started to accumulate shoes and spread them around the bench in order of size, style, age, and fashion, he put things out for her and let her take them.  She tried to sell them for a dollar a pair or spareDavid Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Home change or someone could just take them if they liked them.  But most people didn’t trust them because the price was so low, and they weren’t in a store.  She’d heard, “You never know if they’re stolen or have poisoned nails in the sole.”  The people who came by regularly knew her as the crazy lady who talked to their shoes.  She sat on the cement and David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Homewhenever someone walked by with a shoebox in a plastic bag she’d say, “See you in a few weeks,” or she’d say, “See you soon,” to people’s feet.

Following their decision, Sir Tom and the attorneys would head over to Carl’s Deli to find out just how good a deal this wild cherry flavored Coca-Cola soda pop was where Sir Tom would be given a free sample soda in the Magic Johnson can by a Kennedy relative of the car owner named Carl on which he would discover a pubic hair and bring this into court in order to egg a joke at his transcriber.

Conclusion with an Ice Cream Cone

Felt it when they came back from court, the way they’d spread black pepper on the desk and blew it at the rest and everybody sneezing from a drawn out process and forgot what they were claiming.  David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and HomeTurns out the other person is being questioned and the issue put to the side, but there’s always a little bit they’ll let slide, judge, jury, attorney, artist, and secretary, a little bit to keep their job alive.  But it’s already decided, and the process is only shown to remind people that it’s exciting and democratic TV drama, sporadic patriotism.  Depression follows recession and country nest egg time is now.

Think what to do:  steal the gavel when the judge looks aside, a thing to leave with, everything else tried, sell it to the side for a David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Hometrite capsule, Valium or Strychnine.  Or I could paint the dots in the road so they converge to one point perspective, mine.  Fuck it, I’ll make a recording and hold it in a place where time digests the cloud. 

Sing, cry and theorize about how you can’t.  (The shyness that holds kids from touching the eyes of their nurse, “Don’t say 'Hi' to strangers, don’t believe that.")

I asked, unanswered, about the shoes I’d fallen out of and the car that came too fast and the marks on my face from the reasons I didn’t commit, the wars I didn’t start and don’t want to David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and Homefight in, the formats I didn’t make and don’t want to live in.  Competition is your rendition.  I’ll fight in my story but not in yours.

So when the East comes bubble-gum-popping (a trick learned from the West) and mountain climbing, pilgrimaging, hoping to make a buck, the parade marching past, US firm in wave and welcome, let’s hope they turn the corner to laugh at this kingdom.  To learn the answer to the question:  How come there is no money left?

David Colosi - Between Candy in the Village and HomeI could, if you’d ask, borrow the travel book and plot maps that could make back seat brats who begged and received ice cream snacks puke up on the driver and drop the vacationing Cadillac-station-wagon family-dragon over a cliff, the kind where running ideas perpetually fall into a belly emptied by digestion, so the driver could napkin-wipe clean, and, “No hard feelings, I see what you mean.”

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