Alex Da Corte “A Night In Hell” at Carl Kostyál, Stockholm
I have just swallowed a terrific mouthful of poison. Bah! I’ll make all the ugly faces I can! Satan, you clown, you want to dissolve me with your charms. Well, I want it. I want it! – excerpts from A Night in Hell from Arthur Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell, 1873 . . .
My salad days, / When I was green in judgment, cold in blood . . . – Cleopatra from Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra 1606
Scene One Room One
The day is filled with stress. There is much light but the light goes away. The room is filled with vapor and red light. You enter and feel relieved, cooler, ready for dusk. You do not remember your lover any clearer than your mother does. He sings to you. His voice is noise and your ears are ovens. Your hallucinations are endless.
The man serenades you, and offers you respite from the harsh light. You Are Welcome.
You take to a resting place on the ground in a chair on the steps. You are escalating. You feel nauseous and cannot remember the words you once whispered to each other through the phone. You lay your head down and sink into the spins and the words begin to come through to you again. You are hungry. He is tired. Lettuce leaf. Let us leave and retire. Let us smoke fags.
Scene Two Room Two
The mind is clearer now but hung with low-lying smoke. You are smaller in rage and ready for the Bath, a thick cement slurry, a purification pastiche. It is breakfast time. You recall you were once made in Heaven, but have since departed on a ship of fools among other lovers who also make their wages by cold nights . . . a cooler reddish night. The water is soft and melting. Satan offers you a drink and you take it. This bar scene is familiar. The music plays, dissonant, in the distance. The skins of your past sift by you, amusing you with stories of who you could have been, the costumes for which you lacked the conviction. Your head is a zipper now. You wonder what he wanted from the beginning. You are convinced he had it coming to him. Spam can be a lovely dessert. Serve chilled with cherry sauce.
Scene Three Room Three
The plate is clean now but it’s a dark abyss, a sea of grape jelly and black caviar full of potential. This must be an alley within an alley, a vein you plucked that led you to this familiar breeze. It smells like pine when you duck down and under the path. You round the corner, your eyes take a minute to adjust. There are several people smoking. The embers are loving friends of friends of friends in bed. You get in to sleep. You understand cigarettes kill you but you are alive with pleasure. Dreams of white linen and lilies of the valley are very far away. You see white heat now. The light, it comes again.
Alex Da Corte, William Pym
until 22 June 2014
Alex Da Corte “A Night In Hell”, installation views at Carl Kostyál, Stockholm, 2014
Courtesy: the artist; Carl Kostyál, London/Stockholm.