So this drunk walks into a bar. It’s rather small in square footage but very tall in proportion. The drunk stops for a second, disoriented by the dimensions of the space, and gathers himself up. He makes his way to a stool at the bar and slides up to order a drink.
“What’ll you have, friend?”, the bartender asks.
“What’s the most exciting drink you have?”, replies the drunk.
“Well”, the bartender says, “there’s this one I call ‘Shit Mountain’. It’s made of whatever’s at hand, mixed however I see fit.”
“How long’s it take to make?”, the drunk asks, interest peaked and fidgeting nervously.
“Well, that depends on how you think about time. I mean, at one end, time can be thought of as some obsessively intimate and compulsive and fast-moving thing, and at the other it can be anunfathomably slow crawl of tectonic, evolutionary measure. And if I were to squeeze those dramatic bookends into one little ol’ drink… well, maybe I’d just be collapsing and expanding both those perspectives at once.”
The drunk stops fidgeting and stares the bartender straight in the face. “What the fuck are you talking about?”
“Well”, the bartender says, leaning into the bar in a familiar way, “let’s think about time as being linear in fact and cyclical in nature.”
Nothing registers in the face of the drunk but suspicion. He doesn’t even blink.
“OK, maybe an example could be of our – humanity’s – desire to interact with and repair nature. We do this because what we really want is to repair ourselves. And nature’s response… well, at best it’s indifference. At worst, it’s mockery.”
Again, no response from the drunk except for an empty, doubting stare.
“Or maybe we could think of the concept of time as something unknowable in the present moment. Maybe it’s in the death of an idea or belief that we are free to see it as it is, or was, and only then can we frame it in time. That in the present moment all things are unknowable because they are in chaos. And in that chaos time gets confused, inverted, turned around.”
The drunk looks down at the bar and slowly shakes his head. “Are you fucking kidding me man? Am I ever going to get this damn drink?”
“Sure, sure”, says the bartender, “I just want you to understand this drink and what you’re getting yourself into. It’s definitely not for everyone… This drink comes out of a sense of serious, extreme, purposeful play. It operates outside of the rules of refinement or restraint, it has no expectation to live up to.”
At that, the drunk gets up from his stool and steps back from the bar, pulls his pants down and squats. He takes a large crap on the floor and declares loudly to everyone in the bar, “Now that’s Shit Mountain!”, after which he immediately stands up, pants still down, and stumbles through the plate glass window of the bar, shattering it and falling on to the the rain-soaked street. He gets up quickly, hikes up his pants without buttoning them and hurries away, another lost soul into the Los Angeles night.
Escape to Shit Mountain is Joel Kyack’s second solo exhibition with Francois Ghebaly. He will present five new sculptures and seven new drawings.