Sunday, October 21, 2012

On the way there with VLine

We are finally in transit heading towards certain victory. We are competitors in the Mooroopna 62nd Anniversary Spring Flower, Craft and Floral Art Show, Section 19 (Novelty Section), No. 151 'Worst Arrangement'. It's been a long and winding road. The schedule said NO LATE ENTRIES, but our train from the city was scheduled to arrive at 11.48am and all exhibits must be staged ready for Judging by 11.30am. We placed a call to the show secretary who happens to be related to us but she was categorical in her response: NO LATE ENTRIES. At first we were slightly taken aback, as we did expect some level of favouritism, but then we realised that the show secretary lives by the same moral code we do. She was doing the right thing, but nothing was going to stop us. Rather than adopt the supplier/technician model a-la Jeff Koons/Damian Hirst and employ studio serfs, we decided to be more inclusive/collaborative with regional surrealists. They were not hard to find.

The genesis of our idea came from an incident in the 1980s where neither of us were present. Our friend Randal had received an apology in the form of a bunch of very expensive roses from his frenemy, Kate. In disgust, he chopped their heads off with a designer cleaver. Our Worst Arrangement entry is titled 'To Kate From Randal' .

After confirming with the show secretary that entries in the Worst Arrangement category were exempt from Item 1 of the Rules and Definitions which expressly states that 'All exhibits must be grown by Exhibitors and have been in his or her possession for two months prior to the show', we got to work. We needed a proxy artisan and a proxy stager. We ran our remote plan by the show secretary: a local florist had agreed to assemble our work to our exacting instructions and an upstanding and capable community figure would stage our entry. The show secretary, shocked, said 'No! You have to make it yourself!' By this point we were becoming exasperated by what we perceived to be the undercurrents of a regional blockade against city entrants. We reiterated that the florist is working to our exacting instructions, we were not just buying the worst arrangement in the shop. It was OUR creation. The show secretary had bigger fish to fry. There were only 45 minutes remaining before registration would be cut off, the phone was running hot and she 'didn't want to listen to any more voicemail messages'. In a loud voice so her staff could hear she simply said 'Alright then, I didn't hear any of that,' then louder still: 'And no one here heard any of that'.