by Adrian Ioniţă [USA]
translated by Diana Maftei
pentru versiunea română click aici
I saw him in a show at the Chicago Art Expo. He was wearing a heavily starched Australian coat and a hat with wide brims like the wings of an eagle. He stopped in front of me and as if I had known him forever and told me:
“They do nothing but milk me.”
“That’s right,” I told him as if I had any idea what he was talking about.
“I’m serious. It’s true. We live in a world where everyone consumes and no one produces. How do you explain this paradox?” he said.
It’s tough to say, after all, we cannot consume if we do not produce. His observation held a grain of truth because we are only aware of the times we consume and less of when we produce. As if to work was something shameful, a secret disgrace that must be kept out of sight.
“I wouldn’t go that far” he said, reading my mind.
“And I’ll tell you why. Do you see this painting?” he told me, pulling from under his coat a cardboard with beer caps glued on it. “I paid $250.000.00 for it. Why, you’d ask? To produce something.”
“That’s right”, I said again and walked into the crowd.
Later we met again near the exit. He felt my eyes on him and he signaled to show me that he had bought a painting. To strengthen that, while he was walking away, he pulled out of his coat two cardboards with twinkling beer caps and raised them above his head as if they were the Tablets of the Law.
The back of his coat had a bright pink udder painted on it which said, “milk me.”