Reincarnated from Erni Bär, Germany--Dieter Roth: My life as Camenbert (the Fragrant Period)

In an effort to honor the late Dieter Roth, whose opening exhibit in the U.S. consisted of nearly 40 suitcases of rotting cheese, Erni sent me Camembert which arrived the other day. The post office shrouded it in plastic due to the stench, I imagine. I invited friends and family to the grand opening.

Then it was time to assemble the exhibit with the help of an audience member:

Due to the rainy weather, or perhaps cowardliness, only two people showed up for the opening reception.

I am hopeful however, and have left the binoculars case and cheese on the table outside my house near the public sidewalk. I plan to take photographs regularly to document the decomposition of the exhibit or until city officials hand me a citation to clear it away. Lincoln Avenue may never be the same. Flies are already using the cheese as a breeding ground...

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Comment by Bifidus Jones on June 22, 2011 at 5:41pm
Burroughsian centipedes--absolutely!! not only did they make a feast but the cheese feast became a legend to the descendants of those centipedes and now they're all wishing for days like those. By the way, an unleashed dog made its way to the cheese exhibit a few minutes ago and took a taste before its master called him away. some things happen too fast to be photographed but are you not pleased Erni that all kinds of living things are interacting with this mail art? What's next? Little kids with spoons?
Comment by Bifidus Jones on June 22, 2011 at 5:22pm
You're right on, Erni--setting things in motion and letting natural processes happen. that's why i threw love in there but mein gott--the smell
Comment by DKULT on June 22, 2011 at 4:41pm
What would happen with a road kill exhibit? I'm not volunteering to do it, mind you, because my neighbors aren't nearly as tolerant as yours Bifidus!
Comment by De Villo Sloan on June 22, 2011 at 4:22pm
I'm glued to the Bifidus & Erni performance channel here. Yes, poetry, please! I had a discussion with DK somewhere about biopoetry. The changes in the organic form - call it decay, chemical process - might be considered part of the work. I like the way you have broadened the physical space of the performance to include the postal system, private and public spaces - and now the element of time.
Comment by Bifidus Jones on June 22, 2011 at 4:14pm

Today's Staple Cheese after the heavy rain:

If some scientists want to prove the concept of time, all they have to do is follow this blog. And I think there are larger (dare I say poetic, de villo?) themes at play: decay, love, and other natural events. The neighbor across the street finally stopped over this morning, wanting to know what the sour smell was floating toward his porch. "Reminds me of my childhood," was all he would say.

Comment by Bifidus Jones on June 21, 2011 at 5:55pm
Ja, Herr Werewolf. Ich denke, es gibt Regen.
Comment by De Villo Sloan on June 21, 2011 at 5:18pm

Erni, I am drawn back to this blog because I DO marvel at what you and Bifidus have accomplished. I hope the documentation will be preserved somewhere.

 

Kat, Ok, with the cheese. Perhaps "enjoy" was a poor word choice. The people in the photo are definitely engaged in the piece; that's clear - mission accomplished. And it had to be an amazing sensory experience.

Comment by Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) on June 21, 2011 at 4:57pm

Ewwwww, I can smell it all the way over here! Sloan, do you think people will "enjoy" it??? Maybe the neighborhood cats and rats? Bifidus, you must set up a night video cam....security cam? What if it gets stolen?

What a fun project, you two! 

Comment by De Villo Sloan on June 21, 2011 at 4:45pm
Bifidus, I've been thinking about this great performance with Erni in relation to something you wrote on another blog. Essentially, you asked about heavy interpretation vs. simply experiencing the work. What you and Erni did accomplished both brilliantly. On one level, this is a highly conceptual work that incorporates philosophy, art history... so many areas. But clearly people could simply experience it and enjoy it immensely without bringing any of the baggage. Tremendous - BRAVO.
Comment by DKULT on June 20, 2011 at 9:17pm
The processed cheese can't even qualify as food. I don't eat it, but I think most people here did as kids. Bifidus, the bricks would be eco friendly I think it is a great idea. Can see igloos made out of frozen cheese

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