Thursday, July 01, 2010

Found Footage - Part One

After having lived a rich and fulfilling life, Andy Umbrage took his own life last night. As a cross platform, multi faceted artist (he was a celebrated painter, poet, filmmaker, musician, art theorist, performance artist and socialite), his suicide comes across as a major shock to his not-so-many-in-terms-of-sheer-numbers but small-but-rabidly-devoted-and-deeply-influential trendsetting powerful artist and patron fans across the world. Expect festchrifts and tributes in plenty and obscure and often very subtle homages in the form of jump cuts interspersed with sickening footages of tigers eating humans in graphic detail and a brown, long haired boy pleasuring himself in the shower - a sly wink to Umbrage's now notoriously famous film "The Revenge of Mowgli" - by arthouse filmmakers across the globe.

Umbrage is not survived by his wife and children. They died seven years ago while protesting against tree felling in the jungles of Amazon. They had bound themselves to immense redwood trees with metal chains and although this was sufficient to deter the tree fellers, it certainly wasn't enough for the creatures of the night who were seduced by this grand gesture on the part of the Umbrage family and secretly paid them a visit to thank them for this magnanimity. The following day, Mrs. Umbrage's face was found chewed off and the body of Master Umbrage was nowhere to be found, metal chains notwithstanding. As this news traveled, a visibly perturbed Andy Umbrage declared this the Ultimate Performance Art of the century.

When the police arrived to the scene of the suicide this morning in Mr. Umbrage's house, they found the tiling on the floor destroyed and dirt all over the house. They also found a shovel near the deceased Mr. Umbrage's corpse. A copy of the novel The Tunnel by William H. Gass was also found. Umbrage had dug out a pit and had committed suicide by putting his head inside it and had covered the space with dirt. Presumably the cause of death was due to asphyxiation. As rigor mortis had set in, the police found the head and neck stuck into the ground and the torso and legs stiff and erect and pointing towards the ceiling. In the outstretched, clenched hands of the deceased, the police found a suicide note with only a few words etched on it in red ink - "Who's your daddy now?"

Critics are already claiming that the suicide was part of another profound piece of performance art. They are basing their claims on the terse suicide note and interpreting this act as a revolt against the recently-in-vogue tendencies of the neo-bourgeois artists who've been committing suicide painlessly and are claiming that by dying in such a grisly fashion, he reminded everyone that committing suicide ungrislyly is seriously uncool and such people are better off existing which in turn (the existence, that is) can only be either horrible or miserable. His detractors on the other hand simply point out that this was another attempt on his part to one-up his dead wife (with whom he had a long standing rivalry) and by the suicide note, he simply wanted to remind her who her daddy was.

The obituary is brought to halt by noting offhandedly that Andy Umbrage had many gifted disciples and that Shuchikar was once his protégé who'd rebelled against his style. Hearing the sad demise of his teacher, however, he decided to open up some windows into his past and pay a last visit to his dead mentor.

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