Sugar Theses | Johannes Göransson    (page 5)

And exhibit her they did – with and without the hosed-off horse, inside and outside the silver cage which Otis had made by hand from items filched from jewelry stores, inside and outside galleries with white walls and walls hammered into pieces and walls built on the bones of birds, and walls behind which Adolf imagined other children hidden, eating horse meat and learning how to count based on the footsteps from the upstairs apartment.

This list may have given you the idea that Otis and Adolf had succeeded in becoming artists in the big city, but that was not the case. They encountered much resistance – to the motif of the child with a beak, to the use of stolen items, to the use of silver, to the imperfect surface of the horse body, to the artists’ obvious desire to fornicate with each other, to the sense that they in their occult fornication had not only engendered an obnoxious child who swore at the spectators, but also that they in their occult fornication had duped the Art World, had fooled the spectator, had somehow made a mockery of not just Art but human relations (whether man-woman or man-man or woman-woman).

However, they did earn the love of one very rich woman with an exotic, possibly foreign, last name. She was the person who funded their exhibitions, and as their child grew older, she funding the child’s education. She was a woman of great wealth and great intellectual powers. Together they would have conversations about the nature of art in her hottub, which unfortunately leaked.

This leak into the downstairs apartment proved to be emblematic of the kind of disrespect Otis’s and Adolf’s love affair had proven to the Art World. Petitions were signed and passed around quietly. Many people harbored ill will, though few actually spoke up against Adolf and Otis because to do so would be to bring attention to their immoral projects. So silently, people grew angrier and angrier, while the water pooled and pooled in the downstairs apartment. People began to wonder, isn’t it time, isn’t it time we finally spoke out against these occult immoralists? No, it was not time yet, they could not bring attention to such an immoral pair of fornicators.

So it was with great relief to everyone when one day the child escaped from her cage leaving no note and no forwarding address, and Adolf and Otis decided to go back home to figure out what they were now going to do. They were no longer children, and they had poured years into their child project.

“It’s a good thing they’re gone,” people from the art world would say. “We no longer have to be pissed off about their occult fornication.”

“What are we going to do now?” asked Adolf.

“I don’t know. I can’t carry this horse around any longer,” said Otis.

“And our families have long since abandoned this suburban hell-hole,” said Adolf.

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