By David Erdos

Performed by the author and directed by Arek Spewiak St Martin’s College, London 20th May 2018

SCENE: A vivid and stark installation, with a purgatorial aspect. A figure suspended. A doomed statue displayed. A screen for projection at back, shaped like a Daliesque melted halo. The artist, L. Hosts. He is charming. His voice resonates.

Photo by Arek spewiak


All art is useless, they say.
Or rather Oscar Wilde did. Sad bastard.
But in his famous book the warped painting
Is what finally fucks Dorian.
So it can’t be that weak, can it?
No. Not art as I understand it.
So, here is my exhibition.
An installation, sweet friends, from the heart.

This is me, in my art, talking to you. Bleeding from it.
I am a part of it and its maker, just like someone else;
Art as God. All artists create, remaking the world in their image.
We are the father (even the girls), planting seed.
We’re not even there as things form.
For us, its always about the big picture.
The great idea. The bright concept.
And then we move on to new projects before the paint’s even dried.

My father left me. He dipped his brush, then recoloured.
I wasn’t even born. Tones were mixing.
Like the conceptual crew he was happy to do little else but conceive.
I was without form and shape and he was already off, framing others.
I started life as a concept and that is how I’ve carried on.
Mine was an art born in red, deeper even than Rothko’s.
It showed blood and anger.
And then I saw how that colour could be put to good use as a strength.
I don’t even blame Daddy now. I can’t hold onto such anger.
How can I blame him?
After all, his absence helped me properly become what I am.
The what’s always first. The who comes much later.
After the why has been answered,
With the changing where and when’s grounding you.

We’re all sculptural chips off the block
Or brush strokes on the canvas.
Its only when the shape forms and settles,
That we get to see the effect.
No, I couldn’t blame Daddy now.
The search for him allowed questions,
Which it takes life to answer and art to..well; illustrate.
Our fathers are ghosts. They’re things we want to believe in.
When they’re dead, belief’s easy.
Its much harder of course when they live.
When they’re out there somewhere, quite indistinct, yet persuasive.
Speaking to us through an echo.
Glimpsed in the flickers of shade between light.

When I was a child I used to try and look through the lightning.
I saw the bursts of lightning as fractures..
Do you see what I mean? Splitting sky.
Yes, the vast sky would split and I would try to catch a clue
Between fissures.
As if I was an artist moving within the night’s frame.
Paint as rain.

Those very things spurred me on. They led me to this installation.
This is my world, my canvas; the stories and sights we’d all share.
I won’t just hang shit on the wall.
I’ll make the whole place my painting.
And here you all are sitting in it, as red as the walls we imagine
Or the tempestuous blood in our veins.

If you listen to Freud, one of the main things he says
Is that we’d all fuck our Mothers.
But its actually our fathers who fuck us.
Literally, sometimes, but I mean the expectation, the image.
That’s what corrupts us and it can be so much worse than abuse.
The body can heal. The ego can’t. That just suffers.
And so as pain brought me painting I tried to reshape my bruised heart.
All artists believe in the need for creation. The need to express.
They preach Gospels. Gospels of scorched images.

I had a brother. He died.
He was like some sort of sad homosexual who searched
For our father in every man who came close.
He searched for religions to bridge the dying river within him.
He read poems; Lord Byron: Abel and Cain, Milton too.
Paradise lost. But when was that worth the finding?
If we can’t describe it or see it until we are dead, what’s the point?
Faith’s emptiness is why I proscribe to the product.
Paintings are proof.
Installations are houses, sweet cherubs and friends, for ideas.
My brother, took flight. The hippy trail. Such a cliché.
Looking for love in a flower, or the thrust of escape…in an arse.
Prayers through the prick. An idiot’s incantation.
We always fought when I saw him. Me with my fire.
Him with his shit soya milk. Somebody killed him abroad.
There was a real mystery to it.
They hung him from a tree in a village
That he must have been traipsing through at the time.
If someone walked down my street muttering his insufferable rubbish,
And wearing what he wore, smelling like him, with his stained jeans
And stale sandals, I’d probably find a noose or two, I’m quite sure.
But he must have done or said something wrong.
Or interrupted some ritual. Knocked on the wrong door.
Disturbed someone.
Put his pale body somewhere only invited bodies should be.

Who knows? Now he’s dead.
And so he becomes a part of the painting.
Which is the word of man and man’s torment, made of course, legendary.

Our fathers are legends..don’t you think? Mothers rarely are.
They’re the temples,the places.
But for the fathers, its the stories that we continue to tell
All our lives. How he did this. What he said.
What he did that affected. Do you remember when?
All the rubbish, littering the stinking streets of the mind.
That’s where poetry helps, that elevation of language.
So, thank you Lord Byron as you try to capture the acts of sacrifice
Making literature’s majesty.
Words warp, though..don’t they? Its images that can stun us.
The sight of things spears us when we see someone we lust for,
Need, or love. When we are compelled. When we fall prey to obsession.
When we are damned by the duty we were otherwise taught to observe.

My brother set off because of his need or love of the answer.
But for me, its the question that snares me.
In art, you keep asking and the need not to know leads you on.
I hate the providers of truth, the architects of religion,
Which is just a frame some men mounted to trap the spiritual truth
Of the heart. They wished to keep it at bay and in doing so,
Understand it. But how does a worm grasp pop music?
Or man the true universe?

Out beyond us are stars who each die in fire.
They fold in on themselves to make nothing, turning logic to dust
And nulled light. The black flame. The red heart. The burning blue.
The scorched painting.
I found my thoughts in Dad’s absence to be a kind of whirlwind
Beneath wings. So, instead of flying, I fell. A flight sent within.
So exciting. Just like those truly alien creatures
Who live so far down in the sea.

Across the seabed’s black stream, outer space finds its echo.
In the darkness that swells, we’re delivered
A different understanding of light.

I’ve always felt alive in the dark.
It’s what’s made me wise. I’m not wary.
I have never accepted that the answers I’d get were the truth.
Dear audience, I had no teacher. No Dad.
I had no-one close to believe in.
So even if he had spoken, or revealed himself to me, I’d have spurned.
It was simply a matter of time. Dislocation’s so boring.
Better, I believe to grow closer to something that only you can create.
Your own inner world that will in turn affect others.
Your own view. Your vision. As if behind this life of ours, was the live.
Just as concert, or play, or that electric charge in the lightning.
Like a wild and sharp snake created in an instant of light, to destroy.

I did not want to live out the tale that some faulty father created.
I wanted to get my world working, then tear it apart, then begin!
We create. We destroy. We give into temptation.
We call for forgiveness and then do the entire sick thing again.
We falter. We fight. We fuck. We forget things.
We fuck ourselves or let others ruin the love that we lost.

Art provides.

We each have visions of hell and we each have visions of heaven.
One is still. One is action.
With which do you sympathise?

You give yourselves to yourselves. You suck and bend to each other.
You conform, assess, judge me, because you cannot judge yourselves.
You do not know what you want. You do not feel true desire.
You go to art to gain something, you go to galleries, films and plays.
You drink and dance away all your cares because in doing so,
You stop thinking. You think you’re good.
You claim halos for the self satisfied and the smug.
And all the while, you’re in Hell, and your fucking halo is melting!
Your wings are singed and you’re singing about your own fast decline!
You look at your cocks in the bath. You preen and puff your vagina.
You charm the soiled children and then cram the worst of you into them!
You’ve lost your care for the world, so you let others ruin.
You invest without value and throw the roots of your language away!
You do not believe in yourselves so you look for God in his absence.
You believe you are made in his image, but his image is blank!
DON’T YOU KNOW? Don’t you know that?
My face is shouting to you from my painting!
This stage space has framed me!
I am sculpture and painting, poem and play, all in one!
I am music! I sing and scream with the melody of truth I have fashioned!
I am dance – I am moving through the actions I make and your blood!
I am all forms! I am art!
And you are just the observer!
Come alive or I’ll kill you, right where you sit, where you watch!
I will drown you in a flood of all of the tears you have squandered!
I will drown you all and set fire to the bodies that weep on the beach.
You will fall through my air. I wonder if you understand that?
Because my art is action! WHICH IS MORE THAN HE EVER DID! THE BASTARD!
After falling, wings torn, my ascension continued
Acheiving a new and dark form in the places no rational mind can dispel.
Our father left and thus begat transformation.
I see him now in all faces but I will not let him in.

I am Hell.

Photos by Arek spewiak

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One Response to HALOS AND HELL

  1. Cy Lester says:

    Son, you’re my ghost!

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