Archives for the month of: January, 2013

deutsch fraulein book

Deutsch Fraulein (German Girl) is a relatively quiet one who doesn’t cope well on her own. She always needs to be in a relationship and when she is in one, she is very clingy. Regrettably, this drives people away from her. For a while she was together with Monster, but this ended with a really bad break-up. Then she hooked up with Bad Conscience and this seems to be an on-and-off sort of relationship.  I don’t know whether it is currently on or off.

When we moved, Deutsch Fraulein found an old family album that was handed down to me. She has looked through it every night since. I realise now how important family is to her and I assume she would like to start one of her own. She wants to know who all these people in the photographs are. Sadly, I have to admit I don’t have a clue. It is a pity and there is nobody left I could ask. All I know is that they are somehow related to me. I should have asked when I still had a chance.

Detail throwing hands

Now we are in a pickle. Remember, at the beginning of the year I had collected all the New Year’s resolutions from the Dedes and promised to publish them at the end of January. With the move, all the household items were hickeldy pickeldy put into big cartons and stored away. Guess what’s missing now? The little black lacquer box in which I had put all the New Year’s resolution for safe keeping. It was sitting on the mantle piece all this time, but now nobody knows who packed it and where it has gone. Detail asked all the Dedes one by one whether they had seen it, but nobody seems to know anything. It is just like it had never existed. In the end she threw her hands in the air and said she will never understand how we all can be so careless. If she had been in charge of the move, it would be all neat and tidy.

“But we never would have finished in time” Mouse remarked.

“Good luck with searching for things over the next few weeks, then” Detail  said and left her standing there.

rob working

Oh, I hate these jobs where you think you are nearly done and then there is more …and more …and more. It is like you are carrying stuff out one door and somebody else brings it back through the other. So the Dedes are still not finished with their job of moving everything into the room. Luckily the builder is a real builder and has postponed his arrival by a day. But sorry, we won’t have much to tell today… We have a job to do and we can’t linger.

Ah, one noteworthy thing, though. I was quite impressed by Minor’s boyfriend Rob. Gee, he can work… His handkerchief has proven invaluable with all the dust around. Unlike the others, he didn’t have to sneeze once.

L’Artiste was terribly excited as he had been invited to join me for this part of the interview with Miss Viwi at ||::VEGGIETORIA::||. He constantly dropped hints throughout the day and wanted everybody to be around when the interview was finally published at 8 pm New Zealand time. Most of the Dedes were too tired from the day’s hard work and couldn’t follow what was said – they would rather have liked to watch a brainless murder story on TV – but they were respectful enough to pretend to be interested.

L’Artiste volunteered to translate this week’s installment of the interview and went straight into it:

miss viwi: What is art?

L’Artiste:Phew. Bigger heads than I have failed to answer this question comprehensively. What do you think, Dietlind?”

dietlind: “Right.. there is no way to answer this question completely and thoroughly. In my opinion art has to be moving. What I mean is, a work has to evoke emotions in the viewer. Whether negative or positive doesn’t really matter.

What’s important for me are the thoughts, the recognition, the prompting of action or even the agitation”

l'artiste and Pania

Dietlind Wagner, Pania, Acrylic on paper, 2008.

miss viwi: Why do you do art?

L’Artiste:I was born an artist. It is just in me, I really can’t do anything about it!”

dietlind: “Primarily I do art to work through personal impressions.
The extensive engagement with an object intensifies my thinking. Even my painted works, as simple as they might appear, are applied layer over layer. For me the process is more important than the end result.”

L’Artiste:I don’t believe you here … if it were true, you would have made the Dedes and chucked them in the corner or sold them.”

dietlind: “No L’Artiste, this is absolutely no contradiction. The Dede puppets are a ‘Work in Progress’. Here the making is only the beginning…
I have referred to the Dedes as “Vodoo dolls gone mellow” before. Instead of attacking a body with needles to cause injury, I give my puppets character traits to gain an understanding.”

miss viwi: L‘ Artiste Dede, how do you see your relationship with Dietlind?

L’Artiste:Do I have to say this publicly? To be honest, I am a real artist. Dietlind still has to work on it!
For the time being I need her as a muse, but it can be difficult working with her.”

l'artiste und Dietlind

Dietlind Wagner, Portrait of Dietlind, Acrylic on canvas, 2010.

miss viwi: Could you imagine working without Dietlind?

L’Artiste:Yes, sometimes I wish I could do without her, but I know her value. If she wasn’t around, who knows what would happen.
You only recognise paradise when you have been evicted, don’t you?  I certainly don’t want to test this one out.”

miss viwi: For whom do you make your art?

L’Artiste:First and foremost for myself. It is my way of expression, I can’t help it.”

dietlind:In this regard we are similar, but for me it is a form of processing rather than expression.

I should add that what I have done so far was either too personal or too mediocre to hang publicly on the wall .
The Dedes changed this entirely! They – and L´Artiste will certainly agree – want to be seen. They forge ahead into the public view. I think it is because they don’t need me as an artist. They can exist very well without me.”

l'artiste and full  triptych

Dietlind Wagner, Where am I, Acrylic on canvas, 2012.

miss viwi: Do you want to say anything with your art?

L’Artiste:I have to come back here to the question “What is art?” Of course I hope the viewer will gain some insight when looking at my work.”

dietlind:I agree. I hope the reader will find something for themselves and will recognise characters or situations.
Without recognition understanding is hampered. The Dedes are of course reflecting my world view, but I don’t want to preach! I leave it entirely up to the reader what to think.”

(Fotos: © 2012 Dietlind Wagner)

The interview will continue next Sunday, 3/2/13, at 8 am CET in |:::VEGGIETORIA:::|.

“So, what do you think?” L’Artiste wanted to know immediately after he had finished the translation. But nobody was as excited as he was. “C’mon guys, say something!”

“You come across as a bit of a waffler!” Smuggy said.

“What?!” L’Artiste could barely hide his disappointment.

“You wanted to know!” Smuggy shrugged his shoulders and left the room.

devil news

For most of the Dedes it was very hard getting up this morning. Admittedly, this is the case most days. But today it was particularly difficult as they were working hard to tidy up the house yesterday. They are not even half way there. Worse, the house is in a bigger mess than ever. Luckily it is a long weekend and they have an extra day to finish their chores. Understandably, breakfast – which they had on some already packed boxes – was a very quiet affair today. That is, until Devil came running in, barely able to hide his excitement.

“We’ve got a message, we’ve got a message…” He sang and danced around. You might remember he is responsible for the Facebook page and it is all new to him. Of course everybody looked at him and waited. Then he told us this morning he found a lovely message from Cape Town on Facebook.

“Where is that?” Lou, the puppy asked. “Shush,” said Smuggy

“It’s in South Africa, Lou! And I think it is our first official friend there. So it is quite something”

“The blog can be read everywhere in the world, so what’s the big deal?” Smuggy pointed out. “Cut the crap and get on with the story.”

Devil took his time. He enjoyed having everybody’s attention. “But… wait there is more, the young women didn’t ‘find’ our blog… she got the Hermit’s Web book for Christmas from her aunt and she loved it! She was ‘looking’ for our Facebook page!”

“This is indeed interesting,” Mouse gave Devil a hi-five.

“Thinking of it” Detail piped up, “we never heard back from Arindam, who won the book in the Super Dede 2012 competition! He mustn’t have liked it and is keeping mum!”

“Oh, no, no” Mouse defended our friend from India. “He loved it too. He has send an email to Dietlind privately. I don’t want to disclose what is written in emails, but I can assure you, he liked it a lot. You have to take my word for it!”

“We don’t have all day to pat ourselves on the back,” L’Artiste interrupted the celebrations rudely. “Let’s get on with our chores. Otherwise we will never get them done. I want to knock off at 8 tonight. Miss Viwi continues her interview in ||:::VEGGIETORIA::|| and this time it’s with me!”

devil bonfire

It is amazing how time flies. The first month of the new year is nearly over. I haven’t told you yet, but the Dedes have to move by the first of February. Yes, they have been evicted from their large space in the living room and I don’t know yet where they are going. The space will be definitely smaller for some time to come. The reason? The builders are moving in! The Dede mansion gets a spruce up.

All the Dedes will be busy chucking out stuff over the weekend and they have to find themselves new comfortable corners in the house, where they are not in the way, yet I still get to them easily. I hope these temporarily crammed conditions won’t lead to more quarreling.

I finally found out what Devil wanted to do with those matches. He wanted to burn all his love letters he had stashed away in an inaccessible corner of the studio. I never knew he had them. When I saw him piling up paper in the backyard, I ran out shouting: “Stop, stop, stop!” He looked at me surprised, as if he wanted to say, what does she want now?

“I just read the paper. Do you know there is a total outdoor fire ban in Auckland this weekend? Please, don’t get us into more trouble!”  When I realised what kind of documents he wanted to burn I asked curiously: “Why do you want to destroy them anyway?” Just between you and me, I would so like to get my hands on those.

“I am worried that someone might read them. I certainly don’t want to compromise the ladies who sent them.”  Then he shrugged his shoulders and said: “And you have to let go of the past at one stage, don’t you!”

devil makes a stand

Devil visited me last night to borrow a box of matches. No idea what he needs them for, Dedes shouldn’t play with fire. They are not water tight and I am pretty sure they burn quite well to boot. Hesitantly I gave him a box, but while I was looking for them, I asked him what his opinion is about the feud that is brewing between Minor and Detail.

“Ah, girls….” he said. “Look at their history… Detail and Chance are half-sisters, Detail is a solo mum and now Minor is giving her mother grief. You get the picture? You better stay out of it!” he advised and it looked as if he wanted to leave. But then he stopped and turned around. “You know what annoys me the most about the entire story?”

“No, but you will certainly enlighten me” I answered expectantly.

“What about Rob? Has anybody actually ever spoken to him? How do you know he is not fair-minded! Everybody just assumes he is a bad boy…  How come?… Is it his hideous handkerchief?” He got his own hankie out and tied it around his face. “Imagine… One day someone decides all Dedes with horns are bad, what would happen to me?”

minor and rob-2

Chance kept her promise and met up with her niece Minor. After a long warm hug, they sat down and Minor immediately started spluttering on about her mother Detail. She plainly doesn’t understand her anymore. She has become increasingly short-tempered and the most infuriating is that she seems to be able to listen to everybody else and give good advice, but not her own daughter. All her friends come flocking to her and pour their hearts out, but when it concerns her own daughter, she is incapable of listening, let alone  understanding. She constantly pesters Minor to let go of Rob, the scoundrel.

“Mum, just doesn’t know Rob as I do” Minor said. “He has a heart of gold and he really loves me.”  She showed this photograph and Chance agreed they look like a lovely couple. Then Minor went on to tell her aunt that Rob hadn’t had a good start in life. He is not entirely sure where he comes from, so there they have something in common: Minor doesn’t know her father. But unlike her, Rob just fell in with the wrong crowd. Yes, he has done some naughty things in the past, but he wants to change and she, Minor, is the one who can save him.

“Can’t you talk to Mum?” she beseeched her aunt in the end.

“Mhm, I would love to, but you know as well as I do, if I say something, the shit would really hit the fan. Wouldn’t it? This would infuriate Detail even more.”

“I don’t know what I should do. I am at my wits end” Minor said resignedly. “She just doesn’t want to see my point of view. Maybe I really should elope with Rob. That’s what he wants! Start a new life somewhere else, where nobody knows us.”

“No, you can’t run from your problems, Minor. It would break your mothers heart and it will take years to mend.”

“I don’t care!” Minor responded huffy. “She doesn’t love me anymore.”

“Now, that is not right. On the contrary, she loves you too much.”

“So, tell me, what shall I do then?”

“Whatever you do, don’t burn your bridges! And don’t deliberately hurt in anger. Maybe write a letter to your mother. Explain to her how you feel. She can read a letter in her own time and take in what you have to say.”

“A letter? You mean on paper?” Minor exclaimed… “Can’t I just send her a txt?”

detail and Chance

Minor asked her aunty Chance to meet with her. Chance is the half-sister of Detail.  It is sad to see, but there is not much love lost between them. The two sisters couldn’t be more different. It’s a classic case of personality clash. Detail, the older one, is certainly the more serious of the two. She takes everything and everybody at face-value and has to ponder about even the most minute aspect of an issue before she can make up her mind. She sees hurdles and stumbling blocks everywhere she goes. She wants to be loved by everybody and is a brilliant listener. When any of her friends have a problem, they love to talk to her, as she really takes the time to get into it and always wants to know every tiny little facet.

Chance is not dissimilar in the way that she takes everybody at face-value, but she doesn’t suffer fools gladly. She is a happy-go-lucky kind of gal. Her approach to life  is “if you don’t like me, it is your problem not mine” and leaves people to it. She never ever tries to convince others that she is right and she readily walks away from situations. Nothing is a big deal for her. If something doesn’t work out, she takes a crack at something else. This doesn’t mean she has no stamina, quite the contrary, but she simply knows when she has tried long enough –  she is so sure of herself.

A big bone of contention between the two is Minor. When Detail found out she was pregnant, she had to virtually grow up over night and take responsibility. Chance doesn’t have kids of her own and never settled down. And despite her being very difficult to grab hold of, and only swoons in and out of Minor’s life, the girl adores her like an absent father. Whenever she has big problems with Mum, she calls on her aunty. This fact hurts Detail a lot, but she would never admit to it openly.

With the going-ons lately Minor had to call her aunt for help and Chance promised to come round as soon as she has a spare moment, probably tomorrow.

minor and detail

Detail is at sixes and sevens at the moment, and this is a state she can’t cope with. She needs to be in control. Outwardly nothing much has changed between the two of them. When they are out shopping together, Minor follows her mother with a sour-face and when they bump into acquaintances, she waits patiently until Detail has exchanged the latest news. This is a feat on its own as Detail is as sweet as ever and interested in other people. She always wants to know more and her conversations are never short.

But when they are at home, we hear plenty of screaming matches with high pitched voices, followed by prolonged silences. It must be clear – even for the most dull-witted of the Dedes – that something is going on.

I asked Detail what Philosopher said to her on Saturday, very dispirited she replied: “Pretty much the same thing as ArtistatExit0 said in his comment to the post. In a nutshell, they think making mistakes is a necessary, yet painful, part of the learning process. There is absolutely nothing I can do about it, except to be there when Minor needs me. But why can’t she learn from my experience?”

And then she went on to tell me how much she sacrificed for the girl, she always wanted the best for her and what a lovely girl she was when she was little, then she always listened. Now as a mother, she could throttle this Rob, Minor calls her b o y f r i e n d, he must have seduced her daughter, even drugged her, why else wouldn’t she  listen anymore. Wouldn’t you think, she would know by now that her mother always knows best…

It was a barrage of words, unedited and difficult to make sense of.

“I just can’t take this anymore” she said to me in tears. “I don’t want her to make the same silly mistakes I did. I wish I had listened to my mother!”

“If you had listened to your mother” I said, “you wouldn’t have this beautiful daughter of yours! Would you?”