Archives for category: New Zealand

The Super Dede Competition is well and truly over and the puppets have to find a new project. But before the next thing, they had to post the Artist’s Survival Cookbooks to the winners. Foxy Lady volunteered to go to the post office in town. As this is quite a trip nowadays, she made a real day out of it.

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After she had run the errand she visited one of her favourite places, the old Stone Store in Kerikeri, which is the oldest surviving stone building in New Zealand. Looking across the river she had an idea: “Maybe we should show our readers more of where we live” she said. “People in other parts of the world will yawn” said the Artist. “A building from 1836 is not something to write home about. Where I come from, there are building half a millennium old and older!”

“It’s not a competition” huffed Foxy Lady. And the readers agreed, they would like to see more of where the Dedes hang out.

Though not all Dedes agree.

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“I don’t think it is a good idea to show our readers our dilapidated realm” said Snotty Nosed Prince to his father Benevolent King, when he heard about the suggestion. “Why not? It is refreshing! Everyone on Instagram shows a picture perfect world.When we open our castle, people realise we are just as average as the next person.”

“I’d rather like to keep up appearances,” said the prince and walked away.

“One day you will realise, one-up-man-ship doesn’t get you anywhere!” said the king calmly and the benefit of old age.

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“No one is interested in how you personally live” laughed Court Jester and tickled Snotty Nosed Prince with the tip of a fern leave. “I understand our readers want to see more of New Zealand, our beautiful country!”

“Not quite” a reader responded. “We are interested in both.”

Some of the Dedes are still not convinced. Calamity admitted that seeing all these beautiful pictures on Instagram make her depressed.

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“We live in a beautiful environment, true, but seeing all these nice landscape images depresses me when I have to go back to work on Monday.” Some did understand her concerns, but others believe he should try to live in the moment. Well, good advice, but it is not that easy with her predisposition.

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Calamity found a supporter in Rob D Light who said he totally understands her. “Cheerful pictures on Instagram drag you down big time. It makes me so aware I never will be on the sunny side of life. I’ve tried and tried and tried!”

Now the readers started to get concerned that the Dedes are so down on their surroundings. Most of them are actually not! It is just that the sullen ones spoke up loudly and skewed the opinions so the world got the wrong impression.

You never will please Calamity. She puts a negative slant on everything and is terribly envious of anyone who has a better live than her (in her judgement). While Rob D Light is tired of trying to break down walls, busily put up by others to exclude him.

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“Sadly these two puppets have a point” admitted Philosopher to L’Artiste “the real Dedeland is a place in the mind. When you lack positive imagination it must be an extremely dreary place.”

 

 

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Last week the competition started in earnest. And the contestants had to talk about themselves. Push Push was first up. But she started with a complaint. The stage was too small for her.

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Devil reminded here that she should talk about herself and why she wanted to take part in the competition. “Well,” said Push Push “it is a little known fact, that I am a sponsored Dede. That means I have been sold to a collector. Since I forgot to send my sponsor a Christmas card last year, I felt obliged to take part in the competition to push my value up”

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Cool Cat was taken by surprise that she made it into the competition and she let us in on her secret: “I am a fashion girl and want to look my best. When I first didn’t make it into the competition I was so upset I cooked myself a huge meal of mouse, my favourite. And then  when I heard I made it, I had to eat grass to throw it all up again. What a waste!”

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“Who likes Mouse pie?” asked Monkey. “I like pancakes with banana and I think the committee should announce that any comment in the competition goes into the draw for the ‘Artist’s Survival Cookbook’.” He showed the readers the page with his recipe in the book. “Stop it!” said Devil from behind the curtain “tell us something we don’t know!”

Monkey took a deep breath and said proudly “Once, an old lady said, I looked like Obama!” and then he added with a lower disappointed voice “but I think she wasn’t wearing her glasses.”

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Skeleton Edeltraut wasn’t too sure anymore, whether her decision was right. “Everyone said I will feel so much better, when I come out of the closet” she said while she was tightly holding on the curtain. “Now I am no longer sure, whether I can do it. You know, this is a point of no return. Once I am out, there is no going back! The door will be closed forever!” The readers were very supportive and encouraged Skeleton Edeltraut to continue.

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Court Jester was taken aback by the whole event. “OMG” he sighed, “are my competitors really taking it  that seriously? Where is the fun in their lives? What the heck, I dress up as Leprechaun and have a pint of Guinness. Cheers!”

And that was the end of the first week.

Now the next day Mouse had to make good for her omission. “Monkey is right,” she admitted very embarrassed dragging a copy of the Artist’s Survival Cookbook on stage. “I have forgotten to mention that any comment during the competition goes into the draw to win our flour and water recipe book. I so wish Detail was here, she certainly would have reminded me, but she is still missing.”

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The competition is always very stressful, so on Sunday Mouse and Devil needed to have some time out. They went to the beach, sat on a bench and didn’t talk all day.

To be continued next week….

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We are still alive and kicking, but much has happened since Christmas the year before last, when Top Dog in our last post tried to steal all the Christmas presents. He has in fact stolen not only the presents but also the Dedes’ innocence and lightness of being.

But from the beginning: As you might have figured the Dedes are dye-in-the-wool liberals They found it more and more difficult to cope with the rise of the autocrats all over the world. What use to be funny, when they were only a sideshow, it no longer funny and so the Dedes lost their voice and became speechless.

The Artist of the Dedes decided in the meantime to leave the of hustle and bustle of big town Auckland behind, like so many others, and moved to the sunny Bay of Islands in New Zealand’s Far North. Well, looking out the window today. It’s all but sunny. Anyway, along the way she was homeless for three month. Not homeless as in ‘no future’ as you can see increasingly on the streets of our big cities, rather homeless as in shake off the old and and clear your mind for the exciting change to come. She spend the time sailing around the Hauraki Gulf and Great Barrier on a little 26-foot catamaran, together with her soulmate and three traveler Dedes. It is documented on the Instagram account @dedepuppets that continued throughout the journey. Then they went for a month to Melbourne housesitting. But after the sailing stint it was clear, citylife is no longer an option.

In July the Dedes moved on an 1.5 ha lifestyle block with a delapidated house and are renovating ever since, digging trenches, planting out vegetables, cutting down trees and and and. Life has never been busier, but at the same time it has never been happier either. Though there is a clear mental battle going on. Taking the easy route and happily withdraw into the privacy of a little bubble, or continue to make public statements and give a small group of readers something to smile about.

Unfortunately for the Dedes, the happier, the quieter they are. Well, on Instagram the Artist had suggested, once the Dedes drop below 700 followers they will die. There was a little outcry amongst our handful of diehard followers. And so we continue. To be honest, the amount of followers is not important to us. On instagram they come and go like flies anyway. For the Artist the Dedes are really there to make sense of her world und understand human behaviour. And there is still so much more to understand. We can’t go back to where we were, but we can’t continue towards the abyss with open eyes. So for now we soldier on without a solution! Maybe it will be around the next corner…

It was always in the back of our mind to revive the blog once we are sort of settled in our new environment. And we feel really back to have it neglected for over a year. Thanks to our puppeteer friend in Australia who missed the blog, here we are…

On instagram the Dedes are preparing to embark on yet another Super Dede Competition. The ones in 2013 and in 2016 were definitely the highlights of their career and they hope they can repeat their success, proving to their Artist that there is still live in them. The Artist is suspicious, as well, she doesn’t want to flogg it to death.

The blog will be different, but how we don’t know yet :)

I hope there are still a few followers out there, who are happy to see us back.

Go, Dedes, go

 

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The Dedes live in New Zealand and summer is in full swing. For most of them their spirits are up, except for poor Deutsch Fraulein who is smiling through gritted teeth. She misses the cold and darkness in the weeks leading up to, what she thinks is a proper, Christmas so much. This is a throwback to a year when the Dedes could still afford Christmas cakes. No such thing this year. So Deutsch Fraulein really got a double whammy.

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Today is Guy Fawkes, the day when the English celebrate a failed terrorist attack with fireworks. This is the only time when you can buy fire crackers in New Zealand. Unfortunately half the Dede population is sick. The animals are hiding in bed, shit scared of the noise. Of course people started to let of fireworks last night already and it will continue tonight. Strangely enough Top Dog was not cuddling up with all the others. I hear he was spotted in the supermarket stocking up on crackers to celebrate his big win next week.

 

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Bobby handcuffed Alley Cat and dragged her away while Alley Cat was still wondering how many lives she really has. It looks like most of the world attributes nine lives to cats. As we couldn’t solve the riddle for her we issued a warning for cats, they should  stay clear of Germany as they get short changed by two lives.

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So for now Alley Cat is locked up, but she has no idea what she has done. It is becoming more and more kafkaesk.

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Pig and Professor love the arts and I had to promise them long time ago that I will take them to the gallery as soon as possible so they can have a look at all the wonderful works. In the next two weeks all the participating artists are taking turns in manning the gallery and it was my turn last Monday. I will be there tomorrow and next Wednesday again, but Pig and Professor didn’t want to wait any longer. So here I can show you their first impressions. There is more good work on display in the gallery, so if you are in Auckland and in the neighbourhood of Mt Eden swing by and judge for yourself.  You enter through a narrow door and go down a flight of stairs.  The gallery is on two floors below street level.

When the two Dedes came down the stairs, Pig stopped in his tracks and turned in awe to Professor “This space is amazing” he whispered “We should have volunterred to take part in the installation.”  The images you see in the background here are by Sonja Gardien. It is a photographic series reminding us of the impact of climate change.

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Opposite Sonja’s image are Stacey Simpkin’s photographs of some of the old baches (holiday homes) on Rangitoto Island, a very well-known volcano located just outside the Auckland harbour entrance with a wonderful checkered history.

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Here Pig and Professor move towards Dorina Jotti’s amazing Photograph “Cross-Referenced”. This snapshot doesn’t do the image justice at all, as the blues look too light and washed out. In reality it is of a rich and dark colour, which is very difficult to reproduce with simple devices. The photograph was craftily printed on a ten-colour printer.

At the top right you see a display by contemporary jeweler Sarah Walker-Holt. Once again, the snapshot doesn’t do the work justice. Art is best viewed in original.  :)

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Another fantastic work by Dorina Jotti. This is a zen meditation exercise, an enso, which is a circle drawn in one uninhibited brushstroke to express the moment when the mind is ready to let the body express.

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The wonderful series “Brotherhood” was created by Kirsten Weir and depicts members of the Hell’s Angels in their headquarters. Pig didn’t want to get any closer, as he knows that Kirsten has to seek approval each time she wants to exhibit the images and Pig doesn’t want to get her into trouble. But you can believe us, these images are striking.

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The deer is another one of Carly van Winkel’s photographs. Her series is about animals that are raised purely to be released in front of hunters to be shot. Sad!

Carly is an excellent photographer and you might remember that she took the images at the launch of “The Artist’s Survival Cookbook”. If you want to learn more about how to take breathtaking photographs… Carly and I are running an “Intro to Photography” workshop at Studio 541 in Auckland on 4th June. She also does tell some hilareous story’s about the capture of her hunting photos.

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On the bottom floor you will find a series by Alice Ng showing dilapidated buildings in the Auckland area. There is a special aesthetic in such images, isn’t there?

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And then of course there are the Dedes with their mobile phones. Professor and Pig were so excited when they finally discovered their mates in the last room (they requested to be placed as far away from the entrance as possible) so they can do some work. Even now, they hardly looked up. That was a bit of a disappointment for the visitors.

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This was just a quick walk around the gallery. There is more work by Vicky te Puni, Julia Glover, Toni Mosley, Yvonne Shaw, Trish Campbell, Melanie Tollemache and Jessie Rolston  It’s worth the trip.