“Three people have died from your exhibition.”
“They signed waivers.”
“I’ve got people breathing down my neck, here.”
“They all signed waivers. They knew what they were getting into, they were consenting adults.”
Ruiz Duchamp’s latest exhibition was, he believed, his masterpiece. An installation that had taken him five months in total to construct, ‘wowwee go kill ursefl’ was his homage to stupidity. He had jumped through so many hoops to absolve himself of responsibility, and yet he was still being slammed by The Man. It was ridiculous.
“They’re demanding you get rid of the smallpox.”
One of the most popular parts of ‘wowwee’ was ‘stab ursefl with nedles’. It was simply an open box containing needles with samples of the most virulent diseases and deadly poisons in the history of mankind. This was how one of the people had died, after wilfully injecting himself with a deadly dose of everything.
“I won’t compromise the integrity of the piece to accommodate for morons.”
“You’re going to have to. And the blades have to go too.”
The noisiest pieces in the hall, ‘shuv ur figners in blads no. 1-5’, were simply high rotation carbon steel circular saws. They had been painted in bright, primary colours, but besides that, they were perfectly normal, and could easily remove a hand. Two hands had been wilfully removed by critics.
“There are warnings everywhere. The whole point of the piece is to put people in easily avoidable, but very real danger. If you recontextualise any of it, it’s worthless.”
“Not good enough.”
“You’re marching to the drum of The Man.”
“I’m trying to save people’s lives.”
“You’re trying to save idiots who shove their fingers into bloody saws.”
“THE NAME OF THE PIECE TOLD THEM TO!”
“Hell, at least I didn’t name anything ‘jump off a bridge’. What a catastrophe that would have been.”
Every piece in the exhibit was designed to kill or, at the very least, grievously injure. The one fear that Ruiz had was that some particularly idiotic person would use them to kill or, at the very least, grievously injure another person. Fortunately, this had not yet occurred.
“We’ve already taken the C4 from you.”
“What? Nobody even used ‘press buten 4 firwroks’, this is downright puritanical!”
“Safety comes first. You can’t pull shit like this in my gallery.”
“You’re ruining the vision. You saw it before.”
“The work’s been recontextualised, the police weren’t breathing down my fucking neck. You need to make everything safe or you need to get it out of here. I regret it, and you know I love the piece, but people are just too stupid for it.”
“THAT. IS. THE PURPOSE. OF THE WORK. If you’re too stupid to not know to sit in an electric chair and pull the lever, it’s your own damn fault. Their blood is my canvas.”
“I know. I get it. But get it somewhere else. Sorry.”
Ruiz was disappointed. He walked into his favourite room, passing the box of cyanide pills saying ‘Complementary, Please Take One’. He moved past the automatic countdown guillotines. He looked passively beyond ‘here paly wit thes knivs’. He had one piece that he’d been saving for a particularly disappointing event. He closed the airtight door, and breathed slowly. Everyone was a fucking idiot. Nobody got it. Nobody REALLY got it. As he turned the knob, liquid nitrogen sprayed across his scalp and flesh. His final thoughts were that it didn’t matter. At least he got it. He really got it. And that was all he needed.
‘take shwoer 2 b cul’