at the big fancy art museum opening for the sculptor in oakland, the film i made was the highlight of the evening and had people reeling, including the photographer who inspired me to make the film... the sculptor's wife told me people were sitting in the auditorium watching it loop 8 or 9 times ~ i did not attend the event, but have since received an invitation to attend an Art Table Meeting with the same racist, narrow minded bitch ass snobs that would instantly give me Stink Eye before they saw that film at the exhibit.
for MONTHS in preparation for this exhibit & corresponding book on his work, i was made to feel like everything i do is just amateur bullshit by upper class art hags who then went about REDOING all my work by paying a "professional" 8x the amount of money i make to take the IDENTICAL photographs and redesign an IDENTICAL book. so this is indeed POETIC JUSTICE, that i STILL MADE SOMETHING they couldn't ERASE ME FROM, something that they COULDN'T REMAKE before the exhibition, and it turned out to be the "Best Part of The Show".
the bittersweet guts inside : when i recorded the "music" for this soundtrack last summer, i was alone in the studio working while the sculptor and his wife were on one of their biannual holidays at the studio in the south of france. suddenly, i decided to try an experiment and pushed my face up against one sculpture that i liked the best, pushed record on my android phone and emitted random frequencies that reverberated through the steel. i did 3 separate takes, then, with audacity, put the 3 recordings on top of each other randomly.
i thought of him as a mentor after working for him these 20 years. i thought he had some respect for me in return as an artist, as a woman, as a human being. i was so grateful for his presence in my life...especially since he was now one of the only people i ever saw or spoke to on a regular basis. he was the last thread i was holding onto, he was the last semblance of this life i was living in california.
so while singing these notes, i was OVERFLOWING with gratitude & the sadness one feels for the passing of someone they love ~ at the time, i could not imagine my life without the sculptor being a part of it, but he's 80 years old, so i had to start imagining life without him... after so much loss experienced during the last 5 years, i did not think i was ready for more. i thought i couldn't handle more death, more grief. i thought wrong.
that would be the last time i'd feel this bright shiny way about him because upon his return, his friendly pats on the back gradually began slipping further down to the small of my back and once, even reaching under my clothing. that's where my deluded loyalty to him ended.
i've often said to him that making art is so difficult, but more so for a woman because EVERYTHING you do is considered for it's artistic merit only AFTER considering the fact that it was made by a woman, and that a woman has a CUNT. duh. whenever you lose yourself in the creativity itself while making something that is Not About Being A Woman, people who see that work Always Assume You're A Man...wtf? he and i spoke on these issues Deeply Ad Infinitum for Years... you THINK you know a person...
and yet, he KNOWINGLY paid me far less than i was worth, saying to the woman i was training in the office to do my job, "Why should I pay a designer or photographer thousands of dollars to do work for me when I can get Tena to do it for free?"
$20/hr is ""free" in his mind, i guess. in comparison to all the other photographers' $150/hr fee, i guess it is nothing. but it was more than i'd ever made, and i was happy being around the art and ideas, so it's partially my own fault for not knowing my own worth or for not being completely concerned with money as if it were life itself... but a discrepancy that massively huge is not easy to overlook, it's just insulting. these are people who spend $25,000 on a 3 day hotel stay on a regular basis for christ's sake.
it's not like they couldn't afford to pay me more.
but it no longer mattered, i was done.
all the love was gone.
i always knew in the pit of my stomach that something was not right here, that something was being hidden from me, and once i was ready to see the truth, it revealed itself to me ~ on paper, in emails, in receipts, invoices, even in words said directly to my face, and then i could no longer feel any of that former love or gratitude or loyalty to someone who essentially just saw me as a cheap weekly entry in his jerk off bank, but who also just so happens to have a good eye for design.
ironically, the sculpture i sang all those grateful and sad notes through was called ELEGY, and it's one of the most prominent pieces installed at the exhibit.
so i say FUCK YOU to the art world that is no different from the pathetic 8th grade corporate world with it's unequal pay and discrimination in all ways across the board.
i say YOU'RE WELCOME to elitist art fags for giving me the chance to prove to myself that i do exist and that i am worth something, or at least worth as much as you poncey prats.
i say THANKS BUT NO THANKS to the sculptor for not having my back, especially since it was not going to give him access to the only thing he was really paying any attention to, my fucking ass crack. i'm sure i'll forgive him for all of it when there is no longer an older man in my life making decisions about where i will live or how i will pay my rent or how much i am worth to him Without Putting His Money Where His Mouth Is and/or Without Also Consulting Me In That Decision-Making Process About MY FUCKIN LIFE.
then i borrowed the camera with which i took over 5000 pictures of his work; pictures that were always credited to him in publications, even though he never took the photos or even knew how to work the camera, until the last set of three pictures on the exhibition invitation, when i was finally "allowed" to receive a photo credit in print, after a week-long argument with his tight fisted control freak of a wife. then i cashed my "little vacation" non-employment compensation pay that is, in fact, and unbeknownst to them, my Final Severance Check.
MORAL OF THIS STORY:
please world, don't force me back into that corner, cuz I WILL FIGHT BACK, I WILL LASH OUT, AND I WILL CUT YOU A NEW ONE ~ I HAVE NOT LIVED THROUGH THIS FULL BULLSHIT LIFE WITH OPEN EYES TO JUST END UP ON MY KNEES SUCKING OFF SOME RICH MAN BOOBS BEARDED DICK FACE CUNT.
I'D RATHER DIE.
*u can call me ph!*