Firstly apologies for no blog yesterday. We basically spent all day sweeping up the barn (think mammoth spider webs and tonnes of pigeon shit). There has been a woofers revolt. They couldn’t handle Hermine any more and have done a runner. And we are taking up the slack. In Hermine’s words, “I hope I do not order you around too much but three wwoofers have gone in just one day and it’s odd not to have anyone to boss around.”
We were getting the barn ready for the presentation. Today we had a rehearsal with Justine, the French artist also on residency here, and Hermine and her husband Hugo who arrived from Paris yesterday. We bravely began our little talk, in what we believed was a gallant attempt at French. However, the faces before us were aghast. From Hermine, “But stop, I can’t understand a word you are saying. It’s non-sensical!” From Hugo, “This is absolutely pointless!” Crestfallen, we asked for a few pronunciation tips and continued. We ended up trying to mime out the words to get our message across. One person would be speaking whilst the other was acting it out. (Think bird: flappy hands, bee: buzz buzz, motorway: brum brum). We made it through to the end, to no round of applause unfortunately. Hugo seemed to love the work though, and was loudly shouting out praise about the various images, which made the whole ordeal worthwhile.
We stayed behind in the barn after the rehearsal and tried projecting some of our footage on the big screen. It really helped nail down what bits we are going to use and we are beginning to get excited about how it’s going to look. It was really validating, and confirmation that the films could work – that hanging off the motorway and driving endlessly round the Boulevard Peripherique might actually have been worthwhile.
After the rehearsal, Didier came over with bambi (who he had shot himself) and they got a massive bonfire going for the ritual pre-event BBQ. Didier’s grandson Mathieu was with him, playing with the fire and throwing anything he could find into it. Basically a miniature Didier. After scoffing down the venison (well not Julie obviously, but Debbie thought it was very nice), Hermine served the dessert, which she said was absolutely disgusting. (A shop bought number supplied by Hermine’s neighbour). Hugo exclaimed, “Well if Hermine says its disgusting, its probably bloody delicious. Its got some fruit in it and it’s not actually stale.” Slopping it onto the plates, Hermine insisted, “It will be alright if we have it with LOTS of wine.” There was lots of wine, and sangria, and Picon, a local liqueur Hermine wants to make cocktails with at the presentation tomorrow. It went down too well and we are being sent back to LeClerc tomorrow morning to buy more for the big day. We might just need it.