Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Because I thrive on the sheer joy of spying on sitemeter's search term returns for ridiculous things, I went to a topless go-go bar last week. And to a craft fair where the code of dress was early nineties high school art teacher paired with witch's hats. I'm not making it up. Why you ask? Because once I took enough pills and tired of watching three tv channels in quick turns for days on end, I noticed I wasn't in any pain to speak of for once and there were claw marks on the door where I had been absentmindedly scratching away.

It was time.

The first leg of the jaunt took me to Warrington, home to a spanky new strip mall disguised as a downtown main street. Had I known, I might have stepped in to bear witness, but I didn't: I had one building in my sites. The topless go-go bar/hotel/restaurant on Easton Road with the most spectacularly gaudy exterior. Spotted in July, I vowed to return and I finally made good. Its stucco splendor painted in multicolored reds, yellows, pinks, oranges and blues, mingled with no-nonsense signs stating NO THRU TRAFFIC, BAR ENTRANCE ID REQUIRED, FOOD, HOTEL, TOPLESS GO-GO, TO GO, and a huge silhouetted mermaid hovering over cartoon waves.

shackles © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

What I did not know when I first saw it was how perfect it would be to work into one of my constructs. Since all of its windows were covered, I considered doing a sneaky shoot from nearby property, figuring no one would bother me anyway... I mean who would want to admit to being at a topless bar at noon on a Thursday. I decided to go inside just I could claim I had done so, truthfully. Unable to see due to the stark contrast of blinding sun on super-saturated walls walking into complete, dubious darkness, I stumbled down the stairs, making out a few sullen figures at the bar and a golden throne on a stage. I flagged down the bartender who told me the owner wasn't in but if I wanted to take photos of the outside to go wild. And so I did.

turnover © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

At some point I had this vision of Jenkintown as a place I should visit and shoot in. I'm not sure where this idea came from and now, from experience, I realize that it was based in my cockeyed imaginings if anything. The only factual thing I could tell you about the town was the existence of a Trader Joe's. Now I can tell you that there are several stores and businesses that are housed in completely inappropriate-looking buildings. Such as a corporate office that looks like it is in a marginally fancy hotel from the 70s and an Acme that looks like it is in a conference center. Also it is quite hilly and left me winded since I am currently flabulous, this was not making my exploration any easier.

offset © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Aside from a couple of vacant storefronts for wall-building, I came away empty-handed and stripped of my normal ability to make boring things slightly magical. So I went home and made one of my colorful fabrications to lift the spirits. FILE magazine, where I have been a contributor for two years now, has informed me they will be showing my walls as a featured project. Soon! I wanted to announce it when it was live but.... now I'm fully ahead of myself.

Edit: Only ahead of myself by a few hours, The construct FILE project went live this morning. Hooahh!

I was tempted to hold out writing an entry until after I went to the doctor's tomorrow, whereupon I start The Tightenings. I think. Eek. But thought better of it, realizing I might not want to sit at a computer thereafter. Infection seems to have subsided. I do not miss that evil moose Flagyl who made every meal bubble with unruly possibilities. Even though tomorrow will undoubtedly be very painful, I feel a lot calmer than I have in ages. After all these steps that were purportedly moving me forward, leaving me at a standstill, I'm kind of relieved. I'd rather be in pain if it means moving me closer to a favorable end, rather than is pain because of my doctor's carelessness. Any day.

In efforts to be sociable and to get out shooting, I went to the Philadelphia Convention Center this weekend for the annual craft festival and a post-show romp in Chinatown with Shanners and her man, Shua. There were a few completely outrageously priced gems at the show, such as the beaded babydoll caterpillar creature and a giant ceramic hand necklace that appealed to my touched sensibilities.... but were entirely beyond my means.

stems © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

Camerashake and winter dismals butted heads early on in the afternoon while we wove in and out of Chinatown's stranger shops, discussing possible uses for 'white dried fungs" and wondering about the large gray phalluses in the plastic bulk bins. Again I managed to walk away with a minimum of photographic evidence that I escaped the apartmentalized bounds but I felt a lot richer at the core. We returned to their abode to catch our breath, critique the work of some questionable photo editors, watch a dog show and Slither. Hearing the words "She is such a fine bitch to look at" coming, without a hint of irony, off the lips of a fantastically gay dog handler while he massages his dog's bum made my week. And thank god my husband and all the neighbors he has infected with his feral slug minions aren't all out to get me. Phew.

advent © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.

To blunt the edges of the day tomorrow I am going to go take a hike in a local park I have yet to explore, having caught wind of some appealing abandonments. Then I will do some drive-by shooting on my way to the hospital with mom at the wheel, going through West Philly. This is me wielding my photographic shoehorn, trying to wedge worth into the time I can cobble together while functional. Next week Mr. D and I will be returning to that land of visual riches where we first ran wild together, for Turkey Time. Coal Country, hold me in your long gray arms.

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Blogger manymuses said...

Hey, it just occurred to me that we could um...you know, like, get together next weekend. Or something. I'll be practically in yer laps up there in the coal mines. It might be tricky to swing it, but it might be possible, maybe. You two out your heads together and think on it.

My head is thinking of you.

1:57 PM, November 14, 2007  
Anonymous Rachael said...

I just checked out the gallery on File magazine. The set looks wonderful.

4:11 PM, November 15, 2007  

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