Monday, March 05, 2007

TRASH: HOW TO RECYCLE IT

Mayhem has been selected to produce artwork for a Greenpeace recycling / art project. I think it's through City Farm, but i'm not really across the details. I mean, do i need to be? I'm just the photographer. As they say, photographers just point and shoot. But at least i have the decency to wipe it off afterwards ...

We book the studio for Saturday night. Mayhem's shooting schedule is what you might call flexible (that's why i have you as my Art Director, she says pragmatically) and consists of a tornado of props and people tearing through her abode at Hotel D'Pravity at the very last moment. While she showers, i jump into her 666 Merc and whizz over to put in a brief appearance at a quite sophisticated Bayswater party thank you very much, populated by Feisty's friends. Who all seem to have stepped fresh off the pages of Glamour Gym magazine. I feel quite out of place in my opshop Hawaiian shirt and bottle-blond hair but what the heck, i'm from the tropics. I've never seen so many muscular young men in tight t-shirts. And the women! - well, i just don't know where to look. Although directly down a young lady's top does present itself as an option, as she leans out of her blue cocktail dress to select an hors d'oeuvre. I quickly do a few vodka jellies, to ease my social tension, then a blue cocktail, a yellow cocktail, and then suddenly i have this long black Russian thrust into my hand. My goodness! My mouth is full of chicken and salad roll, and i just don't know what to do with it. I manage to polish it off, then grab some party supplies and tear back to Hotel D'Pravity - where the trashy preparations are almost complete.

We arrive at Huzzard's studio around four hours late, Mayhem, Skotling, Alice, Sideways Dave and two cars full of trash. From what i can gather, through my alcoholic haze, the parameters for the shoot are simple: "trash" and "out there". I love simple. We go at it hard until around two-thirty in the morning. Trash, plastic bottles, newspaper, make-up, plastic bags, vodka, broken bottles, pills, clothes, no clothes, red tape, silver tape, foliage, injuries, violence, real blood and barbecue sauce. I fill a half-gig card while counting down the hours until my plane departs. And all the while the music blares through the stereo so loud i have to shout my instructions. They say genius is 1 per cent inspiration, and 99 per cent perspiration. I am sweating like a dog-faced pig, so i guess that must make me a fucking genius ... ah, i love this job! Amongst all the madness and mayhem, we somehow manage to drag up some eloquent images by the scruff of the neck. Like the aluminium recycling girl, above. Or Alice with Malice, the "recycle or die" girl, below. The images will be Photoshopped into cartoon cutouts by Sideways Dave. What a grand collaboration to help save the planet, i think, as i throw all the trash into a rubbish bin in the alley, from whence it will almost certainly never be recycled.

Sunday morning, Mayhem is suffering as she prepares to drives me out to the airport. She is covered in red welts from the aluminium tape. "You should see my body!" she keeps saying. Sure, that would be grand, i keep telling her. We breakfast in Northbridge on some damn fine victuals with lashings of hot coffee. Mayhem drops me at the airport with fifteen minutes to spare. At check-in, i get "the flight is closed" from the Skywest wench. She doesn't look like she is joking. But i check anyway. You are joking, i say. "No," she says. OK. So she is not joking. I immediately put Plan B into action, and panic. I call Mayhem, and she circles back to pick me up. "It's funny," she says. "Everybody i drop at the airport misses their plane." We pull up at some traffic lights. "Oh, Art Director, i'm so sore, you should see my breasts," she says, pulling out her dress and looking down her top. I look out the passenger window of her Merc. Sure, that would be grand, i tell her.

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