The Lazy Sunbathers
Featuring Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Radamés Juni Figueroa, Sayre Gomez, Van Hanos, Daniel Keller, Jack Lavender, Rose Marcus, Travess Smalley and Philipp Timischl
Sep 4th—Oct 16th, 2015
Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf
Paul is lying on his gaunt belly, naked. Below him a yellow terry cloth robe on the blistering stone floor. His left leg is bent, rocking slightly in the hot wind. On his butt lies a book by Mark Twain, unfolded, the paper pages sticking to his tanned skin. He lifts his head and looks through his sunglasses, Persol McQueen Edition. In front of him, as if rooted, stands a woman in a white linen suit. Bolt upright, with her right hand in the trouser pocket. She has long blond hair and wears a bowler hat. In the shadow of the hat, her flawless face is barely visible. Paul smiles at the woman who does not move from the spot. To her right is a faded white wall, behind her dusty conifers. The sun shines mercilessly. Paul begins the conversation and asks:
"Camille, are you planning on standing there in a suit the whole day staring at me? It is far too hot to be so serious – come on, we're on Capri."
"It's strange Paul, the way you are lying there, it seems to me as if I’m seeing you for the first time."
Paul stands up and slowly turns around his own axis: "Do you like my ass? Do you like my shoulders? Would you like to sunbathe with me?"
Without hesitation, Camille moves towards Paul, raises a second red robe off the floor and pulls it over the suit. Both lie in the sun. Paul naked, Camille disguised. They slice open a melon.
“You know, Paul, sunbathing is totally overrated."
"Are you serious, Camille? I think there is nothing better – here with you in the sun, the world could end and I would stay lying here."
"For me this is nothing – the whole obsession with potent tan, this hedonistic nonsense. Worst of all are the beach and pool pictures on Instagram, look, world, I'm in paradise, I'm fine, I've done it – all that has a destructive force."
"Oh Camille, the only thing destructive here is your pessimism. Sunbathing is harmless."
"Paul, it's all about self-optimization – sunbathing is the evil of an entire generation. Try going to Berlin's Soho House rooftop terrace on a Saturday morning in August. Lying in the sun is a lazy excuse to show how hot you fancy yourself."
“You know, Camille, there is a YouTube video that shows a beach somewhere in Russia in the summer, everything is beautiful, idyllic and suddenly a storm is coming. Within a few seconds it hails lethal ice lumps from heaven directly onto the sunbathers. A meteorological disaster. You're being this hail, Camille."
"All right, all right, Paul. By the way, I know the video, it has tens of thousands of clicks. A New York artist recently processed the video as found footage. I forgot her name, probably due to the heat."
Text: Robert Grunenberg
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