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spacer Talking to Tania
Dialogue 1
Dialogue 2
Dialogue 3
Dialogue 4
Day 1 01.02.05
Day 2 02.02.05
Day 3 03.02.05
Day 4 04.02.05
Day 5 05.02.05
Day 6–12 06–12.02.05
Dialogue 5
Dialogue 6
Dialogue 7

spacerarrow Dialogue 8
spacerarrow Dialogue 9
spacerarrow Dialogue 10
spacerarrow Dialogue 11
spacerarrow Dialogue 12



first impressions
bronze designer specs
street dental work

Richard Layzell – Talking to Tania 4
Day 2 • Wednesday 2 February 2005 • Bangkok, Thailand

TK Where are you?

RL Now or then?

TK Then

RL In the coffee shop of the Landmark Hotel on Sukhumvit

TK Is Jerome there?

RL Yes, we're just about to head off

TK Did you call him yesterday?

RL Just before the guests arrived

TK Who were they again?

RL Pinaree, Montri, Jacques, Moraket, Brian and Keiko, plus Varsha and Bobby, the hosts.

TK Did any of them know Jerome?

RL No. He's been keeping a low profile. He's an independent force.

TK Why?

RL It must sound strange to a networker like you. You could ask him.

J I'm stubborn I suppose. I was a press photographer for the Straits Times when I lived in Singapore, but I always produced my own stuff as well. I didn't much like being told what to do and how to do it. So eventually I resigned. I've been independent ever since.

TK But you were an installation artist before moving into photography, right?

J I wasn't sure about the art world then.

TK Are you now?

J It's more about a compulsion to make art again.

TK I never had a problem with the art world.

RL Hey, those palm trees look familiar, down there next to the Thai Military Bank Public Company Limited. They're the same ones that were installed in the new courtyard of LSHTM, cost a fortune, real bits of bark, dried leaves, no need for watering, dead veg.

TK Hows the coffee?

RL Fine. Can do with it. Serious jetlag last night. So I kept on reading Crime and Punishment. It struck me as no coincidence that there I was, wrapped up in Dostoevsky's dialogue, had been reading about Bakhtin's view of this very dialogue a few days before, and was thinking about our dialogue in the here and now.

TK Didn't Caroline set you off on Bakhtin?

RL Yes

TK So it's no coincidence. But good to know you're thinking. And I liked you asking for 'my view' yesterday, like the old days. But don't feel obliged to keep asking. I'm telling you this is open, like I said. This time we can make the dialogue an open book, like we did with the 'actions' in Skyros. Why don't you loosen up a bit, get going. I may respond, I may not.

RL It was Jerome's day. A conjunction of you, me, him and the city. A Chinese priest eating expensive ice cream in the air conditioned cafe. And Doreen Humm's view of it all happening in the here and now: "a banana muffin… sugar on the side", while people in the south are adjusting to tsunami shock and America is fast asleep. I told him about the elephant story. How they knew it was coming and saved some tourists. And he told me an ant story. How people in the Nicobar Islands noticed the ants were going uphill, and followed them.

TK Elephants and ants both. So much for advanced human knowledge.

RL He leads. Skytrain, walk, boat, theatre space, open space, theatrical space, statue space, finely cast, of the benefactor, related to the royals, designer specs and bronze high heels. More river transport, drivers and ticket collectors with their own collective aesthetic code. In darkness we buy a clay-pot-roasted chicken at the local market for a pound and I meet Sumie, his Japanese wife. Finally he shows me his photos, just a scratching, the boxes come out, the prints spread, and the twelve year gap since he took photos of me and worked with me—on The House of Nations—melts away. Thank goodness he's coming back to art.

TK Good?

RL Extraordinary.

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