Congratulations to all amazing AAWsomes, great greenYgreyliens and proud POPolutionaries who’ve read all five chapters after this blog. You’ve reached level 5 of XaW Files, the third of a trilogy pioneering the amazing new travel quest by web maps genre.
European Surreal Art: Marcel Duchamp to Charlie Hebdo
This concluding episode contains the usual mix of comedy wordplay fantasy fiction, bringing the chapter together with some beach sports; and continues the XaW tradition of introducing a new character from the greenYgrey world at the end of the chapter, while also delving deeper into the history of the European surreal art movement… linking nicely with the travel quest target being our pop art guru Andy Warhol, Andy Wolfhol.
Last year Charlie Hebdo was attacked in Paris. I hadn’t heard of the magazine before that, but thought it had a similar outlook to the greenYgrey afterwards, and was also inspired by the 1960s socialist existentialism movement, with Paris its heart in Europe… although CH was of course much more established and professional than the gYg. I thought it was ironic that a lot of the sort of people who’d been trying to silence me in university and afterwards were out in support of CH!
For those who think I’ve been fearing something the last decade, if it was anything it was such an attack by I.S. Maybe my relevant lack of success has kept me alive… so far. My satire is more subtle and family friendly than Hebdo’s too.
My first priority is not to offend, but to open… open eyes and minds… following many great thinkers throughout human history… and prehistory probably…
This middle chapter sees our POP (PinkyOrangePurple) art taking more shape, within a Yellowism world beyond humanity… the greenYgrey world… and the XaW world!..
This year is the centennial anniversary of Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, and I hope to celebrate by continuing to find greenYgrey readYmades. I’ll start with these two from VVV I found after a little extra research into Duchamp and the VVV magazine!:
A VVV cover within the episode is pink, perhaps emphasising the changing of the colours guard even more…
Chapter 5 Episode 20
I landed Y first on the yellowest beach I ever saw, with my trailing letters kicking up sand into the face of my Y. My Y took a little time finding itself in the yellow sand, but it didn’t take long to pull my other letters together again.
The nine chambers I’d seen in the video were playing a beach volleyball match, and there was a little crowd of humans watching them. A werewolf was diligently taking notes, which made me feel more at home.
Perhaps Piran’s Reunions
Moreover, on closer inspection, I realised it was our sports correspondent Martin ‘Werewolfie’ Adams. Just as dazzling delight dashed through my brain I saw a couple of figures falling from the corner of the sky that I’d descended from, and as they approached they looked more and more like Stella and Love.
Stella had her umbrella up like Mary Poppins, and Love helped make sure they had a soft landing.
I ran over to them, and after greeting each other I showed them Werewolfie was in our world.
Sports Correspondent Cuts Free
The chambers I’d seen in the video called a time-out, and stopped their game. I howled over to Werewolfie wondering how he came to be reporting from courtside.
Werewolfie said the greenYgrey world had received a couple of strange videos from the XaW Files world, and when he described them one sounded just like the yellowist video that’d brought me to the beach. He said the chambers of the video had requested help, and when he got here they were imprisoned by chicken-wire left over from the second VVV magazine.
That reminded me of Marc Latham once saying he preferred free-range chicks to battery-cage mother-hens.
‘After cutting them free
they frolicked in the sea,
and then started to volley.’
Stella Love Follow Me Uncertainty
Stella said she’d woken Love when she returned, and they’d wondered where I was. So they watched the video before finding themselves being yellowed. They didn’t know what was happening, so it was a nice surprise to find us here.
Love asked me if I still thought of it the same way, as it felt I had changed somewhat in the yellow world. I said it was still my first Love.
Thinking of XaW
One of the chambers asked if any of us fancied a game, to make it five-a-side. I said I might never leave if I started playing. Love said it only knew how to play voleyball, but Stella said she was game for a game.
So Stella started playing, and Werewolfie went back to taking notes. Love loved watching, and being Werewolfie’s voleyball correspondent, telling him how beach volleyball differed to voleyball.
Although I was enjoying my time on the beach I was also wondering how we could return to the XaW Files world, with the sixth chapter knock, knock knocking on my noggin.
Escaping Yellow Beach
Then I saw the copy of VVV magazine that Werewolfie had used, and how its front cover was dominated by a monster mouth under the VVV sign. The mouth reminded me of Skinner and The Smoking Man from earlier in the chapter, and how the I Want To Believe movie that ended the X Files had a story about keeping a client’s head alive.
Had the VVV magazine not only been holding the chambers captive by the chicken wire on its back cover, but also used its mouth front cover to feed on us, like the head needed new body parts to keep it alive in I Want To Believe.
Looking closely at the linked triple V it looked like a W, but it wasn’t quite. If I could only unravel the code of the magazine title I think we could escape its mouth, which Yellowism seemed to successfully do in 2011, only to be eaten up by it again sometime since then.
Cracking the Code
On closer inspection, the magazine title looked like a W and a V, rather than just a W. Or it could be a V and a W. The letters worked the same either way.
That could be it: one way is to open the mouth, and the other is to close it. I just needed a W and V, and thought I had just what I needed, through Love and Werewolfie.
‘Love, how are we doing for 2.85 time,’ I asked.
‘Yep, I think Slovenia’s had its share, and any time now would be good,’ Love confirmed my thought process.
To VVV End
I didn’t want to disturb the beach volleyball game, but suddenly thought that maybe it would never end, like when luxuries and good times are used to delay or imprison protagonists and their allies.
‘Stella, Werewolfie, time to go,’ I shouted, before asking Love to borrow its V.
Love quickly obliged, before reforming as ELO.
Stella offered her apologies to the chambers, and ran over with Werewolfie; both of them waving goodbye to the chambers. The sea waved back. They bought a can of Red Bull each on the way.
‘Can I borrow your W please Werewolfie,’ I asked. ‘I know I’m a werewolf, but it’s not in my name, so I haven’t really got a W to hand.’ Werewolfie duly obliged, reforming as wolfieeer.
I placed the WV where the VVV was on the magazine cover, and the paper mouth opened wide, revealing a tardis-like tunnel inside. We all jumped in, but my central Y seemed to be holding back, as if reluctant to leave the yellowist beach.
As all my letters looked back at the beach, a frisson of recall ran through us; not Total Recall, for that was more relevant to the next chapter, but a feeling of deja vu for our beginnings, and the fabled sun beach wolves creation myth.
Summoning all its strength, with Stella and wolfieeer feeding it and the VVV mouth their remaining Red Bull, with its upward facing ‘hands’ my end y swapped the W and V the other way around, before putting the VW over the VVV on the magazine cover.
The portal closed, and I saw yellow beach go PinkyOrangeyPurple, as if changing the guard between old and new POP art. I thought of ol’ Wolfhol.
VVV: The second magazine featured a “readymade” by Duchamp as the back cover, which was a cutout female figure within chicken-wire.
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