Hi dear Edward,
Let me confess at the very beginning of this letter, that I’m more than happy today. My wife ‘Lena’ abruptly asked me : “What’s up?! Your eyes are glaring again!”, when I replied with a feeling of pride and happiness: “See! I have a lot of work to do for today”. Please leave me in the studio for this day”. She replied: “Okay, now let me know what is in the air!”. And I told her how ‘Tony Cokes’ has permitted me to publish one of his works, and to also deliver my own analysis about it”. I believe that the piece that I mentioned is not only one of the most significant pieces by Tony, but can also be a sign for entering the world of Post-Orientalist literature, Edward. But not, I’m not exaggerating. I also believe that the works by Tony are important enough that can also tempt you to be back to your desk and start writing again. I will write in detail about why I think like this.
Oh! Just remembered to tell you – just before you go to make a coffee for yourself – that I never received university classes on Art as a student of Tony. But it’s been yours that I’ve been learning from by watching all of the works, interviews and their analysis. I honestly find it the best way to receive lessons from someone, than to the direct form that we have in the Academy.
Tony’s notions and philosophy have been a key for me throughout many of the Post-Orientalism moments. Let me write about it with honor. Tony Cokes has been similar to a road-map to me – and throughout the time. The Post-Orientalism situation considers value and respect for the notions, aesthetics and philosophy of Tony. I consider Tony as an instance of a gentle human being in the Post-Orientalism situation.
Okay dear Edward! I will be listening to the 12 Fantasias for Solo Flute Telemann until you grind your own coffee. I wonder how attractive and beautiful the combination of melodies are that he has written for this series.
Well you just returned dear Edward, let me tell you why I think Tony is a significant beginning for having further critical reading, and constructing Post-Orientalist literature.
The exhibition he made was in Copenhagen, Denmark. There was only one piece in the exhibition. And no! It was not a painting Eward! It was neither a work of sculpture or digital art, either. There was no sign of music, now let me tell you what I have seen and heard there!
I usually sharpen my ear, and listen when I first enter a place. Many people believe this is very natural. I’m a composer, but not really because I’m afraid of it to some extent.
A footstep sound was arriving from the right, one of those sport shoes, with small bits of sand stuck to its bottom, making love with each other underneath! A noise that was seemingly from the cables that were short-circuited by the rain-water, along with the microphone feedback noise, and the one from a laptop hard disk that was full until its arms and was trying to read data with difficulty, made a relatively harmonious sound. Oh! I have to also mention before I forget, that the sound from the water that was dripping from the ceiling and falling on the steel chairs in the center of the hall has an echo, that made a rhythm similar to the discos in the 80s when mixed with that loose footsteps.
Just remembered to ask you, do you enjoy clubbing Eward? Oh what a pity! I should once bring you with me, no doubt! You will indeed enjoy it more than a Classical music concert! Both the people are cooler, and the type of music that they play at a club is more lively.
There will be no sign of those down-to-earth people whom we know among academics. This is itself a good reason to attend! Let’s consider performing the Post-Orientalism concerts in discos. The overly lux and standard spaces are not very fit for Post-Orientalism. The places are good, but their audiences are usually unwitful and not very friendly. They have just taken everything more seriously that they should have. Just imagine, they consider the ‘Jazz Suite Waltz’ by Shostakovich or the ‘The Four Seasons’ by Vivaldi as a touchstone for serious music. I told you that Tony is smart. Maybe that is the reason that he has exhibited in such an ordinary space. When I entered the place, I decided to take photos when I realized that a skinny boy, narrowly 178 centimeters tall, wearing eye-glasses and looking to be 73 Kilograms had approached me with his hands in his pockets and staring at my camera. My first guess told me that: “He seems to be one of the security staff”. Then I realized that he is overdressed to be a security.
Then I thought maybe he is the manager of this place? He was barely in the age for such a position, and damn he didn’t speak for me to discover. He uttered a few words, then I realized he didn’t speak English.
Tony speaks in ‘Dansk sprog’ which is the official language of Denmark. I wrote to you earlier about it. I’m not very good with cold, I may also wear turtleneck clothing even in the summer! There were two air conditioners to heat from two sides of that place. The cold air in the place shows how the two heaters have been a safe-place for ants for a long time. I think it was two years since the last time they were turned on. I closed the zipper of my jacket until my neck! I took a look, and there were approximately 10 unorderly placed seats in the front, and one at the end of the place, where the laptop and the microphone was situated. I thought it had to be Tony’s place, he’s going to take a seat over there, and the remaining 10 seats seemed to be considered for the audience. Two old speakers, Montarbo brand, were placed on the two sides of the place, the sound engineer did not follow the triangle shape for their placements, it was merely similar to a trapezius.
There were four fluorescent lights at the end of the space near the ceiling that were turned-off. Those lights have also turned into the safe-house for the kind narrator of our story. One of those aunties that is sure no intruder is going to be there at her place, and therefore life.
Walls and doors were also as dirty as you can imagine!
The young boy who was staying motionless like a statue finally moved a little and lit a cigarette.
I decided to go and sit on one of those 10 chairs until Tony’s guests arrive, to smoke a cigarette. I considered this as a cunning thing to do. The last row has a better situation with the speakers. I sat there, while two hours passed, throughout the time me and that young boy smoked an overall amount of five cigarette packets. I was bored, not sure about him. We neither speak to each other, and we won’t not be able even if we look forward to it, unless we draw paintings to transfer meaning like primitive cave-dwellers/ primitive human beings, which was indeed not possible. Neither of us have the temper or mind to do this. When the young boy became sure that nobody else was going to join us, slightly moved his hands while they were still in their pocket, he pushed the remote button for the ‘Screen Board’. You could not realize this from the motion of his hands, I realized it by listening to the small click sound that it made. He also made a small chuckle, then started staring at me with the same smile on her eyes.
Tony’s work appeared on the wall on the other side of the space which was in front of me. A neutral blue screen was projected with a writing with Times New Roman font – I guess. Similar to the early editions of Microsoft Windows in the 80’s, it read:
‘Disco isn’t dead, It has gone to war”.
Oh! Just think about it Edward. This place was once a disco, and it still is. Tony is very precise. He wrote that the disco is not dead, it lives and will live. It is simply here! Its people have gone to war!
What is with the war in Denmark, Edward? And in Copenhagen. Who do you think they have gone to war with? Are they fighting each other? I don’t think so! How do you imagine the attitude of the people who attend this disco? When do you think they will be back? Do you think they will have enough temper to re-open the disco? Or are they deeply injured? Are these remaining nine seats considered for them or not? Do you think they will be back glorious or defeated? What could have been the reason for their war after all? How will they reconstruct the disco, so that it comes back to life? Will they do this at all? What about their tastes? Is it similar to the Post-Orientalists or the down-to-earth people I mentioned? They may even be worse, if they think similar to traditional-minded people. The paisley textures from the print factories in China have a semi-glossy brown color with glitters. Dear Edward, this color is a favorite of Eastern traditional music artists.
No Edward! It’s not just a thought. Tony is stylish and clever. He has not chosen this place without a reason. This disco may have an important story to narrate.
When people are back Edward! Do you think they will be back at all? Amir is always a pessimist, similar to Beckett. Although I love Beckett, I’m not sure about it, Edward! In these situations, Amir usually asks me not to be an optimist. Asking me about what I am thinking about. Is this even right to think about their return?! Or to stay in the waiting situation! Just like here, is this being empty of people enough for the narrative?
I truly like to wait for their return, and also to convince Amir to stay. For this disco to pass these days of recess, for the Post-Orientalism situation is established in Tony’s exhibition. So that we can happily and joyfully celebrate the dance of liberation for the pious human being in the city of Copenhagen in Denmark. What do you think about it dear Edward?
I hope you pardon me for writing a long text. Tony has a photo from the exhibition which I’ll attack here in the letter to send for you.
Dear Edward, I have decided to produce the ‘Poletic-Aesthetic IV’ composition series starting tomorrow. As you know better than me, composing needs focus and solitude. So I will be writing more letters for you after I have finished the next series.
I will be greatly missing you, my gentle friend.
You small friend,
May 5th, 2023.
Translated and edited by Soheil Soheili.