1997: The Artists First Interview
This duo have been each other muse for a good many years, but it is only recently that this intimate, artistic support-group have grown beyond their subtle tacit singularities; Following near identical orbits around the body of California’s performance arts circuit; Disturbing Middle-America’s mental myopia with highly individual acts of auricular adversity. Since ’95 the sum became greater than the parts; The melding of man/woman, yin/yang became complete and “Come Fly With Me Nude” was released upon a totally unsuspecting public. Continuing they’re unrelenting assault on the people of the world, they have now announced the imminent release of a new textual corroboree which promises to surpass all other literary works of recent times. So, who are these entities that have been likened to a tsunami of Byronian Ferlinghettis? How did they find each other, let alone themselves, amidst the detritus of pop USA?
INTERVIEWER: What catalyst caused this big-bang?
BELLA: Its genesis was almost eerie. I was returning home from my Rolfing for Creative Personalities class, when I was struck by the beauty of the flowers outside a small florist. I was inspired to indulge myself, and couldn’t decide between the Phlox Drummondi and the Delphinium Consoldia. Now mind you, this struggle to choose was purely internal, I’d not vocalized my conflict, when this soothing voice behind me said “the Delphinium Consoldia.” I turned to see Dom standing there, nodding gently, assuredly. Of course I recognized him right away; who hasn’t seen his performance piece “I Miss Me”, and I knew he was right–about the flowers. But more important, he answered my questions, heard my thoughts, and completed my purchase. It was fate.
I: You were both held up as untouchable divas of the performance art world, what did you stand to gain by becoming a single amalgam?
DOM: Neither gain nor loss was ever considered. We simply did what we had to do. What we were chosen to do.
B: Actually, we have an affordable health plan available to us now. And we got a decent tax break.
I: What is your response to those people who would have your work banned and labeled as the worst form of gutter literature?
D: First, we ask that they read it.
I: So, you deny that much of what you write is purely for shock value?
B: I’ve never heard that before. We have been accused of writing purely for schlock value. Simply, we speak the truth. I suppose the truth is shocking to some.
I: Then you’re not just, “riding the wave of controversy,” and, “exploiting sensationalism,” as the London Times reviewer states?
B: That’s rather amusing. The New York Times said we were sensationalizing exploitation.
I: Is there any truth in the rumor that the PBS channel asked to produce a biographical documentary on you both and that you felt this to be a plot to trivialize your art?
D: I don’t see how you could possibly trivialize it.
I: CFWMN seemed to pull on the apron strings of the past thirty years or so of US Pop culture. Does this make you the Bradys of poetry?
D: My approach to writing more like that of Keith Partridge, and Bella is my erstwhile sister Laurie. More than a keyboardist: part Tracy, always ready with a tambourine.
I: The piece entitled “Come Fly With Me Nude, Santa” appears to be some sick sexual fantasy about a jolly, old, fat man. Surly there are greater depths here to be plumbed.
B: No, we simply wanted to write a lighthearted, festive childrens poem for the holidays.
D: We thought the children needed a voice. We wanted to crystallize how they really felt about Christmas.
I: So, the “Santa” here is more of a prototypical representation of the Satanic nature of Western materialism …
D: Ask the children. Simply ask the children.
I: If you had to capture the essence of your work as a single image, what picture would you paint, who would be the artist and what materials would be used to craft the image?
D: Play Doh…SpiroGraph…Etch-a-Sketch…Lite Brite; Bella and I illuminate each other in the mixed-media of our youth. I’m real big on Spam carvings because they’re edible.
I:…. Interesting … and why did you choose these materials?
B: Clearly we live in the past.
I: Well, I’m not entirely sure that what you’re saying makes sense in the Newtonian universe that we inhabit ….
D: Obviously I’ve reaped nepotism’s fruit. Living in uncle Wayne’s shadow was both a blessing and curse. But to credit a whole universe to him, even at his egotistical best I don’t think he’d go that far.
I: …. So you trying to reach that other plain ….
D: You’re not listening, cocksucker.
I:Earlier you mentioned “cocks”, would this be an adroit reference to farm animals and how the human sexual act is animalistic?
D: No, clearly it’s the human penis. Whoops! Can I say penis?
I:I see … please go on …
B: I see the animal sex act as very humanistic.
I:That’s rather offensive …. don’t you think?
B: Have you ever seen two farm animals – nude farm animals – make love? It’s very…
I: You lost me there …. can we back up a bit … to what you were saying about the male organ?
D: No more, I was finished. Now it is you who fixates.
I:Me fixating! You’re the ones who write this stuff.
D: Hey, you’re asking the questions.
I:Okay … let’s move on to your new book …
B: It’s a sequel, “Come Swim With Me Nude.” It’s filled with anecdotes, poems, and short stories, all of hope and inspiration. To us.
I:… yes … I’ve heard this described as mainstream. How do respond to that and the assertion that you’re selling out?
B: Selling out implies that people are buying our books, which is a fascinating thought. As for mainstream, I think we’re finally reaching our understanders – and there are many of them – who’ve been waiting for a voice.
I:Have either of you heard about the Internet and do you find it useful in your art?
D: We’re vehemently against it, since we can no longer communicate with the children in our favorite chat rooms. It seems the POLICE [Parents Opposing Lewd Internet Chatroom Exhibitionists] don’t want us to reach them [their children]. And that’s a shame.
I:Now that you’ve worked poems and short stories, where do you intend going next? is there a novel or play on the horizon?
D: We’re working on a picture deal with Disney. It’s in the very, very early stages. I don’t want to give away too much, but the working title is “Have You Seen My Hymen?”. It’s based on Lewis Carroll’s lesser known masterpiece “Alice in Hymenland.”
I:And beyond that … What does the future hold?
B: We’re not terribly future-oriented. Although it’s been suggested that we retain a good attorney. But we’re optimistic; a bumpy legal road would only give us fuel for the fire, fodder for fiction.
D: I’m going to EuroDisney!