Summer 2008 INSTED asked 4 members to start a letter exchange about their preparation for their performances at the Amsterdam Fringe Festival and BITEF; Philip Thorne were to exchange letters with Sanja Mitrovic and Øystein U. Brager with David Overend. You can read the letters here on Imploding Fictions blog, or find them on www.insted.eu. The letters were also printed in little booklets for the performances in Amsterdam.
This is the letter exchange between Oystein Ulsberg Brager from Imploding Fictions and David Overend from LIARS:
London, 22 July 2008
I am about to write you a letter. There are several things about this letter (or email, if you like) which are rather peculiar, or at least which are very specific to this letter compared to a lot of other letters.
The first and perhaps most obvious thing is that I don’t know you. I am about to write something maybe intelligent, maybe in debth – or maybe not, as the case may be – and maybe revealing; of my work processes, thought processes, ideas, opinions and mistakes, to a person whom I have absolutely no idea who are. Well, that is an exaggeration. I have had a look at your webpage, and realised that you are a theatre director and artist (like me) and a researcher with a PhD and a Doctoral Award (not like me at all). What I don’t know, obviously, is how you will respond to what I write. But from what I do know about you I can guess that it will be pretty intelligent. (They don’t hand out PhD’s with the newspapers, at least not the last time I checked. Althought they do sometimes give out free DVDs.) This means writing to you is a little bit terrifying, but mostly in a “oh my god the rollercoster is about to start, I just heard the click-wheeeeez-noise of the brakes releasing” kind of way.
The next thing is something I’ve kind of mentioned already, namely that I am about to write about myself and my way of working with and thinking about theatre. Which is a personal matter. The fact that it is personal is of course a bit weird, since making and thinking about theatre is supposed to be my job. Which should mean that it is a professioanl matter. But in fact, the borders between the personal and professional seems to be not just blurred, but completely missing in my life. So here’s a little piece of me. On paper. Or screen, as it may be. A digitalised excerpt of Oystein, a brain wave or two caught in brief moment of communication. This is in fact an attempt at communicating honestly. Which is the hardest thing of all, because what I am honest about now I will probably disagree with tomorrow. Lying is much easier, because it is not determined by your emotional state. A lie can be rehearsed and reprodused, fixed, saved and constant. Honesty is bound to be inconstant, fluctuating and new, because it is a thing of the moment. Colored by interpretation, memory, feelings. So please excuse me if I retreat to fallback position, and lie a little bit now and again. It is not an act of malice. Just see it as a moment of me cathing my breath.
Honesty and lies, truth and not truth. Wow. It seems I’m writing about theatre already, although I wasn’t even aware that I had started. Well, there we go. I am sure that proves some point or other.
The last noticable thing about this letter (or, which will at least become noticable in the near future) is that this is one of a series of letters. A conversation, in fact. Perhaps dominated by witty banter, perhaps turning into fierce quarrel or perhaps meandering along indirect thought-paths of philosophical exchange. Or perhaps just being banal and straight forward. (So what do you do? I am a theatre director. Ah, so what does that involve? I direct theatre. I see, I see, work with actors then? Sometimes… Yeah, know what you mean, me too, sometimes I work with actors ay, and sometimes…sometimes I don’t.)
Well, after all that introduction, maybe its about time I start the actual letter. I’ll begin with some basics:
At the moment I am rehearsing a show where I will go on stage with the tip of my nose painted red. I will look at the audience. They will all be Dutch. On stage with me will be my creative partner. He is German. And English. (And a little bit Swiss, but that is of no real importance.)
This is just about as much as I know at this moment about the performance, which is to be called Now You See It; Now You Don’t. Which is ironic, because at the moment I can’t see what this show is going to be, and I hope that soon I will.
This leads me to the core of my letter (which, absurdly, take up much less space compared to the lengthy introduction), which is a series of questions. These are questions from me to you, and they are questions I hope are so stupid or hopelessly impossible to answer, that you’ll have to be fiendishly clever and creative to answer them. Or give up and say something else all together. This, if I’m lucky, might jolt my own thought process and send my ideas out of their current circular path, and into new territories. So, here we go:
What is here for you to see, but gone a moment later?
Where in the food chain do you find clowns?
What does funny mean?
Is death funny?
If yes, is it then funny to die?
What does a red nose mean?
What’s the least funny thing about a clown?
I hope you are happy to answer these questions. Or happy to refuse to answer, and instead write something else – the choice is yours. I look forward to your reply.
Oh yeah, and by the way: Tell me about yourself. That’d be good, I think.
That was all for now. Hope you are well, and that your preparations for Amsterdam are going smoothly.
All the best,
Glasgow, 23 Jul 2008
What you said about lying rings true. We’re calling our company Liars at the moment and I think, in a way, everything we’re doing comes from a distrust of the lies that theatre often presents to an audience. I don’t have a problem with lies per se, but when they are presented as truths rather than acknowledged as illusory and fictitious, then I’m not so comfortable.
In art I wonder whether the worst lying happens in theatre and live performance? Is this because other artforms include their materials as part of the artwork? A novel comes with a book, a painting comes with a canvas, even a film comes with a screen. So the fiction is unavoidably acknowledged by its presentation. But theatre often pretends at reality, telling us “‘I am Hamlet”’ and “‘this is Denmark”’. In this theatre performers are hidden by their characters and the stage is hidden by the setting. Isn’t this is a pretty big lie to tell?
I am not suggesting that we stop lying though. On the contrary, I think that we should embrace the lies we tell, acknowledging that we are liars and our performances are lies. That way we are honest, rather than dishonest, liars.
I’ll try to answer your questions:
What is here for you to see, but gone a moment later?
Live performance. But I don’t mean that it has no life after it has gone. Remembering it, talking about it, documenting it, writing about it – these are all ways of bringing it back by re-performing.
Where in the food chain do you find clowns?
I’m no expert but I saw a clown being mauled by a tiger once. And I saw a clown eating an avocado once. So somewhere between tigers and avocados.
What does funny mean?
I think it was John Cage I heard talk about Kant’s argument that there are two things that don’t have to mean anything at all – music and laughter.
Is death funny?
I think anything can be funny if you think about it the right way.
If yes, is it then funny to die?
It depends very much on your frame of mind at the time. Most people don’t really want to die so probably don’t find it that funny.
What does a red nose mean?
Too much whiskey.
What’s the least funny thing about a clown?
The fact that 90% of children are absolutely terrified of them.
And before I sign off, you asked me to tell you about myself. Well I’m not going to. Because I think the reason I’m a director and not a performer is that I don’t, or won’t, or can’t, consciously put myself into my work. I trained as an actor for a while and I realised it wasn’t for me. The training was all about being a real person on stage and believing what we were doing. I think that on a stage (and these letters are a kind of stage), I would rather stay hidden and let the performers, or the words, stand alone. Does that make sense?
London, 27 July 2008
Thanks for your consumate reply! I have already been out to buy avocados and tiger-repellent. (The latter is not that easy to get hold of, I tell you…)
What you say about being an honest lier is very interesting. It is completely paradoxical, but then again I sometimes wonder if the very nature of art is paradoxical; trying to say something about reality by not being real(ity), commenting on human relationships by creating a new and completely idiosyncratic relationship (between the artwork and the audience), analysing human experience by providing a new experience.
It is like being a scientist, wanting to figure out how a monkey works. And rather than getting hold of a monkey and studying it, we build a new monkey, which resembles, but isn’t, the original monkey. Isn’t that a bit like a cop-out?
And then we claim to be the monkey. Or Hamlet, as you say. And that is a complete lie. Mentioning Hamlet, you reminded me of a moment in Heiner Müller’s Hamletmachine, a play (or anti-play) referensing the Hamlet myth. The play contains a famous moment where “the actor takes of costume and make up” and exclaims “I am not Hamlet”. And bizarrely, it seems to me that rather than reaching some sort of newfound honesty, Müller is just committing another lie. It is as untruthful for the actor to admit that he isn’t Hamlet as it is for him claiming that he is. At least, if we acknowledge the function of myth and appreciate the point behind both Shakespeare’s and Müller’s and the mythical Hamlet; we all have to admit to being Hamlet. Both Hamlet and his father is called Hamlet, this hints to all men being Hamlet, we are all struggling with Hamlet’s dilemma; to accept or not accept the legacy of the past.
As theatremakers we are faced with a rather complex dilemma: Whatever we claim to be or not to be, we are lying. We are liers per se. Everything we exclaim from the realm of the stage is rendered a lie by the context in which it is spoken. And so, when we admit to lie this becomes a lie. And therefore, our lies are true.
But if these letters are a kind of stage, as you say, then the argument above is just a lie.
Or, to backtrack completely, another suggestion:
A painting comes with a canvas, you say, a novel comes with a book. The artwork includes its own material. Well, but doesn’t the theatre (apart from with a few exceptions, admittedly) come with a theatre? Doesn’t the space, the red velvet or the black painted walls, the arrangement of chairs, the piece of paper in your pocket with “Ticket” printed on it, make up the material to tell us this is all a lie? This is a framework in which you will be lied to? The lies might be more immediate and more intimate than in any other form of art, but nevertheless, are they not made obvious by their presentation?
I do often crave for more red velvet. Opening curtains at the beginning and falling curtains at the end, red seats that fold down, the lavish, extravagant dress of the leading lady… There is nothing that puts me in the right frame of mind to be lied to as the plush, shimmering waves of crimson drapery.
Yours – with a waft of whiskey –
Glasgow, 5 August 2008
You’re right of course, that theatre has its own frame – the gilded proscenium arch, the point where the darkened auditorium stops and the elaborate stage world begins. In traditional theatre the materials of the artform are always present. And yet, I still maintain that the worst lying happens there. Because the entire mechanism – the comfortable seats, the carefully designed set, the coherence of the characters and the setting – all serve one purpose: to transport the audience into an illusory time and place, as the privileged observers of other peoples’ lives.
I think that in many ways you and I are coming from the same place: finding a way to bring the audience and the performers together, and to bring the stage world back into the real world (whatever that might mean)? (or is it presumptuous of me to assume your motivations after two letters?!). But there seems to be a difference in our artistic approach:
You said in your letter that you often crave more red velvet. I can understand that. A lot of the most successful contemporary performance uses the language of traditional theatre to its own ends. I love the image of you as a makeshift clown with the tip of your nose painted red, confronting the audience. I wonder if clowns are the ultimate theatrical performers – make-up, a ridiculous outfit and a repertoire of jokes and tricks. But as you asked before, what is the least funny thing about the clown? His alcohol problem? His spiralling debt? His life of solitude? Starting with the theatrical illusion strikes me as an excellent way to get under the skin of what the modern condition is really about.
With Liars I’m exploring something else: how little theatrical illusion we can get away with. So all Demises needs is an audience, a microphone and some performers. I’m always saying ‘performers’ instead of ‘actors’, (‘performance’ instead of ‘theatre’; ‘show’ instead of ‘play’), That’s because I feel distanced from traditional theatre by the weeks of rehearsal, the complete transformation of the stage and the actors, and a whole industry mobilising to serve a playwright’s imagination. Performance, on the other hand, can, and does, happen anywhere at anytime. For now at least, the empty stage is my favourite territory to explore that, but it could as easily be a bus depot, a mountain stream, a boat on the sea, a city office. I have a feeling my work is going to move out of the theatre building before long.
Oslo, 17th August 2008
I am now in Oslo, and on Monday the intensive rehearsals for Now You See It; Now You Don’t begins. I do not feel prepared. Even so, yesterday I started the work of inviting friends and contacts to our two closed previews which we are doing in Oslo right before we fly off to Amsterdam for our premiere. What I want to talk about in this letter is related to this: Advertising. Another important form of communication for any theatre maker.
I printed out an invitation/flyer yesterday. Two pages, color, with information about time and place – in Norwegian of course. But with a blurb about the show in English. Everybody over here speaks English, I thought, it’s a rather good blurb (or… so I thought) and I couldn’t be bothered to spend a lot of time translating it. But within handing out the two first flyers, I got critiqued twice (that is, by both persons I handed it out to, as it happens my mum and grandmother – determined representatives of general audience) for being elitist, snobby, unnecessarily difficult and for distancing my audience. They were both determined that if they didn’t know me, the text would have scared them from coming. Not because of it being in English as such, but because of including what they found to be a number of difficult words. For the sake of reference, here is the text in question:
“An attempt to salvage the world with an overabundance of confetti.
Two clowns sit opposite the audience. They don’t come from the land of childhood dreams, but from the painful reality of addiction, apathy and bad parties.
It is the day after the show. Possibly after the last ever show. Shards of the old act are performed out of context and gags are riffed. An unaffected, lazy, drunken haze seems to lie over the whole thing, which somehow seems to magnify the oiled routines – their absurdity, their construction and their addictive appeal. Paying no attention to the appending apocalypse, the two clowns cling pathetically to their flawed raison d’être: Despite a dead audience and a thunderous headache, the show must go on.
Striking a slow pace which sometimes flirts dangerously with failure and banality, the piece has an approx. duration of 50 mins. After the previews in Oslo, the show will receive its official premiere in the Netherlands on the 5th September, to run for 4 nights at the Amsterdam Fringe Festival. “
Their criticism touched on a very important debate which concerns all theatre makers and artists. It is about arts relationship to its audience and to the public. My mum and grandmother encouraged me to rewrite. Remove words like “salvage”, “riffed”, “appending” and “apathy”, words not common enough to be part of the English vocabulary of a foreigner (if not particularly difficult words for a native speaker, or for someone who lives in England) and rewrite the text in an easily understandable fashion. The language I used felt patronizing to a reader who was excluded by it.
BUT – I exclaimed in my counterargument – wouldn’t SIMPLIFYING my language be more patronizing? Currently I assume that the readers, my potential audience, are intelligent, knowledgeable and linguistically masterful. A simple text, wouldn’t it assume a lack of intelligence with the reader? Shouldn’t the text reflect the performance as accurately as possible, to ensure that people know hat they are attending, and that you reach the right audience for your show? My mum disagreed. She responded to the text the way she responds to a lot of artists who display a larger concern for their belly-button than their audience; as if I had no interest in reaching out, no interest in attracting people to my show. My dad, who thinks like a businessman, agreed with my female relatives and talked to me at length about the market; about how advertising should have a simple message, be striking, hit home, etc. etc.
Philip and I often say that we make sushi-theatre. When faced with the argument “Why do you make something difficult that I don’t understand, why don’t you make something easy that everyone understands?”, we tend to reply: Do you demand that all sushi restaurants stop making sushi and start serving Mac Donald burgers instead?” Yes, we make theatre for a particular audience, and there are many different audiences out there, but this audience (the audience which is enough like us to like what we like) deserve that someone produces theatre for them as well. And this should be reflected in the marketing. Shouldn’t it?
I always get provoked by artists who have no consideration for their audience. I believe art can only exist in relation to a specific context, but that relationship is determined purely by the eyes viewing it, by the spectator, the audience. They again will be affected by the society they live in of course, which might tell them what is and isn’t to be considered art. But the artwork is not art directly because of its relation to society (or any other context it might find itself in), the object (material or immaterial) always becomes art in relation to its context only indirectly: It is made into an artwork through being interpreted as and viewed as art. “Art for arts sake” does not exist; the phrase “art for arts sake” tends to mean “art because art is important” – which I agree with. But artists who believe their art can exist only in relation to themselves or itself, that their art is worthy regardless (or in spite of) the reactions of their audience or the interest – or lack of such – they experience, these artists annoy me. Their attitude is self-righteous and egotistical and has nothing to do with communication. Sadly in my experience, examples of this attitude are common rather than rare. Making art for a selected audience is fine. But not without concern for an audience. Art has a function and a place. Poignant or nonsensical, literal or abstract, easy or difficult, challenging, provocative, cathartic or simply beautiful; art relates to people (not all, but necessarily some), touches them, becomes part of them and the way they relate to the world.
As an artist, I find this constitutes your greatest hope and deepest fear: That you will find an audience who is similar enough to you to appreciate the art you produce. If you don’t, there might be no place for you. This has nothing to do with commercialism; the commercial market is never threatened. There are always enough talented people out there with a taste which suits the larger parts of the market (and I do not look down my nose at commercial art; the fact that a lot of people appreciate something does not necessarily mean its bad, musicals and comedies and kitsch and popular design has its place and its qualities, it just happens not to be what I personally make). But it has everything to do with innovation, and everything to do with minority audiences. Everyone deserves their art. And art is important enough for humanity and for people’s quality of life to warrant subsidies in order to ensure that small audiences also get the art they deserve. But, the point I am trying to reach with my passionate and manifesto-like argumentation is this: This places certain responsibility on us as artists. It means that we have to consider our audience. It is for them – whether they consist of a million people or a single soul – that we make art. It has to be. Our place is as communicators, not as fulfillers of some presumed universal order.
In other words: In the darkness of the night, when the tourists and school classes have gone home and the night watchman has left the moonlit hallways for a moment; there is no art left in the gallery.
This letter is to you. And I know that you will understand what I write (if not the meaning behind it, which is different). Or, I assume so. I make an educated guess and predict that it won’t be a problem. But it is not only to you I write, it is also to all the people who will attend the Fringe Festival (Hello there! Welcome, nice to see you!) who will read these letters displayed in that particular context, in a theatre foyer in Amsterdam. It seems I am writing mainly for non-English readers again. And for a general audience (?), or at least an audience I don’t know personally. And it seems I still write in a fairly complicated language. Do I never learn? Am I being patronizing? Will anybody even get as far as this?
We will see.
Glasgow, 20 August 08
I hope your rehearsals are going well. We have just returned from an arts festival in England where we presented Demises. We performed it in an old rural church to a really mixed audience including my family, local theatre practitioners and the elderly wardens and their friends. It went down really well and everyone seemed to think highly of it. (My mum said it was the best of my shows she had seen!) Even the old lady who said it was ‘interesting’ and ‘different’ seemed to take something positive from it.
I hope that Demises pushes at the boundaries of what theatre can be, but I am delighted to see that so far a wide range of people have engaged with it and enjoyed the show. It seems to be accessible, rather than exclusive. But it does rely heavily on words spoken into a microphone. And some of the performers have strong accents. I really hope this won’t be a problem for an Amsterdam audience. I know everyone over there speaks brilliant English, but then what if nuances are lost, words misheard or misunderstood, meanings mistranslated, cultural references lost… I don’t know yet what implications this will have.
Our own blurb reads as follows:
“We’re all going there one day. But some of us are going there more gracefully than others…”
An hour of improvised narratives about how you’re going to meet your maker.
Several performers will compete to take the microphone and tell you tales of your fate.
These stories of your mortality range from the everyday to the bizarre,
from melancholy musings on the fragility of life to high octane dangerous adventures.
Death can be tragic and unfair, but it can also be funny and liberating.
I HATE writing these things. They’re at once meaningless – bearing little or no relation to the actual work, and presenting a selective, reductive and basic version of a performance that has taken months or years to develop – and at the same time absolutely crucial to the success of the show. A misplaced word or a clumsy repetition might just be the thing that dissuades a potential audience member. As you say, without an audience there isn’t any art.
How to pitch the show? Simplify or intellectualise? Should you simply aim for the biggest audiences, or seek out a specialist theatre savvy young crowd who will ‘get it’? Should you be as honest as possible about what it is? explain the detail? admit the content? Should you be metaphorical and vague so that the audience can discover it for themselves? Should you be shameless about pushing positive reviews and dropping names? … I long for the day when I can leave all this with the marketing department!
I think that when I make work I don’t start with the audience in mind other than striving to make work that I would like to see. As I have given more and more of my life over to watching, making and studying performance my own tastes have changed, and this has been clearly reflected in the trajectory of my practice. All the time I have just tried to make work that is as true to that as possible, and not to work against my instinct. I think that it is so obvious when a company put on a certain type of show because it’s the sort of thing they think that people are into these days, or because they have an idea about a particular genre, and think that they can reproduce it without fully understanding it. It takes practitioners years of constant development to hone a particular style of performance. It is important for me to make work that honours that.
The show I’m bringing to Amsterdam marks the start of a new direction in my work – away from playwriting and acting towards spontaneous creation and acknowledging the illusions of performance. But I couldn’t be making this work if I hadn’t worked in a new writing theatre and as a dramaturg and director of text based theatre. This is a natural evolution for me, and I think that if everyone makes art that genuinely emerges from and builds on previous work then that integrity will always be felt by an audience. We just need to get them through the door first.
All the best with rehearsals. Amsterdam draws closer!
I was really looking forward to meeting you. Amongst all the other exciting things that drew me towards Amsterdam; performing, participating in a brilliant festival, meeting the INSTED people again, the calm and friendly atmosphere in Amstrerdam created by the canals and the arcitecture and the people, the networking opportunities and the prospects of a good and engaged audience (if our last visit is anything to go by), I was really getting excited about meeting my recently acquired pen-pal (keyboard-pal?).
I say was. Not because I’m not excited anymore about meeting you face to face, too see whether the man behind the words is anything like what I imagined. Because I am. Not because I’m not interested in having real life discussions with you rather than digital ones. I still am excited about that too. The reason I’m saying was is because I won’t. Meet you in Amsterdam, that is.
Lets start from another angle.
You said in your last email that the first thing a theatremaker needs to do is get the audience through the door. And I whole-heartedly agreed with that. For a while. But only untill I discovered that there is another thing which preceeds that. A rather important thing. VERY important, actually. Essential, one might say. The first and most important thing, I discovered, is turning up yourself. There must be an artist and an artwork before there is any real point in talking about attracting an audience…
We thought there would be an artwork. There still is the idea of an artwork. And there is an artist of course, there are even two. Or, at least there is the idea of two artists. But even if the idea, and the psychological reality and the historic reality and the future promise of these two artists and their following corpus of existing previous and imagined future artworks exist, in this moment there is an unexpected lack of “artist” in the equation. Because recently, a rainy day, a slippery staircase and a heavy amplifier reduced one of the very real and physical artists into a something rather other than an artist. Now, he is a patient. And the other artist has been transformed into a sick-warden. Fulfilling a very important social function, no doubt, but perhaps not contributing quite as creatively or actively to the intellectual and artistic ouvre of our society.
Said rather more plainly –
Pip has fallen down a staircase and damaged his leg.
It’s the definition of tragicomic. Tragic, because we’ve been forced to cancel our project and the trip to Amsterdam. Comic, because he was wearing clown make up when it happened. Yes, I’m not kidding.
I guess our digital exchange will stay digital for now, rather than make the leap into corporeal reality. And I truly hope you have more luck with your Amsterdam plans than we’ve had…
All the best,
(Theatre director and temporary sick-warden)
David Overend’s letter to the Fringe audience
David Overend and his company Liars played their show Demises at the Amsterdam Fringe Festival. To start up the short discussion INSTED hosted after the show, INSTED asked David to write a letter once again, only this time to the audience. After every show and discussion David changed his letter, or added to it. This is a compilation of his three letters.
Rianne asked me to write you a letter so this is it. I haven’t been here before. I don’t know any of you. So I have little idea about who I’m writing to but I’ll give it a go.
Hello. I hope you enjoyed Demises. I know I did.
I wanted to make a show that had performers instead of actors, improvisation instead of a script, and an empty stage instead of an elaborate stage set. I’m a bit bored with tradtitional theatre these days and I don’t often engage with it very much.
I wanted to make a show that acknowledged the lies that theatre normally tells.
So my work has lately been characterised by four ‘rules’ that I have made for myself. Much like a kind of ‘dogma manifesto’ for the theatre:
1. A distrust of theatrical trickery.
2. A prioritisation of present text, rather than text that has been written down before hand.
3. Performers, not actors.
4. Real time, real space experiences.
(And, added after the second performance and discussion:)
5. Rules are made to be broken.
I try to make theatre that I think I’ll like. I have to be honest, 90% of the plays I see leave me cold and feeling like theatre is shit. I’m not saying we are revolutionising theatre with this performance, but I’m pleased with how it has turned out, and I’m confident that we’re pushing the boundaries of what theatre can and should be. I hope you agree.
Most theatre reinforces a strict separation between the audience and the performance space. This show brings you closer to us, on the stage. So everything is in the same time and space (the act of improvising that is, of telling stories). But there is still a division line between you and us and as of yet that hasn’t been crossed. What do you make of that?
Last night we were asked what would happen if an audience member got up on stage and joined in. I decided that the reason that wouldn’t work is that the performers on stage have worked out the show together, learned how to work as an improvisation team. That’s a history, a process we have gone through as a company, and the audience are here to hopefully enjoy and engage with that. But as the audience you don’t share that history.
This is all I wanted to say for now. See you again I hope. If you really liked Demises why not come back – it’s a different show every night!
All the very best,
David Overend and the Liars Company
P.S. 1 (first day) Amsterdam is great, I can’t believe I’ve never been here before!
P.S. 2 (second day) I love this city more and more every day. Thanks Amsterdam, you’re great!
P.S. 3 (third and last day) Amsterdam is now officially my favourite city. Nobody should ever go to the zoo unless they have eaten lots of mushrooms!
You can read more about David and his work on on http://www.davidoverend.net and find more information about Imploding Fictions on http://www.implodingfictions.com.