‘Serendipity: making discoveries by accident and sagacity, of things we are not in quest of’.
After discovering a large amount of flies dying or approaching death at the Frieze Art Fair, I had not given their demise another thought. But on Friday, I rolled open a blind in a room at work (appropriately numbered 101) and there discovered a quiet holocaust: a windowsill landscape of dead flies. Most of the flies were dead on their backs, but others seemed to have just fallen over, whilst one was in a strangely erect position, as if addressing the other members of the necropolis. There was definitely something of the Pompeii in the flies’ deathly arrangement. One fly occasionally moved a leg, whilst the remaining extant fly, wandered around on a sky, cruelly visible through the glass pane of the window.
Exposing a rather Warholian disposition, I went to get my camera, so that I might visually seize the poor flies in their moribund tableaux.
I read a story once that, when Andy was informed one of his ‘friends’ had just leapt from a building to his death, Andy replied, “I wish he had told me, I could have taken my camera and filmed him”. Which may appear heartless and cruel, but then again if the call had been made and Andy and his Bolex arrived, then this sad anonymous exit may have been remembered; a life disappeared, would be framed and possibly immortalised through the 16mm lens of Andy’s ‘ocular vampirism’.
Not that I would claim to be immortalising the brief lives of these poor flies. No, there is just something very sad in the quiet recent death that hides behind the closed blind of a window.