There it was; gigantic, about 20:1, brown, black and bulky. Hanging off the wall, like a weird sofa, with chunks of fur hugging its protruding forms. Its shape and expression stayed with me. I started assembling images and newspaper clippings, analyzing it from every conceivable angle. I even contemplated transporting it overseas. Driving it across continents. In the end I decided to build a replica based on memory. A monument of some sorts, a tribute to its very existence.
As soon as I came back, I started bending one inch steel rods into shape, welding them to a circular base ring. Then I proceeded with smaller size steel, bending and welding them to the bigger rods, forming a three-dimensional grid. Clamps against polished steel. A white light burning constantly. By this time it had grown way too big, and I could only work on it when nobody else was around. There was no place to store it either, its long serpent-like steel forms poking and pointing in every direction. It was time to leave. Before my departure, I arranged for a friend to handle all matters in my abscence.
It did not take long before I heard something. It seemed to have outgrown its stay in a matter of weeks, and had to be moved to a safe location, or thrashed. Six guys carried it in all its wiry, wrangled shape up five flights of stairs, where it was wedged in between two lockers and a desk. Then everything went silent. For months. Then once again, it was in the way of something. A girl had got a cut passing it in the hall. Whichever way you placed it, its transparent form would camouflage its spiky exterior, rendering it a permanent health hazard. They decided to send it down again. My friend could report that there were permanent skidmarks on all floors of the building. You could virtually track it down the staircase, through the cantine, past all workshops and into the backyard, finally ending up behind the rubbish bins. It stayed there for two more months until a visiting officer from the Fire Departement declared it a firehazard and threathened to close everything down.
A little later I returned, and a rather unfriendly, almost hostile environment greeted me. It seemed that by now everyone hated it. Even so, I negotiated for it to stay, I practically begged on my knees for a chance to finish it. I was given three months. I accepted their offer, and immmediately got to work on sanding down all the welding points, preparing it for a coat of chicken wire and plaster. Five rolls of chicken wire, strapped to the steel skeleton with plastic strips, popping out like black feathers on a plucked bird. Endless buckets of plaster, mixed by hand, slapped against form. Slow shapes that smelled of damp cloth and dry dust. Dripping. Solid. It was becoming impossibly heavy. Slabs of dark brown latex paint. Layer upon layer. I walked in burning heat carrying large bags of horse hair and glue. Cardboard helped build it up where it had sagged. It stood next to an exit and some bicycle stalls, looking perfect but miserable. Big, but not big enough. This is how I left it, mindless and relieved.
I got a phonecall. It was in someone´s garden. It had looked beautiful at first, but after a long winter it had deteriorated rapidly, leaving it in a dismal state. Foxes had taken all of the horse´s hair, and there was plaster everywhere. He asked me if I wanted it back, and I said yes. There was a perfect place for it. An overgrown roundabout in the middle of a crack alley up north. Cameras all around, but nobody really cared. My friend drove me down south-west to pick it up the next day. Its rugged, cauliflower shape made it impossible to lift, and even worse to transport. We stuffed one third of it in through the backdoor, and secured the rest with straps. In this fashion we flew straight across town, through red lights and without proper licence. Like a guerilla group that had taken an enormously obese hostage. We carried it out there in the shadow of the night. We had to lay it on its side, cause its balance was fucked. We went to bed. The next day some drunks had put it upright. I took a few pictures, but they all came out black. I went back home. Later my friend told me one morning it was gone. A perfect ruin somewhere on a rubbish tip.