We had not yet analyzed art from the point of view of Everyday Disorder until Sergio Augusto, our old friend, who fancies himself as an artist, arrived from the countryside with dozens of collages, fruits of his most recent work. I say that he fancies himself as an artist because I consider that calling someone a plastic artist nowadays is equivalent to cursing the subject's relatives up to the eighth generation ascendant. Call me a son of a bitch, but don't call me an artist. Art finds itself commodified, phony, elitist, in short, totally corrupted of its original transgressive function.
Sergio's works were too good to be sold to a lawyer or to some businessman in the insurance industry. We were all unanimous about this, but the consensus disappeared when we thought about what would be the appropriate destination for an authentic work of art. Vinicius wanted to burn them in a public square because he considered that authentic art should sound like heresy. And the fate of heretics is the burning stake. Fábio thought that the ideal was to solemnly forget them at the Boqueirão Bus Terminal. I cogitated the hypothesis of sending them by mail to randomly chosen recipients in the phone book. After hours and hours of intellectual nonsense chitchat it was Jean who came up with the definitive idea: the crime, the illegality, the impact of a Poetic Terrorism or an Art-Sabotage.
Break into a house and nail the paintings to the wall, replacing any paintings already there.
Great. Perfect. Splendid. There was only one problem, a crucial issue: none of us had ever broken into a house before, and the possibility of getting caught or setting off an alarm was extremely high.
- If I didn't have a card up my sleeve, I wouldn't have had this idea if I hadn't already thought of a solution.
- And what is it? Do you know any thieves?
- No, but do you remember Juliane, who I grabbed a while back?
- That little patrician girl who used to study law at PUC?
- Exactly! We haven't seen each other for about four months, but... Bingo! I have copies of the keys to the house of their parents' house!
- I don't believe it!
- I cannot believe it!
- Where do you think I got that silver candlestick we sold so we could go camping in Serra dos Órgãos?
Genius! A perfect plan (and we have always been addicted to perfect plans). Analyzing it coldly, it was not difficult to carry out. All we had to do was to choose the right day and time, and have a lot of nerve, which, modesty aside, we never lacked.
The hardest part was to convince Sergio to go along, since we considered his presence fundamental. He should be the Marvelous Vandal to drive the first nail in the "wall of the bourgeoisie". Some research and a few phone calls later, and that was it: Sunday night, Jú's entire family would be at a dinner at the Country Club Sírio-Libanês in Curitiba.
The worst part is that it took a long time for Sergio to be convinced, he was still dreaming about vernissages and reviews in cultural notebooks.
- Sergio, this is just a toy, an exercise to dream bigger later. If nothing goes right, it was worth the fun and the sensation of doing something.
Yesterday, Sunday, around 9:30 at night we were all ready. More or less ready, because our hands were sweating with fear. We might as well be arrested. My mother would say that we SHOULD be arrested. Jean already knew the neighborhood and the house well, he had dated Ju for about three months. This reassured me a little, a little. But it didn't reassure Fábio. He was scared shitless.
- Is there an alarm there, man?
- Yes, but it's been a year since Ju's grandfather changed the password, the guy is superstitious, now if he changed now it's really bad luck, you know?
- Holy shit!
- It's no good, man, it's no good.
The guy who said that crime doesn't pay is a fucking liar. It pays for the adrenaline. Juliane lived in the Batel neighborhood and we went by bus. We didn't talk at all during the whole trip, such was the tension in the Interbairros I bus. Great invaders! Great Artistic Terrorists. A bunch of turds, that's what we are.
We went down and around the block to the parallel street that led to the back of the house. We climbed a wall that led to a parking lot for employees of a shoe store that was closed.
- Don't you have a security guard here?
- Shut up!
We climbed the "barbecue grill" of the shoe store and faced the most difficult part of Jean's plan, which was the electronic fence at Ju's house.
- This thing gives a shock of about 100 volts.
One at a time, we grabbed a branch of a mango tree and jumped, almost splattering ourselves on the the patio floor. Death jump indeed. I jumped easy. Fábio jumped just as easily. Then Vinícius and Jean. But the most clumsy guy in the world named Sergio Augusto fell all wrong and twisted his ankle.
- Shut up you little prick!!!! - we all whispered.
- Do you want to fuck everything?
- But it fucking hurts!
- Fuck you man, hold on!
Jean was really in a hurry and didn't even let us argue.
Let's run down this corridor because there's a cool latch on the bathroom window in Ju's room.
And the keys?
The keys are for us to get out, it's too flagrant for a bunch of crazy people to enter a mansion like this through the front door. It was really very easy. With a simple stick Jean pushed something and the little window of the bathroom opened.
Now you stay here and I have fifteen seconds to turn off the alarm!
We stayed. Every second it seemed that the alarm was going to go off. Everyone looked at each other nervously. Fábio was about to have a heart attack. Sérgio just groaned with his sprained ankle.
- Either he twisted his ankle or he really broke it.
- Shut up, you bitch!
It must have been a couple of hundred minutes before Jean appeared at the bathroom window with the the most naughty face in the Galaxy.
- Beauty, homies!!!! The alarm is off.
- Shut your mouths, you assholes!!!!
It was a bourgeois house. Juliane had two more brothers and each one with their own room, with a bathroom and everything on top, stereo, TV, PC. Bastards! There was everything: reading room, home theater room. They could have a room to fart, a room to masturbate. I felt like breaking everything or at least steal a lot of things, but this was not the objective.
Changing the paintings that were already on the wall was easy: Fabio and Vinícius were already doing it. Nailing new nails and changing the layout of everything was the challenge. The only thing missing for this to work was the last item in of Jean's plan: the maid. Rosicleide's room was in the back, the chances of her hearing our whispering were low, but nailing things to the walls was much harder.
Jean's hope was that, knowing her as well as he did, she might have been sleeping listening to her little radio. She almost always did. Weekends alone at home were a much higher chance. Jean came back running happy:
- Nice! She is listening to Country!
It was then that Sergio solemnly, with all the sense of grandiloquence that the situation demanded, nailed the first nail. On the left side of the fireplace. In the exact place he carefully chose. There, in his chosen spot, he nailed his favorite work. We nailed all the other nails while he stayed there, living his unique moment with the work he admired most.
We did not take long. The success of the work depended on speed, but I can assure you that Sergio lived his three minutes of perfection. For three minutes he lived his own art and the art, exalted in its essence, would live there for him, when we all ran away from the place.
What didn't take long was Jean giving orders:
- Curfew, people!
We all instinctively started to run to Ju's bedroom window when Jean reminded us: "The alarm is off and I have the keys you fools". Triumphant exit through the front door. Taking care to leave everything locked, of course. We all left in silence with our respective breasts puffed out.
It was only when we got to the street that we were again scared, we ran like crazy. We ran about three blocks and started running and laughing like crazy. It was only when one of us started laughing that no one else could stop. Sergio even healed his ankle and was laughing like crazy. The adrenaline and the fear were so great that we ran for about two hours. It was great.
Today is Monday and I'm here at work with my legs all sore from running. Nobody could sleep at night. I still can't explain the meaning of what we did, but I feel happy. Very happy. The guy who said that crime doesn't pay is a fucking liar.