14 October 2009

The day my husband caught on fire. Or, les choses qui tombent

My husband, Duff, (a derivative of Davidoff) has a very high body temperature. My skin is mostly cool therefore I dubbed him 'inferno of heat.' My cousin found this very amusing last Saturday as we sat having high tea in my front yard (well it was just salmon bagels and hahn super dry). Cue silly snickering about inferno de la amore and blah blah all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Forward 5 hours and this comment is apropos all over again. I was a bit nervous going to a gallery director's house for a party honouring two Parisian artists, Giraud and Siboni. Duff had assisted in creating ceramic sculptures for their installation(part of this year's Melbourne International Art Festival). I put on a new dress and debated wearing heels - I chose ivory brogues, you know, I was feeling pretty ok at this point. We got to the address, a small laneway right near a schmick brasserie and punched in the door code, seconds later we were in a great open plan apartment decorated very thoughtfully with modern art and fashionable artifacts. Balinese Buddhas, small pieces of deco furniture and an illustration of a young girl losing her heart through her poon (not for the kiddies). After passing a bottle of Polish vodka to the hostess we ambled past the ginormous dining room table lit by a semisvechnik which I believe is a menorah in a language other than russki. The table was full of incredible food: blue cheese with a sprig of dried grapes, succulent oysters garnished with fat wedges of lemon and sea salt and all manner of antipasta. Duff scored himself a martini in a tall glass and we went over to the open window to greet our new French mates. Fabien was sitting on the window ledge smoking a cigarette so Duff thought he would imitate him and jumped up on the ledge also. I went off to investigate non-flammable spirit options (can't do gin - there is a reason the english tried to ban it). I returned untriumphant to a commotion. My husband is standing there looking confused as he is engulfed in flames (ok, maybe a largish portion of his jacket is on FIRE but it's a big fire). Before I have time to react in a hysterical manner, Andrei tears the jacket off (it's a thick padded affair) my eyes follow the trajectory of his throw - there is a shagpile carpet nearby on the hardwood. Somehow the boys managed to stomp out the flames like little baby rhinos and not set the carpet alight.

Ok so this a Romanian gypsy man with his shirt on fire and not my husband but you get the picture.

A crowd gathers to inspect the damage and there is a bit of a cheer. All this in the first five minutes of us being in a room with people we don't know. Hello. This is Duff, my inferno of heat. I am Varia.
Maybe we wouldn't have lived it down but then the martinis started flowing, Dengue Fever was on the stereo and a girl from Allianz Francaise started doing interpretive dance on the shagpile by crawling, sliding, writhing and energetic stockinged kicks (oblivious to the fact everyone could see her undies).

Les Choses Qui Tombent
Fabien Giraud and Raphael Siboni
Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces
200 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne
on til the 14th November


Anonymous said...

I pretty sure I know the guy you are talking about. I recently saw flames protruding from the window of a local cafe, I of course edged a little closer to inspect this bizarre occurrence to find that the man behind the coffee machine (I think they're called Baristas) was moving at such high speeds that he himself was enveloped in a ball of flames. This was amazing in itself but the fact that he maintained such a calm, cordial and warm (no pun intended) demeanour was also quite astounding. This level of professionalism i haven't seen in a long time and should be greatly commended. AO :)

varia.davidoff said...

Mr Owen,
that's when he was experimenting with pentecostal religious teachings. I had to keep shaving his head to prevent the divine flame from setting his bushy hair alight.

Anonymous said...

Hi Varia, I forgot to say thank you for the Polish Vodka. Cheers Alexie

Varia Karipoff said...

Na zdrowie! Thank you for having us and sorry about the fire.

Anonymous said...

What's a party without a minor blaze and French interpretive dance! Great to have you both there and see you again soon... A