In 2014, S.T. Lore became an annual member of the CTA (Commercial Traveller’s Association) in Martin Place to have free-reign of the building space to write his surreal fiction. His short story ‘Best Seller’ is used here as a framework for a 3-part exhibition presented in conjunction with Sydney. Adopting modernist orthodoxies and bureaucratic associations from times past “We Remember It For You Wholesale” migrates from the UFO-shaped interior of the CTA Hotel, entering Minerva, and nodding to the objects once peddled by travelling sales employees.
‘Best Seller (Part Two)’ by S.T. Lore
… AS THE LIFT DOOR BEEPS, Hans Albers olfactory hallucination is shattered. Stumbling in a daze down the curved corridor, he shakes off his daydream aroma by swiping entry to room Number 803. Bypassing a hallway closet, a double bed and a tiny bathroom (unfortunately with no tub) he kicks his luggage under a bedside table and drains a tall glass of water. Reefing open the window blinds, the cityscape is reflected back to him a thousand-fold in the mirrored facade of the opposing building. Despite having never visited the city, the scene is disappointingly familiar: replicated so many times in the Good Morning TV panel shows, foreign car commercials and big-budget movie scenes — something an epidemic of violence is unlikely to disturb.
Hanging up his jacket, Hans switches on the kettle and flips open a complimentary newspaper to his all-time favourite comic strip — The Wizard of ID.
In this week’s episode, Turnkey is just about to torture Spook with a fire-heated iron but when he approaches the bedraggled Spook (hanging in chains to a dungeon wall) he pauses dramatically under a speech bubble, and pointing to Spook with the fiery orange glow of his torture implement — “Did I tell you I once Majored in Communications?”
Hans chuckles and shakes his head — ‘Who ever imagined a medieval kingdom ruled by a despotic king would not outlast its usefulness?” Dumping a sachet of coffee into a teacup, pouring in a measure of hot water he settles down at the desk. Removing three sheets of A4 paper, using the same actions — every single time — he crosses his legs, removes the cap on a 0.4 mm black marker and begins drawing angled lines and looping spirals to fill an entire page with strange geometric patterns. This practice has also been observed in infantile scribbling and was ultimately found to stimulate the V4a processing centre of the temporal cortex. Located deep inside Brodmann area 37 of the Fusiform Gyrus this ambiguous brain structure is now linked with the development of lexico-semantic associations (i.e. word retrieval, visual processing and complex metaphor comprehension) that is crucial to Hans’ survival in his marketing career …