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Tales of the Road with Jeremy Deller

Monday was day 17 of the Creative Time roadtrip. It found Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller, with compadres Sgt. Jonathan Harvey and Esam Pasha, hanging on the Santa Fe Plaza. Nato Thompson of Creative Time was there to record the days events for his blog. Jeremy talked to me and Conrad talked to Esam. We found out that the RV had a little fender bender in Tennessee, explaining in part Jeremys wish that they arrive safely in L.A. An angry citizen had approached the group in the morning, and generally reactions in Santa Fe had been mixed, Jeremy said. According to Natos blog, Jeremy and Jonathan had gotten into an argument with a “local art critic” at the house of Site Santa Fe director Laura Steward Heon the previous night.

Ah, the art world. The rumpus was over whether work like this is art or not. Jonathan, the Platoon sergeant who worked in psyops in Iraq, called this old saw “tiresome.” I agree. And Esam Pasha, incidentally, reported to Conrad and me that when he was translating for the 21st Airborne at the start of the war, the military lacked sufficient body armor, water, even food. “If you dont have a plan for the soldiers how can you have a plan for the civilians?” Esam asked rhetorically. And he noted, when we were talking about our late mutual friend Steven Vincent, who died in 2005 in Basra, that times became hugely more dangerous in Iraq post-invasion. “Before the invasion there was one Saddam. After the invasion, 1000 Saddams.”

Ill be adding photos of the car, which reportedly was a car bomb detonated in Baghdad, soon.

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