How did it all start?
In the beginning there was a word and the word was 'gester'... No, it's false.
It started in Vienna in the early 1990s with a term: 'Phantastudio' and it has been conceived as a constellation of free spirits with ideas... No, not quite right also.
Well, once again, then: in the wild, laborious nights, between competition panels and sketches, abandoned ideas, spoiled coffee and wine, a healthy howling emerged. A howling for some light at the end of the tunnel, for an order of mister Vitruvius Pollio, for a realm of the ultimate 'arbiter elegantiarum' Caius Petronius whose spiritual heyday could only be followed by a downfall.
Big limousines in a continuous rain and the smoky voice of Bryan Ferry on the radio, as if directly out of a 'film noir', Peter Lorre strolling down the streets, contemplating a crime... Al Stewart, the sad gentleman of pop, and Tom Verlaine, Kraftwerk and Project Pitchfork, Deine Lakaien and Lacrimosa. Elegance and decadence, painfully beautiful, with an endless nostalgia like the one in the eyes of Humphrey Bogart.
It reminds of forgotten times when the senses were much stronger, when the ideas and feelings were worth dying for...
It reminds of times when the rooms of the grandfather's house in the countryside were big and mysterious, when every picture on the wall told a passionate story, mostly a dark one, and where the setting sun threw shadows of chestnut leaves onto the bedroom window...
Mozart, who always seemed to us somehow shallow in spite of 'Requiem' and his virtuosity, and a depth, where pearls fill the shells: 'g minor adagio' by Albinoni/Giazotto, Chopin's 'e minor piano concerto', from the younger ones Camel's 'Rajaz', Mike Oldfield directly from the soul of the rural Herefordshire with 'Hergest Ridge' and the sober comprehension of Marianne Faithfull's 'File it under fun from the past'.
Fun only from the past? No way! Here comes gester.
But there's no need to rush our story.
Somewhere along the way 'Phantastudio' keeled over, toppled down and passed away (Mariusz, Peter, Mikey, where are you? You know what i mean).
But a Phoenix never dies. An idea could only be defeated by another one. And there is no other idea in the offing. The Phoenix is stronger than ever. He's even gotten a new name.
And it's not only the name that is new.
His realm is now images and visions, a paradox and a connotate, a breeze of the european spirit, and it's also a steam of a morning dew, a silvery shine of a bright meadow under the dark leaden, gloomy sky (because the clear sky is as empty as the eyes of a dead one). It's also the ghost of the fog, the most mysterious phenomenon and a perfect teacher for... well, upright personalities.
But it's also the demons, glowing golden in the Rembrandt's deep dark spaces and the wild sea knights, dancing on the boiling waters in the Turner's 'Snowstorm'. It's also the wise raven, who is sitting on the chamber door and utters nothing but a single word.
But, most of all, it's a trace of a lonely wolf in the fresh snow on the virgin forest clearings, where the Mérimée's Lokis also dwells and the crows from the nearby fields loudly watch over its borders...
And there is also some more fun in it: the refreshing Monties, Karl Valentin and Przybora/Wasowski, Bierce and Lec, Wilde and Whistler, ITR from a Warsaw radio station... Arvo Pärt with 'Dies rae', Jean-Luc Ponty, Tool, Ween, The Gathering, the early Floyds with Barrett (rest in peace, buddy), the marvellous Dresden Dolls.
The Phoenix is here, but it's the immortal idea he carries, that lets him be resurrected over and over again. The remaining rest is only a dust on the way. We enjoy, we sing and dance, we love and hate, but we leave when all the neccessary tasks have been completed.
It's the freed spiritual bird that will remain, who accidentally, as long as we are here, would get called 'gester'.
Basically, his name is also dust all the same. Could be it would mean something to someone but it could also be it would smoothly pass into oblivion. But it won't be our trouble, will it?
Well, what's our interest then?
It's a smoky, dark world with clear, shimmering images that emerge in a hassle between a line and a spot.
The images that are supposed to display the nature's intent, this ultimate information entity which is being revealed every moment to our perception.
And it is always clear and shimmering. Alas, it's hidden to most of us.
A world which used to trace the marks of the likes of Beardsley and Schiele, de Saint-Exupery, Hlasko and Castaneda, Hitchcock, Lynch and Jarmusch as well as Witkin, Kentridge, McKean and Spare. It's a world which normally carries no colours because it has no intention to detract from the essential.
A world which wants to be elegant and decadent because the first principle of life is to be artificial at all costs. (What the second principle is, nobody has ever found out, as Oscar Wilde states). So we are artificial. We don't break ranks this time because it's our deliberate choice. We'll pay the costs afterwards.
Some could say we are too pathetical and apparently one beer short of a sixpack. And they would be definitely right. But we don't give a damn. In the same way as we don't care what there actually is outside of this very, momentary second. Our aim is our way. If this way is dusty, it's not our cup of tea. If the dust are we? Well, it feels good to be a part of this vision.
Fly, gester-Phoenix, fly... We see each other anytime, anyplace, anyway. You will have a brand new name and so will we...
...Ah, by the way: gester is not a closed society. Birds of a feather (even if they like Mozart) who want to work hard, will know how to find us...
Gester: middle english (ca 1100-1500) of Jester.