Compendium | Portrait of an artist

SHMU election campaign revealed as performance art

This year’s SHMU elections are in fact an elaborate piece of performance art, The Weekly has learned. Election front-runner Lexus Centrikov approached the paper before the annual elections debate, dubbed “Let’s SHMUsterbate Together,” and revealed himself as a sophisticated conceptual artist.

The Weekly learned how Centrikov had chosen to interpret the theme of imbecility, hoping to be the first person since Plato to reveal to humankind the true form of an abstract concept.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for me to make my art, and perhaps immortalize myself as a visionary of human cultural expression,” explained an earnest Centrikov.

“Personally, I felt imbecility suited my personality best, so I’ve been trying to embody that in this campaign,” he continued.

Centrikov was keen to stress that his art was collaborative, and urged campus culture critics to remember the important role played by Conservative McGall, an artistic collective cunningly disguised as a political organization.

“Despite a breadth of experience to draw on in terms of overwhelming imbecility, I really have to credit my friend, FlowerByKenzo Quibbler, whose experience definitely rivals mine,” gushed Centrikov.

This claim has a familiar ring to campus gossip enthusiasts, who have long amused Facebook users with witty retorts to Centrikov’s status updates. The widespread conception is that Quibbler is in fact the puppetmaster.

The Weekly asked Quibbler to respond to the puppetmaster accusations; however, he declined to comment. By sheer luck, Weekly journalist Dan A. Ray came across Quibbler on his way home, reporting that he was easy to recognize because of his “extraordinarily massive head.” When accosted in person, however, Quibbler grabbed a broomstick and flew cackling into the moonlight.

In an interview with The Weekly, Centrikov refused to comment on whether Quibbler was the true artistic visionary.

“You dare accuse me of being Mini-Me to his Doctor Evil?” demanded an outraged Centrikov. “Just because we are spawned from the same demon and fight each other’s Facebook battles doesn’t mean we’re the same person.”

“This is art at its most sublime, and you’re asking the wrong questions,” he told The Weekly.

When asked in what precise ways his SHMU electoral campaign was a perfect artistic interpretation of the theme of imbecility, Centrikov could hardly stop talking.

“Well obviously, first comes my electoral platform,” he said. “You see, over the past few years I have carefully constructed a reputation for myself as a defender of patriarchal values. And really in this regard I was extremely successful,” he said while referring to his history of vocal criticism of efforts dismantle institutional prejudice.

His electoral campaign, however, features an attempt to jump on the bandwagon and claim ownership of the very efforts he has been fighting for years. Centrikov explained that the true genius of his art was not this dramatic about-face, but rather that he had convinced the student body that was serious in the first place.

“It’s actually quite a subtle distinction,” he explained. “Of course it’s totally preposterous that students take me seriously given this carefully constructed record – yet I’ve done it! People think I’m serious. Really, it’s quite exquisite. People are taking my imbecility for granted, precisely as I planned.”

The Weekly also observed Centrikov participate in a protest at SHNAX, in support yummy sandwiches for all. He was seen mingling awkwardly with a group he had also spent years disparaging, giving off a strong impression of being totally out of his depth. According to Centrikov, his awkward attempt at integration was “all deliberate.”

Asked what his final creative act would be, Centrikov advised The Weekly to pay close attention to the “Let’s SHMUsterbate Together” event.

“I’ve developed strong artistic links with the reddit community in anticipation of the piece de resistance of my artistic odyssey,” Centrikov explained. “One user in particular, a certain mcgill_circle_jerk, has been particularly useful in prepping for the SHMUsterbate.”

“I’m confident that in this particular race, I will definitely come first, and fastest,” he declared.

Events took a turn for the strange during the interview, however, when a man bearing a striking resemblance to Centrikov, barged in on the interview wearing a banana suit.

“I’ve come to from the future!” cried the intruder. “It is I, Centrikov. I’m here to warn you that your hopes at artistry are a dream.”
“What you’re doing isn’t art, it’s satire, the lowest form of artistic expression. Stop, or your reputation will be ruined. Don’t turn into me. I work nights in a banana stand.”

“I was told there was always good money in it, but that just wasn’t true,” continued Centrikov-from-the-future.

Present-Centrikov despaired, but agreed with his future self he wouldn’t risk his promising career in investment banking in pursuit of artistic glory.

“It will be most difficult to give up on the SHMUsterbate,” sobbed Centrikov. “I was so excited.”