Having a coke with you
Table for two from work, Poem by Frank O'Hara, My neighbours mini fridge, Coca Cola, You, Me
A table for two is positioned in public space set with only a jar of straws, a copy of Frank O'Hara's poem Having a Coke with You, while beneath the table rests a bounty of Coke cans.
In the open and public setting of a CBD parking lot, passersby are invited to share a coke with the artist, a stranger or companion while the poem awaits reading on the table.
The poem is all about drinking coca cola with this person O'Hara decided was even better than his favourite works of art. He never tells you who they are, he wouldn’t be that explicit, but he forces you to want what he has, to be content drinking coke at four o’clock in the afternoon with another who can rival art and thought and God, or who at least distracts you from them. I’ve never liked coca cola but this poem made me reconsider my relationship with it. The poem lay photocopied on the table for my guests to peruse at will, and in the sharing of time and coca cola a deeper connection was felt. The intimacy we experience commonly when meeting people across a table was isolated, amplified, and under analysis in the foreign context of a vacant car park seven stories high. And the properties of Coke, a sickeningly sweet, highly addictive effervescent drink mirrors the descriptions I use when I talk about young love. This was my physical translation of O’Hara’s poem.
Table for two from work, Poem by Frank O'Hara, Coca Cola, You, Me. Image taken Little Bourke St carpark Level 7, Winter 2015