Interview with Vincent (Dick) Dermody

July 18th 2010

Interview with Vincent (Dick) Dermody

I met Vincent Dermody at a party in Brooklyn.  He made me laugh so we kept in touch.  When I needed to find a space for a performance in Chicago, ‘my cousin Vinnie’ did his best to help.  When he was looking for a home in New York, I also did my best to help.  Ultimately we both failed but the effort was mutually appreciated.

IS: What is the most important thing I should know about your work?

VD: That I’m a blackguard in possession of an original mind. An ass. A scamp with x-ray eyes who holds the power to communicate with dead modernist poets. I also make a mean bacon scallion burger.

IS: What is the least important thing you can tell me about your work?

VD: I’m bedbug free and on the verge of claiming bankruptcy.

IS: You claim to be responsible for the recession. Can you explain this?

VD: I’m responsible for the Recession. Well, not just me, but myself and my ilk: Telephone Salespeople. I’ve died and gone to Hell, and I’m a living, speaking tongue of flame selling ad space in trade pubs for Nybbas out of a boiler room in Malebolge. The last ten years of my life on earth were spent misappropriating marketing funds from dopes in some of the worst hit parts of the country. Vain business owners threw tens of thousands of dollars my way for fake magazines in every godforsaken industry under the sun. This bucket of crap is known as the Profiles Industry, it’s kind of like Vanity Publishing but creepier, and it’s the only future for printed publications in end times. Everything I said was made up. Taking everyone from idiot executives of Fortune 500 companies to family business owners, 250 calls a day. I separated them from their coffers with insider information (and football talk) that was smuggled via bogus research made for cover stories that would never be written. Lies became truth with practice, and we would do anything for a stale beer and box seats at the hockey game sitting on the boss’s knee: “It doesn’t matter if the vice-president was killed in a car wreck – call the C.F.O. at home on his cell phone. We have a fish-fry target to hit”

IS: You recently had a show at Heaven gallery in Chicago.  How did you feel about how it went? How did the pairing with Peter Hoffman come about?

VD: “For the first time in my life, I let myself be held, like a big old baby.”



Knock Knock

IS: What made you make the move from Chicago to New York?

VD: I was tired of dealers taking fake phonecalls on cellphones whenever my grinning mug was around and my tarot cards advised me to hit bricks.

IS: Has New York lived up to your expectations?

VD: Ask that to the cab driver who cleaned my vomit out of the cab last night. I’m good at throwing up, surreptitiously, and I usually totally avoid the splashback. He got a nice tip.

IS: Chicago seems to have a huge ‘apartment gallery’ scene.  How do you feel about these artist run spaces and the work they are doing?

VD: I feel like Wyatt Earp pandering on the set of his first biopic. (R.I.P. LAW OFFICE 1998 – 2003)

IS: What are your thoughts on their New York equivalents?

VD: At the moment I’m surviving and enjoying the culture shock, trying to have as much drama as possible, and staying optimistic. Oh, Regina Rex really needs air-conditioning.

IS: So why the name change?

VD: After my moms death, she showed up as a dog to her funeral, so I fixed a mistake a customs official cursed me with after mishearing my dad’s brouge and misspelling my family name. That was Darmody to Dermody. And Dick, well because I’m a Dick.

IS: What’s next for Vincent (or Dick) Dermody?

VD: Continuing being more Flaubert than Turgenev, dying, creating poltergeist activity at Chicago’s M.C.A., ascending into purgatory like Enoch. I heard they have good weed there.