Não sou nada.
Nunca serei nada.
Não posso querer ser nada.
À parte isso, tenho em mim todos os sonhos
de Campos, Tabacaria
Victor Stamp first saw the light of day on April
22, 1957, roughly 20,000 kilometres from where it was initially agreed
he would see it. By some cosmic equivocation he was born not in Paris
or West Berlin but in Cygnet, a picturesque coastal township (population
~900) in the Huon Valley region of southern Tasmania.
Stamp, who once sardonically defined himself as
the reprobate child of a presbyopic Presbyterian and a dentists
daughter, was haunted from an early age by the dream of a mythical
Europe. Against all odds he defied genetic and social determinism, avoided
the siren call of dentistry, and proved himself a poet and artist from
a tender age: in an interview with Marc Ronceraille he recounts how at
age fourteen, while on a trip to Hobart with his parents, he purchased
a second-hand copy of the Penguin Poets edition of Mallarmé that
changed his life forever. From the outset, however, this infatuation with
the glacial infinities of pure poetry collided heavily with the hum and
the drum of daily life in a dull little part of the world where, to quote
a not-so-recent guidebook, the main attractions include watching
the wood-turner at The Deepings make lawn bowls.
In 1977, after failing to graduate in anything,
he set sail for the Old World, never to return. Over the following fifteen
years and before devoting himself solely to his artistic activity, his
autodidactic genius would stand him in good stead as he embarked upon
a variety of enterprises, for all of which he lacked the slightest qualification.
Victor Stamp is convinced that beyond this brief
biographical skeleton, the less that is known about him the better. Nevertheless
he is willing to divulge that his favourite colour is grey, his favourite
metal lead, and his preferred quality in a woman, broad shoulders.
When not planning and executing his modest artistic
interventions, he can be found energetically pounding the avenues and
boulevards of the great European cities, dissolving his reflection in
the shop windows with the mute interrogation of the merchandise, stopping
rarely and buying nothing.