how did these fish get on this plate, or, dinner is for discussing the slippery pre-global post-socialist relations between anchovies and art in Croatia and all over

Those are not anchovies but sredelas and I am back in Los Angeles as fresh as a sardine from Zagreb where Julia and I went for the sake of art, to show some Bush-era videos we made, perhaps still laboring under the thought that art can change the world, like workers once could and maybe did somewhere, though the most I will venture for the time being is that it can sometimes help you think which could be a step in the right direction and that it is also the thing that turns little anchovies, not those sredelas (above), into a delicious fried snack (below), “lightly battered,” crispy outside and creamy in, dripped with lemon juice, the best bite we had in Zagreb, trumping every overcooked and overcreamed and oversalted mock-Italian pasta plate and every platter of a signature Croat dish of cooked chard and potatoes which could be simply delicious but was always and sadly cooked to pulp, these little fish poppers and the squid ink pasta were bottomlessly good at the Tip-Top restaurant, with Christmas décor hung in fishnet on the ceiling, and with friends from Beirut, Zagreb, Alexandria, Kosovo, Bucharest, and all over. 

Rasha, Julia, David in Zagreb at the seminar "Sweet 60s," organized by the curatorial team WHW Zagreb