Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Story of Jonah as Told by The Cutest Little Girl

Robert Graves, “In Broken Images”

He is quick, thinking in clear images;

I am slow, thinking in broken images.

He becomes dull, trusting to his clear images;
I become sharp, mistrusting my broken images.

Trusting his images, he assumes their relevance;
Mistrusting my images, I question their relevance.

Assuming their relevance, he assumes the fact;
Questioning their relevance, I question the fact.

When the fact fails him, he questions his senses;
When the fact fails me, I approve my senses.

He continues quick and dull in his clear images;
I continue slow and sharp in my broken images.

He in a new confusion of his understanding;
I in a new understanding of my confusion.
Becky Kennedy, “In the Dark”

When I am talking to you in the dark and you
are wedged in sleep the things of the room
frozen, dresser, lamp, shoes, underwear,
bedclothes and I can’t find your face or even
my body what I wanted to say my mouth says

are you there and you say yes I’ve heard
everything and I say what did you hear
and you say my last thing I say you just
remembered it I say when I die you will
remember everything remember everything you say

I say when I die I will be indispensable to you
indispensable you say longingly toward
sleep I wonder how two in the dark can ever
be together I think secretly you have never
really known me known me you say

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Multitude, solitude: identical terms, and interchangeable by the active and fertile poet. The man who is unable to people his solitude is equally unable to be alone in a bustling crowd."

Charles Baudelaire, from “Crowds” in Paris Spleen, trans. Louise Varese

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Spending much of my time lately at home. Sitting close to my fan.
I'm drawing,reading watching some god awful and/or/depending - incredible films.
I sense how much I'm missing.
Of other people I interact with when I teach once a week.
I'm geared this way.
To be alone.
It can be very sad. Very drawn and endless.
But,I am this way, even in a crowded room.

Ah,but what of...

An emerging body of research is suggesting that spending time alone, if done right, can be good for us — that certain tasks and thought processes are best carried out without anyone else around, and that even the most socially motivated among us should regularly be taking time to ourselves if we want to have fully developed personalities, and be capable of focus and creative thinking.

There is even research to suggest that blocking off enough alone time is an important component of a well-functioning social life — that if we want to get the most out of the time we spend with people, we should make sure we’re spending enough of it away from them.

Achingly beautiful.Miraculous
I feel this so strongly. Why can't I say these words. I've never been so confused, so frustrated yet clear in my feelings.
“You alone will have the stars as no one else has them.”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Sunday, July 17, 2011

“I should like to sleep like a cat,
with all the fur of time,
with a tongue rough as flint,
with the dry sex of fire;
and after speaking to no one,
stretch myself over the world,
over roofs and landscapes,
with a passionate desire
to hunt the rats in my dreams.”

Pablo Neruda, “Cat’s Dream”

Deer Tracks

Beautiful, sobbing
high-geared fucking
and then to lie silently
like deer tracks in the
freshly-fallen snow beside
the one you love.
That's all.

Richard Brautigan

Saturday, July 16, 2011

On March 10, 1914, the militant suffragette Mary Richardson walked into the National Gallery and attacked Velázquez’s canvas with a meat cleaver. Her action was ostensibly provoked by the arrest of fellow suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst the previous day, although there had been earlier warnings of a planned suffragette attack on the collection. Richardson left seven slashes on the painting, particularly causing damage to the area between the figure’s shoulders. However, all were successfully repaired by the National Gallery’s chief restorer Helmut Ruhemann.

Richardson was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, the maximum allowed for destruction of an artwork. In a statement to the Women’s Social and Political Union shortly afterwards, Richardson explained, “I have tried to destroy the picture of the most beautiful woman in mythological history as a protest against the Government for destroying Mrs. Pankhurst, who is the most beautiful character in modern history.” She added in a 1952 interview that she didn’t like “the way men visitors gaped at it all day long”

A common definition of the simulacrum is a copy of a copy whose relation to the model has become so attenuated that it can no longer properly be said to be a copy. It stands on its own as a copy without a model

Realer than Real: The Simulacrum According to Deleuze and Guattaria
“To me, at least in retrospect, the really interesting question is why dullness proves to be such a powerful impediment to attention. Why we recoil from the dull. Maybe it’s because dullness is intrinsically painful; maybe that’s where phrases like ‘deadly dull’ or ‘excruciatingly dull’ come from. But there might be more to it. Maybe dullness is associated with psychic pain because something that’s dull or opaque fails to provide enough stimulation to distract people from some other, deeper type of pain that is always there, if only in an ambient, low-level way, and which most of us spend nearly all our time and energy trying to distract ourselves from feeling, or at least from feeling directly or with our full attention. Admittedly, the whole thing’s pretty confusing, and hard to talk about abstractly…but surely something must lie behind not just Muzak in dull or tedious places any more but now also actual TV in waiting rooms, supermarkets’ checkouts, airport gates, SUVs’ backseats. Walkman, iPods, BlackBerries, cell phones that attach to your head. This terror of silence with nothing diverting to do. I can’t think anyone really believes that today’s so-called ‘information society’ is just about information. Everyone knows it’s about something else, way down.” -David Foster Wallace

Friday, July 15, 2011

you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.

—Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1

I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it. It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it who may think that I am lying.

1. Abstraction is one of the greatest visionary tools ever invented by human beings to imagine, decipher, and depict the world.

2. Abstraction is staggeringly radical, circumvents language, and sidesteps naming or mere description. It disenchants, re-enchants, detoxifies, destabilizes, resists closure, slows perception, and increases our grasp of the world.

3. Abstraction not only explores consciousness — it changes it.

4. All art is abstract. A painting of a person or a still-life is a two-dimensional representation of three-dimensional reality and therefore infinitely abstract. Whenever an artist sets out to make something it turns into something else that he or she could never have imagined or predicted.

5. Think of an abstract painting as very, very low relief — a thing, not a picture.

6. Abstraction exists in the interstices between the ideal and the real, symbol and substance, the optic and the haptic, imagination and observation.

7. Abstraction brings the world into more complex, variable relations; it can extract beauty, alternative topographies, ugliness, and intense actualities from seeming nothingness.

8. Abstraction, like ideas, intuitions, feelings, and life, is not mimetic.

9. Abstraction is as old as we are. It has existed for millennia outside the West. It is present on cave walls, in Egyptian and Cypriot Greek art, Chinese scholar rocks, all Islamic and Jewish art — both of which forbid representation. Abstraction is only new in the West.

10. Abstraction gained ground in Western art after centuries of more perfected systems of representation. By the mid-nineteenth century, representation felt like a trap, and seemed empty, false, or limiting. A similar situation existed in the early aughts, after artists of the nineties re-deployed realisms in numerous ways. The field appeared closed off for younger artists. That’s why contemporary artists have not only begun to reexplore the possibilities of abstraction, they’re shedding much of the Greenbergian cant and academic-formalist dogma that attached themselves to it over the last 50 years. Abstraction is breaking free again.

11. Abstraction offers ways around what Beckett called “the neatness of identification.”

12. Rothko’s glowing floating rectangles of color are more than abstract patterns. They are Buddhist TVs or what Keats called “good oblivion. One sees what nothing looks like in them. They make you ask, “What light through yonder painting breaks?” (Now do you see how full emptiness and abstraction can be?)

13. Abstraction is just a tool. It is no less “real” than philosophy or music.

14. Abstraction is something outside of life that allows us to be present at our own absence or alternatively absent in our own presence.

15. Abstraction creates patterns of meaning and its own extremely flexible intricate syntax. It is astral synthesis.

16. Abstraction teeters on making empty gestures while also making deep statements.

17. The camera was supposed to supplant painting but didn’t. Instead, painting — ever the sponge, always elastic — absorbed it and discovered new realms.

18. Abstraction may speak in a sort of intra-species visual-electronic-chemical-pheromonal code, creating optical-cerebral networks and wormholes, organic maps of unknown yet familiar territories, may have a kind of plant intelligence that allows it to grow, proliferate, flower, change directions, and survive relentless aesthetic predation from a lay public.

19. Abstraction contains multitudes.

20. I’ve left out No. 20, because I want to hear your opinion: What else does abstraction do that’s special?

I’m not sure I agree with it all, but there are some moments.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

“Summum nec metuas diem, nec optes.” (Neither fear nor wish for your last day.)

(Marcus Valerius Martialis, aka “Martial.” Epigramatta. Book X, Epigram 47. 13-14.)

When I was about ten a woman came into my families restaurant on sixth ave and started to hand cards like this out at each table-she was filthy and smelled horrible--my uncle Paul came out of nowhere and grabbed her and forced her out the door!
I was horrified...until I heard him say "don't try that shit in here!" And her response-"go fuck yourself Paul!"

Sunday, July 10, 2011