Extracts from a Conversation about Poses [2015]

“[…] It’s a theoretical device showing a separation of experience from the materials that engender it, and what fills that space, which is language. I am trying to know that relationship I have to the material, where and how it exists.”

“Our human experience is so inseparable from materiality yet we charge it as deviant. […] But does that really make sense? […] Materiality is not the experience of living, because we don’t know anything other than it is not in here it is all out there, but it forms our desires.”

“And materiality is the Artist’s breath.”

“Exactly, a tangible expiration. […] And pigment equals makeup, armature equals high-heels, we use beards, wigs, leathers, silks, costumes, clays, crutches; the dildonic library goes on and on for us. And what, or where, at the end of it all, are we? We are the language between us and the material. That is where the we are. It’s a limited angle, but that’s okay, you have to remember you are the rock and the thought of rock, it’s just that you can only experience the communication between.”

[…]

“Who lives in these poses?”

“Anyone who has donned a flowing robe for the execution of a spiritual moment. Be that comical, erotic, political, meditative; to make someone’s knees tremble, or instil awe in ourselves and others. It is the wearer and the watcher. It is that desire to be the fucker and the fucked concurrently. […]”

“And it becomes a model of a wider behaviour.”

[…]

“And we can do this so easily these days, because this is simply another version of contemporary consumerist experience, we consume and are consumed.”

“The desire economy is a modern term for a long understood ontological idea. We are not only driven by our desires; we are also defined by them.”

[…]

“And the vision, in the cave, the half-light of the church, the face of Jesus in the stucco.”

“Grainy pornography, the man or woman of your dreams glimpsed in a crowd, reminiscent smells-”

“All the language of materiality, the same as penetration, taste, the cladding and devouring of bodies.”

[…]

“I picked some of the sweet-smelling leaves, crushed them in my hands, and rubbed my wet but burning body with them. I looked at myself for a long while, with no more shame now, with joy […]”

Categories: Apparitions (Sep 2015) | BLAUHAUS | Façade | Portfolio | Trans- | Written

Created: 26th July 2016
Edited: 3rd August 2016

A Conversation About Poses [2015]

Display is what you said, that that is at the heart of it. Not to get obsessed with the unsaid and the unthought, in this context You must display.”

“Definitely, and when the world becomes so defined, that the phenomenology of vision is all, we can speculate on the language of form for form. You were talking about the fakery of A.I., that it’s all fake, that’s the tautology, the fake artifice. It talks to itself in a simulation of communication, from node to node, without recourse to a human ear or eye. And a fakery of motive, really just a mechanical process set in motion and allowed to tick along in an illusion of perpetuation.”

“It’s a theoretical device showing the separation of experience from the materials that engender it, and what fills the space, which is language. How can I really know what relationship I have to the material body? It defines me in ways that are limiting; tiredness, illness, obesity, ugliness.”

“It seems absurd to people for our human experience to be so inseparable from materiality, they label it as deviancy. The fetishist has lost their mind, wanking all over the pleats like they were the undulations of a body. But does it really make sense to separate the skirt from the skin? Can we be so confident of the materiality of some occupied being that is our living body? Where does it end? If I cut my toe nails am I different being? What if I lose a leg? Materiality is not the experience of living because we don’t know anything other than it is not in here, it is all out there.”

“And materiality is the Artist’s bread and butter, if you don’t love paint you will not be a good painter. If you don’t enjoy the feel of clay then you’ll just make lumps.”

“Exactly. And makeup, high heels, beards, wigs, leathers, silks, costumes; the dildonic library goes on and on for us. And what, or where, at the end of it all, are we? We are the language between us and the material. That is where the we are. And you might not always feel comfortable with that limited angle, but that’s okay, you must remember you are the rock and the thought of rock, it’s just that you can only experience the communication in between.”

“Are we off-topic? Who lives in these poses?”

“Anyone who has donned a flowing robe for the execution of a spiritual moment. Be that erotic, political, meditative; to make someone’s knees tremble orgasmically, or instil awe in ourselves. It is the wearer and the watcher. It is being the fucker and the fucked, the sheets and the warm air from the bedroom window. It’s a model of a wider behaviour. And we can do this so easily these days, because this is simply another version of contemporary consumerist experience, we consume and are consumed.”

“The desire economy is a modern term for a long understood ontological idea. We are not only driven by our desires, we are also defined by them.”

“And the vision, in the cave, the half-light of the church, the face of Jesus in the stucco-”

“Grainy pornography, the man or woman of your dreams glimpsed in a crowd, reminiscent smells-”

“All the language of materiality, the same as penetration, taste, the cladding and devouring of bodies.”

I picked some of the sweet-smelling leaves, crushed them in my hands, and rubbed my wet but burning body with them. I looked at myself for a long while, with no more shame now, with joy.”

Categories: Notes | Written

Created: 26th July 2016
Edited:

How We Enter a Cave I (Materiality) [2016]

(for the publication Apparitions: The Appearance and Disappearance of London Art in the Marble Cave of Gadime, 2016)

“Two bats flying with preternatural precision / from unseen alcove to unseen alcove, alerted / to change by the sound of our voice and footstep. The cave continuing to change / using one of the longest measurements of time / available to our eyes. And in this slow drip morphology / we cannot find a fixture to hang our work / against. We hang our work against / the giant / image of chaos / in / the secretive motions of rock. / And as a consequence the work feels still / calm apparitions floating on the earth-tide.”

“So the cave is intractable?”

“No, surprisingly not. It works with sympathy and support / standing / still with its protective curlicue. It felt homely in some ways.”

“I appreciate a simple gesture.”

“And it is. Even through the encrypted crystalline structures, there is a simplicity, both meditative and clear. So clear that it starts to open the darkness to us, the inside one and the outside one. A leveller, that’s what I’m getting at, compressed blackened truth, like carbon. And in that completeness an acceptance within the elements, you find your thoughts sit on the surface, patterns of light on a slick of oil, drifting on the sea.”

“To be a thought you have to lose a body.”

“And as your body dissolves you are taken in by the thought that doesn’t necessarily hold on to a body. This thought is unpredictable and develops its rhythm without recourse to the order of sense, or at least the limited sense of the body. It confuses remembered sensation, it’s not empirically sound. Cut loose from our experience of reality by the slow structural engineering of tectonics, fusion and erosion, we end up in that vulnerable human place, found in oceans, or ill health, food deprivation, sleep deprivation, sunstroke, boredom, incarceration, aphasia.”

“We end up in the world of hallucination. Scratchy whispers, echoes, stale air, sulphur and unexpected temperatures, all leading halfway to spiritual misunderstanding, fear and frustrated sight.”

“And our own tongue speaks half inside and half outside of our mouths. The ear and the par-concious eye are left with gibberish. This cave-language moves too slowly for us and is not linear. So the dialogue must be taken in its entirety, slowly, a long exposure. Success in this space is well out of our hands, it becomes an embrace of the empty.”

“There is almost a definite contemporary mysticism, coming out of the atomic, and nature’s own constructions of form, way beyond our small concerns of time and energy.”

“Only two dialogues can be certain in here, the time of the cave and its overt structuralism. These condense any work into a flourish, and the condensed work dances across the structure…”

“A space is formed and we / come into that space, with our small systems of / time, our own energy. The scale is / distorted with the immense disproportions. We look at our work / against the cave.”

“…and beyond the two is a confusion of sensory ambiguity, and thought becomes surprisingly loud.”

Categories: Apparitions (Sep 2015) | Façade | Portfolio | Written

Created: 25th July 2016
Edited: 29th November 2016

The Birds Flock [2011] – extract read by Charles Swift

An extract from The Birds Flock [2011], read and recorded by Charles Swift.

“Breathed with that many thought. Maybe all thought having a thought, that a undone and then done. A the, a the; the a theed in all; all a is the, and maybe all thought having the thought. To not having the a, all thought breathed. And the? The is done also. Many thought, ‘Am undone, am some sum’, and breathed to regular, two regular eyes am some sum thought. And if breathed two some such of such such, am to the many thought undone. Undone only. Break a, and a broke in so lated. Break the, and the broke in so lated. So lated as to collect am. And tells us, ‘Am to be undone, to tell us and undone am’. And am to broke also, to broke in such such, to broke only, only in zero sum. Here so lated as to collect am, toward am. And and tells us. And that that tells us, and us that that listens.”

Categories: Façade | Portfolio | Written

Created: 24th March 2016
Edited: 3rd August 2016

Over Life [2010]

How the Real Sits

Put simply, out simply, his over life. Sending a thought back from here to back back there, as unsure as you would imagine. And throwing grit from the road, pinging off car parts. But up still, more still really, but up still. He makes a thought over and it’s a weight not a sail. So more still really. How the real, and how the real is, is all to be thought of now – this back back now, of course. And a discomfort from the how real road, at the kerb, throwing. Throw your grit from here to here, he’s thinking between them, they rhyme. And sat still the real sits. Between the slabs the dust – between a line down each leg. No one thing. Pick that grit and ping. And still how the real sits. Past a car, just a car, not any car, just a car. And dust, up still from slabs. Up, then still. That dust that finds its between the slabs, and black moss too. The car, the dust, up and still again, slabs found. The car just a and not any, past before the dust. He is still back, back as an arch.

That white about, a flat light, never seen by walking. In a broad sense, sat thick broad on all his sense, on the kerb, by the road, up still. A light that changes less, that’s changeless, still and broad over all his sense. Hot but still, like hot white fog, if it could, and blinding as. Thinking about the sending back of a thought, if it could be done properly, out of the light. Could it be done? It would be out of the real, sent out of this still, hot, white light. Yes if the light were fog, even a thick fog. But no. It is the still, hot, white light, the fog if not a fog, it is the real. But it’s back back from here. Picking a grit and ping. How and only how is left for the real road. Still sat, except for the grits, and the dust, and the black moss.

Well. In feeling and thought. Just a well, not any well. You think that car? That thought would have to go both ways, which it couldn’t. It was a car, not any car, so no. A lot more still really. A lot more. Still, how real, its will, real for a while, as long as the hot sand he supposes. Sat still he sits and for a long long while, turning the back here into back back there and a lot more back back there. He sat still at this his over life. That other car, maybe any car. And this grit ping. Put simply enough, that as all it is. Sending that thought back back there, and the dust finding the slabs, and the grit finding the ping. Well maybe, maybe with a lot more still really. There is a lot of still.

If you think that car and try looking back at a hot sand, maybe taking that any car, not a car, and not going both ways but maybe going one way. Finding that dust, that dust that finds the slabs, and seeing it as a new size, between the dust that finds the slabs and the grit that finds the ping. Seeing it as sand, that size between, and maybe somewhere either way. Some sand that finds the road without slabs, some track, an unreal road. A sand, a broad light, but it’s still any sand and any light. And still how, and still the still and still the ping. How and only how is left for the real road.

More back back. By the kerb with dust that finds the slabs and ping. As much grit as needed for the rhyming ping in the still. It is the real to be thought back to later. But not for now, now in the still. For now in the still it is, with a back to the back, and a hard light, and a hard kerb. In this over life, in his over life, there is still time, just still time.

Categories: Written

Created: 8th February 2016
Edited:

Post-Ritual

[To Ana Escobar – I appreciate that the prefix ‘post-‘ creates a ripple of yawns around the room, but it is meant specifically in the context of late twentieth century understandings.]

It’s interesting to think about ritual from the perspective of a world where everything is considered or feels preemptable. Because I was thinking about ritual as a disruption, and in art it has generally been associated with shock, unpredictability and the taboo. If you choose not to approach it from a shock approach (which is advisable even though shock is still possible – it’s just hard to choreograph in a London art-space), and instead think in terms of how a ritual can ‘work’, i.e. perform a convincing event, then you have to think about disruption in a much more nuanced way.

Ritualistic behaviour appears to have opposite applications: Firstly there are the rituals of comfort, ways of coping with destabilising or disturbing behavioural patterns. Secondly there are rituals of discomfort, intended to channel new information or emotion at times of confusion. However, they are both a comfort in their way. A shaman’s attitude seems bonkers but the intention is not to create chaos but to court chaos for the stability of the whole. The ritualistic behaviour of children is considered part of the natural growth cycle, a part of learning how to order thought.

Now I’m wondering what you think when you say the word ‘ritual’ and perhaps how you would translate it into Spanish. ‘Ritual’ derives from ‘rite’ which means the correct way of doing something. But when we think of ritual we often think of an unusual or apparently chaotic act. I think this is because we could posit such a thing as ‘post-ritualism’. This would be ritual that creates a holistic approach to the generation of practice. Imagine that I wanted to create a ritual for friendship. I can drink with, eat with, dance with, embrace, praise or travel with people in order to experience some form of friendship. In fact, think of a birthday, what can be more ritualistic than a load of friends wearing pointy hats in a circle, celebrating the passing of 365 moons whilst one of them extinguishes a burning pudding?!

So if we use ritual in performance, are we using a unique language or are we parodying ritualistic language?

Say we are generating a unique language of ritual. In the contemporary world this ‘post-ritual’ would need to appear disruptive in order to achieve some comfort with a chaos. In your ideology I imagine you would be comfortable with the idea that there are many strands to the world. We can both agree that existence is filled with a huge interlaced bandwidth of communication, loosely labeled by sociality (religion, economics, witchcraft, morality, love, nature). The divisions of communication are dictated by possessive doctrines of linguistics, “I choose ‘God'”, “I choose ‘Allah'”, “I choose ‘Science'”, “I choose ‘Prada'” (blunt analogy). For the purposes of (post-)ritual the shaman must break down and deliberately misinterpret these divisions. Language must be an open invitation to the visual, verbal, spiritual, physical and emotional (socialistically). How is this different to any art practice? Well I don’t know, and the similarity is surely your point for your essay, these worlds are the same. So why is making a ritual any different from painting a picture?…

This is when I return to parody. This is why we are dealing with a post-ritual and not a traditional ritual. The post-ritual is parodic but in its parodical form it must also spread wider than the parody of religion and shamanism. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges to shamanism has been the anthropologist armed with psychology. But if it has been this, then it is easily deconstructed and developed. Anthropology has often worked as a debunker of traditional held beliefs of psychoanalytical theory.

Anyway, these were just some thoughts I had.

Categories: Miscellanea | Notes | Written

Created: 29th January 2016
Edited: 8th February 2016

The Passerine C [2010]

An’ I I I the insight in grated day
Passing, passing, pass outer inter nacht.

C the unsite, C in unisite is in unite.
Ah Passerine C,
Are Passerine C,
Our Passerine C, passing, passing is in all unite.

We in stall such mesh as is in unite as a, and as a Starling commodified

Come ode die tied, it is some some sun.
Some sun.
At is white each a side of slash.
Slash Passerine C is of equal.

 

Ah. Held to

To still ine Passerine C
unstill outed
Crack. offed.

noed not in Passerine C.

ka ka and i’ded I in zero still.

 

curcome

 

curcome

Categories: Written

Created: 17th January 2016
Edited: 1st August 2016

Ape

Far too much noise.

And who are you? I was just wanting,
That’s all. So I’ll walk upright
Like your fucking monkey steps. I am not them,
I am not them, I am not them, I am not them.
I can do fours.

Get to bed, have some rest.

And tired, boy am I.

Categories: Fragments | Written

Created: 19th November 2015
Edited: 27th December 2015

Having a Coke with Jo…

“Being a Sunday, and knowing how plagued you are by poetry on this hallowed day, I was thinking about our conversation on an aversion to the worthiness of poetry readings, particularly the tone. And I remembered this poem by Frank O’Hara and how much I loved the deadpan way he reads it, slightly sneery even, or bored…”

“I returned to my room only to hear poetry being read meaningfully, I thought i even heard fucking Andrew fucking Motion. Before the dark thoughts came rushing in, I turned off the radio and put on the beach boys. And then your email. Phew. Because I love poetry but I miss poetry. I did not know this poem. The delivery is perfect, and how he ends it is so matter of fact, but perhaps with a hint of anger, which appeals. Deadpan readings are the best readings. Thank you.”

“I watched it a few times, it’s quite mesmerising. It makes me think of a papal ceremony, just the edges of the garments being filmed. I would probably avoid the term ‘fabric porn’ unless you feel it can take the weight of it. If you were to carry the sketch further I’d look at its rhythm, but if you were to go any further I’d imagine you’d re-film. The white at the end is so intense, but they all have a non-specific mood that is definitely emotive. I had a craving for a burger, i made one and ate it, now i feel sick. Desire is not always a good thing. … I think you are very close to all this at the moment. The light, space and time that summer will afford you will enable you to start connecting and forming these sketches and works. This will all have been very useful and productive. [Also,] the religious connection, the pornography, the desire elements; these are all very emotive in a socio-linguistic sense, don’t let them cloud the tactility of the work. The languages in use are ones of shape, form, taste, touch, etc. Their connection with socio-linguistics is complex. Just be careful that’s all.”

“They were talking about the papal red shoes this morning, how the last pope rather favoured them, this glimpse of crimson sneaking out from the edge of the gown. They neglected to mention how the one before, John-Paul wore pure white doc martins. I do not want to refer to it as fabric porn when I present it. It is, as you say, a weighted term and i do not want to bias it in that way. It has just become a sort of shorthand for thinking about this (hence the detail of the virgin at prayer). I don’t want to trip over the edge, a balance of desire, glimpses of hems not full frontal. Or just an essence. I once ate all my easter eggs on easter Sunday and vomited them all back up on the car journey in the afternoon. Whilst editing, the want to re-film was strong. Your point about it being a sketch, about rhythm is all correct and i would like to re-film knowing what I know now and with the space and time and light of summer that you mention. The formal visual elements became important in the editing and especially in the last few days. It has definitely been very useful. Thank you for responding Rich. As ever, you cut straight into the core of something. Your words help to specify, to highlight inaccuracies and to point a way forward. They also remind. Tactility was the word I think I was searching for today. … Here is some things on Kienholz, Ed and later on his wife Nancy. The work is a bit dark, grubby and exciting because of the combination of materials and the scenes created, some are hard to look at some you can’t stop looking at. This is a short video on The Hoerengracht, which is an important piece. It was interesting what she says about the resin, the bringing together of materials, the merging. This is a ‘sketch’ for The Hoerengracht that I photocopied from a book in reference to Fred and frontage. The wikipedia entry is not bad either. The Ozymandias Parade was the first piece of work that I saw of his, I saw it in a book when I was doing my foundation and I always remember it and the feeling a bit disgusted, and then amazed that this was also art and then being really excited by it but not articulating it, I wish I had told one of my tutors at the time that I liked this piece. Do a Google image search to get a sense of the aesthetic. It’s not all terribly deep in some ways but that’s ok, but I think there are connections to be made with other artists. Mostly it is the grubbiness with shininess, the corruption, the combinations of materials and the inside and outside, frontage elements in some of the pieces that most interest me. Don’t think I have ever seen any pieces in real life, which is a shame, I imagine they have a particular smell to them too.”

“These are very close to how I imagined the Fred set to be. It’s their position within the blank space, almost fully developed environments placed inside other environments. Imagine the character walking around them, you get the same unsettling paradox as theatre, the actor engages with a world within a world and the tension buzzes at the edge of theirs and the beginning of ours. They acknowledge both worlds like a paranoid schizophrenic. Film offers a comfort to the audience and I wonder whether the enjoyment would be to perform a piece live and film it to get that nervous energy. Another reason I like the setup of the spaces is the perversity of the private theatre. Like a sex party or a cage fight, or some S&M dungeon; all that effort and time painting and decorating, building crosses, bars, cages, so that people can live out some private fantasy. For me Fred has perhaps become Margaret and I am imagining a bizarre environment for this costumed figure to exist in. Very much like the Mccarthy film I saw, ‘Pirate Party’. It was such an unsettling environment. But I also imagine you could avoid the sinister and create something touching and more sympathetic in the space. I think the idea of creating a stylised, middle-aged spinster’s home and placing a character in it who combines the comfort of a mature woman with both the glamourous and grotesque, excites me. I see some strange performance taking place, perhaps sexual in an onanistic, group or participatory way (remember we hate participation so we must inflict it on others at least. I think it is important not to kill an event and that can happen in two easy ways, film it when film is unnecessary, or create a static sculpture out of an environment that should move or be interacted with. I am never sure how Beuys felt about that, he seemed to promote such an idea of vibrancy and immediacy in his speeches and performance pieces, yet was so keen to hang them or fix them like taxidermy in white spaces. Some are sculptures, and static sculpture has a language that makes it feel very alive, a movement or vibrancy where colour, shape and line create a physiological empathy. Very much where your lexicon of materials come in, they are incredible packages of sensation and haptical conversation. But when Beuys displays some work it becomes artifact, dead and posed. It’s an unusual dilemma, and one I would rather have than do nothing. I suppose in regards to the performance it’s of no importance, but in relation to any sculpture you’ve been creating through your experiments I guess I’m echoing everyone else, they feel dead before they’ve even been alive. The video then becomes an imperfect record of their once vibrant and sensual existence and we become museum visitors, left with the long dead remnants of a cultural moment, instead of what we should be, which is an audience to a living sculpture, full of rich and complex meaning. I am not denigrating the video, I am just excited about the phase when these things start living. … That’s it. The weekend done. No furtherance achieved and a continued desultoriness. Pints sank: several, wrongs righted: none; a laugh, a rant, and many a moment stood staring in all directions with as much anxiety as a drunk can muster regarding the complete lack of future all around him. The brotherly bond has been checked for firmness and found as stable as ever. Love has meandered around at a distance like a coquette, and the rain and thunder made a guest appearance for a startling mid-show performance. Tomorrow the air-conditioned nightmare shall resume and the quest for Friday evening will begin all over again. If I can make it till November without falling into such a state of ennui that I fuse with the moulded chair and am tossed into the skip of the Wincanton industrial estate, I should have just enough money to enter a frustrating and panic-inducing period of wanking and wandering, self-medicating and wringing of the withered soul. See you on the other side.”

“A quick response to your email, which was good to get in the midst of the beige buffet last weekend. And it was a strange coincidence that had just been looking at an image of McCarthy’s pirate party in a book left behind in Clacton. And good to read something some well written, and, as ever, something that gets right to the nub of things. As I said to you when I saw you, the Kienholz merry go round piece is one that has really hooked into my mind, I photocopied twice once in black and white and once in colour, one of them in my notebook the other pinned on the wardrobe a while ago now. It was a piece I had not seen before but it immediately struck a familiar feeling and familiar desire to create or respond in someway to the frontages of Clacton, and how much for so long that I have been thinking about these things. Anyway, I like the idea of creating a world for these characters, Fred, Margaret; and having an element of control over developing their context. I like the vision you create of the Margaret in her world. I think a giant padded puppet, perhaps in a padded world. The pleasure of work undertaken for pure pleasure is what I find compelling about seaside places and piers, the thrill is fleeting and hollow yet everything goes in to that moment of enticement. With Margaret, I think there might be many versions of her. I think you would need to think of the first version you make of her as ‘edition one’ and not get hung up on making her totally perfect the first time, think of how long you have developed her within your head and this would be in danger of preventing you from making her at all. She could be made in a variety of materials, but a satin one is a must. Maquettes are always good, make a small one to test out shapes and how things will fit together. And yes sinister, would be easy but wrong, I think domestic to contrast the grotesque. Related but to the aside of it is Fiischli and Weiss ‘rat and bear’ in several different films. And the idea of performance. When i showed my live art friend the film of the rolling fur a while ago, we talked about somehow performing it live. He showed me this artist Stuart Sherman, skip to the bit where it is in colour, a way of performing objects and materials. I like the small scale, it is of a particular time and is very different but there is something kind of exciting about the possibilities that this offers. And yes, we are against participation. I looked at the images that I sent you on my phone and they are shit. The work has progressed even within a week, that is what space and time does I guess but I will not send you anything now unless I think it is finished. Also, I am beginning to go off the idea of film myself for the moment. I like the element of risk in the live performance or in live sculpture, whatever that might be. I had my tutorial with Tom on Wednesday and he really liked some of the little sculptures, some of which we agreed were finished, and he really felt that the films undermined the sculptures, basically saying something very similar to what you said. He wants me just to keep working on these sculptures and exploiting all the materials, nothing must be extraneous. Though he did like a little film which included my hand as for him it showed the tactile interaction with the material, but this is where it could be performed rather than filmed. The life must be in the sculptural reality of the real encounter with the objects, or as you more elegantly put it ‘the phase when they start to live’. So I am continuing with clear PVC and stuffing and hanging and concerning myself with weight and elasticity and toying with the idea of a sewing machine. Planning an exhibition for September in the swan after the MA show has finished. An artist whose work I think does have a sense of ‘aliveness’ is Phylidia Barlow’s work, I think I showed you the book last time you were around here. she is a quietly influential artist, taught many people who have gone on to become famous. She also did pieces that have holes in them that kind of become like eyes. she was inspired by Louise Bourgeois ‘nature study (velvet eyes)’. Interestingly she is also completely against the idea of interaction and touching work.”

“For the sake of pedantic clarification I would point out that I was pro-film. My point was more that the sculpture had left nothing for the film but a corpse. The film could record life if some element of the sculpture is a filmic event, like your earlier sketches. And the interactive element was to be promoted at our own discomfort rather than eschewed. Outside someone is cackling in a horrible, guttural way, and Martin’s room tidying unnerves me with unpredictable crashes and bangs through the wall. This discomfort is mine only and if I am to gain any use from it it is the baiting of my fragile ego. We need a discomfort, and interaction may be the key. I am so disgusted and detached from the motivations of people I can only benefit from interaction, surely? … I’m on a definite downer, I can feel it. Knowing your own mind is convenient but leaves you no happier. I am aware that I barely care about sentence choice, that I am trapped in a lethargic, despondent and despairing body. I am inside, deep down, frustrated by the lack of tools available to me to correct the situation. It’s like my mind floods itself with a nonsense of bureaucracy and I am stuck, frantic and exhausted, the other side of the door. Meaning is significant in depression. When someone says that life has no meaning they mean exactly that. That all things have become arbitrary to them and that they cannot place definitive value on any part. I find myself saying things and by the end of the sentence I have no idea what any of the words mean, the langue and parole separate. It seems unimportant what/how/why I say. It’s an odd sensation, at these moments there is a mixed gift. I find that I am able to separate other peoples’ exclamations in my mind. All words lose meaning and meaning scurries back into some physicality. Everyone appears absurd, like the extras on a soap-opera set saying ‘rhubarb’ to each other. I can read people but they seem like empty toys, puppets mouthing nonsense to deaf kids. I got into a pointless argument with Tom and his brother in the pub. Literally an argument without a point. Tom had one, but it had no context as his brother and I were arguing as pure gesture. His brother is just mardy and I rose to it. In my current vulnerable state, uncomfortably out of place and dislocated, therefore feeling I need to please everyone and be submissive to anyone, I subjected myself to the responsibility of engaging. But I engaged without caring, which can only cause problems, the frustration swells, the argument is engaged, the structure of intention and meaning fragments and I am left fighting a battle with armour but no body, and look what happened in Bed knobs and Broomsticks, I’d be no match for Angela Lansbury. You’ll understand this off course, your reservations regarding work is often formed from loss of meaning. ‘Why make this when I could just as easily make that?’ et cetera. Some of us work better with a smaller palette I think. I think. … Woke up with a modicum of excitement this morning, as is the way with my fickle brain. Had a relatively bad day yesterday. Woke up with an attack of the OCD anxiety. Cleaned the fridge, felt the whole world was over-complicated, that each particle and each combination of particles at all levels created questions that I could not answer. I decided to take some photographs of my blouses but it proved frustrating. I remember commenting that you were putting on rather a lot of deodorant that first night of Magic Theatricals, no doubt conscious that you did not want to sweat all over the blouse. Unfortunately the deodorant has left white marks. Not a biggy, there are a million and one methods it would seem for removal, and certainly not your fault, but it made me aware of the difficulty of making work when you are close to the subject. The OCD kicked in, everything felt messy, the mice were scurrying, the moths were nestling in to my clothes, the static in my head got louder and louder, my blouses were becoming duller and dirtier and broken before my eyes; I went to the pub. On the bus journey I found myself deeply concerned by every persons’ entering and leaving of the bus, this was mingled with gardening. My view from the top of the bus meant I could see into everyone’s gardens, some beautiful gardens. But gardening can be a curse when you are this way inclined. The thought of something that requires so much energy for retention is all too much. A few pints among the tawdry idiots of Crystal Palace settled things. And then I ate chicken on the way home. From the front seat of the bus the view of the sunset from Sydenham Hill was pretty impressive. The chicken wasn’t too bad either. In true alkie style I bought a bottle of vodka from Tescos and went to bed to watch An American Werewolf in London. On the bus, I thought of mysticism, caused by the slow sub-conscious pondering of Bataille. I thought how fundamental it is in Art and how the hell does it work? And then I thought of your work and, even though you have mentioned it in the past, I wondered about it’s mysticism. Without mysticism your work may be pointless, perhaps. Would that be bad? The thought was half-formed and now I return to it I can’t make sense of it, but the inquisitiveness is still valid, and the question is as heavy and pertinent as any; what form does the mysticism in your work take? I think I could re-word the question in a thousand ways. It seems to me that the answer to this question somehow whispers remotely from a place where your interests meet, somewhere at present you only have vague clues as to where it is.”

Categories: Fragments | Miscellanea | Written

Created: 28th October 2015
Edited: 23rd November 2015

Apparitions (second text)

(for the Apparitions exhibition, September 2015)

In the practice of Art we rely on the opportune.
Opportunities arise, and to take them
Is to take part in the movement of ideas that
Keep the Art thing viable.
We make things with intention,
Yet offer them up as apparitions
To opportunity, in order to have them
Recontextualised,
In order that we can remake them with new
Understanding. So nine artists have the opportunity
To make their work
Apparitions of the Marble Cave of Gadime
And contrive a change for the work.
Our contrivance is genuine, we know the
Apparition provokes change, keeps us viable.
And for the practice of Art that’s enough.
Not too little to require of modern mysticism.
Because the contemporary apparition is not benign,
It appears because it needs to,
And disappears because it has no choice.

Categories: Apparitions (Sep 2015) | Written

Created: 26th October 2015
Edited: 17th April 2016
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