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LDOC

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Issue 05.01

Monday, February 1, 2016

DISAPPEARING PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN STECK JR. “Lament”

PARAFICTION BY PABLO VINDEL Parts 1 & 2 of “FLAM(E) IN 5 EPISODES”


June 7, 2015. 11pm Manhattan On 8th Avenue (between 33rd and 34th St), a young man sets himself on fire. Nobody stops to help him except for the woman who puts out the fire, stepping on it with great force. He emerges unharmed. Out of this is born a parafiction, concatenated occurrences, real and fictional, which foreground the body and its instability, and the need for an art about life. To this we are eyewitness, carrier of a lived body. And somatic enquirer.

(1) “The body even forgets the body” or Les Baigneurs Spain, 1992. Leopoldo María Panero publishes the first edition of his Anthology Locos. Burdensome verses: “Cuadro tras cuadro, se dibuja la misma figura, la de un hombre que ha perdido y se contempla, extraño Narciso, en el estiércol.”

Summer 2015. First day in MoMA: fifth floor. Paul Cézanne’s Le Baigneur (c. 1885) shyly governs the room. We give a first look: Eyes closed (perhaps looking down). Sharp dark lines draw a disquieted figure, a body without the body. Instability penetrates atmosphere. Paint crumbles from canvas. For several minutes we stand in front of the bather, drawn into the flaws of his flesh, the unparalleled nipples, the heartbeat we imagine pulsating in his wet-cold fingers and toes, against the lean skin. Spring 2013. The French drama-thriller directed by Alain Guiraudie Stranger by the Lake (L’Inconnu du lac) premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Stolen glances fumble across a steady, eerie summery lakeshore. Gay men with and within this beautiful setting: they talk, they sunbathe, and they f*** in the woods, actors and voyeurs. From behind foliage, Michel witnesses Franck drowning Pascal in the lake. Mistrust colors the waters gray. Bathers and lovers no longer safe. The seal of death or disappearance condemns these bathers and their bodies to sink airless in the depths or to be shaken, and fall apart at the very surface of the canvas. Michelangelo’s Last Judgment. Saint Bartholomew holds his flayed skin. What a fierce and blatantly glorious venture, skinning yourself! Renaissance Master converses with Manuel Millares’ twisted burlap sepulchers, or with Antonio Saura’s monstrous portrait of Brigitte Bardot—vehement testimonial of the atrocities in a shattered Iberia, for too long deprived of its body. A body that, like The Bather’s, temporarily forgets itself and its native authority. “The body forgets pain but also forgets pleasure, and all the lucky and luckless repertoires of feelings in between. The body even forgets the body, slips outside its temporal dimension, dissolves in its memories and pitches fitful residence in outlived recollections of itself, begets its own beginning in reveries and dreams, its psyche repairs amputated areas, regenerates its phantom limbs, stitches what’s been slashed and severed. It’s a monster of regeneration, [...].”1


In this room, claustrophobic, (we are) lumpe through some fissure in the walls or ceiling, film of dust and expectation. A physics table stands unsteady on one side: “a touch of be in my face, like the warmth in my stomach a that defies definition but exists nonetheless

It is neither one nor multiple. Exquisite and to be no longer a table but a surface of infle memento to flesh progressively trepanned.

We imagine it as screen for projection, meta transform this physics table into a blood rel

(We are) Lumped together. The light, warm enormous protrusions ruffling its bottom sur tenacity. Williams talks about psychosexual close to this virtue. We keep thinking of defi one hour there, the table still refuses to be anymore.

It could then be a proper slab to hide the co Spanish Civil War’s trail, a mass (g)rave in historical memory.

Luis Cernuda, in the first stanza of Unos cu

“Unos cuerpos son c Otros como puñales Otros como cintas d Pero todos, tempran Serán quemaduras q Convirtiendo por virt

The table remains capricious. Ligh oranges and pinks, gall bladder greens, qui terrible how words do nothing but confine in unfortunate existence? Forces of the metonymical and the reimagining, replacing possibilities. No long Displacement and condensation pull back, leads to a ceaseless process of unfolding, e symbolic order, the metaphoric pull leads to poetic (nostalgic) depth and paranoid ambig The rave, endless. And the grave has no bottom.

____________________________ 1 Louise Bourgeois and Gary Indiana, To Whom It May 2 Livingstone, J. “VIII. Milan Šimečka, ‘Letters from Pris 3 Sadeq Rahimi, “Subjectivity at the Intersection of Met (December 16, 2012), accessed August 11, 2015, http: of-metaphoric- and-metonymic-functions.html. Bibliography

Cernuda, L. “Los Placeres Prohibidos: Unos cuerpos s Madrid: Ediciones Siruela, 2005. Guiraudie, A. Stranger by the Lake (Original Title: L’inc Films du Losange, 2013. María Panero, L. “Locos (1992, 1a edición).” In Poesía Madrid: Colección Visor de Poesía, 2013. Pérez, F.J. “Unidad al pie de la mayor fosa común.” El http://elpais.com/diario/2010/03/04/espana/12676


(2) The Physics Table

ed together. A crackling light finds its way , flooding the table with a bloody-orange e, result of some contemporary alchemy, eauty, some little novelty, I feel it like wind after a glass of wine, simply as something s.”2

unreliable as language, it recreates itself ection(s), of speech maybe; or just a

aphors, which condense desires to lative, or twin, or chimerical Father.

m, comforts. We turn the table to see rface. Potentially erotic momentums of l capacity, but we don’t listen for or feel finition, and more of discontinuity. After defined, but it is surely not a physics table

orpse, or a perverse daguerreotype of the Málaga: 4471 reasons and blows of

uerpos son como flores:

como flores, s, de agua; no o tarde, que en otro cuerpo se agranden, tud del fuego a una piedra en un hombre.”

ht sizzles on the lush surface of fleshy icklime yellows and bluish streaks. Isn’t it nfinite realism to an irredeemable,

e methaphorical erode the table, ger concreta, not purely beyond. ease forward: “While the metonymic push expansion and complexification within the o a multi-layering of meaning imbued with guity.”3

y Concern (London: Violette Editions, 2011). son’, 2002,” in Passages (Chicago: Lowitz & Sons, 2015), 15. taphoric and Metonymic Functions,” Somatosphere ://somatosphere.net/2012/12/subjectivity-at-the-intersection-

son como flores.” In Poesía Completa Volumen I, 180-181.

connu du lac). Directed by Alain Guiraudie. 2013. France: Les

a Completa (1970-2000). Edition by Túa Blesa, 455-456.

País, March 4, 2010. Accessed July 28, 2015, 657212_850215.htm.


John Steck Jr. is a visual artist from Chicago who received his BFA at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design and his MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute. He has exhibited across fifteen states as well as in Iceland, Hungary and Tokyo. Steck has completed artist residencies in both Ireland and Iceland and was also a finalist for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 Fulbright Fellowship. His book Fragments, Volume One was selected as Best Books of 2010 on photoeye.com. Recent publications include Romka Magazine, Aint Bad Magazine, The Ephemeral, The Hand Magazine and Incandescent. He is a current Artist in Resident at HATCH Projects in Chicago and a current Adjunct Faculty at Waubonsee Community College. A selection of Steck’s Disappearing Photographs will be on display at the MoCP at 40 exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography (600 S Michigan Ave) until April 20, 2016. www.johnsteckjr.com Pablo Vindel is a Spanish visual artist and experimental writer, who explores issues of somatic and emotional permeability, remembrance, and loss. He holds a BFA from The Polytechnic University of Valencia and has lived and studied internationally at The San Francisco Art Institute and the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. He is currently pursuing his MFA in Fiber and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Fond of traveling, he has completed artists’ residencies in India, Turkey, Spain and the States. www.pablovindelartist.com LDOC is a free photography and creative writing publication featuring a new local artist and writer each month, creating an installment-based experience for the Chicago commuter. Find LDOC in red newspaper boxes at the following Red Line stops: Howard St., Belmont, Sox-35th, and 69th. LDOC is also distributed by volunteers at the downtown Red Line Lake stops every first and third Monday evening of the month.

LDOC is currently fully funded by the 2015 Crusade Engagement Grant from Crusade for Art. www.crusadeforart.org

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LDOC Issue 05.01  

LDOC Issue 05.01 / Artist - John Steck Jr., "Lament" / Writer - Pablo Vindel, "FLAM(E) IN 5 EPISODES" Parts 1 & 2

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