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LDOC Issue 05.02

free art

Monday, February 15, 2016

DISAPPEARING PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN STECK JR. “Pictures of you”

PARAFICTION BY PABLO VINDEL Parts 3, 4 & 5 of “FLAM(E) IN 5 EPISODES”


(3) The Beacon and the Spider (A Shivajee Chandrahubshan) La casa es un círculo abierto a la interpretación. Cuanto más abierto el círculo, más grande el interior de la casa. Y en este interior, que es un círculo perfecto, han su lugar las cosas importantes.

We enter the glowing temple of phenomena and are filled with daylight from the crisp wooden floors covered with staples and other indexical “animals”. Within a former Nabisco factory (we are) sensually caressed in time that exists as space. We are free. Free as belief is chosen, if it can be. Ours, the Beacon. Flavin, LeWitt, Chamberlain: How satisfying—and/or terrifying—it would be having Sara Baras dancing contemporary flamenco, heel-tapping and hand-clapping inside Richard Serra’s steel giants. Torqued spirals and torqued tarsals converge. The solemnity of the frugal, no artifice: taconeo into turmoil, and a ragged poplin mantle. Then, mourners and old widows (“las viudas de España”) come to scratch the walls with tepid tears. A gap wheezes—or a parallel—within this chapel of Minimalism, second floor: worn red brick walls. Spider-Woman: “Nothing stops, nothing pauses, nothing yields to interruption. Once set in motion all actions find outcome. Even derailment uncovers something hidden. Within each fold a disclosure, inside every pleat the inescapable evidence. Time shuttles, forms knots from ectoplasm, binds energies trapped in its sinuous itinerary. Time shatters its own imaginary thread. Time snaps its cables and they whip through space.”1 Louise Bourgeois soaks the twilight zone. Like a fungus, her sculptures become intimate with the space, en lui faisant l’amour, room mutating into a box-shaped damp cloth. And, at the very corner of this cloth, diffused by the murky lights coming from a cluster of windows, we confront the enormous Mother arthropod, the FrenchAmerican Arachne. Gruesome. Luscious. We enter the temple of fantastic reality—of intuition and venture. Bourgeois states: “Yo dibujo para suprimir lo indecible. Lo indecible no es un problema para mí. Es incluso de donde parte el trabajo. Es la razón para el trabajo; la motivación del trabajo es destruir lo indecible.”2 Hanging limbs, human signifiers, engender a rare enveloping sense of belonging. Among these powerful votive offerings, we are host but also inhabit the body dwelling in space. Psychological and affective, these indicia awaken the genuine polarities of the house. How it is inside: barefoot on the lukewarm ground of ambiguity/ies, we— the eyes and the flesh—corroborate repetition of elements and objects from spaces someone once occupied. Once naked, we receive incandescent branding irons: An invitation to seal off the past, a vessel coated with the scent of seduction.


Contenido discontinuo (A mi casa) La casa es un círculo a veces, es discontinuo su contenido o está roto. Cuando la casa está rota, el círculo se sofoca y se abre como la caja de Pandora: salen entonces papá y mamá y todos los demás demonios. El exterior se llena de fantasmas y en el interior se confronta al enemigo.


(4) Burning, Blackening “El ritual de la casa derruida de la página abandonada por el hombre del ciclo en el que vuela un hombre como una nada ofrecida a los dioses del fuego.”3

The night of June 7, 2015. The air, warm, gentle. The street, eclectic and bustling. 8th Avenue, Manhattan. We notice a thick, foreign smell. We see a spark, subtle, timidly inhabiting the slightly curled left hand of the man walking before us. A woman runs towards him in preoccupied scream: Dramatic glowing flames climb his chest, his semblance becoming that of summoned evil or a mask of Early Antiquity. Disembodiment veils his pupils, pervades his mouth ajar. He stands still, drugged by rich compact jet-black smoke. We behold embers. Nobody stops, except this woman who takes off his clothes and steps on them with great force. Like Medusa, she turns him into stone. He emerges unharmed. The dwindling moon reveals his seared clothes. A synesthetic experience occurs when witnessing Adrian Piper’s Food for the Spirit photographic series, traveling the argent, auroral noise of gelatin silver prints. Our hands seek out lips and ears to feel for our voices. Gnashing teeth, we taste the cracking of our toes. We burn: This blaze made of bone and marrow, acute certainty of disappearance. While the picture blackens the trace of the body persists, resounding. Food for the spirit presented as “the instability of finite things, the performance of the irremediable.”4 What is out of reach ultimately remains beyond.

“Vacío, anduve sin rumbo por la ciudad. Gentes extrañas pasaban a mi lado sin verme. Un cuerpo se derritió con leve susurro al tropezarme. Anduve más y más. No sentía mis pies. Quise cogerlos en mi mano, y no hallé mis manos; quise gritar, y no hallé mi voz. La niebla me envolvía. Me pesaba la vida como un remordimiento; quise arrojarla de mí. Mas era imposible, porque estaba muerto y andaba entre los muertos.”5

(5) Grapefruit Martha says Manhattan is electrifying because of the granite gneiss and the marble strata that a billion years ago formed a distinctive body of pulses and pleats below the island. Geological bedrock, folded and ineluctable, defines the gravitas of The City. Or is it the whimsical mythos running his fingers through New York’s foliage? Summer 1929, Columbia University. The Civil War près d’éclater across The Atlantic. A trembling Peninsula. We imagine Federico García Lorca as Delphic Oracle, a druid or a chaman of granite and marble at the service of The Generation of ’27 poets. Published posthumously, his anthology Poeta en Nueva York collects impressions of America, erratic promenades along the streets of the Great Metropolis. In the very last verses of Crucifixion (1929) he touches on the unutterable “Geology”: “Fue entonces y la tierra despertó arrojando temblorosos ríos de polilla.”

Summer 2015. Retrospective on Yoko Ono in MoMA. A substantial part devoted to Grapefruit, the artist book she first published in 1964, now considered an early example of conceptual art. A superfluous, playful name, the grapefruit is a hybrid, an intersection. This “Forbidden Fruit”—as it was known in the 18th century—is happy accident, a capricious performance of nature. Juicy, pleasurable (geo)dynamic with a life of its own. “Pasión por pasión. Amor por amor. Estaba en una calle de ceniza, limitada por vastos edificios de arena. Allí encontré el placer. Le miré: en sus ojos vacíos había dos relojes pequeños; uno marcha en sentido contrario al otro. En la comisura de los labios sostenía una flor mordida. Sobre los hombros llevaba una capa en jirones. A su paso unas estrellas se apagaban, otras se encendían. Quise detenerle; mi brazo quedó inmóvil. Lloré, lloré tanto, que hubiera podido llenar sus órbitas vacías. Entonces amaneció. Comprendí por qué llaman prudente a un hombre sin cabeza.”6

A cautious man is most likely headless. Isn’t that an extraordinary and scandalous claim? Most people won’t bear this affirmation; they won’t be willing or able. Same as passion, love or art; we become difficult when our secrets are threatened. As no confrontation is permitted, the fruit is indeed forbidden. Yoko Ono drinks the juice, while this tribe of narrow humans chooses to eat dried tongues and step on hollow stones:

HOW TO PROPERLY EAT A GRAPEFRUIT PIECE Trust

2015 summer

__________________________ 1 Louise Bourgeois and Gary Indiana, To Whom It May Concern (London: Violette Editions, 2011). 2 Amaia Zurbano, “El arte como mediador entre el artista y el trauma. Acercamientos al arte desde el psicoanálisis y la escultura de Louise Bourgeois” (PhD diss., Universidad del País Vasco, 2007), 321. 3 María Panero, L. “Orfebre. Paradise Lost: El ritual del neurótico obsesivo,” in Poesía Completa (1970-2000), ed. Túa Blesa (Madrid: Colección Visor de Poesía, 2013), 470. 4 Op. Cit., Louise Bourgeois and Gary Indiana. 5 Cernuda, L. “Los Placeres Prohibidos: En medio de la multitud,” in Poesía Completa Volumen I (Madrid: Ediciones Siruela, 2005), 176-177. 6 Luis Cernuda, “Los Placeres Prohibidos: Pasión por pasión,” in Poesía Completa Volumen I (Madrid: Ediciones Siruela, 2005), 185. * Episode (3): Author’s poems written in Kerala, India (summer 2015). * Episode (5): Author’s conceptual piece inspired by Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit. Bibliography García Lorca, F. “Crucifixión.” Poemas del Alma: Federico García Lorca. Poeta en Nueva York (1929-1930). Accessed August 4, 2015, http://www.poemas-del- alma.com/crucifixion.htm. Nixon, M. Fantastic Reality. Louise Bourgeois and a Story of Modern Art. London: An October Book, 2005. Ono, Y. A book of Instructions and Drawings by Yoko Ono. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.


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 05.02  

LDOC Issue 05.02 / Artist - John Steck Jr., "Pictures of you" / Writer - Pablo Vindel, "FLAM(E) IN 5 EPISODES" Parts 3, 4 & 5

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