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Copyright ÂŠ Treignac Projet and the authors. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with written permission from the publishers or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act, 1988. AUTUMN 2013
an occult editorial platform
Sam Basu With thanks to
Fabienne Audéoud, Erin Baillie-Rütter, Anya Firestone, Claire Healy, Bea McMahon, Sanna Marander, Liz Murray, Matt Packer, Florian Riothmayr, Kaspar Oppen Samuelsen, Morten Torgersrud.
WRITING Depth of Field
Sam Basu & Matt Packer Morten Torgersrud
Decadent Art Art in Decadence: Curating a Musee Imaginaire
The Fixed Point
The Biggest Painting Show Ever
Tree Mushroom, Barbara, Daimler Ruft Fußmatten Zurück
Scrub Sam Basu Kaspar Oppen Samuelsen
Matt Packer & Sam Basu Depth of Field
Reflerctions on Morten Torgersrud’s photographic series, “A Neutral, Flexible Structure“ 2012 6
Depth of field
A hot summer has changed the potency of a canister of stored chemicals. These chemicals are used for scientific experiments where accuracy and predictability are paramount. A weather forecaster indicates the clouds that are condensing along the invisible lines marked on his forecastersâ€™ map. He explains that the rain that falls from them will begin the work of eroding the crumbling ruins of the chemical factory after many thousands of years.
A network of fibres mixes with the red dust. Some of these fibres are natural, others artificial. Pieces of black plastic are scattered within a radius of a metre or two. Here are there are footprints, the tread of sports trainers.
A mainly black impression, with certain emphasis of colour where the light begins to bend and the density of stars thickens. At these sub zero temperatures, the equipment begins to fail.
Through an open window wave the clustered shadows of a window box. They make animal shapes on the table. A glass of water reflects light onto the ceiling in endlessly triangulating webs. There, a fan hangs still and leaning to one side, it has been manufactured abroad.
A fast moving particle collides with a living cell mutating its structure. Even though the ionised particle is incredibly small, it was formed in the plasma heart of a local star. The mutation, which is in a bacteria cell, will be copied and passed on into the genetic makeup of this organism.
There are several rows of houses, most of them built in the previous century using local stone to house factory workers. The doors are painted different colours, with some of the colours more contemporary than others, for example, pale blues and greens. The streets that run between the houses have been recently paved and painted, and there is evidece of other efforts to improve the area. Some of the newly installed street lamps, designed by an acclaimed Italian architect, have already been vandalised.
the letter will have rotted away in landfill or been incinerated. There is a book that is also lodged on the table, and it circulates for a further twenty two years, mosty in a box, before it too disappears. The letter is preserved in family records for a further generation before it disintegrates allong with the family-line of its guardianowners. Tracing back to before the letter was written one finds trees, and authors, technologies of writing, networks of delivery, finance, friends... and before that the slowly congealing mass of a newly forming planet.
A table that origonates from another century is still being used in the house. On the table,there is a computer magazine and an audio cable that allows music to be played in the car. The cable is black; the magazine is predominantly white and red; and the table is described as â€˜electric orangeâ€™. A previously unknown civilisation has been discovered through the ruins of its cities forgotten in the deserts of the south. Its unique architectural style is unrelated to any other known historic form. All scales have been standardised and its plan precisely laid out on a grid. There is no local stone available in the desert and so the building material must have come from very far.
The city was once notable for its abandoned and short-lived revivalist architecture, but this notability has itself been long forgotten. The materials, just like the temperaments of the people here, change very quickly. Several days ago, a seagull crashed into a glass building and its petrified stain remains. A couple of 14 year old schoolchildren with a 3D printer are half-heartedly developing a new kind of glass that can absorb these kinds of animal impact. There are shrubs in the forecourt of the same building that are 50% synthetic.
The scheme to control the weather through a number of atmospheric screens has now been abandoned, but the screens themselves still remain installed. Every morning a team of specialist workers are employed to clear the sand that creeps into the city overnight. In recent years, the winds have accelerated.
The shore of the sea meditates upon the incoming waves, calculating each rush of pebbles, swirl of sand, each hapless jellyfish. A whole host of data is processed by molecules of hydrogen and oxygen, calcium or silica. On the shore the innumerable vectors and speeds of every atom of sea, air and land, symbiotically play out the illusion of causation.
Gravity from a pair of rotating stars rips them apart. At this distance, the dog shit is masked by other expungent mess. It is all mono, all brown. There is nothing at a right angle, and little here that we can recognise with any geometry at all.
At this height, at this velocity, all imaging technologies are redundant.
A white envelope addressed in exaggerated script, tops a pile of miscallanious paperwork on a side table. In four years time the bills and receipts that accompany
Pgs 10 - 14 Morten Torgersrud , Untitled, A Neutral, Flexible Structure 2012
Anya Firestone Decadent Art Art in Decadence: Curating a Musee Imaginaire
An abridged except 2012. Image: Anya Firestone, with thanks to Clair Healy
Decadent Art Art in Decadence: Curating a Musee Imaginaire
In the tale of the perennially fashionable term ‘decadence’, historians have deployed its definition as a recurrent and ineluctable phenomenon: after a civilization reaches its cultural climax, decadence is the space in time (and time in space) wherein a deviation from and rebellion against the prevailing societal norms occurs. Such a society does not concern itself with regeneration but annihilates itself in a declivitous ride through hedonistic pursuits and transient pleasures: bodies of banquets, succulent orgies,
Nero’s sheet music, that piece of molten chocolate cake,
And as such it has developed since antiquity, as the sexy polemical term of moral opprobrium and as a dialectical device used to explain the rise and fall of evolutions for human ecologies across the world. In the Nineteenth century, the wor(l)d blossoms anew: “We accept, without humility as without pride, this terrible word Decadence!”1 Fin de siècle France served as the lavish debutante ball to formally crown Decadence2 with a capital D and knight a figure and movement under its epithet. Promulgated by, and on behalf of, a group of French writers reacting to the dehumanizing forces cultivated by contemporary progress, la Décadence emerges as artistic attempt to counter the decadence of its time. As such, the word’s heretofore unflattering connotations become redeployed when appropriated as an art-driven phenomenon within a literary canon. As the spine-shivering ring of Modernity amplifies, the Decadent man panics!, rises!, and steps forward to stop it; he drapes on his cape, ties his ascot à la Brummell, lifts his gloved fist to the world, and parting his rouged lips wide, he cries — after one last puff of opium—:
AR(rê)T! He is the high-maintenance superhero (or anti-superhero), tenaciously ready to break free from the “platitudes of the present day”3 and conserve his own uniqueness. To do so, he resolves to use art as 1 Paul Bourget, quoted in Jean Pierrot, “The Decadent Imagination, 1880-1900”, trans. Derek Coltman (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981), 11. Paul Bourget establishes himself as a “theoretician of decadence” in the two sets (written in 1883 and 1885) of Essais de psychologie contemporaine (Paris: Librairie Plon, 1912). 2 For the duration of this study, the term “Decadence” will take a capital letter D to refer to the Nineteenth century literary movement and the way in which this study approximates it as a theory of art practice. The term “the Decadent” will refer to the ideal character that embodies the aspirations of the way in which we come to posit the movement. The terms “the Decadent writer” or “Decadent author” will be specified to suggest not the non-fictional figure. The adjective “Decadent” comes to signify he or that which bears the trends or signs of our present understanding of the word in the fin de siècle. The use of “decadent” suggests the dictionary definition as discussed in the opening introduction. The term italicized as “in Decadence” qualifies that which is placed under the curatorial appropriation and mindset of the Decadent tactic. 3
c[…] les platitudes des temps présents.” Paul Verlaine.
his acolyte in order to create an ideal simulacrum of the world into which he and his aristocratic mind can escape. This tactic is grounded upon the belief that the incapability to exist in the present will be diverted by an eminence of truth carried by the objet d’art into the future. In turn, disenchantment with the exterior world actuates extreme movement inwards — psychologically into the self and physically into the interior— both of which become spaces for ornamentation and artistic display, and in turn, the expositions that come to define Decadent poetry and prose. Given the reliance on and prevalence of images and aesthetics as tantamount to its project, the void of a history to ever propound “Decadence” as a visual-arts genre, rather than (or even instead of) a literary one, is remarkable. Indeed, at times do artists consciously declare themselves and their works as part of a movement based upon a creative impulse or style that they wish to claim as their own. Or else do art historians, academics, and curators retrospectively apply demarcations of genres in order to account for the phenomena of patterns across art, an effect André Malraux terms “the correlation of forms”4. Yet wondrously peculiar is that both the fin de siècle Decadents and any art historical forces that have ensued thereafter, have been unable — or perhaps consciously unwilling — to ever embed into history a “Decadent Art”. Has the art historical canonizing power, someplace in between Symbolism and Modernism, glazed over it in an amnesic bloop? Or rather, is Decadence too cryptic of a phenomenon to ever fully merit aestheticization into the plastic arts? Quite plainly, if art is central to defining the Decadent movement, why then is there no art movement defined as “Decadent”? That the rhetoric of Decadent literature promulgates refrain from society and nature, and thus from publicness and procreation, is indisputable. Yet if we conclude: “Those who are decadent don’t do”, and reason that no visual arts genre exists because the Decadent would never produce something to be seen by the masses, i.e. a work of art, then we inevitably encounter an unavoidable glitch of the Decadent movement: the Decadent movement itself. A publicized literary canon seems necessarily counterintuitive to the program’s aspiration to arrive at a Baudelairian “Anywhere out of the World”5 if it definitively ends up printed and bound everywhere within it. So why is the writer compelled to display his aspirations to depart from the exterior world in a work made for it? And if he has reason to achieve a text (as we expect he does, since the literature exists), then why still does he not create a work of his most beloved treasure of all—the objet d’art? The most exemplary of Decadent figures, Duc Jean Floressas des Esseintes of J.-K. Huysmans’ A Rebours, seldom interacts with people, preferring instead to spend his existence searching for solace through art and artifice in the interior. Despite his daily encounters with art, Des Esseintes, like his author, does not create any; he does not paint, draw, build, nor sculpt. Yet, although he does not produce objects, he is certainly not unproductive. If so, we would have dismissed him as an art-loving Aesthete collector endpoint. Rather, he actively commissions, collects, arranges, strategizes, and comments upon ready-mades (in the pre-Duchampian sense). Vital dependency on the object — its sign, its limits, and its possibilities — generates incessant musings on aesthetics, self-obsessed fastidiousness of taste, and lavish exhibitions of matter. Therefore, while the art-driven existential crisis does not manifest in the production of an artwork, it does anachronistically share instead the features of a distinct philosophy of and theory towards art. Namely, it is the conscious, even political, contemporary approach to selecting, mediating, and displaying objects — in a word: curating. Through the unique creation of a text, the Decadent writer does not “produce” just a “book”. Nor does he —although he may have tried—create a fully autonomous literary “artwork”. Instead, he reveals Decadence as movement itself, through art and across objects. Furthermore, these textual exhibitions actively comment upon the ultimate futility to use material and the real as passageways 4
Malraux, André, Le Musée imaginaire, Paris : Gallimard, 1947
5 This is the English title for “N’importe où hors le monde”, from Baudelaire’s Petits Poèmes en Prose (Le Spleen de Paris) taken from Thomas Hood’s “The Bridge of Sighs”. Nicholas White explains this poem “might provide an ideal mixture of freedom and constraint at the level of form” (Against Nature, 200), a theory brought forth in A Rebours, and central to the way in which objects are perceived in Decadence.
through which to escape the real material world. That Huysmans changed his novel’s original title from Seul to A Rebours elucidates this fact. For the writer, achieving autonomous Decadent status in a decorated solipsistic solitude (“Seul”) is impossible. Yet, the framing of this quixotism within the walls of his novel results as a new, and in-turn, effective exposition to operate against (“A Rebours”) the public world he disdains. As such, Decadent literary production is not a relinquishing of an impossible privatization with art; rather, it is a relishing of the inaccessible publicity of that privatization through fantastical, imaginary curation. If then, for Stéphane Mallarmé, “everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book,”6 perhaps everything in Decadence exists in order to end up in a museum. Thus, to dare to imagine what in fact an ontologically defined “Decadent” artwork would look like, is to come to the conclusion that it would not take the form of an object at all. Rather, and precisely as its literature operates, Decadence would take the form of a musée imaginaire—of itself.
IV: Le Musée Imaginaire7 de la Décadence Curator’s Statement
From Paris to New York, there have been various attempts to curate exhibitions about Decadence8. These projects, however, tend to provide only pieces of evidence that seek to appropriate the movement with an aesthetic and a style. Here, Goya’s bleeding prints might startle us as the scent of faded editions of the Yellow Book would fill a room of absinthe spoons, blackened rubies, and somber lighting. At present, such works and tastes are not dismissed entirely. However, it must be recognized that, as important as the material objects displayed, are the ways in which those works are used to form a narrative path. After all, the Decadent is not only concerned with art for the sake of its materiality, but with the prospect of where that materiality may lead to and the doors upon which it may ultimately open. For this reason, the Musée Imaginaire de la Décadence (MID) does not aim to exhume the movement from its literary coffin in order to propose a catalog of artworks heretofore mislabeled and presently professed as a newfound “Decadent” art genre. Rather, artworks operate together as conceptual visual leads by which we may arrive at the desired beyond through a curatorial platform. 6 Stéphane Mallarmé, “The Book, Spiritual Instrument”, trans. Michael Gibbs, in The Book, Spiritual Instrument, Jerome Rothenberg and David Guss eds. (New York: Granary books, 1996) 14.
7 The “Musée Imaginaire”, a concept coined by André Malraux in his 1947 essay of the same title, was the urgent call for an idealized imaginary space wherein all objects are freed to exist from the inveigling, structuring, and politicizing walls imposed upon them by art history and museum politics. Malraux states: “It has become clear the Museum without Walls will not be reduced to similarities between forms.”. Yet because Decadence is already free from any such forces since no ‘Decadent’ art genre exists, its entrance into and its re-configurement as a Musée Imaginaire has a different aim and a different architecture than that of Malraux. In fact, Malraux’s museum has no architecture whatsoever (as its English translation connotes, “Museum without Walls”) and therefore too, does it have no need for a curator. For Decadence, by contrast, the staging of its own curatorial condition must consciously make monstrous its own form. The objects within its museum cannot be, as Malraux would wish, freed from utilitarian or “correlative forces”, but rather, like the Decadent himself, strictly dependent upon them. In turn, Art becomes both the side effect of, and the very curative used to cure — as curation’s etymology suggests — Decadence, “the constitutional malady of the conscience”, and what Arthur Symons diagnoses as a “beautiful and interesting disease”. Accordingly: “In order to effect a complete cure,” writes Huysmans, “it will suffice if the patient has a fairly fertile imagination”. The resulting Musée Imaginaire de la Décadence becomes a phantasmagorical space that, ultimately, may best be recognized as an allegorical blueprint for the contemporary art museum today. 8 Two examples of recent exhibitions claiming to have displayed Decadence: “À Rebours”, an exhibit curated by Adam Lindemann at Venus over Manhattan in New York in June 2012. And “Artificialia”, an exhibit curated by four artists displaying their own works (J. Herrington, L. May, L. Selby and J. Caldeira) at Douglas Way in London in July 2012.
Theoretically, although various combinations of artworks and necessarily of varying genres may find a place in this complex, the space is not a chaotic apophenia wherein anything goes. Rather, the few works displayed at present are chosen and arranged because they are examples that respond to a specific drive, what we would describe as Decadence, when they come in contact with one another across a formulaic blueprint. According to Boris Groys, “every exhibition tells a story by directing the viewer through a particular order; the exhibition space is always a narrative space.”9 In its typical inverting way, Decadence is the story that tells an exhibition, twice. Here, that story must be exhibited by its own curatorial logic. To do this, we must curate the writer’s exposition (level 1) of the protagonist’s private curatorship (level 2); what ensues is the mise en abyme tri-level architecture of the MID (level 3) that is at once art-historical, political, and self-conscious of its form: art historical, in that it describes works based upon their narrative, thematic, and formal components; political, in that its scenography is calculated and the works mediated and imposed with values; and self-conscious in that it makes monstrous its own condition, taking as its subject (Decadence) as its curatorial methodology, and its methodology (Decadence) as its curatorial subject.
The Blueprint of the Exhibitonary Complex
The museum space through which we move must be derivative of the two forces that drive the Decadent movement: its initiating Desires (Z), and the tactics used to satisfy them, what we will refer to as Curatives (C). Consequential of the aspiration for both the body and the mind to evade the present, two sub-desires ensue. The first is the desire to move away from nature and reality, and the second is the desire to move towards the infinite and the beyond. Therefore, the space must concern itself with time, with the alteration of temporality, and the refusal to exist at any moment but the present. Secondly, it must concern itself with the manipulation of nature, based on the wish to counter both the real and the procreative. Therefore, in order to cure, and thus to curate (two interconnected desires), the MID must trace the Decadent’s main remedial tactics by which he may progressively transgress actual time and space. These Curatives are: Nostalgia, Death, Artifice, and Art. Decadence makes simultaneous appeals, aesthetic and otherwise, with nostalgia as a strategy to evade the present. Paradoxically, and thus appropriately, our first movement away from the external world and forward into the museum entails a forward step backwards into Nostalgia (N); here, mythical, biblical, and classical references emerge. These images will evoke the figure of the Femme Fatale, she who ushers us towards the next Curative, Death and Disease (X)— the means by which a thanatological obsession and subsequent negation of life will come to counter progress and procreation. Directly, what ensues is the battle between that which proliferates and that which decays. The Decadent, in seeking the infinite, inclines thus to Artifice (F), to objects that neither live nor die but perennially persist in their obviously synthetic states. Here, like the Decadent, the experience of accessing the beyond accelerates to the obsession par excellence of our study, Art (A), as the telos by which to transcend to an ailleurs.
B. Groys, Art Power, 43.
The scenography of the MID is thus based upon the following formulaic division: In its entirety, the Decadent Movement itself may be formulated as: Decadence = Desires (Z)
+ Curatives (C)
The equation for the Desires of Decadence are denoted as follows:
Z = Desires, where Z = the positive move (+ towards the infinite and beyond) and the negative move (- against the finite and the real).
The equation for the Curatives of Decadence are denoted as follows:
C= Curatives, where C = Nostalgia (N1), + Death (X1), + Artifice (F1), + Art (A1).
In turn, Decadence is equated as = [(move towards and infinite and beyond) + (– move against the finite and the real)] + [Nostalgia=Death (X1) + Artifice (F1) + Art (A1)] Since the present study concerns itself with the enigma of the fixation with (and without) art, we build the museum’s complex from A1, Art, which is divided into the four sections of the MID. Each of these spaces takes for itself the theme of one of the aforementioned four Curatives. Ergo, the exhibit’s art is the sum of its Desire’s Curatives. Therefore, A1
= n2 + x2 + f2+ a2. Wherein:
n2 = the art of Nostalgia for the Decadent x2 = the art of Death for the Decadent f2 = the art of Artifice for the Decadent a2 = the art of Art for the Decadent Since Decadence is equivalent to = Z + (N1 + X1+ F1 + A1), and since the Musée Imaginaire de la Decadence’s focus is Art itself, or A1, then the MID is equivalent to = A1= (n2+
x2 + f2+a2).
Through a textual visual exposition, the MID exposes the in motu appropriation of life by placing art in Decadence, museologically formulating the literary movement and ours across it. A corpus of texts “that deserve to be called not decadent but Decadent, as a consistent strand of literary production”10— Huysmans’ A Rebours, Baudelaire’s Fleurs du Mal, Rachilde’s Monsieur Vénus, along with poetry and prose—serve as the wall-texts for the selected artworks presented. Perverse and irreverent, exquisite and toxic, the museum both of and for Decadence reveals the object’s aesthetic and the exhibitionary platform in which it exists, through their simultaneous decay. What results are infectious symptoms and disappearing forms: chastising statues, floral asphyxiation, androgynous bodies, bejeweled tortoises, ecstatic saints, dying portraits, empty space.
M. Di Mauro-Jackson, Decadence as a Social Critique…, 26.
The Musée Imaginaire de la Décadence Anywhere out of the world
Peut-être te divertiras-tu dans cette contrée dont tu as souvent admiré l’image dans les musées…?
Erin Baillie-Rütter Ward’s Symphony
Soft Petal Of Fullen (a prologue) pt. 3 Courage & Achievement The King moves to h5 Sounds: Trembling ......
In the downstairs Chamber the two children sit they have been fed and are physically pleasing to The Onlooker Softly Meadow1 caresses the knee of her better half.... she wishes it was sharper; a device is Oft Longing. Upon touch Meadow2 replies (to such stimulation!).... “Well it affects our everyday life because the buildings we live and go to school in are planned before we are built” (A scratch is heard nearby, an exterior sound) Meadow2 proceeds to pick up a Small Chair he has been eyeing, it responds in great clarity and affection; Placed now looking into The Fire, and Meadows. On the wall facing a grand window is a painting of a rug in a field with a single flower (now dried) holding it down. (you can hear the blood slain) Meadow1 says while looking in the heart of The Fire: “Just as the feeling is when turning over a great rock, one with a hidden Chamber, only to find a Small Butterfly made of metal” And ever so slowly the king moves himself to h5....
(Sitting Still) -a single brick is thrown through the windowA Scasm of past periwinkle, remnants now bleed One reads the following attached as a Clothing tag: â€œU wait for her outside U wish she was your same Lotus U wish she was yours, Only, Orchid made of feltâ€? As it slowly picks the brick up it is reminded of a hue, specifically Something with a base of periwinkle, now drained and terraformed Making your chin turn a slight orange while grasping its form True love does hurt, it is reminded of its Collections Mood: All that is loved will never die; Ward is placed on the shelf, caressed fully We had met him some Time Ago when there was not much growth but only promise His time was not limited like most he sits next to collecting the Bunnies Grey When a brick shows its innards sometimes a Rock Is Found.... -IntermissionOften most touching and touched is The Rug Which when moved an inch reveals The Safe not yet touched by Bunnies Grey When feeling itself it is reminded of nice sweet scents Much guests have spoken positively of her embrace.... (A rustle of insides) And it thought Oft itself before the extinction of U; I sit here with my legs crossed but my arms are most NOT folded Looking for inspiration for my music Not for winter colded My comfortable chair supports me While i sit and think
but beware, U devil for my mind is on the brink Walking slowly to the shelf it feels for the predecessor named Ward The ears fondle The nose caresses the hands fumble over a muted area that feels almost itself The exterior of which Flesh may be smelt distantly Fate will not deny access to a wall of bricks ...Slowly behind the seams of the room a petal falls on Ward.... Music may be heard from The Touch (Scraps&Sound)
A Collection Oft Rocks (made Interior) Do not Fear My Courageous Hand Near&Far Moods: Various Sound: Enchanted Sonata
Type: Surface Found: in shelf Name: Unknown Value: 4yrs, 10 months, 3 days
Description She came slowly towards her, but she could smell the pain smiled across the room to another they thought it was a sincere feeling of you The beautiful colours on the body so little we have come across and know we have so much to do, Looking for you, I will do even if you do not want to be found You have only scratched a wound Puddle on the pavement makes ... impression so rare to find in the world.
Type: Flesh Found: in shelf Name: Ward Value: 0yrs, 0 months, 1 day
Description Like a farmer loves his latest collection of slaughter We searched and succombed a dim setting the exterior quickly adapted our interior It was snowing when we dug you out of context were your emotions to understand fully, Against the shades of grey made for us pigment was a rare find Form was Oft comforting â€Ś. your Symphony
Type: Almost Rare Found: in Shelf Name: Unknown Value: 7yrs, 3 months, 15 days
Description we had a copy, how you yearned please come home come home to us when the sunlight comes in They are more available We know this because the shelf behind Background is beautiful against itself All Is Soft
Somewhere in between The Walls.... I sat almost Interior, hidden within the darkness of twilight’s Embrace. About me, others moved and carried about in their pursuits of pleasure and indulgence, yet I stayed to my darkened corner... alone with the wounds my recent Findings of Ward had left stained upon my soul. My glass, empty of the bitter Wine the proprietor of this establishment had the audacity to call a Berduskian Red, caught The Fire’s glare in its multifaceted depths. I contemplated leaving my lonely perch for the warmth and safety of my Castle, when I suddenly found myself caught, as surely as within Ward’s treacherous webs, by the form of a dancing Meadow upon the Tavern’s floor. With eyes grown weary from the pain and suffering they had witnessed, I searched out her gyrating form. Her every curve etched itself into my memory with the painstaking attention an artist gives his life’s work. My hands reached of their own accord, gathering a quill and scroll from my cloak and setting ink to paper... my gaze still caught by the vision of loveliness that seemed to eclipse the room with her splendor. With a heart suddenly lifted high from its worries, I set down... I watch her dance, her sinuous body gliding into a sensuous pose of vibrant sexuality as potent as the Onlookers call.
Her body, so lithe and filled with a wild exuberance, it speaks to my own of a longing I had thought long dead... to join her and let our bodies flow and meld into a harmonious whole. A stray lock of her raven tresses escapes from its sisters, flying free in a moment of rebellion. I watch as she catches it, her hips still grinding to the life pulse of the Symphonies heart. Her fingers work the lock round and round, winding it behind her ear with a misplaced care I long to feel within my soul once more. I grow to love the beauty of her bodyâ€™s grace. She is leaving now... her arms wrapped about the waist of some Meadowian lover, and I will not break the symmetry of that vision to share what her Soul has invoked within me this eve. So I will lay down my quill, and contemplate the perfection of the memories she has left me, and be content with the longing that they bring, of times gone past, and loves lost. With a weary sigh I lay my quill down, my dreams vanished into the eveâ€™s dark keeping. My eyes closed, I saw visions of others... of loves lost to the winding corridors of time, yet cherished within the tender place I held ever opened deep within my heart. The wounds of their absence burn still, no matter the decades spent embraced with such loss. Such is the sorrow of loving too easily. With a strum to my Harp a wave of blue spellfire envelops my form, swallowing me into its care. In my wake, a scattering of gold coins, an empty glass of blue crystal, and a scroll....
Be kindly My Bed Looking Forward To A Custom Self; There is a video playing of a woman dancing alone on Youtube The sound is faint but sounds of behind Hills children are Laughing U think of high school and a bathrobe never fulfilled Next to U is the rock thrown through the window An addition to the collection is of most appreciation You laugh and feel the back of your head The laugh is standing alone no longer desired Together is Achievement more Of As it ages it knows the removal of sound Comes Much like U came to her on chair (Sheet Oft Music) (Queen to g2) In found Courage
Bea McMahon The Fixed Point
A muted play, (with actors) which alternates with a film version with voice over 40
Studio presentation photographs 2013 45
Sanna Marander On Responsibity
A deeply unproductive day could have reached its peak of frustration and who knows what would have happened had it not been for the shit. Yes, not metaphorically but the actual shit from a dog, placed right in front of the gallery gate. How an animal could pick a more inappropriate spot. Already more than one human seemed to have stepped in the shit. Foot prints could be distinguished. She had stepped over it on her way in and out, actually never thought that she could do anything about it. The idea that it somehow could become her responsibility hadn’t previously crossed her mind. Perhaps it should be located right there, not as an artwork but as a reminder of the provisional. One could also pretend that one didn’t see it. In the evenings though, at the dinner table, still after more than one glass of wine, one nevertheless talked about responsibility, to have responsibility towards ones own practice and so on, to use the time and the place where one finds oneself in a responsible way. She couldn’t not agree. What this responsibility would imply was up to each and everyone so what if the only thing one was able to accomplish after a whole day’s if not week’s work was to, with the aid of a nearby found stick, shove aside a pile of shit? The gesture was done initially out of pure exhaustion, yes even out of anger, after a tiresome day where nothing seemed to be in the right place and where nothing came out of her notwithstanding hours and hours at the work table. But as soon as she had performed the act, barely had she swiped the shit to the side before she realized the width of her action. Gallery visitors on their way to the gallery pass through the gate in front of which the shit was placed. The ones who had stepped in the shit could thus easily have been gallery visitors. They had in other words on their way to see the exhibition stepped in the shit and continued. Perhaps they would have discovered the misstep immediately, in which case they would probably in desperation have tried to scrape it off on an edge or in the grass. Perhaps someone would have gone as far as down to the river to rinse the shoe, yes hadn’t she seen a man, slightly limping on his way down to the water the other day? The alternative was in any case worse, that is that the shitty visitor had not discovered the mishap before it was too late, in other words before he or she had stepped into the gallery. Horrible thought. The gallery is not clean like many other galleries, but there’s one thing having a few spiders in a corner, a completely different thing an imprint of shit, or perhaps even more than one imprint depending on how deep in the shit the person in question had stepped. A warm feeling of responsibility, yes even of productivity permeated her body. Imagine that this simple gesture, performed with the right hand, almost like a brush stroke, and with the pre historic tool that a stick constitutes, could have such deep impact on the place where she found herself: on the gallery space, on the visitors, yes perhaps the influence of this act would spread like ripples into the future working conditions and finances of the institution. Imagine if this hypothetical visitor was not just a tourist roaming around in the area or an art lover without significant resources but actually someone from the art world’s elite? Someone who could have impacted on the future of the place, perhaps a person from the nearby art school or even worse, someone in a decision making position regarding funding? Imagine then if this person, this important, perhaps even essential character, had stepped in the shit on his or her way into the gallery space. Horrible thought. Imagine then if this person would have discovered it immediately and in desperation tried to scrape it off against an edge or in the grass, but after having failed (because one always fails), having been far too distracted to take in the art in the gallery space. The person in question would thus have been present in the physical sense but with the mind somewhere else. He or she would have been standing in the gallery space, in the midst of art works, without being able to think of anything but shit. The thought alone gave her anxiety, at the same time as it filled her with the sense of responsibility she very much had longed for during her entire stay at the institution. She had tried in desperation to scrape off the feeling of unproductivity, of not having a real connection to the place, of not being able to use her time right, in short of failing in participating in the artistic endeavor of the place. That evening she thought repeatedly about the artists who’s works were in the gallery. Even during the night she woke up a couple of times and went through the exhibition space in her mind. She was thinking of how productive artists actually can be and how easily the viewers concentration can get lost altogether. She was thinking that there must be a role there that hasn’t fully been investigated, perhaps even an undiscovered profession or at least an artistic practice that explores ways to clear the viewer’s way to the art work. She was thinking how fragile this meeting is, in this space, and how easily thoughts can be elsewhere and how all the effort, time and cerebration that the artists have spent on their work can get wasted. How you stand there in front of the art and actually think of shit.
Fabienne AudĂŠoud The Biggest Painting Show Ever: an anti prize for emerging artists
The Biggest Painting Show Ever I recently received an invitation for yet another French biennale. The card promised “54 artists from 9 European countries and the JCE prize”. It could easily have been “564 artistes from 7 European Countries and a happy winner.” No, this is no fairground announcement; it’s the French art scene. The official one. Meanwhile, at the Ricard Foundation, four artists are in competition for a “prize awarded to one of the most representative artists of their generation.” I would very much like to know why 54 artists out of 9 countries is a good thing or why this is put forward as a communication argument. I’m also wondering how being the most representative of a generation is worthy of a reward. I must have missed something here. I didn’t even know it was part of the game. On the other hand, I’m not sure if it’s really about people being born at around the same time, having lived through the same events (in one country I suppose), or if it’s more about the notion of an art scene, theoretical positions, a certain discourse, style. Is it about representing other artists? Better than they do themselves? What if it’s a sluggish generation, should one represent sluggishness in a strong and effective way or be very sluggish oneself? I call a friend as I feel a bit lost. She tells me it’s about rewarding an artist who represents the idea the jury has of how artists should represent their generation. It’s tautological, she says. As for those who represent minorities or the “voiceless”, people who just do not do things like others, they don’t stand a chance: they won’t win the “pétanque” championship. That’ll teach them all right. In 2000, a year after the first Ricard Prize, a group of collectors launched the Marcel Duchamp Prize: “Its ambition is to honour a French artist or artist residing in France, representative of his or her generation and working in the field of the plastic and visual arts (…) keeping with the essential artist after whom it is named, this prize wishes to bring together the most innovative artists of their generation on the French scene and encourage all of the new artistic forms, thereby stimulating creation.” How does one “encourage”, support or stimulate all new artistic forms by singling out one artist? How can one be the most representative, and at the same time, the most innovative? How does one bring artists together by honouring just one? Or is it more about honouring someone by bringing others together? I don’t get it. I’ve got the feeling that the Adiaf (the organization behind the prize) has a bit of a right wing approach to art. In fact, it reminds me of Sarkozy’s speeches. Anyway, with a panel of judges, it’s supposed to be politically safe and democratic, as one cannot really ask for explanations. They talk, deliberate, and take action. It has even become a TV show recipe, adaptable to various practices, but always with its winner, its prize, and contenders to be eliminated. It’s highly educational for the masses. It gets them used to being rejected, ostracized and sacked. Milton Friedman’s principles with a hint of the Roman taste for blood; always fun to watch. You can even make people participate, take responsibility and pay for their own votes. That’s what the “Sciences Po Prize for Contemporary Art” is doing (Science Po is somehow the equivalent of LSE) “On top of the prize given by a jury of prestigious and surprising names, (…) there is a Symbolic People’s Choice Award” (where students, teachers and employees can vote). There’s an important reminder on their website: “Remember to visit the exhibition before voting” and something about the final event: “There will a cocktail party, several DJ sets and performances. But entry is by invitation only...” They must have a very bright communications teacher there.
I do wonder if these French prizes are trying to copy the Turner Prize. I remember watching it live in 1999 on Channel 4, when Tracey Emin walked off the set. It was strong - you’ve lost me there- a real performance and a good show. I then left the UK and I’m not sure it went on being so much fun. Let’s cross the Seine again. We’re not going far at all: “What do you think of the Meurice Prize for contemporary art and the artists who have been pre-selected? With glamour or humour, levity or passion, write your comments.” (Given the price of the room, I’m not going to correct their mistakes in English, am I?) On the French version of the site, there are four comments, on the English one, a few more including: “great site”, “great”, “great idea”, “awesome”, and “I love this site”. It’s yet another panel of judges taking decisions here, including Colette Barbier, president of the Ricard Foundation, neighbour and the person who first re-introduced the idea of art prizes in France. “Artistic creation has, since 1835, been essential to the art of living at Le Meurice, where art coincides with a certain French genius. Such luxury is the kind that gives expression to creativity and innovation, to art in its highest form.” that’s the prize background. “Deconstructing our belief systems and preconceived ideas”, that’s what the artist is doing with the piece “Arabs and services”, which won him the competition. Sorry, Neil, I like your work, but I’m also deconstructing here. “Admission is free. The exhibition invites each and every one to discover the work of these young artists; equally importantly, it offers these “future greats” a fabulous showcase for the attention of curators, collectors and other important figures in contemporary art...” I’m not going to comment on this, as I do not wish to be accused again of slagging off unpaid interns. Oops, I nearly forgot about the Audi Talents Award, launched a year earlier. Seven winners since it started. One woman. If you take all disciplines: twenty-nine winners, four women. OK, it’s a boy’s talent club… The latest chosen is Ivan Argote, who “speaks about the future looking at History in the eyes.” Sorry Ivan, I know it’s more copying than really deconstructing… Sorry. Anyway… Isn’t it weird to think that a prize given once a year to an artist will give the French scene international visibility? Are they going back to the old French community schools tradition of distributing end of the year prizes for the best pupils? What sort of intellectual emulation does this create? What kind of context does it promote? Can we talk about it or is it taboo? I know it’s always good when artists get money, but still… I’m bored. Liberal ideologies imply that competition is the best way to create wealth, but it’s not quite so clear anymore, is it? Are the principles of prize-distribution not a bit backwards? Do we really need that in art at the present? Shouldn’t this be the kind of idea artists should “deconstruct” as the press release has it? May the best man win! Sorry, but I do find it corny, cheesy, old fashion, right wing, boring, and most of all anti-art. “The biggest painting show ever” is therefore a sort of anti-prize. No panel of judges with renowned members. This is not a trial, nor an audition, nor a TV show. No winner and no losers. This is not a horse race, nor a cockfight, nor a Monopoly game. No super representative artists, no initiation rituals, and ceremonies.
French institutions tend to use the term “emergent” rather than “representative”. They refer to very different notions but are, at the same time quite exchangeable, like passkeys or Scrabble jokers. As a matter of fact, I do hope this is the visual counter-argument that comes out of the TUMBLR webpage (for The Biggest Painting Show Ever). I hope it shows -and that something other than the emerging of young emergent artists is taking place. I’d be surprised if you thought about that while scrolling through the site. I reckon the idea of emergence is not even there. No revelation: this is not Christian art anymore. Something else is happening. Maybe I’m wrong but I’ve got the impression that similarities are more important than differences on this TUMBLR webpage. The longevity of painting is astonishing, even in the most radical and recent practices, but there is something about this hyper-production that is not only referring to quantities. It seems to have reached the stage where quantity becomes quality. Like when water is hot, very hot, and then so hot that it becomes gas. A new phenomenon. Maybe it’s not so much about counting artists on the list but more the effect of this unique mass of art. Maybe the whole collection is like on piece of work. Maybe one should think about it like music. In the same way that Adorno talked about tensions within artworks, it could be about unresolved contradictions within this accumulation? Excess is a vague and flexible term, but when does it start to become this physical event through which something else is being performed? Are we going through a certain radical change in society, like when artists started to sign their name at the end of the middle ages? The web-technological revolution is probably as strong a historical transformation like the beginning of printing, or Capitalism.
“The biggest painting show ever” is a proposal for an exhibition of paintings from the 20th and 21st centuries at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. http://biggestpaintingshowever.tumblr.com/ As for the petition… Well, it’s a sort of joke, of course. A performative joke for which I need you. So please SIGN… https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/the-biggest-painting-show-ever-la-plus-grandeexposition-de-peintures-de-tous-les-temps And I shouldn’t explain the joke, should I?
Florian Riothmayr Tree Mushroom Barbara Daimler Ruft Fußmatten Zurück
– Was it a relief after a long illness? When he died I mean. Slowly but surely…. – It’s not really that kind of euphemism. It happened very suddenly. – It’s good he didn’t have to fight much then. – What kind of stigma are you talking about? No, he wasn’t Napoleon. No war. No struggle. – But if he managed to choose a positive way of thinking…. – I was holding his hand and it didn’t feel like a metaphor. A friend showed me two images she photographed while we were staying in Wysing together in May and then again in July. One showed a mushroom growing on the apple tree in the farm garden: it looked like a semicircular shelf protruding from the tree’s bark, rich brown and yellow colours in layers. It wasn’t clear to me whether it was the tree that afforded itself to suffer this kind of luxury adornment, or if the mushroom needed to be hosted by such weathered tree bark. The other photograph was taken when we came back in July and camped in the farm garden: the mushroom had fallen of the tree and was lying on the ground underneath. It still had the same shape but looked like a black sponge, soaked full of liquid, or like porous wood, similar to lumpy charcoal. There was no trace of the mushroom left on the tree. Some time later I read that for generations mushroom growth on birch trees has been used in folk medicine to treat cancer. It’s a fungus that is reported to be very effective in protecting cellular DNA from damaging free radicals. A character in Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s book Cancer Ward is cured of his illness by the mushroom. I asked my friend if I could borrow the two photographs and print them here. Her father had passed away in the meantime.
A sculpture by Barbara Hepworth called Two Form (Divided Circle) has been stolen from Dulwich Park in south London. The bronze piece, which is insured for £500,000, was cut from its plinth overnight by suspected scrap metal thieves. The insurance value does in no way reflect the price achieved when sold as scrap metal. S. Wallis (director of the Hepworth Wakefield): There’s no doubt it is a very significant work from the latter part of her career. This piece from 1970 was one of those powerful monumental late bronzes. It’s an important piece and a very beautiful piece, and beautiful to see it in that outdoor setting. That’s one of the reasons it’s so sad that someone’s whipped it for the scrap metal. It will be irreplaceable. P. John (leader of Southwark Council): The theft of this important piece of 20th Century public art from Dulwich Park is devastating. The theft of public art and metal is becoming a sickening epidemic. I would ask the Met Police and their metal theft task force to investigate this theft as a matter of urgency and would ask anyone with any information about the whereabouts of the sculpture to contact us, or the police. T. Moore (chairman Dulwich Park Friends): It has always been there as long as I’ve been in Dulwich. It’s just one of those things which is always there as you wander past and you feel like you’ve had a finger chopped off, in all honesty. B. Hepworth (sculptor): You can climb through the Divided Circle – you don’t need to do it physically to experience it. Angela Connor (former assistant of B. Hepworth): There is a chance the piece could be re-cast if the mould still exists. Does the mould still exist?
Daimler ruft Fußmatten zurück*
Stuttgart – Wegen möglicher Probleme mit dem Gaspedal ruft Daimler Tausende Allwetter-Fußmatten aus dem Zubehörprogramm für die Mercedes M-Klasse zurück. Betroffen sei die aktuelle Generation der M-Klasse, sagte ein Sprecher des Unternehmens. Es sei möglich, dass bei beiden Modellen die Fußmatte das Gaspedal berührt und so automatisch Gas gegeben wird. Eienm Pressebericht zufolge wurden in den USA 8675 Matten aus dem Zubehörprogramm verkauft, in Deutschland sind es rund 2800. Da nur die Käufer der Autos, nicht aber die der Fußmatten bekannt seien, werden jetzt nur die Halter angeschrieben. Die Matten können kostenlos umgetauscht werden.
* Daimler recalls foot mats Stuttgart – Because of possible problems with the accelerator pedal, Daimler is recalling thousands all-weather foot mats from the accessories program of the Mercedes M-class. A company spokesman confirmed that it was the current M-class generation which is affected. It is a possible scenario for both models that the foot-mat could touch the accelerator pedal and so accelerate the car automatically. According to recent press coverage, 8675 mats of the accessories program were sold in the USA, and about 2800 mats in Germany. Because only the names of the buyer of Mercedes cars are know, but not the names from the sales of mats, only known car-holders will be contacted. The mats can be exchanged free of charge.
Matt Packer Sexy Ant
Sexy Ant (2013) Sexy Ant, You don’ know me. You squashed underneath fryin’ pan keeps me on a on. I open curtains this mornin’ a saw black bird, bigger than you. Crow some call it, said nothin’. Big beak wouldn’t even tasty treat your ass. I seen a door wide open a I think shit, just before I scratch my eye. Believe, I seen your lair. Piece a pasta what you want no doubt. Tell a million others come fetch it, Fools. Sexy Ant, That is cookin’ oil a biscuit juice you festerin’ in, of good times fade away, Cut out a gas. I know living, I seen colours. You think greedy a I think ma mind a sexy law. Just tryin’ to make a pie, simple pie with gravy down sides of spoon, yours a mine. A see scurryin’. A see tiny piecy. A see round booty shaky. Sexy Ant, you lost your way. Others got no songs. Still bed down take it easy, find cock and hole. You burnt cum is now a bottom of pan, Up top is onion all getting’ nice a gettin’ crispy ‘life di tough, who’s losin’ is what they sayin’. Turn some game, eatin’ suckin’ motor worl’ Sexy Ant can play.
64 - 73, AcidMist. Wood-crete Fence. Jean-Antoine-Gabriel Davioudâ€™s paths on the Belvedere, 1869. Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Paris. 72
Scrub Sam Basu
Voyages around Kaspar Oppen Samuelsenâ€™s series, O Flesh 2013 84
A freckly pale-skinned girl who glows green underneath, bars my path. “Hello.” The creature smiles and offers me something from the bag she is carrying and I feel I have come under the influence of a great force. A sensation like drugs and fear in an escalating blood feud pulses through me. The creature continues to stare and smile. Lysergic fear reorders into a melting sensation accompanied by the delusion that thousands of tiny bright coloured spheres are pouring out of me and, as I empty out on to the floor spilling my head onto the ground, it occurs to me that this is not a hallucination. I begin to hear the sounds of all the myriad creatures buried in the earth. Sounds that should be inaudible are now roaring out of me, reverberating through me and filling everything. Insects and bugs and worms are seething in symphonic crepitation accompanied by the gurgling of my organs and the pounding of my inner ear. Then silence, and I see that the green girl has wandered off down the path. The beauty of the Scrub has deepened and become even more endless. Our senses are capable of registering effects deep in the fabric of reality. It is the human mind that holds back and limits this sensitivity. Not until you have trained yourself to uncover what is withheld and convey the estranging shocks of what they are capable of telling you, can you really trust your senses. Ever since I discovered the Scrub I have been attuning myself to mismatches in routine-life that brains usually skip over, repair, or just can’t take in. I notice what is strange in an ordinary shower of rain or uncanny in the patterns of bricks in a wall. I see the horrific jarring display that our minds render as causation, and must now acknowledge that within this revealed world, this apocalypse, our cultivated rules of life make no sense at all. The Great Virtues are dumb restrictions to which my only reaction is a recoiling disgust that might well seem like apathy.
Untitled (O Flesh #6) 2013 Gouache on paper 84 x 59,4 cm Framed
From the first visit to the Scrub, I have been cataloguing the ways that vague and dull existence is in fact a deeply absorbing frontier onto the future. This is my life work, an all-absorbing vocation that keeps me cloistered in my bedsit when I am not on the Scrub. The Scrub has given me untold insight into the nasty comedy that our species is perpetuating under the guise of every-day life. The universe is not well organised or beautiful, nor is it singular or perfect. It will never be the cradle of a perfecting human destiny. The Universe is grainy, promiscuous, deranged and struggling to put itself right. That is, it is struggling to bring itself to an end. Now, it is not clear to me which side of this struggle we are working on or whether it would be possible to change sides if we wanted to. The only thing I can do for the moment is to observe and to train myself to live with the alienating terrors that make up day-to-day life. Things are not all bad though, you simply have to adopt an attitude of slack disinterest, and work â€˜under coverâ€™ as it were. When you enter the Scrub you will begin to see you have opened up the old mundane world to a whole horde of previously unnoticed possibilities. Life can be freed from its habitual pursuits. Pointless friendships fall away, your sense of responsibility uncouples and a host of new life-styles present themselves to you. Then the Scrub starts taking over. Weird tales begin to unfold from the back of those ambiguous parts of town that the Scrub moves through. There it starts, not where it is mysterious or dangerous in ways that draw attention, but where there is never any reason to venture. Here you will start to perceive a new frontier and rethink the future alliances of the human race. There are many traps and dangers in the Scrub. As I proceed through its horizon-less grid, I avoid and note the shifting, unpredictable things that appear there. The liminal nature of life in the Scrub brings it under unnatural influence. I cannot be sure of what is going on in the underlying structure of the Scrub but not all the entities that you encounter there act in the same way. It is as if the pull of parallel universes were influencing this border-space. Chief of these unpredictable dangers are the godly creatures who wander among us in the Scrub. It is of paramount importance that you do not incite their interest. These creatures are incomplete and needy and will attempt to pull you away from your adventure and into theirs. Deeper in the Scrub they are a constant menace calling you and enquiring into what you are doing. It is best to ignore them or just make an uninterested grunt and move away. At its core the Scrub is vague and due to this general vagueness you will have to imagine it rather than experience it, bearing in mind that what you imagine will be too detailed, too rich, too vivid. It is easiest to start imagining it from its borders, perhaps, a brownfield site made of pushed together leftovers from abandoned urban planning, or where the inevitable shrinkage of cities is discreetly nipped and tucked with demolished plots in a rubble playground. Its edges are the far sides of large car parks or maybe a storage area. Possibly a hangar near an airport skirts it with chain-link fencing sporadically breached and sagging. The fence catches wrappers and newspaper and occasionally a single, tossed shoe. Over on the far side a marshy ditch pools a small stream that marks the limit of dilapidated shrubbery at the perimeter of the golf course. In the distance the raised columns of a motorway cut off retreat at the rear.
Untitled (O Flesh #5) 2013 Gouache on paper 84 x 59,4 cm Framed
Standing on one edge of the Scrub you can look across it and see nothing of interest at all. It is just a patch of land among others and your eye is quickly distracted to more solid features in your view. It looks exactly like any other wasteland and in fact there is a kind of global generic similarity to all such places The Scrub appears unenticing, it does not seem dangerous or tricky, it seems to hold no magic. It is just there, a most likely refuge for winos and lunatics. Despite the plain openness of this scrap of land, once you enter your horizons are lost, swallowed up into the folds of the Scrub; somehow the land rolls off and pours down into an obscure hollow. This Scrub discloses the enthralled kinship of animals, people, things, noise, colour and sadness. If it is not a utopia, it is supreme in the beauty of its squalid logic and precarious hierarchies. Quickly you lose your bearings and donâ€™t care where you are heading. Each moment that we live contains ceaseless cavalcades of perceivable but unnoticed lesser, liveable moments. Over the last few excursions into the Scrub it has become clear to me that this cavalcade is what allows me to navigate through the Scrub. This is what the Scrub is, it is a dodge, a sidestep. I have been working on the Scrub for some time and these unnoticed moments are not mere possible moments or potential moments. These are real, supplementary instances, as influential and emotive as those we habitually acknowledge. They are vague in their fully realised state like peripheral vision and only disclose themselves to you once you rid yourself of the restrictions of conventional living. This is time-consuming work and it has taken me many years working with the Scrub to master the technique, slowly patching together the scraps of memories that came back with me from visits there. When I finally mastered the technique I found an endless labyrinth of lesser moments streaming into my head and casting their shadows upon the cave of my dim awareness. If you ever take a journey through the Scrub and come across your own cave, do not enter frivolously because once you do you have very little chance of ever choosing to leave. On the whole it is best to be a loner while in the Scrub. However, there are some regulars here, and as time passes, you become ingrained into each other. You even learn names, or make them up to keep track of the faces. It even seems, from a distance, that you have made friends. You cross paths with other shabby characters or dawdle together; feet shuffling, head bowed, and then you are all alone again. Patrick has recently appeared on the Scrub. He is sure that he has been killed in a motor accident and spends all his time roaming around the perimeter of the Scrub looking for evidence of his crash. There is evidence in abundance of vehicle wreckage and the mindless abandonment of machines. Tiny diamond windshield-shards, orphaned hubcaps and miscellaneous domestic appliances constantly orbit the perimeter. No one will tell Patrick that he is looking in the wrong place. Sooner or later he will realise that he has to go much deeper into the Scrub to find answers. Answers in the Scrub come in the unexpected form of the warm, sad silence of indifference, it for this reason alone that the Scrub is the most beautiful place with an answer for everything.
Untitled (O Flesh #1) 2013 Gouache on paper 84 x 59,4 cm Framed
Deeper inside the Scrub everything is intense in its blandness, obsessive without personality. The horizon disappears into a gridded overlay of interconnections, and you cannot resolve whether what you see is a projection from your mind onto the Scrub, or from some entity in the Scrub conjuring projections in you. Inside and outside are ideas that donâ€™t serve too well here. To find your way through the Scrub you must move through a series of invoked tableaux endlessly distracted, and slipping from one inconsequence to another. You are part of these situations, they pull you along and unravel like fragments from a Watteau painting. You are, in effect, adventuring; bizarre narrative syntax plays out in the incessant interruptions, but unlike dreams, these adventures have no underlying context or message. They are as concrete and affecting as the accepted world beyond the Scrub. I have lost track of how long I have been in the Scrub this time. It is a matter of days, but there is no way of telling how long these days had been. Days become nights or months depending on the needs of the adventures you are executing, and everyone you meet, everything you do, all the terrible acts you perpetrate, they all fade and disappear from memory as soon as the new baubles of your story reveal themselves. While drifting, I bump into Patrick again who has finally found his own corpse, and although tears have been streaming down his face, he already seems resolved to his death and is much distracted by two birds that have landed on his shoulders. They are curiously coloured and disarmingly tame, bobbing intently and calling Patrickâ€™s name in a disquieting voice. The Scrub is full of strange voices; animal voices, disembodied voices, re-animated whispers and earthly groans. If you cannot resist talking to them you must never give them you name. Patrick is in grave danger, he has let the Scrub know his name and the Scrub is becoming fascinated with him. I slip away from Patrick and the two godly creatures perched on his shoulders. When I judge I am far enough away I turn to look, but from this distance it is difficult to make out what is happening. It simply looks like the birds are melting into his head and arms. There are more and more godly creatures snooping around. Patrick is doomed.
Untitled (O Flesh #3) 2013 Gouache on paper 84 x 59,4 cm Framed
Liz Murray Soil
Soil-sifter, dirtâ€“lifter, slag-drifter. Buckets of sorting. Mindless drudgery. Bucket upon bucket upon interminable bucket. Sorting rubbish stones stones rubbish glass rubbish stones stones big stones rubbish big rubbish glass bones rubbish plastic stones bones. Precious skulls glass stones rubbish. It gets like that when 24-7 is soil shift. There is a meditation to mundane work and I am one of the sad fuckers who enjoys it. Your mind goes to funny places when your soil-sifting though most of the time mine involves nothing more that the soil I am sifting. Separating stones from slag from glass from concrete from plastic from organic to non-biodegradable to downright dangerous. Once in a while something interesting surfaces. Interesting is a personal matter .I personally find bones and dead things interesting and beautiful. A no-life soil-shifting bitch with grit under her fingernails and mud on her boots so thick that she walks inches above the ground. Mingling treasures (still ripe)-top shelf Stones-various cigar box. Iccle insects matchboxes and or like container. Miscellaneous a-top the locker. And that thar is where I put it. ItIt is what? Interesting- moderately Beautiful-not really Outstanding-not to most-but to meâ€Śâ€Ś.well yes I describe. Goose egg round; brocollifeel; horseshit hue; nappywarm. It gets put a-top the old locker and forgotten.