WITNAS #6 2012
WITNAS #6, THE VINÄS ISSUE Vinäs, Dalarna, January 18-22, 2012. Sara Lindeborg
brought WITNAS to her family’s ancestral cabin and Chris Kraus’ case-study/ novel I Love Dick.
describes destruction and destructs description.
came to Vinäs with a copy of Rilke’s New Poems, and a book on ekphrasis by Grant F. Scott called, The Sculpted Word.
encounters a ghost while cataloguing the remains of the Pers Gård Collection.
wanted to talk about the time of creation through the experience of displacement. The retreat of Vinäs offered this possibility.
Cover and design by Adrien Siberchicot, central porn dog poster by Laura Hatfield. http://www.witnas.org email@example.com
- Here we go fuckers. (There is no filter you know) - My name is porn. Puppy darling. Puppy face. Yeah!
- But it seems pretty unsatisfying to just do whatever. - I really fucked this one up. When are we photo copying it?
- Shit! - Photo copying it? Is this going into WITNAS? - What? - It’s kind of worrying looking into this risotto.
- Painterly right? Post-painterly. Do you see the brush strokes?
- Fuck my dog, dogface!
- Keep going.
- Oh sugar puppy, I love when you talk dirty.
- Should we just burn them?
- Somebody did the dishes. - Maybe this one is just a dog. Dog dog dog. Fuck that one!
- What? You think that’s funny? - I just started thinking. - Then what happened? - Nothing happened. - Ha ha. - I was hungry too. Then I ate a rabbit. - This one is pretty bad. - No sir. But I appreciate your concern sir. - Hey! Do you like this one better? - To me what’s interesting is more… - It’s too comical. How is this head? I know nothing about perspectives. I know nothing about artistic…did you see the other one? - This isn’t pornographic. It’s more conservative. - That’s a good thing! - No. It’s just probably expansive reading of Keats. - Oh yeah yeah yeah.
Not yet composed, for ever farming, cooking, painting, reading, writing
Anders Zorn was the first in Mora to supply his house with electricity. After he had “made it” – and before his statue of king Gustav Wasa was uncovered in the town – he made manifest in his life that position from which the fields, the forests, the streams and the naked were seen. How can this position be described? In one of his watercolor paintings displayed at the Zorn Museum, Lucky with the Ladies, (1885), a young man stands in between two women in traditional clothing – yellow and red dresses and striped aprons and scarves over their heads – on a descending country road. They are tired from dancing, yet happy, with their attires in disarray, their faces sweaty, in the light of the sun rising up from the pined valley below, illuminating the musicians behind still fiddling a circling dance, the drunken games. They pose in the center of the image, the man’s hands resting on the shoulders of the women, looking straight at the viewer. They have stopped suddenly, only for a moment, as the motion in their limbs and muscles, the creases and folds of fabric around them still hold animation, not yet composed, forever collecting into shape. Between this settling movement and the destination of their stroll they have been caught, providing us with an encounter with youth before its posture solidifies or it reaches the end of its way – and is crushed by the forceful nature that surrounds it. Nevertheless this sublime experience does not account for the uncanny feeling the viewer experiences. It does not persist because of the sun that we know and the people who we do not. It is because the brush strokes resemble an actual trace of a missing presence. The young man is Zorn himself, who stood before a camera to emit onto a photographic plate an image that was to become the model for his work. Zorn as ghost between two women, between two media transposed, flickering before a flash like an inconsistency in electric light. Early ethnography explains this magic of being on one side and the other simultaneously, the resemblance and difference of the mirror, the catalog of the scientists and the invocation of the artist, of going into the wild of Sweden, that we are from. “It begins when semen eventually starts to come out usually in the 14th year when the men start loving and continues from thereon until the 50th or 60th year, when that thing ends. And when this semen starts flowing the hairs on the limbs of indulgement starts to grow, the breast starts swelling, the voice is changed and so on. Both sexes naturally start to attract each other more closely than before when they hardly could tell themselves apart.” We start to flow, we grow from the breast. We attract and pull apart. Zorn the patron hiding in the enigmatic face of the lucky young man, with great agricultural interest. The paint-
ing is a study of a mentality torn from destiny at a singular moment. Zorn must know the man’s expression, the feeling and what it means, the proud pause in the walk, the break performed by dance in the everyday toil. “Zorn has several times been in attendance and has seen how the peasantry has understood what has been offered them. He is always welcome in the districts, and the sympathy between him and the people is not forced but real and immediate. He understands the people and the people understand him. Zorn is no speaker, he is a painter, and a teacher of the people.” Zorn was invested in forest keeping. He commissioned seminars to teach the people so that they could know of the earth... how to maximize potential, how to avoid exhaustion. He teaches the craftsmen to ornament their furniture. “The artists, the people’s teachers”, an article in Vestmanlands Tidning, 6th of April 1905 by Anders Pers, farmer turned newspaperman, of Persgården, Vinäs, Dalarna. The first thing we did when we got here was to make a schedule of coffee breaks, dinners, lunches and breakfasts and of who would do the dishes when. We made fish soup after a whiskey toast and we drank red wine. We went outside for a cigarette and we experienced the cold. Of the people that had lived there: one was done with oil after a photograph. The door to my bedroom opened in the middle of the night, a wicker chair in front of the fireplace creaked as if someone had sat down in it. Actual traces of a missing presence, like the wooden bowls, the photographs. They are ghosts like Zorn, who never spoke, but who stood in front of the camera and created the image of another. Who knew and was known immediately, yet who was the teacher when the other was the student. Anders Pers’ mother and I guess Anders Pers’ mother was married to that guy with the funny name, Aldonia or Aldomo. It doesn’t matter. It was so long ago that it was before Gunnar and mormor had this great friendship. Because mormor supported Gunnar in his artistic aspiration he gave so many paintings to her. Because she appreciated them. She must have known that they would tell a story about this place. The next day we went to the Zorn museum and there was a Dalecarlian horse “levitating”in a walnut shell covered with gold leaf behind glass in a wooden frame. In the house were painted and photographed portraits, tradition, culture and structures, or they were representations of the interior and exterior of this property. The majority were painted by Anders Pers’ son Gunnar Pers. We should rearrange them, you know. And when this semen starts flowing. One changing places with another. He un4
derstands were cobwebs and layers of dust, the people, and the people understand on the wall. Sometimes the frames – him – Zorn is no speaker – he were stuck to the wall. Some is a painter, and a teacher, works had been hanging so long of the people. We know and the people who we do not. It is because the brush strokes resemble an actual trace of a missing presence. The young man is Zorn himself, who stood before a camera to emit onto a photographic plate an image that was to become the model for his work. Zorn as ghost between two women. There were family, start to attract each other, more portraits, or illustrations of the surroundings, more closely than before when hardly the buildings themselves or the interior could tell themselves apart. Itself, either the surrounding area, including the frames there but real and immediate. That’s the hairs on the limbs of why she would have liked to – indulgement starts to grow, the breast put dogporn collages behind the paintings, start swelling, the voice is changed just to see if anybody would and so on. All sexes naturally ever move them. Of repetition, of because she wanted things to stay the same eternal house, for her family. The way it is, the 50th or 60th move. A lot of them he made for his grandmother. He seemed to really want to make paintings for his grandmother. Everyone seemed to want to pay their respects. Had been trying and don’t divide, sell, or exchange anything is plus artworks in the means start loving and continues from in the family feel connected and the reason would slip. They just wanted to thereon until they maintain this house respects. That’s just my opinion. I guess she was to move when that thing ends.
the people is not forced never changed. Behind that had been here for the object or for the three generations. Our friend felt that people objectified by property, objects, it was the only thing that medium for passive thinking, the hooks never changed, even though everyone got mnemotechnic, the technique of memory, older. It was a shell for a compulsion to slide everything down the family members to pass through, the same chute. At best, permission like a snail’s house. Then to interpret, but under the threat decided who would sleep were. Of imprisonment. Normally people are crushed, one of us did an inventory to death by objects. This becomes the fifty on our way here we had Revolution – smashes through history and tradition – picked up a giant key for critique as action. Tradition piles up the front door from a neighbor, in the object; whatever is immediate, a very small lady. The house is pushed aside, crushed. Revolutions task: was huge with small wooden door, de-reification, destruction of the object in frames. We wondered if people used order that human kind may be smaller and some of saved. Man is fed up with us hit our heads. But there describing objects: he is now trying things that never changed here.
It begins when semen that when we took them off eventually starts to come out usually the wall the frames fell apart in the 14th year when at the mitres and the painting the men start loving and continues from would slip. They just wanted to thereon until the 50th or 60th move. Had been trying plus artworks in the means of repetition, of eternal house, even though she would have return for cowards and the resigned, liked to include everything, the mosquito who thereby avoids disillusionment. Zorn has frames, floorboards, lamps, light switches, the beds, several times in attendance and blankets, appliances and wooden bowl has seen, how the peasantry has the shelves by the ceiling, the understood has been offered them. Many keys behind the front door. He is always welcome in every corner, the maps on the districts, and the sympathy between him walls. Just to see if it and 5
A Ceramic Jug Cut in Half Not the same as wine, as holding, or a draught of water from its gut. Nothing hidden in its thick coils but the strata of sediment, tectonics and slow time. The cool volume of its alcove, scored by a knife and pressed dumbly, smoothed by slip and thumbs unaware of what they should prove. Lacking symmetry or a face, it apprehends nonetheless – staying earth and sky – without wisdom, or a demand to ‘live’ alongside us mortals (or the divine). Nothing to be known. Nothing it wants to give.
Pers Gård Collection Vinäs, Mora 20 January, 2012
All measurements are in centimetres, image only and approximate n.s. = no signature n.d. = no date trq = top right quadrant tlq = top left quadrant brq = bottom right quadrant blq = bottom left quadrant blc = bottom left corner brc = bottom right corner tlc = top left corner trc = top right corner insc = inscription recto = front verso = back desc = description cond = condition Main Room Downstairs 1. n.s., n.d. b&w photograph black wood frame white mat 30 x 40 Desc: older woman sitting facing photographer, traditional Swedish clothing. Head scarf, sitting in room that the photo is placed in. Sitter is near where fireplace is now. Bucket on floor, pot hanging between doors, carpets on floor. cond: untouched 2. n.d., n.s. (likely Gunnar Pers) oil on board gold frame 31.2 x 39.2 desc: domestic interior, resembles wooden table in room at present, painting on wall of crucifix scene on adjacent wall, blues, browns, green. work slipping in frame, blq frame mitre split. All mitres loose on frame. cond: the whole treasure remains intact 3. colour print wood frame desc: woman standing on hill with clogs and bonnet text: “A Dalecarlian Female Peasant”; Published Jan. 2. 1809 by R. PHILLIPS.; Bridge Street London; RK Porter del ?; EA Hubert direx?; J.C. Stadler sculp? 27.3 x 20.8
cond: unharmed except for being very much blackened by fire 4. colour print (crucifixion) wood frame 37 x 26.5 desc: Christ on cross with three angels text: His Blood has Cleansed the World from Sin (also in French and German) Druck v. Verlag c. Ed Gust May, in Frankfurt a M. 1155 cond: the damage is reparable, though nothing has been done so far 5. colour print desc: long haired androgynous figure on grass, holding hat and stick. text: “A Dalecarlion Peasant” ; Published Jan. 2. 1809 by R. PHILLIPS.; Bridge Street London; RK Porter del ?; EA Hubert direx?; J.C. Stadler sculp 27.3 x 20.8 wood frame cond: the remains of some of the painting have been found during the restoration 6. Gunnar Pers, n.d. oil on board wood frame desc: portrait of old lady in head scarf & jacket and dress. Hung above photos 34 x 26 insc: Gunnar Pers insignia brq insc Verso: “Mormor Kuver Maja Persdotter” Signed GPer cond: intact, as is also the treasury 7. b&w photograph desc: portrait of mormor wearing head scarf 17 x 12 silver frame cond: sacked and burnt 8. b&w photograph desc: portrait of man holding baby 12.4 x 8.5 glass frame (heavy) cond: bullet holes in the glass trc, otherwise intact 7
9. b&w photograph desc: mormor with child (holding hand with child walking out door) 13.4 x 8.4 wood frame cond: intact 10. colour photograph desc: old woman in garden, near a shed, touching a flower. 7.5 x 10.2 brass frame cond: undulations; colour fading, unharmed 11. b&w photograph desc: portrait of old woman in an apron 11.5 x 7.7 paper frame cond: unharmed 12. b&w photograph desc: woman carrying basket on a path outside 13.3 x 8.3 brass frame cond: fading 13. Gunnar Pers, 1910 Title: Mormor gård i vinäs 1910” (insc. Verso) oil on canvas board desc: landscape with Barn, trees, sky, grass; hung above organ s. trq in black, Verso: G. Pers wood frame 45 x 64.3 cond: the paintings have suffered a good deal from exposure and in some places appear to have been cut with a knife 14. Ottilia Adelbord 1915 insc: trq reads “Gagnäf” ink and graphite on “MBM” paper desc: child on horse with buildings and trees in background; beige, red, blue; female child riding sideways in yellow coat. 46.7 x 30. 5 wood frame; Framed by E.J. Linder verso insc: black ink reads “teckning med färg av Ottilia Adelborg. Köpt av Anders Per då på en utställning av O.A. på Mora folkhögskola” cond: subject to occasional air-raids, but so far escaped
damage 15. Ottilia Adelborg, 1915 tlq: “Fars Morfar Jonas Olof Jansson Norrbäck, född 36” trq: “kyrkedräkt frän 1800 talet” desc: portrait of a man verso: “skissi akvarell av Ottilia Adelborg. Köpt av Anders Per då på en utställning av O.A. på Mora folkhögskola”; d: 26 Jan 1915 wood frame 46.6 x 30.2 cond: brq misshapen 16. n.s., n.d. desc: portrait of a couple verso insc: Oljemålning efter foto; Lists colours used to paint the portrait; Gård gold frame 22 x 14 cond: entirely destroyed 17. n.s., n.d. desc: image of church with people coming out, they are walking into a plant like pattern with flowers; striped border; red, green, white wood painted gray frame paper? 102.5 x 125.8 cond: has suffered severely from shell-fire and aerial bombardment; the rebuilding after the destruction had almost been completed when the present issue arose; the picture gallery and the library were destroyed Entrance 18. n.s., n.d. watercolour on paper wood frame off white mat desc: chair with jacket on back (yellow); blue background; can see sketch lines; washes of colour 34.5 x 30.5 cond: destroyed by rifle fire 19. Gunnar Pers oil on board gold frame desc: interior of main room; double doors, shows chair with pillow rugs on floor, fireplace 31.3 x 39.3 verso inscription: “Momors stuga vinäs” 10
1920 – talet cond: recently hit by a bomb and is mostly destroyed; work slipping in frame trq 20. painted wood relief desc: three men and a table, wearing official suits text recto: Malungskarlen storfellt gär till kungs 1813, 1814. trq wood chipped 35.2 x 20.5 cond: three remained standing; the fragments of the others have been collected, they were considerably broken, but not beyond repair. 21. n.s. (likely Mora Socken), n.d. (likely 1950 when Anders Pers (b. 1860) turned 90) desc: carved wooden figures on a crest shaped wooden plaque; human with wings wearing robe, holding stick in dragon’s mouth that it is standing on insc. recto: copper plate reads “till Anders Pers på 90 årsdagen från Mora Socken” 21x 14.5 cond: head and hands knocked off; fragments have been recovered and is to be repaired Front Hallway 22. Gunnar Pers Pappas Kolt, n.d. two drawings in one frame pen and watercolour (?) on paper insc recto: “fra attåtil” signed both recto 31 x 19.2 gold frame cond: amongst other objects shown in a temporary exhibition of mutilated or partially destroyed works of art 23. colour print text: C.L. 1904 brq 23.2 x 51.3 desc: knights on horses hold Swedish flags, men marching with weapons, man on white horse under archway meets group of people bowing. gold frame cond: destroyed
oil on canvas desc: landscape with tree 63.5 x 44.7 insc: Till Mamma, blq black and metallic frame cond: blackened by fire 25. b&w photo (portrait of man) by Carl Larsson fotograf brq black and gold mat gold frame 41 x 32.5 desc: portrait of a wealthy man who loaned the family money to build their house cond: untouched 26. b&w photograph (portrait of a man) 23 x 15 gold frame desc: man sitting with hat by side; portrait of a wealthy man who loaned the family money to build their house cond: intact and stored in the cathedral 27. Gunnar Pers no title; n.d. oil on canvas gold frame desc: landscape in blue 44.3 x 32.5 cond: three shell holes trq 28. Gunnar Pers no title; n.d. oil on board desc: farm scene, house and barn, summer, with person gold frame 32 x 39.5 cond: damaged by bombardment.
Second Main Room
29. Gunnar Pers title insc. verso: Gamla Pilbo, Västerås (1912) oil on canvas desc: house painting trees, winter landscape, brown frame 52.5 x 65.5 cond: bottom edge: nail holes throughout
24. Gunnar Pers title verso insc: skiss från mormors gård I vinäs Mora målail sept 1920
30. n.d., n.s. oil on board description: family on street corner, building in background, 11
dirt roads, fences gold frame 32 x 39.8 cond: tlc chipped
in background 28.3 x 21 insc: s. brq, 1950 cond: intact though dusty
31. n.s., n.d. Anna Pers Portrait gold Frame desc: portrait of Anders Persâ€™ wife, woman in black with shawl 71 x 59 cond: the portrait was slashed blc and is being repaired in the University laboratory
37. 2 b&w photographs in one frame plastic frame desc: mormor, older woman with kid, shaking hands each photo 13.8 x 9.2 cond: undulations throughout
32. Gunnar Pers (s. brq, Pers) Anders Per Portrait oil on canvas 71 x 58 gold frame desc: sitter in tie and suit, hands crossed cond: has been hit two or three times by shells but has hardly suffered 33. b&w photograph portrait of a man and woman gray mat 14.8 x 26.5 desc: couple, headscarf cond: the monastery was burnt at the beginning of the war, but neither of these figures have suffered. 34. Anders Per Portrait b&w photograph metal frame 20 x 14.7 1945 cond: intact 35. Portrait of Anna Pers b&w print text: Atelier Paegerl Stockholm n.d. metal frame 15.5 x 11.4 n.d. cond: has suffered slightly from bombardment. 36. Portrait of Anders Per (holding cane) b&w photograph gold frame desc: chair, rug, can see painting of couple from main room
38. n.d., n.s. b&w photograph desc: older woman knitting, round glasses, hair pulled back, checkered dress with white lace collar 22 x 15.5 gold frame cond: unharmed 39. Old Family Portrait oval black wood frame 27 x 23 cond: frame split in top 40. b&w photograph group portrait 1907 19.6 x 27.5 cond: intact 41. n.d., n.s. b&w photograph desc: portrait of couple 23 x 14.6 verso insc: Aplonas Anders, Aplonas & Hustra Novet at Mora woodframe cond: has suffered a great deal and in some places appear to have been cut with a knife Bedroom Downstairs 42. n.d., n.s. oil on board wood frame painted gray 65 x 54 desc: Landscape blue, green, orange, white, airy strokes, washes of colour cond: still under fire
43. Gunnar Pers insc verso: Båtstaden vinäs oil on board 23 x 28 1920 desc: landscape with rowboats, blues and greens gold frame cond: glass is totally destroyed 44. n.d., n.s. oil on board desc: landscape, blue, yellow, green wood frame 58.8 x 78 cond: bombed but not seriously damaged Guest Room Upstairs 45. Drawing ink on paper text: brq signed C.L Sundborn 1900; R. Widing Lit.; blq A. Börtzeus Tr. A.B. Stockholm 61 x 92.5 desc: 7 figures in a boat, boy with horn, girl with hat, bailing boat of water, one person rowing, woman holding child, island in background, blue green, beige cond: destroyed beyond repair 46. print b&w desc: two men with horse and carriage, trees text P. Wickerberg Pinx blq; Joh Cardon Lith. Brq; Bottom Dalkalar Videttlas, Orginalet tillhör H of Predikant C.G. Lundbergs Samling Wood frame 29.3 x 34 cond: unharmed 47 Gunner Pers, signed brq insc verso: morfars häbrä I Öndalen nere I Kånolsgard oil on board 24.3 x 30.7 cond: bullet holes tlq 48. b&w print Mora II 37.6 x 24.5 Wood frame desc: couple on rock cond: dust, spiderwebs, foxing
49. b&w print Mora I 31.6 x 24.5 wood frame desc: woman alone on hill cond: damaged beyond repair from car exhaust 50. Anders Hol (signed brc) oil on canvas 40 x 50 1941 insc. Verso: Kjujsgård I Färnäs, mälad av Anders Hol (för 100 kr.) på beställning av Pappa desc: house cond: minimal damage from light exposure 51. b&w photograph desc: two women outdoors with fika, woman sitting in wicker chair 22.5 x 16.2 cond: destroyed Upstairs Hallway 52. b&w photograph wood frame text: mat reads E. Bercherz blq; brq Mora desc: woman standing in barn 16 x 22.5 cond: intact and stored in the cathedral 53. Gunnar Pers (s. P) text: Mor Blommor 24.2.1945 gold frame 100 x 100 desc: floral still life painting; blue blackground, red flowers cond: intact and stored in the cathedral 54. E. Ringrer no title, 1914 gold frame 142 x 95 text: brc E. Ringrer, Vinäs 1914 desc: landscape painting; Mora style fences with people on horse & buggy, trail, trees cond: intact and stored in the cathedral
Main Bedroom Upstairs
One more narrative?
55. Hans Johanson no title, 1933 watercolour on paper gold frame 43 x 33.5 desc: church with graveyard cond: I did not see the cathedral, but it is evident from the photographs that it has suffered considerably. It is still under fire. The report I have records the destruction of the vault of the central part of the main nave, of the north transept and of the chancel. The glass is totally destroyed and a great part of the pavement. The South transept and the towers, which had also suffered severely, have been repaired. 56. b&w print text: Dalkalla från Mora 25 x 21 desc: woman carrying baby on her back cond: the city is unharmed 57. b&w photograph 17.3 x 23 desc: landscape with hay bails cond: intact and stored in the cathedral
While I am watching outside, the white fields and the solitary houses, I start thinking about the very site of writing. It is cold outside, very cold and silent. I should write something then. When I am talking about the site, I mean the time and space where and when the production of writing takes place. It is getting colder. If we have a brief look at the conditions of this precise production, maybe we could find something. I am sitting on a bed, looking outside at a wild and inhospitable scenery, listening some random music and thinking about the opportunity given to me to digress on art and writing. But what is going on exactly? First, a displacement is taking place. We are out of town, out in the snow, out in the cold, etc. The retreat or the residency implies this time designed for the production of discourses, texts or works. The second aspect I want to evoke is the logical continuation of the first: it is the creation of the site. One is displacing oneself in order to create a sort of alternative moment of creation, another platform of production. In other words, you first change your daily rules and then you create a set of temporary parameters defining this precise site. So maybe it is the right time to think about it and to throw some ideas out on the snow. In a certain way, the residency or the retreat that an artist or a writer is experiencing is more a narrative, opening up the possibility of the creation. This specific situation is time-based, the condition of its existence is appended to a duration where time is scheduled, planned and occupied by diverse activities. At the same time, it defines the artist as a protagonist taking part in a broader experience, or to a specific community of creators. Finally, it develops a certain progression of action with creation as a goal to reach. These aspects are very similar to the realm of narration: a sort of dramaturgy is elaborated with a duration, a structure and its characters. It is minus thirteen right now.
58. b&w photographic triptych wooden frame 28 x 68 desc:landscape, house, woman in doorway cond: intact and stored in the cathedral
Working with this notion within my practice, I could see the opportunity of the residency as a sort of meta-narrative, offering thus the possibility to reflect on it. Nevertheless, this association between the notion of narrative and the production of work is problematic. Indeed, I have the feeling that sometimes a narrative – just a narrative – is more interesting than the artwork produced by a narrative. “Tell me a story, don’t create a work that produces a story” I heard many times. A squirrel is passing by, climbing up a tree, I didn’t think that such creatures could survive with such temperature (I am definitely a tourist). I have the impression that I am facing this dilemma quite often. First I find a specific narrative and then I have the desire to transform it, manifest it or translate it through my practice of art. After being so happy to have this enthusiastic material to work with, I find it difficult to do something else than repeating the story itself. I remember, for example, struggling with some 14
project exactly because the story at the starting point of the process was really good and it was then extremely difficult to produce something out of it. I rember a project Dien Bien Phu; it consisted of a slide projector on a pedestal with 80 slides, some of them empty and some with a text. Every slide had a number on it, only visible projection when the slides where empty. The text, divided on eight slides was about a story circulating within my own family: a relative of mine pretends to have been part of the Indochina war during the fifties and is building a narrative about it, spending today some time with veteran associations or even going to Vietnam as a tourist. In another words, it was about the fabrication of memories and the use of a certain medium to produce a narrative with specific qualities, like a souvenir machine. I spent a lot of time with this story, trying to find a way to create a work out of it. The major question was about the necessity to try to create a project out of this narrative. If the narrative at the origin of an artwork is more interesting than the piece itself, what was the relevance of the art practice? Should I be a mediator of a narrative through an artwork (formulation) or should I simply tell the story (enunciation)?
it seems that such moments are existing and take place when the work transcends the narrative and acquires its own autonomy. The blue sky of the past days has been replaced by a foggy air, blurring the contrast of the view during the early morning. I am thinking now again about the residency and its conditions of retreat. Opportunities of displacement, such as the residency or the retreat, could be seen as the opportune moment. Inside the big narrative that is art, a sort of project is taking shape. Constructing a constraint time (kairos) within the normal time (kronos), the residency is designed to be the time of its creation, conditions are built to offer this opportune moment. Artists are then taking part like protagonist in this narrative, this tale. I am taking part in it now even if the situation I try to describe seems endless, the possibility of such a moment should be existing. I hope I wonâ€™t catch a cold anyway.
Thus, the question of form is really appropriate. What will be the form of a narrative-based artwork when the intention is to enunciate this narrative but the goal is to transcend it? Perhaps in that case, the notion of kairos could help us find a way to deal with this dilemma. The Greek term designates the opportune moment, the right time. If kronos is the ongoing time, kairos is the decisive moment. It often appeals the metaphor of the archer, waiting the exact time when he has to release his arrow. Relating to a special moment in time, it is also a materialization of a space that manifests during a precise moment (if we extend the archer example, one could imagine a sort of tunnel where and when the arrow will go through). I am next to the fireplace right now, watching the flames, thinking about the rest of the writing. Used in many human sciences, the notion of kairos can be still useful regarding the idea of the form for narrative-based artworks. Aristotle sed the term in the field of rhetoric. According to him, kairos is the time during discourse where the entire narrative makes sense; it could be considered as a sort of climax. In a certain way, one could see kairos as the site of the artwork that takes place within a narrative. It crystalizes a very specific moment out of it. Thus, the piece could be seen as a sort of kairos, the opportune moment, manifesting its presence not only through time but also through its own materiality (the tunnel relates also to a space). The materialization of this concept through a work could be the solution for the dilemma between the narrative and the art, the site of their (im)possible meeting. Then of course, it appears difficult to define what is an opportune or right time for an artwork to materialize itself. But 15
The idea of going on a retreat carries associations of aristocratic privilege, of distance. The retreat is a symptom of modernity, to withdraw from the exigences of modern life, to get away from it all. To retreat is also to ignore the harsh realities of life under late-capitalism. Retreat is irredeemably bourgeois. Because of course ‘getting away’ is only possible for those with the means to make time for themselves. And more time is a luxury. It’s self-indulgent and overly romantic to go into the heart of darkness. So, where does this attraction for isolation come from? For us it means avoiding exposure and disturbance. No exposure could also be understood as lack of stimulation: legitimated boredom. Meaning, you have to make it interesting for yourself. Doggie style. Not to justify the porn dog, but it’s good to mention style. After watching all that animal porn, we realize that all animals like doggie style too. From what we’ve watched on YouTube, it’s what makes the world go around. This reminds us of Susan Sontag, who in 1965 said that style’s ‘got back.’ But why? Because the mask becomes the face – there is no division between style and content… to go deep is to view the surface.The work is not a statement – it is not rape, but seduction.
Spending time in the winter climate, in a cabin with -18°C outside (speaking about temperature), putting one more log to the fire makes you necessarily aware of how to keep the heat. Getting warm in front of the fire also leads to sleep. We can’t think when it’s too warm. And when we cant think we laugh. It’s shit like this that the surrealists did. That’s why people thought they fucked each other. They probably did. If the surrealists fucked each other, then so did we. We did a bunch of drugs and fucked. We ‘ate the rabbit,’ so to speak. We did it wit NAS. This is a reaction. Did you eat a rabbit? Yes. That’s what we said, not what we meant. But let’s not follow the rabbit. Let’s just grab it and eat it. To isolate oneself as part of a group, another set of intimacies emerges. We get to know each others’ histories and habits, preferences and appetites: how to sit together in silence before the fire. We became conduits for ghosts, eavesdroppers, poets, prisoners and “teachers of the people”... giddiness and humor appeared at the limits of boredom and overexposure. Reactions became ridiculous. In order not to snap, we laughed.
But how do these arguments about style apply today? How does it apply to writing? This is an experiment in style. The dog porn was just to maybe queer it.