Thursday, August 31, 2006

Re: Piccinini 

Hi, this is great, first Hassen, then Frank.

Hassen, as difficult as it is, yes, you're right, I "had the privilege of experiencing something incredibly unique." It makes it no less painful. What was BEAUTIFUL became painful. Which is all about death, constant death in life. Some people go to the gym while I dwell on death, that sort of thing.

About the Buddhist sand paintings, it's WE who call them paintings. Those mandalas are like the weather man on tv. Those mandalas are a spiritual barometer looking into the actual mechanics of the various paths energies are taking at that given moment. They're erased, blown away, because the information is temporary. At the same time, these same monks have created very permanent mandalas, which adorn the temple walls in Tibet.

And yes I DO SEE what you mean about how some art is more about process, which is something I've admired about you, for instance your brave journey to find out WHAT it was about Bukowski you needed to know, to get to, and you joined the Bukowski Festival as a result, quite wonderful.

By the way, the Strader situation was an act of total aggression, calling me up at the moment the violence was finished, to TELL ME with that vile tone she often took. Was this performance art for the two of us alone? Well I decided on no reruns. She can jerk off in someone else's direction from now on.

But what I like the MOST about your most recent post was the idea of clutter. And the Fellini quote, especially the part, "Besides, what's clear enough, valuable enough, to deserve to survive?" Obviously Fellini felt this quote was worthy enough. But it's a gift, this discussion, because I DO REALIZE my reactions to these things are my own harrowing shudder built around who I am, and where I've been, and what I've experienced. As WE ALL bring with us, to art, as to anything, ALL that was experienced in order to feel and interpret.

Frank, you wrote, "This is interesting, because I took the Piccinini quote as a comment on the social aspect of sharing an artistic act, and not a statement regarding control of its materiality." I was putting my experience in her quote, "Anyone who thinks that they can maintain control of the things that they create is fooling themselves." My point exactly, that Strader in an act of aggression, in her pathology, destroyed the painting THEN called me to tell me with her vicious, crazed tone she'd done so. It was actually HER FEAR that the creation was out of her control, and she wanted to maintain it, or regain it. There's no doubt in my mind that she called as soon as she'd burnt it to gloat. Like saying, "THIS IS MY PAINTING!" Like saying, "YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS HAVING FEELINGS FOR MY PAINTING, IT'S MINE!" Strader's act is THE VERY ESSENCE of the Piccinini quote's warning in motion.

Now, as far as my reaction: My body felt my eyes SEEING the bit of charred remains of that painting. And I bring that with me, to this, and as you pointed out when we spoke in person Frank, THAT is in itself another creation from the painting's destruction.

My decision to no longer participate in the COLLABORATIVE spirit of investigating Strader's paintings with her as I did over and over for years is a decision I feel nothing but good about. Not good in a smug sense, like, "AH, I showed her," but good in the sense that something had run its course and I was willing to see through to that. Which in the end turns the tables on the idea that I feared the change, because in fact it was me who altered a fifteen year friendship in order to give myself a different way to be, and grow. The impact of this change didn't reach Strader until she actually called me again to participate in our ritual of studying her latest creation. It was she in the end who feared change, very unhappy that I REALLY MEANT fuck off when I had said fuck off. And another time, seeing me in public, she invited me to see yet another painting, and I said, "Only if you burn it before I arrive."

But Frank, you know as well as I do that YES I have issues around things ending. When I say I'm starting a petition to end DEATH I'm quite serious.

But at the same time it's the fear of death that equates so many reactions to things stopping, paintings being burnt alive (YES I do mean "alive"), beautiful brownstones being torn down to make way for condominiums, etc.

The reaction many of us have had about the row of exquisite buildings JUST so recently ripped down on 18th St. to make way for yet another condominium, I wonder, if the architect himself had torn them down, would that have made it okay? His creation after all, right?

Should the people living in those buildings stop their whimpering and say, "Ah, it's the want of the architect! It was HIS creation, HIS building, he built it, what business do we have saying it's our home?" Because I firmly believe that the experience of taking a long hard Loving evening with a painting, and the next day having a physical and emotional reaction to the experience of it being deliberately burnt is just as much a living witness to being part of something, LIVING in it, or more precisely IT living in me. Thoughts, and feelings, are Things. Which is why the body reacts. Which is the Love of art, the addiction of reaction, senses blown open.


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