The nightmare of materialism, which has turned the life of the universe into an evil, useless game, is not yet past.
-Wassily Kandinsky, 1911
It’s important to write things down which you will not publish and which you won’t show people. It means abandoning being a poet, abandoning your careerism, abandoning even the idea of writing any poetry, abandoning the possibility of really expressing yourself to the nations of the world. Abandoning the idea of being a prophet with honor and dignity, and just settling down in the muck of your own mind…you have to make a resolution just to write for yourself… in the sense of not writing to impress yourself, but just writing what your self is saying.
I don’t wish to touch hearts. I don’t even want to affect minds very much. What I really want to produce is that little sob in the spine of the artist-reader.
Nothing can be more dreary than ‘coolness’ . . . all I could do was sit on the edge of the bed in despair listening to their awful ‘likes’ and ‘like you know’ and ‘wow crazy’ and ‘a wig, man’ ‘a real gas’–All this was about to sprout out all over America even down to high school level and be attributed in part to my doing!
-Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels, 1957
It builds into a whole universe of C major – like a casino.
-Toby Spence, on performing Lully’s Te Deum in the Royal Palace at Versailles
Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent.
Jim Jarmusch, The Golden Rules of Filming
The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Everything changes, nothing is lost.
Why such an unreasonable demand? Only the premiere of a four hour screening of performances of women “repeatedly submerging and scrubbing the fabric they wear…effusive liquid emerging between their legs…” Never mind, you are free to come and go throughout. Still not persuaded?
Well. Surely you can spare a click or two to at least contemplate Amanda Coogan’s impressive body of work. How We Live Now tells me Coogan is a national treasure on the isle, and the website makes it easy to believe. Here, the Madonna performances, with the blunt offering of unglamorous breast. There, We Shall Glorify, Coogan lip synching while white powder is manually poured over her, eventually forming a conical pile on her head. Everywhere, shiny, colourful formalwear.
Coogan’s main thing is durational performance, brought nearly mainstream recently by Marina Abramovic. But she seems to believe that these performances can communicate after the fact, through pixels, as she’s invested her site with plentiful documentation: pictures, videos, writings.
I concur. We haven’t seen any of this live yet, and have juuuust missed the Yellow premiere. But I will be thinking about explaining the sea to an uneaten potatoe for a while (above, thanks kDamo).