Monday, May 24, 2010

may 24th 2010: "You keep it clean"

May 24, 2010
a month later. So much to say and do and remember. One is living so densely it is hard to keep up with events.
My dream life remains vivid

NYC ended with a wonderful welcome. The show at Poetry Project was ultimately a pleasure though the panel was vague. Not enough disagreement nor question. Remembering Ann’s lecture on Livy where he says "democracy needs opposition." So does thought and dialogue. The films —often with a bit too much b/w nature footage to my taste— set up SURFACE NOISE beautifully (okay, okay—I am writing about my own film here but in truth, I hadn’t seen it in at least 5 years. found it charged) came on as powercolor rollercoaster, or visual spoonerisms in a foxfire of ambient idioms. Indeed. Passion and velocity and humor and quizzical quotidians. Questions/comments rolled: in regard to the comic in art? transitions, speed of change, “You release the viewer from this or that associative impression as quickly as possible without being jumpy or evasive, using a subtle and terse language. You keep it "clean." Courtesy of poet Anne Tardos. Steve Benson’s voiceover in the film: “why you love the pastoral so much—is because your whole life is…… work” which is not only sociological reality (comically phrased) but also a mechanism of desire through/in opposition. Where when we are seeking.
This = vibrato of life.

More people to see and hang with before boarding my free Continental return flight—including Henry and Sean and Charles B and Susan and quick interface with Bob and Francie. Too many people I know have cancer on the West Coast, but here despite various grievances and strength joy smartaleck-y-ness, minds are clicking and my apartment with green plants red blossoms simply Trip home (I have now just called Rome home!) was easy. My sister Toni and brother-in-law Bob visiting after postponed earlier tour-due-to-volcano, so turning round, unpacking, visiting, showing them Academy (glorious)—visiting ghetto and synagogue museum, if not the best installation, interesting particulars. You realize Jews were everywhere in Europe and isolationist. a kind of fundamental community as it would appear today —self defined, barely tolerated, religious, separate…both self and social.

speaking of which (?), Morton Feldman and Phillip Guston celebration today up at Villa Aurelia. Learned or re-remembered Guston changing his name from Goldstein. Puts in perspective, is this self-loathing…….? what kind of repression? Yet too the intricacy of gene pool. Said not the answer they wanted.
One great lecture this afternoon called "trauma/ideal". Arguing that Guston finding his father hung, released in/through painting this never=to-leave trauma; collapsed on him forever. A way to read light bulb cartoons and his depression, (internally I said to myself: obsession), repression too of course, even as he moves from abstraction to representation to undo repression. The speaker had found his own dad dead (!) and talked about always wanting to put things together to make beautiful, harmonious, but finding he was always tearing same apart. What we know. The status of the given. The answer they wanted.

Today was multiplex: trying to get show up at the st. Spiritus in Sassio down by Vatican. Very slowly eating lunch awaiting projectors, checking said projectors, then back up to academy via Janicula for recording voiceover with Mary, then a leap to Guston conference. once again reminding me of Guston's bravery, to brave the scorn of his colleagues, to do what he had to do—and that these colleagues largely missed the humor and desperation in the work.

Fun in very different sense to see him drawing in Villa Sciarra by the terribly strange, almost kitschy, lion-women fountain. I filmed same place in l6mm this winter, in nearly black and white since rare, once in 25 year, snow drained color out of the scene. The puffy paws become distortions of body in Guston. The snow on the palm trees a true impossible moment, surrealist and morning in mine.
In middle of talks, rain starts up with terrific thunder and then sun as musician played piano piece of Feldman upstairs towards sunset. Very beautiful as light leaped in; one expected a rainbow. The city ahead of us; the clouds increasing.

Later tomorrow back to Guston morning session, then Sassio to check up on install. Return to edit piece for open studios. Then back to Sassio for opening, maybe Guston after. Just writing this makes me tired.

More catchup in days to come. i go to sleep now.

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