Saturday, August 10, 2019

High tide of hope

At last, the virulent storm that
seemed to emanate from the White
House has been shown to swirl in
our continental sea as a lurking
permanent dread of status asphy-
xiation. Were you alive when the
last Texan to be President, pro-
claimed the end of history, when
those office towers were downed?

If he was right, then is the week
just passed a rebirth of history?

Friday, August 9, 2019

Suppose it were Friday clxxvii: And one awoke in an Edward Hopper

   It's not only the weather
   that strikes the tone for
   one's day. But it can al-
   most always be seductive.

Henri Cartier-Bresson
Telegraph Hill

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Origins of Wednesday xcix: President in the heartlands

    What, again?

         Insolence needs drowning
         worse than wildfire.

On Nature
Brooks Haxton
6th Century BC
Penguin, 2001©

Monday, August 5, 2019

A country of unbelonging

I live in what I suppose is the first
country to identify itself without a
name, but only with a system. The U-
nited States of America does not dis-
please one for eschewing any mark of
ethnicity, however, but it does des-
cribe a container of no substitute
definition - which may also be all to
the good, given the options available
throughout her history. Now she finds
herself in a conspicuously brittle 
custody battle, in which a vain impa-
tience to define the place is merely,
if sadly, a festival of aggressions.

We are reminded of Truman Capote, on 
a species to which not everyone is
domestically drawn:

She was still hugging the cat. 
‘Poor slob,’ she said, tickling his 
head, ‘poor slob without a name. It’s 
a little inconvenient, his not having 
a name. But I haven’t any right to give 
him one: he’ll have to wait until he 
belongs to somebody.’

I offer this posting to my friend, a
painter who writes and lives with a cat.
Who defines, who possesses, whose reli-
gion determines their relationship? If
they knew, would it ever be the same?

Truman Capote
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Random House, 1958©

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Hanging antecedents

which he calls, Paul P at home.

I do not know if this is a refer-
ence to a portrait of Paul P, in
his house or not; or to a portion
of the house of Paul P, which we
are to infer to satisfy him.

I do feel that the photograph is
a comment on style, or an evoca-
tion of style, or both. In either
case it is provocative, in a prom-
inence it gives to the hanging of
a picture, an accumulation as much
as an acquisition, as Alan Bennett
would say, because we don't know
if its punctuation of the space
is antecedent, contemporaneous, or
subsequent to its creation by Paul.
We have no sense of its contribu-
tion except as ornament in place.

For a couple of decades I've been
living without the hanging of an-
tecedents or of new accumulations
in the space where I live. In fash-
ioning a new environment, I have
therefore been giving thought to
laying receptive preparations for
certain pictorial elements. Yet I
do congenially resist, slightly,
the inevitable burden of a past
which some impart, or of recent
but expired acquisitive choice,
in others. 

I do not know, what confers 
such tenacious immunity from or-
lamentation upon my space as I
have come to see it. I truly do
like pictures, even some of mine.
I do think a picture has a right,
so to speak, to be seen, alone.
I think no picture has a right
to be seen every day, without
extracting distinct concessions
from the space, and its tenant.

I do not agree that images rep-
resent the baggage of stored
pleasure, because they do have
an autonomy, against how I see
them. I do know, I do not care
to regard a picture as a debt I
must pay, by exhibiting it. This
means, it must compete with its
absence, in improving my opinion
of my space. This is why I like
Jon Gasca's photograph. I sense,
Paul P has preserved the values
to him, of space and ornament,
exploiting a recessive image
with almost objective success.