It means nothing to me. I have no opinion about it, and I don’t care.
Picasso on the first moon landing, quoted in The New York Times, & wikiquote.
i’ve been speculating on what it must have been like to have worked in an art world with picasso in it…
it must have been hard work. especially since one of his great talents was doing other peoples ‘art genus’ better than them. so when i wander around exhibitions in london where his — sorry — where exhibitors insist on displaying his, some of his, best work — ‘the vollard suite’ for example. that is: a few examples taken from ‘the vollard suite’
hoping to punt on a picasso print here & there is a worthy occupation
placing other work in the same room as a picasso print can be dicey. it’s easy to come a cropper, and totally forgivable if the other work might fade a little in comparison; a particular sort of bloodlessness – i mean – against a picasso other work may look as though it may be bloodless or lacking in blood. but then maybe — and here i wonder whether the question should even be put into words, perhaps it should not be offered up, there being no place for it — should ‘blood’ be in it
I am now the last artist here – all the others are free. But all things are equal. If I stay here, then I have plenty to occupy myself. If I am released, then I will enjoy freedom. If I manage to leave for the U.S., then I will be over there.
Kurt Schwitters, in a letter to Helma Schwitters, April 1941. From internment on the Isle of Mann.
i’m not quite ready to show all of these yet, & since they have a tendency to fall apart i need to do a new set.
i visited the kurt schwitters exhibition at tate – wonderful sensitive work, lovely sense of humour and some very beautiful pieces. but left with a notion of how he could be viewed with photographs taken of the merzbarn in cumbria (before it was gutted & the work moved to newcastle). the gallery was hard work.
i know people – there are people of my acquaintance – addicted to crits. high adrenaline crits or slow, drawn out crits, designed to massage all those nodes casual consumers of art won’t go. serious, pumelling, occasionaly hysterical, odd touches of humour but intensity is the goal. the crits can reach a fervor equivalent to church service. never far away in london and often inhabiting the same areas as galleries / studios. or maybe the buzz is akin to an aa meeting
there’re small economies built around this need and small economies built to initiate new converts, implicit in the tagline that this is the blood of an artist we can all dip our bread in.
The end result of complete cellular respiration is cancer. Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer. A bureau takes root anywhere in the state, turns malignant like the Narcotic Bureau, and grows and grows, always reproducing more of its own kind, until it chokes the host if not controlled or excised. Bureaus cannot live without a host, being true parasitic organisms. (A cooperative on the other hand can live without the state. That is the road to follow. The building up of independent units to meet needs of the people who participate in the functioning of the unit. A bureau operates on opposite principles of inventing needs to justify its existence.) Bureaucracy is wrong as a cancer, a turning away from the human evolutionary direction of infinite potentials and differentiation and independent spontaneous action to the complete parasitism of a virus. (It is thought that the virus is a degeneration from more complex life-form. It may at one time have been capable of independent life. Now has fallen to the borderline between living and dead matter. It can exhibit living qualities only in a host, by using the life of another — the renunciation of life itself, a falling towards inorganic, inflexible machine, towards dead matter.) Bureaus die when the structure of the state collapse. They are as helpless and unfit for independent existence as a displaced tapeworm, or a virus that has killed the host.
All progress is from the outrageous to the commonplace. Or quasi-existence proceeds from rape to the crooning of lullabies.
It’s been interesting to me to go over various long-established periodicals and note controversies between attempting positivists, and then intermediatistic issues. Bold, bad intruders of theories; ruffians with dishonorable intentions — the alarms of Science; her attempt to preserve that which is dearer than life itself — submission — then a fidelity like Mrs. Micawber’s. So many of these ruffians, or wandering comedians that were hated, or scorned, pitied, embraced, conventionalized.
There’s not a notion in this book that has a more frightful, or ridiculous, mien than had the notion of human footprints in rocks, when that now respectabilized ruffian, or clown, was first heard from. It seems bewildering to one whose interests are not scientific that such rows should be raised over such trifles: but the feeling of a systematist toward such an intruder is just about what anyone’s would be if a tramp from the street should come in, sit at one’s dinner table, and say he belonged there.
We know what hypnosis can do: let him insist with all his might that he does belong there, and one begins to suspect that he may be right; that he may have higher perceptions of what’s right. The prohibitionists had this worked out very skillfully.