Was an occasional evening on the 31st floor of the Chrysler Building programmed by Summer Guthery and Robert Snowden.
A similarly occasional evening now happens downtown on Canal Street curated by Summer Guthery.
Space was generously provided by Coburn Greenberg Partners
AND BUT SO WHATEVER WE SAY, we don’t want to love our answers to death. God, I mean, having an answer for everything is an infallible sign you hung the questions too low, and too much self-interpretation is certainly worse than too little, and where feeling for what happened is absent, some ex-post-facto theory will not supply it. The series is D.E.A.D. and the migraine is that last words are lazy and everyday, emanating a consensus, and arguing against the actual feeling of minute-to-minute life. And no matter how much you go out of your way to soften the last thing you say, it still comes out in All-Igneous Caps. I think what’s left to say publicly then is, Thanks. THANKS in jail breaking spirit to the people whose loins we jumped out of. Thanks to the historical loins: Common Room, “a meeting place for artists and scientists” run by Stefan and Francizka Themerson in London in the late 1950s, and their country’s creedooo, “We are all of us guests on this planet. And with guests – you know how it is. Some are nice and some are tiresome. And some behave as if they were hosts. and even as they die they believe that they have owned the sun and the air and the history that took place even before they were born.” Stax/Hi Records from 1967-69. No joke, at least subconsciously. Not everything has to come out of some Continental philosophers pooch you know? Good Christ, what else? I don’t know, Robert Evans’ kidney bean shaped Jacuzzi circa 1970. Guy Clark’s house. The pre-lapsarian hackney carriage from whence Wyndham Lewis ejected F.T. Marinetti, Samuel Johnson’s The Idler. Oh boy, wow, perfect, any space of leisure through which at least one dead genius may have served his G.O.D. or gone to the devil, according to his own lights! Anyone who has sense good enough to keep their verbs and subjects in simple agreement. And you, whoever you are, who knows the goal set for this earf was that it should be filled with good, saturated with it; after everything preposterous, after dog had eaten dog, after the crocodile death had pulled everyone into its mud. And present, loins: Mr. Coburn. Mrs. Greenberg. The 24 hrs. wait staff at the Moonlight Diner in Memphis, The philanthropist who left a copy of Whistler’s The Gentle Art of Making Enemies in the seat back pocket of Flight 1131, Memphis to NYC. “He Said, She Said,” an exhibition and event series held in the Oak Park bungalow of Pamela Fraser and Randall Szott- a project that is, more than anything, a fat marital feud about art that goes on walls vs. art that happens more imperceptibly between people’s mouths. Who else accounts for the marbles? Dexter Sinister. Light Industry. Cleopatra’s. The Steins, a homeless project running under the tag line, “Short exhibitions in a small room, sometimes.” YU Contemporary, a new art center in Portland, Oregon. Paper Monument…See, now, I’m terrified my roll call will smell like a key party. (I mean, I wouldn’t want to be one of those name-dropey guys whose always reminding you about the time, he gave Christy Turlington toe turf during a slow number at the Ozymandias Lupus Ball). There’s a common denominator to the list, and it isn’t just hospitality, convalescences, lack of square footage, attitude (which loosely defined might be: taking what you do seriously, but without being seriously wooden-backed about it), or putting spoken language back into art, or poverty (which is not a virtue, and should not be labeled as such), or ‘Alternative’, which is, as far as I can tell, just another way to say, ‘them with their finances in bad-shape.’ The commonality is a line of questioning: How do you share information in the spirit of that information? That is, how do you not only show work but express or continue its ethic? The commonality is the way things are done. The way things are done is crucial, as the inflection of a voice is crucial. It might have come out of Uncle Don’s mouth first, the change of emphasis from the what to the how seems to me to be the major impulse in art since Flaubert, and it’s not merely formalism, it’s not at all superficial, it’s an attempt to reach truth, and a very rigorous one. The commonality is a key, or a style. What’s confusing is that style usually means some form of fancy writing. But if one means by style, the voice, the irreducible and always recognizable and alive thing, then of course style is a good part of everything. There are other, deeper sympathies, but I’m too clumsy to get at them, or I can’t remember where my fingers go on the trumpet. Do you get the picture? If, say, oh, you get the picture, you must, you are in the picture yourself. If you don’t get the picture and fancy yourself not in it, I would say you are deigning to presume and are meddling with me, tacitly accusing me of being off rocker a bit. You are part of the problem. But I do not think that you are part of the problem. I think you are with me. I think you and I could dance across this floor of doubt if we could know what our feet are up to. If I knew what my feet were up to, I would be distinguished, alive or dead. I have lost the capacity to make a fist with my head, is what I mean. It is a matter of mental muscle tone, and I’ve gone as slack as pudding. I need to drink me some brain Jell-O, get some pearls growing in that oyster. At the very least I’ve got to wash my dirty glasses and shut up. Okay then, end of Homily. It’s homilies that make us old. It’s adventures that keep our brains warm.