A visit: Post 2016




'Heaven is a place on earth'  oil on canvas 202 x 94 cm 2015/17

 


‘You cannot take the spirit and lock it up, or try to wound it, with hate or mistrust, or rules or misery, for it will break out when you are looking the other way. Or even when you are not...’
In January, 2016, I returned to the Islands. I wanted to find some sort of peace with my home, and, just as important, to challenge the whole thing that I was some sort of 'exile'. In Argentina, much had been written, that I couldn't return. Why not? Who is to say that, anyway? What sort of use to anyone is an exile, either? Most, are self imposed. I don't belong to that sort of group. I prefer to deal with the consequences. I took decisions, and so be it. You have your own energy. Better to survive with that, than live trying to be someone else. I think we are defined, by what we try to do.    





‘Over the last three decades I have watched the population of these charismatic creatures plummet by 90%. They may soon join the dodo and disappear forever.’
  Like the mandarins on a tree,
like the bus on the road
fixed as the passing season
travelling through your mind,
a beautiful place to be.

Like the bird building it’s nest,
Like the cemetery
closed to all who die, like I
passing through this time.
There are no trains anymore,
there are only the destitute, the poor
watching television, universally bored.

I wish behind every tree a smile,
behind every face a road to take
for you and me.
There is no better place to be.
And as the road bends so do I,
                                              getting accustomed to the drive.                                       

Patagonia, 2007.

watercolour on drafting film, 122 x 130 cm

Dumb as a dog
Some would swap it tomorrow to get those feelings back, which I wonder about and smile. Material quests, property or ‘relationships’,  that go no further than passing comments on the day that drive me nuts as I make my excuses to leave I know, that when you blink in front of your own reflection the heart sill beats; these events and experiences that shaped you (unrecognisable, but not to me). And still you try to capture the image, in hope that you will find refuge or at least a second, of what you once felt.  Pity to be like a sad dog who doesn’t want to even walk anymore death will welcome you, for it ends your story and mine were it that I would be so stupid to live my life on a lead, our eyes pleading to be let free whilst they say oh but one is happy when really she is not...' 

'A community is infinitely more brutalised by the habitual employment of punishment than it is by the occasional occurrence of crime.'
Oscar Wilde  

I think its fair to say now, that we failed. As artists we raised the awareness levels - affairs of the 'sacred heart'; but it was in vain. The 'hardening of the heart', as Cohen spoke of. At least it comforted, as if plummeting to our own sweet resignation, the only thing we can do is to learn to let go. Looking at the arts now it's so full of commerce, and sure, it always was. But across the board, music for example, you would be hard pushed to find people now, artists, that contribute much more than a haircut, at best. They're pretty much all gone and it's no coincidence. But still, when I look back at some of the things I wrote here as well, it makes me fucking cringe. I really can't believe I said half the things I did. Today do I really care, about what one should represent? No, actually I don't. Because deep down it's still about power and privilege, that you are up against, that you're pushing against. If you don't have either then prepare yourself. Of course you won't get many to join you, because ideas of freedom are more important than really doing it, as well the right now the left and more subversive than the liberals are truly liberal and tolerant. Decency and integrity, which could manifest itself via any means and didn't need to be dressed well (it just needed to be authentic), has been replaced by a pious conformity. The only thing left is a deep violence of the senses in a world accustomed to not speaking the truth. The only thing left is to walk away. Maybe it was never any different.

Stanley, 2016.


A Room


 “When someone shows you who they are believe them, the first time.”
  Maya Angelou


'I say that one must be a seer, make oneself a seer. The poet makes himself a seer by a long, prodigious, and rational disordering of all the senses. Every form of love, of suffering, of madness; he searches himself, he consumes all the poisons in him, and keeps only their quintessences. This is an unspeakable torture during which he needs all his faith and superhuman strength, and during which he becomes the great patient, the great criminal, the great accursed - and the great learned one! - among men. - For he arrives at the unknown! Because he has cultivated his own soul - which was rich to begin with - more than any other man! He reaches the unknown; and even if, crazed, he ends up by losing the understanding of his visions, at least he has seen them! Let him die charging through those unutterable, unnameable things: other horrible workers will come; they will begin from the horizons where he has succumbed!'  

Rimbaud

End note. 

Jacques D., professor of Philosophy in Sydney, Australia, whilst talking of Rimbaud, Apollinaire, or Victor Hugo, used to say that the only way to escape it all, today, was to do what we were good at. After that, the rest would continue, anyway. We had arrived into the age of cynicism yet with conscience intact. Our job, was to put faith in our own knowledge. In our craft, too. Craft wasn't necessarily a dirty word anymore, either, he used to say. He also used to tell us how Marx had said that the artist was the last true worker. I don't bother myself, with politics anymore. The best thing, is just to live as you started. With a healthy inquisition. And, as Jacques said, to do what you do to your best ability. 
Maybe the best is yet to come.  

Stanley, January 2017.

0 comments: