A visit: Post 2016

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

'The exile is a person, who, having lost a loved, one keeps searching for the face he loves in every new face, and, forever deceiving himself, thinks he has found it.’
Reinaldo Arenas 

‘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

There is an hour as
the night sleeps,
extinguishing of light,
across the harbor,
across your eyes
and ears,
wings silent
that brush,
missing beats
and imagined hands,
feet, a river,
a breath, fallen skies,
someone stops, to speak.
We have stolen all there is to say.
Distance will make us martyrs.
Fathers, shall hear our cries.

'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!'  


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.