February 2010

work continues on Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tamaki, from preparations for the biennial at the New, a gallery that is itself terrain vague

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The New Gallery, CBD, between street and gallery, on leaving Cut Collective’s current work, and then I crossed the road, but let that be no reflection, from the Is social-networking just another word for pornography, hyphenated? series

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St. James foyer, CBD from the Lives of the Saints series, OR, What ever happened to the old men with beautiful manners?

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a celebration is in order after reading all 603 pages of Nicholas Fox Weber’s Balthus biography, not a lady but one who hath protested she isn’t to the degree she is refined to a point: I am a biographer betrayed, and since betrayed, my subject has become myself OR, Unbecoming

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Read all about it!CREATIVE ACCOUNTING ADDS VALUE TO NONENTITY

An artist who stands haughtily aloof from his time, basing his whole aesthetic posture on that stance, is exposing himself to the danger that the future may pass him by. … The most, and least, an artist can do for posterity is to acknowledge that his demise will in no way differ from that of a billion other men, and prove that he has been able to take creative account of that grim, miraculous fact. If he can do that, then maybe his creations will live up to the one dream which appears to set man apart from other creatures on earth, and by doing so he can provide his fellow men with a few noble instants of the surcease from the contemplation of their own nonentity. This, perhaps, is too somber and idealistic a view of the artist’s option, in which case it would leave ample room for the possibility that the future may do well by a bid for its attention by one who showed little confidence in its discrimination. Admirers of Balthus will hope so, and it is true that their hopes are not based on bluff. The nobleman may be bogus, though indispensable, but the artist is real. His reality is even greater than his identity, and he is bound to an involvement with it so passionate that the outcome goes beyond the personal. Greatness always starts that way. How far it can go, only time, and death, will tell.

– James Lord, Some Remarkable Men: Further Memoirs, op. cit., p. 189

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towards the Klossowskian (Count de Rola) gesture, of a group subject: notes for The Ordinary Light, playscript in progress

The ‘anthropomorphosis’ of Capital is complete when its fictitious character is generalised.

– Giorgio Cesarano quoted in Tiqqun, Raw Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl, here

– Balthus

The point is that humans are simulacra much more vertiginous than the painted faces of deities. They are perfectly ambiguous beings because they speak, move their fingers and appear suddenly in windows like semaphores (is it to send signs or to give the impression of doing so while in fact they are only making a simulacra of signs?).

– Michel Foucault, “The Prose of Actæon,” in The Baphomet, Pierre Klossowski, Eridanos Press, Hygiene, Colorado, 1988, p. xxix

– James Lord by Balthus

The issue of the title per se was in a strange way irrelevant, though it pointed precisely to what was central, because every artist’s responsibility as well as his license is to forge a self capable of creating the art necessary for the sustenance of that self.

– James Lord, the chapter headed “The Strange Case of the Count de Rola,” in Some Remarkable Men: Further Memoirs, Farrar Straus Giroux, New York, 1996, p. 162

– drawing for Three Sisters, Balthus

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CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
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Wharariki Beach





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“You Americans are so sentimental. Maybe that’s why you think you should rule the world.” – Picasso to Lord

“How dare you bring that whore to my house?”

Stunned, I stepped backward and muttered some phrase to the effect of not understanding.

At this Picasso leapt to his feet, overturning behind him the chair on which he’d been seated, and shouted, “That whore Cocteau. He never would have dared to come by himself, so he used you. When I think I’ve treated you like a son, and you do this to me. It’s intolerable. I told Françoise you’d fail the test.”

“How could I know?” I stammered. “It was you who told me to go and see him. He was a witness at your wedding. You’ve known each other for forty-five years.”

“That buffoon,” said Picasso, “that perfidious arriviste, that vampire. How many young men do you think he’s destroyed? Maybe you’re one of them. Has he been fucking you?”

“No, he hasn’t,” I said. “And he’s never tried to.”

“Amazing,” murmured Picasso. “Opium then, I suppose.”

“Not at all.”

“Well, I can imagine he was pretty enraged by the gift I found for him, wasn’t he?”

“He didn’t say so. He didn’t mention it at all.”

“Ungrateful slut!” Picasso exclaimed, picking up his chair and sitting down again at the kitchen table. For some time he sat there in silence, staring at nothing, and it was as if he had ceased to be aware of my presence.

Feeling that it was time to leave, I said, “I’m sorry. I only wanted to please everyone. If it turned out badly, I’m sorry.”

“Oh, don’t burst into tears,” Picasso said calmly. “Here. Come and sit down. Have a glass of wine. You Americans are so sentimental. Maybe that’s why you think you should rule the world.”

I didn’t answer. The two of us sat together quietly for a few minutes, and then the voices of Françoise and the children came from outside. Picasso put his hand over mine. “Don’t despair,” he said. “What I told you about Cocteau is the truth. You’ll find out. But he has a song. If you find the music pleasing for a while, all right. I like it myself sometimes. Now I must go and put some teats onto my goat. Come back soon.” Then he was gone.

– James Lord, Some Remarkable Men: Further Memoirs, Farrar Straus Giroux, New York, 1996, pp. 111-112

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effects of a rolling shutter: sky treacle

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sky, Murderers’ AKA Golden Bay

– Murderers’ Bay, another view, 1642

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