this is my freedom
August 1, 2012
The Black Cat writes. And she is so good at it that people straight up lose they shit. I’m not saying she’s an artist. I’m saying she’s a provocateur. These are not mutually exclusive categories. And she could very well turn a phrase like a magician more often than not. But, for me, what makes her more provocateur than anything else is her resistance to the art.
But then, that’s her thing. Contempt. It drips and oozes and it’s delicious and disgusting at the same time. Contempt. It’s what makes her provocative. That and something else.
It is as I remember from so very long ago…
I gave myself an assignment. I was going to photograph works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was in search of the silent and still waters of the deep. I had been looking at art for so long I needed to change the frequency.
So the camera. Which has always been a strange and uncomfortable medium for me. It feels just a little too simple to be believed. It also has the feeling of theft, of “taking” that which does not belong to me. But then, it is as I’ve said three times in the past week, You cannot steal that which is free. And, yet, something else resonates…
It is intention. It is what you do with what you take. Do you share or do you hoard. Do you define or do you translate. Why are you taking that which is free. What does it do for you. What do you do for it. What do you do for the world by taking a piece of it.
I often feel like a lil girl in a candy store when I peruse blogs, taking images and phrases that do not belong to me and re-presenting them for the pleasure of seeing them through my eyes. It gets so that the other day, I was flipping through posts on this blog from months ago and I came upon these stories I made, and they delighted me in a way I could not know. They are the perfect mirror. Me looking back upon myself. Imagine if every time you looked in the mirror you could see days past along side today, as a way to see yourself in full.
That is this blog. But it’s not only that. It is me looking at my past and appropriating it. I take what was taken and I revise it for today. And I will look at it for weeks and then it will fade away. And then, perhaps, it shall reappear again. And is that what art is, that which speaks to you throughout your life. And it’s not that the art changes, but you do. And you discover in something you have seen or heard or read before something fascinatingly new. Because you have changed, and by virtue of this change, you have a new perspective. And yet, you can also see where you once stood, and you can integrate the fragments into a faceted whole.
It makes me feel so giddy at times that I almost don’t know what to do. I am so very high and that is nice, because I love the rollercoaster ride. But then, it is the law of physics or just common sense. What goes up must come down. I see an image I know without a credit and I think…
My feelings are mixed. On one hand I am elated, thrilled, and pleased to see an old friend. I am excited to see them up in the mix, part of a larger dialogue that streams from the consciousness of someone else’s eyes. I feel proud to see the photograph work its magic, to live powerful and free in a new context, pulling not only its weight but interacting with those around it, setting a tone by virtue of “harmonic dissonance” to quote Mr. Ex. It is exciting, this new life. This life unfettered by anything. It is freedom in its truest form and it makes me wanna sing some kinda song.
Then the other side. The part of me that was trained to believe. In ownership, in credit, it is saying, “That’s not yours or mine to take.” The museum, once again. Look but do not touch. It is the way of the world when the world needs profit margins in order to value itself. I dig there is money to be made, and I do not deny anyone their desire to make money. I dig that for many who put money first, sharing, community, communion, that’s all some hippie shit.
It’s a conflict, one that I now ponder as a creative mind. It was first presented to me on this blog some months ago and it forced my hand like nothing else. It demanded I make the call: If my words were stolen, taken, shared, and no credit was given, what now?
Well, undoubtedly, my ego stings but it’s all kinda so what. Am I to stop creating because of the fear of theft? Am I to allow someone else’s morality to invade my own. Or have I had enough of that my whole entire life and fuck tha world so very much.
Yeaa. FTW. Thas me. Because there’s something so much bigger, so much bigger to be believed. And it is this…
I’ve been saying it for awhile. It first came to me as The Internet is my oracle but it has since evolved. It goes to this ancient concept, the idea of One Mind. It is how it is that I’m reading Mark Twain and I’m saying, I thought that before. It is how Richard Misrach did a book called Pictures of Paintings where he photographed in museums around the world. I told Richard about my assignment and he said words that were not his own. Great minds think alike. And I’m saying, has there ever been a compliment quite so generous? Is this the meaning of life in some way I have yet to know…
It doesn’t end. It just goes deeper, because there is no bottom to the depths of the soul. It is that I discover a photograph of a girl or a doll and her face is covered by an octopus and its tentacles are coming out of her mouth. Or they are invading her space. Either way, this image is a deeply personal vision that’s existed for several years in my brain.
How can it be except that it is: the Ethernet is One Mind. This is how it has taken over the entire world in such a short period of time. This is how every child born from here on out will never know what life is like before the computer ran the world (I always knew I was on the cusp, I just didn’t know what the cusp was until today). Children born into our world will never have the pleasure that so many of us have known, a life that is analogue and free from the connection that exists beyond (in spite of?) the physical realm.
Neither bad nor good. Just inevitable. Would I have met the Black Cat, who I have never met in person. Not. At. All. Would I know, in so much as I know, most of the people I know? What is reality. It is (becoming?) something ethereal.
Just like the photographs I had been taking at the Met. Looking below the surface in search of something else. Looking at some of my favorite works and being totally assed out. They didn’t want their pictures taken and resisted my call. Finding pieces that I would have never ever noticed, finding pieces that desired my attention and slowly came into focus. Discovering that translating three dimensions into two required me to align myself on a different axis and it was then that I knew…
I came upon a sculpture. I believe it was the Dying Mexican Girl or some such, you know, white marble perfectly smooth, bare breasts, lain out, back arched, a lesser Theresa of Avila, but all the same, sexxxayy.
And thas when it hit me. Boom. Flash. If I walked into the Metropolitan Museum of Art topless I’d get more attention than the Art.
No Finley. Not me. But it made me think of what was real. Performance art, burlesque, objectifying myself. For attention, is that it, is that what it was? Or something else, something more visceral, the difference between flesh and stone.
So many questions I won’t ask.
Moving along then, the Black Cat got me thinking of this: Conspicuous Existence. Apparently, it’s on the checklist for the Narcissistic Personality Disorder but I won’t beg to differ. I’ll simply say :: fuckaDSMIV.
Here’s the thing. I know what this is. It is not only that I pick up vibes but I put em out into the world. It’s always been this way. I’ve been terribly conspicuous and I loved it, how I loved it, until it made my parents, well, jealous. They put an end to that right quick. Inside and out. Soon enough I was ugly, a very ugly little girl. And still, fuck, people noticed. Couldn’t keep their eyes off me. Because ugly is provocative, just the same as beauty. And an existence that is conspicuous will never not be no matter what. This is the essence of some lives for reasons I do not yet understand.
Day 25: What makes you want to write more?
Ohmagosh. I can’t stop. It’s been pent up in me for so long. All this tongue biting. All these thoughts swirling round and round an endless dryer cycle. All these ideas that could not be manifest until they found the written Word. To release it, to see it, to shape it, to share it…
This is my freedom.
I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. I never want to stop.