The Boy, the Business, the Doctor, the Gallery, the Baron, the Projection(ist),
the Gaganov family, young son projectionist, the Raven’s flight path,
Darwin’s Beagle, Jack Trade in the Boardroom, the Prison Guard, the prison
riot, Alexander the Painter and the History Project…
When once a raven’s journey began across the wide and wider still and
tumultuous expanse of the Flood’s waters.. When once a child ran across the
field to relay a message.. When once a humble gentleman Jack Trade left his
father’s smithy to become a serviceman (What to him was work with
unmatched integrity).. The Doctor in his Office as Jack Trade in the
Boardroom. A table with several objects. A green light. The Boy walks
through the mist and projection in the gymnasium as part of the Doctor’s
exercises. Project Noah’s Raven: Generational Flight Paths.
Jack’s organization grew and never stopped growing. At a certain
point he had to keep a major part of the business under-cover or clandestine,
if you will. At once an executive, a Commissioner, and a papal lord. Baron
Beardsley wicked as ever he was. Enter the Baron, whiskey lips & prickly
beard. Man of the Corn, bastard infant grown self-crowned Sovereign Lord.
His only decree is to secure the integrity of the Message. The Boy runs the
mainline as the Baron secures availability of program notes, charts, functional
diagrams. The Baron would be the link between the Room or Office, the
Boy, and the Assembly attained through Crackland and the Crackland
Journals. Rome built in a day.
Grandfather Gaganov was a cinematomaniac. He had amassed the
world’s largest collection of old reels, films no one had ever heard of, rare
footage of disastrous events, revolutions, bloody murders. He also had a
studio where he trained his grandson Antonich in the sacred art of falsifying
film material. “My dear grandson, you can make them believe you have a
-century image on soapstone of Jesus masturbating and coming on Mary’s
lips. That’s if you wanted that, but you know what I mean? Your powers as
filmmaker and projectionist are by a long shot immeasurable.”
Off the coast of Somewhere – maybe an Elsewhere – a prison stands
looking like a Pentacostal Church. The ocean narrows slightly and forms a
sort of bay. There is presently a riot inside. Several guards have been killed.
It all began with the interception by the Prison Intendent of a letter written by
Baron Girouard intended to be passed on to the E block from his cell in the
Protective Devices Ward. Warden James P. Flaxmill, an angry Screw,
intercepts the message and a riot had already began when the prisoners were
awakened to the fact of something impossible happening. They had had this
system of communication – some of them, the long-term prisoners, for
upwards to thirty years – and now it was detected by the Intendent which was
impossible to happen, and so the prisoners rose up and had an insurrection.
Only two prisoners escaped. It was planned that way. It was the two who
had anticipated and even planned the interception of the letter. They were in
cahoots with the Prison Intendent. We had to get them into Crackland.
Painter A. is at the Gallery, forced to attend an opening of one of his shows.
Speaking to his agent on a portable pocket phone, “A.J., why aren’t you here
already? Man, I can’t face these monsters all on my own. Get here quick.”
Paintings are lined up, ready to be mounted on the freshly painted
white walls. A. is nervous. He has been to at least a hundred of these – he
thinks – stupid events. Alexander Gaganov does not care about fame or
notoriety. He would rather be forgotten & just work in a barn somewhere on
projects they can find once he’s already dead and gone.
Time to start getting the mill to work. In the middle of a puzzle is a piece
glows strangely. “You have entered the right combination. Please continue
to the second quadrant.” – “Thank you!”
HOPE OF CELLARS:
The Boy, then, remembered. A sorry hope to languish in the Boardroom. A
box in the cellar, the cellar itself a box. Evelyn opens the door, takes a peek
inside. “Thank you for your beatitude, Empress.”
A prisoner of oneself, self-exiled, an exilic by and for his own
purposes. In the Cellar. Sainte Maries in the cupboard feel of boardroom
boxwood settled there months after the escape, from what, what escape was
this? A Boy remembered and then forgotten. That one last shoot for memory
before it dies. Cruel ways of the Baron trapped in the cold-storage room of
Priestess Madeleine Wisconsin, martyred in her beatific Heart of all Hearts,
the way she continues unbridled & compassionate, a sister for all who
painfully broken seek extinguishing.
A fragrance of dampwood. No lights to see, a beginning in darkness as
Noah’s raven flies for all eternity never to return, and is it any question there
should be a Message the Boy from the Cemetery and doves & ravens, Noah,
Abraham, Job? have we not gotten the picture yet? isn’t it simple?
Not simple enough. The Boy, the Boardroom, The Raven: Jack Trade
Inc.. The Stations of the Cross, the cardboard boxes in the cellar downstairs.
Stuffed there. Put away, discarded from the possible immediacy of an
upstairs dining-room or the living-room downstairs from which the cellar is
closed, a room whereby Joan fixes her stockings & through a chink in your
cavern you perceive the better part of a leg almost ending into roughhaired
genital organs of soft & supple waves with prickly post-pubescence.
The crack in the door was imaginary. The self-made soldiers carrying
policism in localized compartments trying to erase Barbarism as a fact. The
spirit of the Vandals. A fatalist myth of security, The Baron. Baron man-at-
arms. Baron feudal lord’s army chief. An illusion of security and
timelessness. The Schedule, another Mayan astral chart. The Tri-pronged
pitchfork, the Wheelbarrow. God takes an orange wheelbarrow across the
sky & dumps the moon & stars into the pit of eternal darkness. Slowly
something gets filled up. The Room with furniture, the mind with thoughts of
room & furniture and mind. Another illusion. Stop the watch.
A Jack-in-the-box. An army chief, an illusion. Man in Hat, Man on
Horse. Man Reading the Newspaper. Mucosoid films. Rustic
cinematography. Counter-turn on the phonograph, a 1912 filmic overture to
the holy Centuries. Lonely Dollars in a bottom pocket. Old & crimped &
once-orange now a faded mahogany brown. Old tunes playing on distant
phonographs some early jazz or jazzy intention remembered an old message
the Boy delivers the man secure in a cellar lonely characters on a page
imprisoned by the Authorities, words are agents for Crackland, the Baron
turns the page and Time & Characters fold, and it ends in Mars’ Wars.
First a light-brown light, dusty bookjackets, philosophy of agèd
atmospheres, brownpaperbag & mahogany table lathered with slight stain
almost a patina-hue: and then the green light again. To remind us of the
coming storm? of natural elements or elemental forces?
…(title)… To escape oblivion or make attempts. Des attentats.
Insurrection Native Security
she sobs hoping (hoping, sob-shopping)
(Operation Tsunami: To Sum Up
Non-Apprehensive Montage Indicators)
The boy spoke what seemed complete and inane nonsense: “Domina esta la
matronnez de les Vignolets di Pastore Monsignior Tournado.”. Quelle
imbécile je suis ou Quelle imbécile est-ce que je suis par là? et par içi, lequel?
What seemed like an hour lasting forever was the boy’s magic. He did not
speak, did not announced. It was more like an agreement, a passport. Now I
know that the assignment of passports and a thing agreeable or of agreement
are not the same. The boy, however, spoke a mixture of languages, and so it
was not impossible when one was before him to find in deciphering his
utterances a lack of coherence, brusque leaps from image to image or topic to
topic in sharp breaks, a disjointed phraseology holding together like a broken
string the entire present chapter of his vociferation.
The boy spoke to no certain subject or audience. He did not announce, was
not a call to your bedchamber that someone had arrived. His own arrival was
never overt or strongly a presence. He was the messenger boy, though, or
grew to be that way at a certain point when he met the Baron and was a sort
of apprentice of the Baron’s dark Magick.
I’d be awful wroth if some sort of story did not begin this way. Now, a story
for which, towards which I have prefaced, presaged, proposed. I cannot. I
must make the jump, leave this garden for the Cemetery and Carnival, exit
and move straight for the mainland for which the Boy is a sort of archipelago.
I am now Darwin on the Beagle. I am to discover something eerie about boys
and barons, voices and non-announcements. I pronounce the Boy’s name: or
the Painter, or the Doctor, or the Baron, or a Prostitute.
Once again I have broken from the mainline. I have exited what stages were
left. On my way to a hardly-detectable islet off the coast of Greater
Brunswick, and am met by an exotic & excited priestess woman of some
kind, beautiful, three-quarters naked. Only a thin veil hides her luscious
curves, a meal full of bombast to the eye englobing, dropping of jaw to
scratch a prickly toe, my God, what perfection, I must close my eyes.
The darkest place I’ve ever seen. Into the Baron’s Eyes, straight into the
Baron’s Mind. The Meta-brain Psychosis, the four priests called it at one
time or another. Bedlam Fools met at the Council of Vale Foreverbeget.
Forget Everbe, that was the Baron Monsignior’s motto and general attitude.
Break to port Nine, eleven the beltwing. I for short remain a standard stander
walkerby. I am of Passage. Am of archipelago, coasts of M., of F., of C., I.,
T., have spelt backwards the rivers of manunkind historically whispered
perfect gem-jism of wisewords to an audience openeyed in wanderlust. Been
a boy, a baron, and a graveyard. Seen too many sinking ships. No more
room for Utopic Vision. Death of fiery Wanda, some person enters texts
every now and then no matter when you’re writing, she just shows up out of
nowhere and seems to be acquainted with the writer or implicit somewhere
hidden in the inner workings of an author-function. Wanda B., I heard her
called, or saw it in a letter, heard a voice reading from the letter, to the letter
it was written, then spoken, as a letter, the letter passed from person to carrier
to other person. No use in sending letters to oneself. Perhaps it could erupt
in an intrigue. Intrigues can be useful at times, or even necessary. Had I
been a boy like the messenger. Or was I, am I? who writes these words?
Ofttimes it needs be made explicit, “I am not the boy, the baron, or a writer.”
That sentence makes sense if it is in the context of a painter writing a journal
or a retired historian or psychiatrist writing an autobiography or memoirs.
For a painter writing a journal is a painter firstly, is a painter towards the
journal, the journal being a marginal habit, object, like the painter sitting at a
table or the painter taking a piss. Likewise, the retired Historian or General
Practitioner in a Clinic, is perhaps no longer practising, but is a Historian or
Doctor still before he or she is a writer. Writing, then, is a fact, but there can
be no I’s, no identities in this book which are ‘writers’ before all else. It
would make no sense and would destroy the History Project which, already
being in a ruined state, could not afford to suffer such a disastrous belt to its
mouth as the appearance of a writer in the general text. Therefore, all writing
in this book is non-writerly, is of non-writers, on the margins of being a
writer; for example, a doctor writing memoirs, a painter his diary, a historian
writing a letter, a schoolteacher reading a genealogical register, a doctor
writing a prescription. That is how we reach the Land of Fissures, or cross
over it. Sometimes it is a land far off, but more often it is never reached and
is only a fog balancing over the path-towards which is the real Crackland.
The destination is either unimportant or can never be reach, exists only in
premonition much like a defiant Mosaic God.
“Definitely minimalist,” says the Painter, speaking as critic of a
friend’s work. A work entitled, “The Frowner’s Eye is Brownest.”
The Painter in Exile. Writing home careful to remain clandestine. He
dropped his keys or passport in the mailbox or in a mailed package.
[Thursday, August 28, 2003 / 4:10:42 PM] Notice the linkages. The
Textbook is called “The Sea of Years”. It is a handbook for the Officer’s
suffrage. Working for Baron Depopulator or Doctor Kilbreath.
Five years since we seen the Baron as a child. Not many pictures
remain of that event, his childhood, as though HE were simple enough to
apprehend, as though he had certain shapes in the story recurring at given
intervals and it were possible to chart his comings and goings in the novel but
really is he novelistic or actually from history, i.e. have we given words to a
real historical figure or have we merely attempted to ‘pronounce like’ words
from him, making in the process a novelistic phenomenon which resembles
reality but is petty & backward metaphysical ruminations? The walk at night,
leaving when night is falling and cumbersome lacklight will stumble you
across night into day rewaking in another bed, another sluice from the barn’s
uneven roof, slits in it & you drink rainwater on waking from sweet dreams
atop a haystack soaking wet accompanied by the smell of gerbil shit and who-
knows-what smell quite sulphurous and ammoniacal.
Maniacal sleep beneath perforated roof. Dreams of the coolness of
fruit juices. Creamy as a banana split or milkshake yet ruined haphazardly by
rain funneling itself across mismatched planks barn a-rooftop and the seisin
goes, “Sonumbitch, you stole my story, bastard!” as the boy says nothing &
moves one square forward the boardgame’s flutterflat and parcelled
amediumsized cardboard. “Amethyst and Ammonia: Amorous Autopsies &
Aromatic Asylums.” Chapter One of Deathpoem. “Next.”
It is a song heard outside workroom window. Worse than the workroom?
The smell of turpentine. Coming from the Letters. The Letters sent. Turn
the paper way up. Crank it. Make opalescent tragedies. A nightmare is
heard. Confessions at the Baron Inc. Warehouse. Deliberately Sedated.
Le docteur Ernest Choquette (1862—1941)
Médecin, maire de Saint-Hilaire, le docteur Ernest Choquette était aussi
romancier et conteur. Autour de 1900, ses romans, écrits dans le style du
terroir, avaient acquis une certaine popularité: Les Ribaud (1898) et Claude
Paysan (1899). En 1905, il est nommé membre du Bureau des inspecteurs
des asiles et des prisons. C’est justement à ce titre qu’il rencontra le poète
Emile Nelligan. En compagnie d’un ami, autrefois compagnon de classe du
jeune poète qui l’identifie maintenant comme <<Henri Heine>>, le docteur
Choquette se rendit, en décembre 1909, à l’asile Saint-Benoit-Joseph-Labre.
Il y trouve Nelligan, brisé, dans un état d’indéfinissable torpeur intellectuelle,
allongé sur un banc dans le brouhaha typique d’un établissement
psychiatrique. Le docteur Choquette rapporte leur conversation en ces
<ßEt que faites-vous ici? lui demandai-je doucement.
--Des vers… Une centaine… Ils sont rendus chez l’éditeur.
--Ne pourriez-vous point m’en réciter quelques-uns?
Je me demandais en même temps ce qu’il ferait bien. Alors, je le vis se lever
lentement, péniblement, l’âme seule attelée à soulever la charpente physique,
puis, le regard perdu dans le vague, il commença de me réciter des bribes
poétiques ou je crus démêler le rythme d’un sonnet, mais ou il me fut
toutefois impossible de saisir le moindre sens. Je l’interrompis pour lui
demander s’il ne se rappelait point les vers hagards de son IDIOT AUX
The Exhibition was a success, the Exhibition named “Homage à Riopelle qui
rend homage à Emile Nelligan”.
Saint-Hilaire, Doctor Choquette. Black poet-philosopher (<<poète
maudit>>) Emile Nelligan, translated as Boy and Baron. Doctor Heine.
Doctor Hitchcock. Doctor Hills. Doctor Mills. Doctor Bathurst. The
Asylum, the Prison or Penitentiary. Write a story with Patrick or a set of
poems about the Asylum, the Poet, the Painter, the Doctor, the Prison, the
Screw, etc. Or a play in pure Quebecois, in patois images & sounds. It
consists of 25 poems, 13 songs or 7 or 8 songs, + a dozen images. All in one
package, a splendid piece of theatre.
Thursday, August 28, 2003
If the new quebecois novel is a letter about a project of writing a letter which
is a novel, my new quebecois novel is about a writing project on prisoners’
letters from the Prison of Montreal and Montreal History, the story of this
project, letters and characters intermixed… historiotherapeusis, how will the
Doctor exhibit to the reader his project of historiotherapeusis?
Journals for an Idea of Historiographic Medicine:
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
An Attempt at Understanding Restoration Primitively:
It happened in France at the end of the year 1894. Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish
officer of the French General Staff, was accused and convicted of espionage
for Germany (an anecdotal art historical novel : novelistic anecdotal art
9:45:11 PM – what are human beings always trying to figure out? To figure
out is what humans are trying to figure out. They want to figure out figuring
out like I am doing. Absurd, isn’t it? But it’s the closest thing to Truth.
9:46 lit cigarette
9:53 put out cigarette
= 7 minutes
What novel needs be written which deals with the assassination of the Pope
or of a young man slowly climbing the Catholic Church ladder and when he is
a highly respected Pope destroys the religion completely in a short series of
steps? what novel will be written in both English and French that is historical,
epic, yet in small things? what novel is both The Counterfeiters and Les
Caves du Vatican and also The Magic Mountain and Walter Benjamin’s
autobiographical writings or historical materialism? how to conciliate religion
and science, church and state, novel and subjective experience? how to
conciliate materialism and idealism? how to shake off the ideological-
persuasive power of others before you? how to write a concise, new novel?
proton pneuma = first Spirit
‘Economy’ meaning ‘building a house’. It is used for the structure of the
relationships between God and the world. p.21, Paul Tillich, The History of
Christian Thought. Gnosis is used in three ways: as knowledge in general
terms, as mystical communion, as sexual intercourse. Gnosis is a knowledge
by participation, p.33, Tillich. Sympathetic participation. Love, the Bible. I
was onto something all along, onto real understandings.
Hermeneutics: somatic, psychic, and pneumatic sense. Somatic, literal or
philological; psychic or moral; pneumatic or spiritual sense. The Allegorical
Method of interpreting the Bible.
the concept of dogma, universalism, skepticism, stoics, platonic, theology,
apostolic fathers, apologetic movement, gnosticism, system of Authorities,
Montanist Reaction, the sacrament of baptism, neo-platonism, the allegorical
method, the doctrine of God, eschatology, dynamic and modalistic
monarchianism, the trinitarian controversy, arianism, the Council of Nicaea,
the Christological problem, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite p.90,
scholasticism, mysticism, biblicism, the scholastic method, dialectics and
tradition, Augustinianism and Aristotelianism, Thomism and Sootism,
Nominalism and Realism, Pantheism and Church Doctrine, Sacraments,
German Mysticism p.201, Roman Catholicism, Counter-Reformation,
Doctrine of the Authorities, Doctrine of Sin, Justification, Papal Infallibility,
Probabilism, Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Providence & Predestination, Church
and State, the Authority of Scripture, Protestant Theology, the Period of
Orthodoxy, Reason and Revelation, the Formal and Material Principles,
Pietism, the Enlightenment, Oscillating Emphases in Orthodoxy, Pietism, and
Rationalism, Kantian Definition of Autonomy p.320, Concepts of Reason
p.325, Universal, Critical, Intuitive, Technical Reason p.325-328, Pessimism,
Lessing & Historical Criticism, Rediscovery of Spinoza, Synthesis of Kant
and Spinoza p.370, The Nature of Romanticism, Classical Theological
Synthesis, The Universal Synthesis: Hegel p.410, Breakdown of the
Universal Synthesis, the Historical Problem p.423, the Anthropological
Problem: Ludwig Feuerbach p.435, Schelling p.437, The Theology of
Repristination, Darwinism, Kierkegaard’s Existential Theology,
Kierkegaard’s Criticism of Hegel, Ethical Existence and the Human Situation
(Anxiety, Despair) p.462, Marx, Voluntarism and the Philosophy of Life p.
487, the “Back to Kant” Movement p.511, the Luther-Renaissance p.520,
Biblical Realism, Radical Criticism p.520, 521, Religious Socialism,
Analysis of What seest thou else Episode
in Uncovering the Ungun, my first novel:
(Paragraph by paragraph and by key terms)
“1937 mythology, 1989 national, cynical sex half-
complete artificial body; postmodern minotaur. The
minotaur of the Here, the mythic origins of the bloody
aggressiveness. Death-brilliant anticipations, self-
seeking naturalism in the claw itself postmodern on
the origin. The sex of new mythologies nail killing,
ensnare rites and cultural alterity becomes unfit to the
longest point of a degree (part code of the production
property). The knot of a trail to gold mines; where’s
the head of a bull as thee for a breast in the parts
discomforting? And disembodied panorama of Paris
image, so important to cover for groveling journalists.
Here, the cadaver of the 1936 and the Here-Was of a
rising high rids me of impurity, guards me neither in
the bomb of dozing bounds a beating tourism, to head,
with its bloodied tongue power; it is norms & cultures
down. Salvador Dali anticipatory artifacts of a
defunct high; my incident with decomposing culture.
This is the flesh, the And-Because there into the knife-
edge of Dali’s reverie.”
Analysis: The mythic origins of the bloody
aggressiveness, death-brilliant anticipations, these are
figures which play a large part in this novel. I have
used a method of disembodying texts and discourses. I
cut in something about Salvador Dali with my own
editorial remarks. I was 1989, Dali was Paris 1937. I
was at war with myself and with the medium of
writing. I chose a cut-up form for the novel because I
had great admiration for William S. Burroughs as a
writer. The rest speaks for itself, the Here-Was of a
rising high, the knife-edge of Dali’s reverie. Dali once
said that to become a genius you merely had to say,
“I’m a genius!” but beware, for there is always the
danger that you WILL in fact become a genius.”
“To serve is not anything like lachrymose-
accompanied visits by the ankle and confrontation-
modules drab to us all. Two of the most lackadaisical,
of the most yet grisly, all the lacunae, forbids
removable feet, anticipates a postmodern scene:
significance of the Greek enlightenment. Raids are
aggressivity, the world beyond the dialectic of power.
In androgynous natures, crablike twitches, a pining
lover keeps himself merry for he presages the quick
transformation of the always fully free gravity at
everyone’s blood-sucking gravestone. The false lark;
icefall of precipitous declivity, a martyr’s nepotism
frenzy crass, illuminants of negative me reform
drawer. And it is sacrificed by Minos, in tight
interludes on the ultramodern scene. Here, therefore,
foundational text penetrating in the pestilential sex
with the body of Surrealism making. Purposely
denoting fame as an antibody, amatory sacrifice
doubles, sometimes godly figures prone forth can
cover it, but the reversal of this condition is nearest to
Analysis: Here I am basically forming the foundation
of the novelistic phenomenology.
If the seas of the earth were a monstrous
covenant already heading on the carousel, soldiers
dreamy with Dali’s minotaur would stick to ruling
indignities. The detrital coding red anticipates the key
social dignity of Dali the alias: Panic principal,
theme only biting bracelets of iron. Above myth and
above the point of nativity for what visions into the
cyberspace of weight and violence and of signalling
the prosthetic labyrinth, is winter-time the pleasing
drifts of summer gone afar with the warm return the
know-nothingism of black-as-onyx suits.
Delights. Alex cryptology. The minotaur as
of a blustered obligation around us, man or
conversely minotaur, the red of god, the pain I strike
upon myself with my way of naught; horror-struck
faces murmuring and bleeding cries, their lungs tired
from hour-long yelps. The women: the last sacrificial
self-shocking prose by Dali, the minotaur protruding
and the name of manhood becomes inappropriate.
Artists galore, previous at Crete, sit lonely and all;
Dali’s cover was indeed the juvenile organs
transplantable, and the nervous parts are dead. All
that survives is sex covering the European surrealist
movement because a body’s been absorbed into guilt
scouting to the form from of its inner body. Fully can
monstrous anomalies double in particular the pineal
eye forever staring.
Its being of to and of the parts these artistic
texts wave around; morning awaits anything but the
minotaur placed in part by a given god also not for
desire but with the white that glitters down the eye of
the detritus, crying in beds of the collage, of what
was: touch of apathy, contributions just and bright as
friends to delay remembering the surrealism look.
Nothing leg; without bull, imprisoned as the canned
man, social symbol sublime with slavery. And climbs
to figures of the heart’s deep floating body,
mentalities, days of cover, anarchy of archeologically
painted contemporary humans which in kinky beds
made the fateful crying exteriorized. But not just
waiting for the tide, the rangelands of interstellar
kisses marked by beauties, by ambiguity to-day; I
inhibit opposition rites in which the rivers of creation
stay seated by long rides naked with nausea. The
police, as a destiny of juvenocracy provides nothing
but marmalade, queer feuding, the breathing hole-
miners of society. This is the catch: a young secure
anomaly to the flat mental soup-kitchen of this array
Seas by Poseidon as if he was human,
aesthetic styles of animals, or the internal world
successfully becoming a real world. The single-eyed
leer, both aggressive me in punches the rabid eyer of
funerals itself a monkey in artistic ringing; its
mythology inscribed my tattered bodies on the site of
meditations. Dali cover art gives virtual bodies to the
dying Humanity, the riveted collar popular to-day to
adolescents as a hidden quality which was offered as
being privileged but is now uncovered as something
new to the by-reign by idiots. Expressive dialects,
precious knights contain limited demonstration of the
surrealist imagination, but in its privileging of the
mythic figure with sticks, the elegant fad and unwed
instrument of death somehow castrates me on my
sojourn into knowing. But this of a minotaur head, of
the minotaur bull and the head of a lounging, drunken
driver; classes of hysteroid mothers, the semi-logical
screen for the actual deployment and relays of
political power, then in the subject always returns
both the also and the fully of postmodern auras.
Review, then, the Minotaur, which appeared from
1933 to 1939 as an attractor of the inviting culture;
the bull’s cynical truth, cynical upon starvation of the
mind led to death by aestheticized politics.
The embassy: each minotaur announces a
postmodern frolicsome fact, the two pincers of
shortcoming conditions. The myth of the minotaur
centers on a posse? Lead bears, meagre howls, the
seam of morals taller than the folk who fashion it. But
whose artistic imagination could cover Rotting
cadavers for the current, hiding flow more scared on
the heavy load to see? The parasitical deliverance of
the nothing-detrital kitsch; to be dead is like digging,
lamenting now viewing in a postmodern,
extraordinary bell of norse domination: speak more
on the know without ammunition in the jovial
condition moons an earth can consider of malice,
shamed. Where’s the body ruining of its nature’s
howl with no belittlement? Its rustic prairie-dog, crab
technology for Dali. Touch is with body as
handkerchief opposite side of this the violently polite
sex minotaur parallels, whiles of it all (as witnessed
seduction of emotion). The sex of outside the
conventional Beat logic, these surrealist creatures
(woman has the world lone cipher) move; my small-
woods naiad was created from glass, the king of
transparent materials. Being is Paris near some
rotten humor not like the minotaur itself; surrealists
distant singing airs foggy with dead bodies,
heightened bestialism fully glamorous: they are clad
in bloodied suits laughing, giggling, all of them.
The bull, part man, has virtually infected me
completely. My agnosticism receives nothing more
than the last sacrificial sterility of power in codes
governing the rule of the unknown deity, the dire need
of affection. Surrounded by the ‘Of’ of as with
cadavers inscribed in feet the white-freaks keys, of
western society. Beneath the sexual partition
paradise is the relationship of blowing someone’s
head off and by wear of the reverse, nervous fully
recognised, for twentieth-century Europe; breasts,
lurid examples laid out underneath; it’s so big its
sexuality grabs you at the throat; mouths unfed for
(part) woman. She, a sun-moon setting, left by
mankind to define a youth in a row, now hands off
political riots and the androgyny of a young sap
portraying the malignant postmodern lick is killed
gently with poison. Garb of militant curse: martini-
night of the bottle by my minotaur, in neo-fascistic,
sharp kneeling adjusting to reason. This system
sqeezes nylons replaced by the rivets of ‘What
discovery?’ and a flat understanding of kobolds’
society brings Mother-Her the artificial early
surrealists. Declining gods of aggressivity in deep
did land on double covers rare with their waits and
their holsters fed with giant cannons of overgrowth.
The disappearing, postmodern, dark meditation of
monstrous angels frozen, sees dripping the
interchangeable Us-subject. The covers of Minotaurs
are a brilliant finding for Indeed, if art signified
scratching and the key subject from Me amazes the
Eiffel Tower: a surrealism gun accompanied with
hitch-pinch darkness or dismal parties, mighty hands
cut the knell covers to be an almost curious surreality.
Mr. Briggs Mr. Buxby:
Saturday, October 04, 2003 / 1:43:34 PM
By way of Introducing the Object:
Decision-making in the taller of the worlds or realms has an opposite in the defunct high
of a man corroborating, involved with a nature that in its own destruction via the lewd
instinct of a much smaller animal than the rat but as gloomily colorful, resists decision-
making as a process as repressed politikon zoon.
Upon making the decision, Aaron speaks, “I have travelled long and hard, what is the way
to Tellis Pond?”
Random notes scattered on the Doctor’s Desk, a meal half-eaten in the dining room.
“We’ve waited long for you, Mr. Briggs.” The Doctor writes what could be called
memoirs, but most of it is lifted from right off of his desktop.
The Doctor’s Office:
From a magazine in the waiting-room: “Doctor Lloyd Emerson once took care of a
young boy sixteen or seventeen years of age. The boy came to his appointments which
were weekly and the good Doctor treated him for symptoms of Psychosis. The boy,
Armand St-Louis, was taken to see the Doctor by his family which were very worried
about some of his behaviors. This seems to be the way in which Psychoses are perceived,
family or friends take a patient in, willingly except in the case of immediate danger.
Things have changed. Many psychotics are never discovered or treated.”
Jonathan Briggs enters the Doctor’s office.
The boy was compliant for the first couple of years, but then when asked his name,
he would say, “Mr. Briggs.” Mr. Briggs and Mr. Buxby were names that the boy-become-
young-man would give as though they were interchangeable and both names referred to
himself. Doctor Emerson would have an illustrious career based on the pivot of what he
came to call The Baron Complex.
Experiments with Doctor G.:
Doctor Gaganov was made famous by his experiments in psychopathology, psionics,
developmental psychology with boys and girls of all ages, testing the boundaries of human
thought and the human body in his Gymnasium. Having graduated some forty years ago
as a Mechanical Engineer, then having passed through a certain School of Medicine,
Doctor Gaganov was well-prepared once he began the experiments. He used projectors,
cameras, audio recording equipment, all sorts of technologies. He firmly believed that
new technologies changed one’s identity, and he was going to prove it through his
experiments. His main critic, Dr. Peter Emerson, would ask, “Do not your very contrived
experiments already hold the answers you are looking for? No need to test it, you are a
mad doctor.” And so on and so forth. But he had an illustrious career based on the Baron
Complex. Both doctors would strive with the same problem in mind.
• Boy and meetings with Dr. experiments with green light, projectors, tells of his
Doctor Lloyd Emerson was a pioneer in the field of psycho-acoustics and basic wave
patterns to change the flux of one’s ideas. He was known to use projectors,
phonographs, and made all sorts of recordings with his patients.
James Lewis Boyd, Projectionist:
James grew up surrounded by film, as a field of endeavor, of research, and as a
material practise around him. His grandfather had one of the world’s biggest film
libraries. He had old cinematic reels from the early twentieth-century. James grew up
watching these old works of cinema, looked at chronophotographs, practised with his
grandfather’s equipment to later take up the position of Projectionist at the Cinéma
Tonale theatre on Main street in the City of Gog.
Dr. Gaganov’s journals (the Three Notebooks)
Briggs drinks, the Baron comes out, angry Baron Complex, career
The Projectionist, his grandfather, Mr. Briggs the projectionist, Friday night at the
Cinema Tonale in Old Montreal
• the Dr.’s lectures on Mr. Briggs-Buxby
Doctor Gaganov and his lectures on Historiotherapeusis, 1937-1943
• Evelyn his wife
The Madam’s Cellar: Tale of A True Political Prisoner
The Myth of the Madam and her Cellar (Celia’s cages) / Political exilic, coureur-de-
Two painters: or Legal Tender:
Antoine and Basil were two painters which took a certain City by surprise with an
aesthetic war-machine which was incontournable, unavoidable. All artists were
caught up in the problems caused by Antoine and Basil’s secret work of superb
ingenuity: a machine like no other, which ate up old aesthetic systems and ideas and
regurgitated them in a digital type of painting. They were the Coureur-de-bois, a sort
of mythical persona at this point in history. Painter A. and Painter B. engendered a
New Vision of Theory in Painting in the City of Dis.
Painter A.: prototype: Jack Temper and Madeleine
In Jack Temper’s studio where Jack is in hermitage, Madeleine brings him food,
alcohol, and every once in a while she takes Jack out somewhere. Most of the time he
is in his studio alone and working on some pictorial problems. He single-handedly re-
envisaged the genre of Historical Painting. He found this genre and the self-portrait to
be the most difficult problems for a painter, modern or classical. Once you entered
into the study of techniques, their applications, then you knew what Rules and
Manners were, and you would find, especially at this point in History, that the History-
Painting is the most difficult, especially when one is forced to use a fresh concept of
history as your guideline through the project which would have to be serial. Jack
Temper theorised the History-Painting: “At this point painting is serial. The Series is
taking hold of this art. You will see. A series here of self-portraits, a series there of
landscapes, of studies of form, human forms, technological forms. So many different
identities, in series.”
breakup with Madeleine…
Dr. K. in Montreal:
• Dr. Kropotkin from St-Petersburg and Evelyn from Montreal
her one o’clock class weekdays, comes Thursday for joint lectures Friday, Saturday,
Sunday (book under his arm)
• Jason finds old song, Mr. Buxby and Me, makes a film with images by Painter A…
• THE HISTORY PROJECT: Jason, A., Evelyn, Dr. Kropotkin, letters from the
political prisoners of 1837-1839, Jesuit relations 1610-1786,
• Father Timothy, who late of age began a journal of the relations of catholics and
protestants in the county of Glenharrold. Painter A. and the Metaphysic of
Movements, with localization, delocalization, iconocriticus,
• Myth of the Guild of A.,
The History Project:
• THE HISTORY PROJECT: work which does not meet deadlines, temporal failure,
the overcoming of resentment, arching over feelings of guilt and projected psycho-
• Painter A’s Diary of a Selfportrait,
• The Baron of St-Hilaire, a film at the Cinema Tonale, black and white.. with sound..
and these have been Dr. Gaganov’s memoirs, a sort of soothsaying..
premonitions of what has heretofore followed.
• EXPOSITION OF FACTS:
The boy gave his name, Mr. Briggs. Mr. Buxby was
Notes from a Barony:
The Baron of Lemoyne, seigniorial system of land tenure, Medieval scholastic philosophy
in building Montreal
“Are you still there, Roger?” – “There has been a – in – danger for personnel, alert!
The Priest of St-Elsewhere:
Father Timothy, Montreal is an Elsewhere, flashes to the Prison of Montreal, Au Pied-du-
Courant, actual letters,
WHAT IS THE NEXT SERIES?
1.Mr. Briggs-Buxby a sort of legionnaire and ringleader, of a strange circus, Grotesque..
Carnival, The Prison Guard, Riot, Sarcophagus, Cemetery, the City, the Venice of the
City, Montreal is an Elsewhere…Pageant of Repentance, crazy orange…a new color… a
vibrant orange, effect of a layer of burgundy beneath one of citrus or lemon yellow. The
eye perceives a certain orange hue which did not exist previously.
The History Project:
A Final Projection:
Jason’s Field of Atmospheric Noise:
A Song: October 4th
, 2003 / 4:26pm
The light at the back of the House on the porch is green and brown and black and red
The light in the front of the House is brown and black and blue and grey
Only when the stars appear
When can I be there for you?
I will enchant the Wind and Rain
Will you be coming back again?
I am two and you are three
The cloud up above our House in the sky is green and black and blue and red
The tree in the backyard seems to be a mix of brown and blue.
Only when the comet’s near
What can I now do for you?
You requested my presence
Who hear asked for me to show?
My presence is lacking a fire
APPENDIX: (taken entirely from my own journals)
Doctor Gaganov’s Notebooks: (approx. 35 pages extant)
NOTEBOOK I: Meta-Brain Psychosis, Projector/Projectionist, Baron Complex
NOTEBOOK II: Physio-Imaging +
NOTEBOOK III: Historiotherapeusis
Transition / Interval /Contact (approx. 35 pages)
Crackland + Crackland Journals (60 pages)
I’ve been up and down all day
I don’t have time or the patience
To keep playing all these games
If only a man could have what he wants once in a while
I’ve been out of town a while
I can see a different style
I can’t wait to see you smile
If only a man could have a smile once in a while
If only a man could live a while
I cannot remain here long
I’ve been hurt too many times
I cannot play these vile games
How good it is to see you baby once in a while
I will seek a better day
In my calm and careful way
When the lights dim, I am gone
If only a man could steer the vessel and stay alone
IF only I could steer this ship alone!
Saturday, October 04, 2003 / 1:18:48 AM
Deep Feelings for Romanshe:
We would visit her at her Cabin south of town, taking the
horse and carriage for the most part but finishing off on
horseback, leaving the carriages at Rosedale farm.
My feelings for Romanshe, of who I will speak
shortly - after a brief delay on my emotions for Her
Highness - began in the month of Brumaire, but which year,
I do not know. Or was it the sansculottides? I had worked
hard on developing my own calendar, a calendar of
household chores, tables for all sorts of things. I often
confounded myself needlessly. But for Romanshe.. I had
only the highest esteem for her.
I say this and then think back to when we last met.
She was extremely nervous. She was hiding something, she
told me herself, “I am keeping something from you, but fear
not, I love you still, but this concealment is critical, if not
necessary!” We parted with the usual hand-shake.
Dispirited, I composed a long letter to my uncle,
Georges-Hannibal as was usual in those days after a fit of
malaise or general discomfiture. In the letter, I told him of
my pursuit of Evelyn Madrigal. I knew that Georges-
Hannibal did not want me treading so close to a Fury-in-
flesh such as Miss Madrigal. But she beat him to it, my
heart that is; my heart was set on her two summers in a row,
and we shared such intimate moments.
Then came Romanshe. At first I thought it was
Evelyn in disguise. It was not. Romanshe was nearly her
exact double, but appearances can be deceiving, I was soon
to find out.
Before getting ourselves too caught up in the story
of Romanshe, let us divert the reader’s attention to a
parabola quite considerate of such situations as I found
myself dwelling on past thoughts of Evelyn while trying to
work my way to the status of my Goddess Romanshe.
The Ancestral Site of Rockburn for Public Lewdness:
There was a site in the domain of Romulus Kingsley III
reserved for lewd baths, grotesque yet titillating orgies. It
was in a park away from the City, but close enough to make
travelling there inexpensive. On given nights, people
assembled there and had great Bacchanalias, lavishing
themselves with oils, with fruit and creams, slurping
pineapple from the genitals of a young maiden with long
black hair and thick pubis (milk-white breasts). Giving into
succulence and gluttony, the people who entered this site
discovered that they had undergone a spiritual lavation. The
events that took place there were not for the sake of
pleasure, of vanity. It was a sacred lair reserved for sacred
rituals, feasts, star-gazing. And so my Amazonian brute,
Romanshe, met me in this dazzling spectral light-show that
was once the ancestral site of Rockburn where the Goddess
of Lewdness, Cotyttia, came and cleansed the souls who
were subjects to Romulus Kingsley III, and I had have gone
with them, attended their festivities, if it were not for our
temporal dislocation from one another. Romanshe and I
had built a house there, however, and enjoyed silent joys of
contemplation and sex and management of a household.
Saturday, January 24, 2004
1.One is not merely designing an image and then painting it; one designs a set of
treatments which one then applies.
2.The application of one treatment and the nature of each treatment depends on all others.
3.Process-painting is inherently multimedia work; it is multimedia but deserves the name
of painting by its processes which are painterly and pictorial.
4.One forms images through processes not therefore building an image in an illustrative
fashion Each process / treatment sketches an aspect of the image.
5.Process-painting is mechanical, but its effects are metaphysical (the transparency of
In process-painting, the painter invents processes. An image is designed and formed of
applied treatments which uncover aspects of the designed product. Hence, it often works
negatively. Process-painting counters simple brushwork. It works by making the
sequence of processes undetectable. This undetectability of Process is what makes
process-painting initially ironic.
“La peinture procédurale”
One invents the steps as one goes along. In a very strong sense, process-painting is
modal. The multiple processes form a type of chain, a modal chain like the powers in
Spinozist ethical philosophy. It is up to the artist to invent processes.
Process-painting is a wellspring of new techniques. The many modes resemble the modes
in Russian formalist montage (“Constructivist-propagandist film, 1920s”).
A limiting factor exists in process-painting: one is not playing; process-painting is real
work, and is arduous labor. One works against the old painting, but keeps the old
methods of imaging which have become semi-universal.
The main limit is the professional aesthetic: images ought to have the lustre or aura of
value, i.e. monetary appeal. But the process-painting is disinterested. The process-painter
is disinterested out of necessity: to remain technocratic and not fall prey to the desire for
pure poeticness. Process-painting is more Atmospherical than poetic, i.e. the atmosphere
of the room, not the cubby-hole. The treatments in process-painting are additive, if not
multiplicative or exponential (geometric).
One composes a procedural encyclopedia as one goes along, each ‘chapter’ coinciding and
working with, in contiguity with other ‘chapters’.
First chapter: “Leading gestural diagram”. One chooses a process closest to one’s pre-
existing habitual-programmatic network. One draws from one’s preceding periodicity. If
one was ‘telephonal’ in one’s habit-construct, one begins with a ‘telephonal’ treatment. It
is up to the process-painter to choose an appropriate point of departure. It is never a
matter of beginning, but of departure.
Process-painting is serial in its nature.
Second chapter: Images are a ‘piling-on’ of technical-procedural habits. Hence the
modalities of process-painting. Square-habits and triangular habits; linear habits, circular
habits; processes of pasting; processes of adaptive subtraction, i.e. of subtracting elements
through masking, defacing, or erasure to submit to the Notion of the process-painting.
Process-painting can be conceptual. In this sense it distinguishes itself from older kinds of
painting. Formal painting cannot attain the concept; it only presents affectual blocks and
perceptions. Process-painting follows a technical line that converges on the conceptual.
First it is a history-painting, then a technique-painting and becomes conceptual when the
work-path reaches the process-painting via a technologized methodology which holds the
concept in its technicity. Process-painting works in an abstract mode, but the product can
Process-painting is not so artistic as it is scientific; this being by virtue of the fact that it is
experimental. The process-painter invents a process that may not be fruitful. The process
may be a disaster. As an inventor, the procedural-painter works as a technical agent for
aesthesis, sensation. But, s/he has the end of the ‘beautiful object’ in mind.
The old painter did not need to be so inventive. A time has come whereby ‘inventiveness’
is a lucrative quality to have.
One can view modernist painting in light of the theory of process-painting, or any other
painting, for that matter.
Only process-painting is truly metaphysical. It is metaphysical because its techniques
(mechanical) are multiple and follow one another closely. There is geometric process-
painting and digital process-painting, otherwise known as systems process-painting.
Hence, its conceptual potential.
The techno-scientific bias does not exclude any artistry, but it so happens that process-
painting is free of artifice, because it strangles itself with its own volition towards the
Good in painting. That is to say that process-painting wills, in its processes, the ‘perfect
product’, a product which, through its developmental stages, makes the best of itself.
That it, in the end, can attain the figurative objectity, already proffers proof of process-
painting’s genuineness as mode of picture-making.
The History-painting was a painting that knew it could never attain the concept of history
in painting, but tried anyway. The Technique-painting thought it could attain the concept-
in-general by figuring its own technique as it went along. The Process-painting
circumvents any doubt and produces the concept via a superposition of treatments which
in themselves, as parts of the product, hold the concepts of their technicity, and each
technique, therefore, creates its own technologized subjectivity, for the process-painting is
viewed as a unity of parts; a whole if you will.
Third chapter: Process-painting involves a certain intelligence. It plays upon a technical
intelligence, but a technical intelligence which is hyper-aware of its technicity. Technicity
is what comes of technical devices that are aware of being so. Process-painting, having
passed through history-painting and technique-painting, is hyper-aware of its technicity as
painting. This means that the ego which practises process-painting, is technologized. The
theory of habit takes care of the technologization of the ego. When one is on the
telephone, one’s habits steer towards the telephonal. Habits may have periodicities, but
are always under the sway of habitats of technology.
Process-painting overestimates its own technical mastery. The treatments that make up
the process-painting itself take all techniques used and multiplies them. This means that
the product of this technique, i.e. process-painting, being experimental, produces an object
which is the sum of multiple applications and therefore stems from the multiplicity of
actions and creates an object of hyper-technicity: That is, an object results from process-
painting which is more than the sum of its parts. What happens in the event of process-
painting is a serial sum of acted technicities that circumambulates the point of technique
itself: To embody technique as a conceptual motherboard of sense, of digital sense, of
cybernetic, system-apprehended sensory localization of computer-technical furthering of
the point of experiment itself in the technical sense.
Let us define the hyper-technicity of process-painting. One sets up the materials for a
session of process-painting. This means that there is canvas involved, or cardboard, or
paper. Process-painting necessitates a flat medium such as paper or canvas or cardboard.
Plastic is to be avoided. One then commences with a swipe of some watery substance
with pigment. Let it be a swipe of off-white acrylic paint. One flows the ivory-white paint
onto the canvas, with a side-swipe of gold spray-paint. This is the first treatment. At this
point, one studies the product, for a moment, for a week, or for a month. Every treatment
needs a careful scrutinization of the product. One cannot act too quickly; one needs to
overlook the product carefully, and this can take months.
Forming the Image diametrically, tranversally.. The image becomes a horizon: The
process-painter moves toward the horizon of the image (the image horizon), but never
fully meets up with it. The image is kept in mind, and the work functions to derive
possible solutions to attaining the image in a roundabout manner (roundness of method;
the round method).
, 2004 / 3:47 PM
1.The circular-geometric habit’s periodicity can easily generate multiple scenarios but
these remain, by virtue of the circular geometricity, purely ideal.
2.A real construction of technical superiority to the geometric method or model will exact
its production in an abstract-formulaic and thus roundabout manner.
3.The abstract manner in artistic method is not to be confused with ‘abstraction’, for the
pure abstraction is still figurative (technically figurative). Real abstract art is abstract in its
methodology, not its pictorial product.
4.The technique-painting was a painting which traced its own technique, was hyper-aware
modalistically of its technique. In this way, the technique used was painted, but the
content was therefore lacking. The process-painting brought content back and a purified
or exorcized content.
5.Process-painting is contextual so far as its solidified or material memory function is
concerned. This material memory fits into the historiotherapeutic scenario.
6.Process-painting utilizes the theory of physio-imaging as the presentation of history.
Process-painting is therefore empirical.
7.Process-painting is a combination of pure artistic process and scientific research. The
condition of being both artistic and scientific exists in the process itself: Process is the
home of both practises, and process-painting is both artistic and scientific by virtue of its
8.Process-painting produces results. Even when its object fails, it still produces a result,
both physical and mathematical.
9.Process-painting has a mathematical result; that is, it deliberates techno-figuratively an
abstract production, where number and limit secure always a tentative imagal scene or
pictorial event-scenario; that is, a technical-productive and contextual iconology.
10.The iconology of process-painting can be both devotional and secular. The procedure
remains the same in both cases.
1.1 Process-painting diminishes the time of the formalization of the image by breaking the
image into effects of procedural modes.
1.2 The procedural modes are closely tied together in serial contiguity.
1.3 The serial contiguity is asymmetrical in process-painting.
1.4 Modes are relative to one another and imagistically autodeterminative.
1.5 Familiarity does not exist between procedural modes. They are not merely powers.
Subsequent harmony exists between modes as levels of sympathetic participation.
1.6 The geometric is annulled by techno-harmonization schedules which control technical
1.7 Process-painting is itself a work. Occupationally, it revs itself into a horizontal play of
jittering boxes, so to speak.
1.8 The ‘box’ can be seen as a unit of pictorial representation.
1.9 The boxes can be historical presentations.
3.The cellar is full of boxes.
Monday, January 26th
Process-painting neither establishes a firm axiomatic nor a table of first principles. The
only law is the law of process; this is its conditional rule. All else is subject to procedural
Process-painting may attain the dialogical. Time is a crushed time, a material memory of
passing procedures solidified in the final picturation.
“The Supermodal Process”
Beyond the subjectivity question arises a philosophical basis for process-painting which
surpasses the simple modes into a hypermodality; this hypermodality is none other than a
product of the Supermodal process. This process is an event and occurs beyond the
regressive-ironical mode, the modes of Absurdity and Paradox: it purifies its own irony
through exact existence of the procedural set-up or program, which is historical. There is
no program of reference; it has passed over self-reference and alloreferential modes.
Process-painting ‘skips’ to its ends. Its means are abstract and often irretrievable. One
hardly gets a second chance. Process is always first.
Location: The Kitchen of A.’s Northcliffe Apartment
The body of Painter A. is found cold and bloodied and naked and sprawled
out amongst bits of broken glass and upturned tiles. In the Kitchen of his
Northcliffe apartment, Painter A. is found half-dead, comatose, to be precise,
amongst scraps of food, broken glass, and a half-defaced ceramic tile mosaic
which was at one time a masterpiece. The Kitchen had just been finished,
refinished, refurbished, but is now no sort of work of art: It holds, sprawled
under the table, the cold and bloodied and comatose, nearly lifeless body of
Painter A., Alphonse Lemoyne.
Evelyn: “How is the novel coming along, A.?”
Alphonse: “I thought it was finished but it turns out I have to rewrite most of
Evelyn: “The Editor again? she wants to make your life a living hell?”
Alphonse: “No, it’s not the Editor’s fault. I have to start over because the
Novel, as I was finishing it, lost its currency.”
E.: “Oh, I see, or at least I think I see.”
A.: “I highly doubt it, Evelyn. What you’ve seen of the Novel were only
preparatory sketches. After my trip to Paris and to Amsterdam, upon coming
back home, I realized that I lacked a certain distance from This Place, a lack
of distance which made my novel TOO current.
Fifty thousand people writing the same story.
Alphonse: “All I ever did was paint what I believed was most virtuous. It
wasn’t what I believed was virtuous, but what the public held as virtuous. I
painted history at a time when the Canadian state was seeking to understand
its history. I painted portraits of the Painter when Painting was realizing its
Function in the political state. This was the basis of the Technique-painting:
Each technique was a presentation of itself. I painted a hand holding a brush
and painting. I called it Painting. But the representation of Process was a
different picture altogether. It was the closest I imagined one could get to the
concept in Painting. One applied processes and the superposition of
processes made an image. This was the image of Process. But process-
paintings were never finished. They bled into the next project. They were
experimental projects, scientific and empirical. I had conciliated art and
science, but the product was far from perfect. I went back to the history-
painting but added a fiscal element: This made the Legal Tender Project. I
was always working on a project or other. It was how I made my bread. I
starved in my twenties and wasn’t going to starve in my thirties. In my
thirtieth year, I decided to become famous. Nothing could have been easier.
I invented a character, Painter A., and embodied him in the flesh. People in
general were so naïve. They took the bait. I had my fame in less than six
months, and not with any sensationalism. I rose in the ranks out of sheer
determination. I embodied a legend I had created. My agent, it must be told,
was an expert in publicity. He toured my image all over the world. People
everywhere were naïve and took to the bait like brainless fish. I represented
the Canadian Painter. Everybody loved me, or I should say, they loved my
image. A bunch of fools, I tell you.”
Evelyn: “O Alphonse deserves every bit of his popularity. I knew him long
before any of his ‘fame’ or international acclaim and let me tell you he never
stopped working on his art for a second. He would go into the studio and
come back days later. He’d work on twenty paintings at the same time. He
has hundreds of notebooks of drawings too. He’s an expert in drawing, this
is a little known fact about Alphonse.”
J.G.: “Alphonse and I would get together and just fool around with my
equipment. We made all sorts of videos, short films, took photographs
together. At one point, he taught me to paint but I stopped after about a
dozen paintings. I didn’t have a knack for it like Alphonse has. My field is
music, sound design, you know? I’d like to think that I taught him a few
things about music.”
Alphonse on Incoherence:
“Anyone can be an art critic but only a select few are good at art criticism.
One of my biggest pet peeves is the criticism that there is no coherence in my
work. My critics love to throw that one at me because it is the easiest
criticism; coherence needs to be defined for it to have any validity. I think
that there is a problem linked with coherence and integrity. Critics are
seeking coherences in style and concept. I believe that they are really
searching for professional integrity. Coherence is one of those catch-phrases:
Your work lacks coherence. There is no basis for the lack of coherence
affecting the faculties of judgments of taste. Coherence is what the human
mind lacks, not painting. My paintings are coherent in that they all come
from my hands. I choose a concept and build a project on it. That was what
the History Project was initially. I wanted to paint the concept of History, or,
I should say, A concept of history and I did just that. There was a conceptual
unity between the paintings, but not necessarily a technical unity. I found
technical unity in the Technique-painting. I had been experimenting with the
ideas behind historical materialism. I wanted to conciliate strict empiricism
and idealism. I painted Utopias and Dystopias. I came up with my own
personal iconography, sometimes figurative, at other times abstract. Nothing
made me or could ever make me believe that a painter should choose between
figurativity and abstraction. A painter chooses between painting and not
painting. It’s as simple as that. The question of style is an outdated question.
Some paintings are linear, decorative, others are exorcistic, expressionist,
etc.. I paint what needs to be painted at any given time. Sometimes it is a
personal need, at another time it can be a social need or a philosophical lack.
Process-painting was designed to follow science. I saw a movement in visual
culture towards modes of scientific visualization, i.e. microscopic vision,
telescopic, photographic vision, etc.. This had taken shape over at least a
hundred years, or two hundred years. It is fetishistic. It takes scientific
instruments and shapes them into idols. I wanted to paint ahead of science, o
give engineers visual ideas as to what technologies needed to be discovered.
I myself fell in love with the oscillograph. My History Project was linear and
in an oscillographic way. My paintings were quite ‘graphic’, or
‘diagrammatic’. I made no pretense about this fact. I was struggling to paint
history graphically. I failed, but the work was honest work. I was at my
most sincere back then.
“I was making films with J.G. He’s the engineer, I’m the architect.
That was how we viewed our relationship. I designed things and he mae
them work. He'’ the real math buff. With Evelyn’s philosophical
investigations, J.G.’s engineering, Doctor Kropotkin’s clinical wisdom, and
my powers of visualization, we came up with Physio-Imaging. That’s what
the History Project was all about, for me: Visualization. We chose Montreal
and environs and attempted a sort of visual history. Our work was to
revitalize the known history. We were like detectives trying to solve a
historical problem. Montreal was hurting; we were its doctords, fixing the
malady, so to speak. I can’t say if it was a success or a failure. Physio-
Imaging quickly because a fact, as well as historiotherapeusis. We were
doctors of history, of Montreal’s ailing history. I painted almost a hundred
portraits of myself during this period, which formed the basis of my
“The Boy From the Cemetery” : A film by J.G. & Alphonse
Alphonse: “The Boy isn’t real. He seems real but he isn’t. J.G. will
J.G.: “Yeah, we took old pictures of ourselves from childhood and made a
composite. I designed a morphing program that allowed us to take two-
dimensional images and make them move in a three-dimensional space. The
Baron is Alphonse. The Doctor, surprisingly enough is my uncle Fyodor.”
Alphonse once thought of himself as the reincarnation of Franz Anton
Mesmer. It turns out that Mesmer was underrated as a medical man. His
colleagues did not give him the credit he deserved. It is in this way that
Alphonse sees himself as Franz Anton Mesmer, for in the beginning of his art
practise he was underrated and now, well into his thirties and with thousands
of paintings and hundreds of art shows under his belt, he has achieved
recognition. But the road to recognition was full of ugly turns. More than
once Alphonse was humiliated by putting on a show and not having a good
enough turn-out, not selling any of his works, standing all by himself at the
vernissage. Things really changed for Alphonse once he met his present-day
Alphonse hates doing dishes, lets them pile up. One Sunday he does them all,
cursing the dish gods. Alphonse is a compulsive hand washer. He washes
his hands upwards to fifty times a day. If he so much as wets his hands with
water, he must wash them. Naturally, being a painter, he dirties his hands
often and therefore cleans them compulsively.
A lifetime of abuse gives something to atone to. Alphonse is in a stage in his
life whereby he is feeling remorse for himself. First he felt extreme guilt, then
the guilt turned to self-forgiveness, and then came remorse. Remorse for
oneself is one of the highest states achievable. It comes in the eleventh hour
after a lifetime of negative behavior. One feels compassion for oneself, then
remorse. Remorse for what could have been a much better life.
Alphonse: “I live life on the edge. I like to be high, to be in a trance, in a high
state. I’ve been sober before, it sucked. I like to be high, to be baked, man.
Something has to be said about being high. I like marijuana, I like coke, pcp,
speed, lsd, though lsd is hard to find these days. I like to be high, man. I also
like to be awful drunk.”
Alphonse is drunk, is in a state. He doesn’t care about anything. He only
wants to feel essential in a state of pure being. He needs to feel immediate, at
the heart of creation, pure, immediate.
Alphonse likes to drink himself into a stupor. Nothing feels as good to him as
drinking himself into a stupor. The hangover is to Alphonse a reality. The
hangover is a reality to Alphonse.
Alphonse: “Winter was a dreadful one this year. I wallowed in tears. I was
decrepit, broken, frozen there on a stool for six months. I made hardly any
paintings, stuck more to drawing quick sketches in pencil mostly, some in
charcoal. With charcoal I tried to rise against the oppressive and bedamned
whiteness of winter.”
Dr. K.’s Notebooks:
There’s a difference between an inspired paranoid schizophrenic and one that
is uninspired. The uninspired schizoid will descend in the dark depths of Hell
and remain stranded there forever more, whereas the inspired schizoid will go
into the fiery depths of Hell and be able to tell about it back on earth. The
Boy is an inspired schizophrenic and is thus not really sick at all. He
sublimates his unresolved, accumulated energies through painting and writing,
not to mention going to the Cinéma Tonale on Friday nights to see the feature
presentation. The boy is a healthy manic, just manic enough to be able to
keep up with the terrifying hullabaloo of life and he is naturally depressed.
His depression is a personality trait. His demeanor is tragic, his eyes
astoundingly luminous orbs.
“My mother told me not to consort with wild spirits.”
Alphonse has reached the pinnacle of his atonement: One last dance with
Maud, the Dark One. She fizzes into the room out of thin dark air. She is a
daemon; he is a she or she is a he. Incubus and Succubus in one.
Autumn Painting in Late Spring:
Sunday, June 27, 2004
I see the picture of a man, a tall man with a sombre demeanor or cast to him.
I see this image of a man circling slightly in the dark void which is the
deepest part of my mind. The image comes over me, I first become that man
then am separated, and I languish in my vanity, estranged.
O Lord of Saint John of the Cross, blessed be the children for fire shoots out
of their little eyes and they encapsulate your holy message.
I see a set of spiralling eyes deep in the utter blackness of the abyss which is
my heart of hearts. Lord, save me from miserable senility, kill me in my
prime, piercing my immense compassion, trucking me in mud swamps in my
time of atonement. Do not leave me, Savior. I want to be worthy of you.
FOLLOWING MR. BIGLY AROUND:
Sunday, April 25, 2004 / 10:32:25 AM
Wearing a light-brown three-piece suit and hat, Mr. Bigly turns a right on Ancestry Boulevard. He meets
Spacy and Temporal, the two evil sisters. The fact is that Spacy wants to turn a trick and Temporal is
taunting Mr. Bigly with sexual lips. Mr. Bigly is too vain to notice either of the sister’s motives. Mr.
Bigly is imperturbable. Vanity runs deep in him.
The next day was a day of atonement for Aleister Bigly. He didn’t even bother to get out of bed until
twelve noon. He had a coffee and a slue of cigarettes upon waking. He felt like a bunch of wet rags,
lumpy, old, and mouldy. He got dressed and made it out to the cemetery for a walk and another slue of
In the cemetery was a boy playing with a stick, running around all jubilant.
Monday, April 26, 2004 / 10:24:53 AM
I was just a little boy wishing I was all alone. Little did they know I was not well; none could tell. By
myself I sang a song as people turned the other way. All I needed was a friend to hear what I wrote that
day. O it’s untrue, there was nothing that I could do.
Weekends were not like weekdays. The weekend was a special time in my youth. It meant sleeping in
and watching cartoons on the television. It meant playing in the snow in wintertime or in the grass
during the spring. My brother and I would build snow-castles and have snowball wars.
The Baron Hoderlin walked into the Duke’s quarters. “I need men, many men. There are barbarians
coming from the East. I need a thousand men immediately.”
I remember practising karate in the yard. I would break pieces of wood laying in the backyard. It would
be but a few years later that I wrote my first song. I’ve always had a powerful creativity in me; I took to
song writing like it was second nature. I would later form my first band.
The Baron is at the Apothecary’s shop. “I need some opiates. My men are wounded and need
medicaments. Please supply me with four hundred units of morphine solution.”
Social science was one of my favorite subjects in elementary school, though I did not do very well in it.
Sometimes the courses are so interesting that we almost forget to pay attention. We are enraptured and
lose sight of the details. I always loved mathematics too, though I did very well in this subject.
The Baron is shot down, ends up hospitalized and in a state of intense confusion. “Where am I? What
happened? My men are dying, the barbarians ambushed us, I must protect my men!”
The first few years of high school were years of adjustment. High school was an entirely new universe for
me. I was a bit of a bully in elementary school, but in high school I was a little kid and prey to the older
kids. I did poorly the first two years but eventually began getting good grades, quite above average,
actually. Then in the last two years, as I discovered drugs, my grades began getting much worse.
The Apothecary prepares the morphine solution, meting out four hundred units for the Baron’s troops.
I never went to my prom. It wasn’t worth it, too many bad memories, too many enemies. I didn’t like my
teachers very much. I stayed at home, probably played some music.
Baron, Barony, priest, apothecary, church steeple, spire, monastery, violin-makers, blacksmith,
The Life and Times of the Illustrious Mr. Chestnut:
Tuesday, April 27, 2004 / 2:38:01 PM
There was a man by the name of Mr. Chestnut who lived near the cemetery with its beautiful rose
gardens. He lived there all his life; most of us knew him as Chester. Chester worked the steel mill, was
also a logger for a while. He hung out with Betsy and her crew. Grew up in Birmingham, Foxtown. His
brother’s name is Ivan Chestnut. They call him Chesty; the two brothers Chesty and Chester.
Old Ivan mopping the floor in the old diner. We all know a Mr. Chestnut.
brigadier, on the steel mines, steel factory, oil refinery, the rig, pestilence, flu bugs, diarrhoea, penicillin,
anti-bacterial soap. scrubbing the deck… mopping the floor in the old diner, Mr Chestnut, we all know a
Don’t trust the voodoo witch. J’ai connu Ogoun dans ma vie.
Foreword by Jonah Cartier
Greetings. I have grown quite close to the text that will follow. I found it in a literary magazine in 1970
and kept it ever since. The literary magazine was called Purple Harlot and was published in Mtl from
1969 to 1973. I am reprinting it here without kind permission. I hope you enjoy it.
The Madam’s Cellar:
how many hours did we wait together hours counted by how many heartbeats & breaths we had taken in
that brown haze of the candle’s glow hitting against the cellar’s wood, might have been cherry-wood,
maple, or pine, for our knowledge then of cellars was only burgeoning. hot it would flower into explosive
affection, damned passion – how carnally we became carnations and opened ourselves like well-stored,
well-kept & merited, aged wine-bottles. spirits intermingling.
when hearts speed up in anticipation. who does not wish to preserve certain memories? what ought we
discard, or when? To choose the cellar as living-space. to shudder with its subterranean and bitter
coolness, bitter by virtue of our expected Madam. tied in thought, in puzzled knots. absurd. the cellar
door providing mirages as the candles heat produced evacuations vaporously in thin slivers slithering
through numerous cracks. that door there oftimes invisible.
the planks of wood i sit on have been whitened by dust and their fragile dryness age-old & only the more
beautiful because of it.
Madam Q., Madam R., D.,… how is it this interiority vanishes when you crack the door ajar. when you
enter moody & i can prop myself onto the boxes of my belongings which you kindly let me keep here.
mischievous man that i have been, my Madam. that you would secure me in this secluded treasure-house
of covert atmospheres. your shelter is not a prison.
Madam, I have begun suspecting certain miracles, the transparent fluid of their conjunction, & how
Fatum congeals her mystic beauty in serial concealment, exit upon exit built upon the transduction of
emptiness into material yet still vacuous little somethings. measured against your grandness, we are mere
particles nondescript aside your pure power of attribution, selfsame against your perfect multiplicity.
how many years have we slept here in this small wooden cloister, confessed to mice, scratched ourselves
with irritation, could not withstand the temptation to become estranged in seeking to demystify secret
conspiracies marked in the wooden planks where we also played games with invisible objects? we
imagined you dressed in so many flamboyant colors, but always you came in a tattered beige-to-light-
brown night-gown. we imagined being in a stone room asit a rug by hearth & subtle fire, you entered with
long-flowing blackish locks holding a lantern wearing almost nothing. things seem backward here at
times. i would unbottle my deepest & heartfelt concerns to you, but i do not speak. i know that
somewhere i am parasitic.
Madam, do not let any of these things anger you for i require a lustful captivity. nothing could be angrier
than these bare cellar walls. i am in desperate need of new aromas.
i do not remember being taken here. my wounded, broken body has me scrutinizing the possibility of the
terrible escape i had dreamt at Pied-du-Courant prison. i do not know where i am but in the safety of this
your darkened chamber, this room i chose over all the ones you had me visit and i have borrowed it,
inhabited it with my private & oft monstrous, perverted dream-properties. i am in a new land now, have
crossed over the fissured rocks of remembrance, am naked and unashamed entombed here for our mutual
pleasure. i see agreeableness in your half-smirk. you almost laughed when you last fixed my strings. i
tried to show you what i was building but you had opened the door but never entered. i saw for once the
room outside the cellar with its burgundy carpets & tapestries. i am positive that i entered here
unconsciously, but distinctly prior to this wooden box or closet or storage-space – In my mind I clearly see
how we had engaged in splendid conversation.. therefore, sometime between my body being stolen or
magically removed from the gaol and then its containment underground, we must have talked for at Pied-
du-Courant I had already never chanced to ever see such a beauty as you, else I’d have clear memory of it.
Now, then, the door is open and i see you in a spectacular living-space. i imagine you at times in a bath
upstairs nude and beatific. i have imagined myself masturbating under the stairs & peered upward
through small grills built into the stairs themselves. you wore skirts then, pantyless. once, in my dream, a
drop of perfume fell through the iron gridwork and hit the metal. i was passed the threshold where
starvation exhausted me; i was at death, and its doorway receiving a final answer from my centuries of
foolish knocking. near-dead, your drip of ultimately flavorful and feverish soothing power having hit &
meshed partly with the grill’s voyeuristically-sacred metallurgy exquisite & divine – it became a drop
again and could not fall down, glide to my derelict shell and save my soul from otherwise perishing in
thirst. thirst-death being one of the worst deaths imaginable, i returned to those two episodes; when we
first spoke preceding (immediately) my being shackled here or left to ponder as a barn owl. and that series
of images of you through the open door or strung heroically and witnessing angelicness. O but i saw them
merge into one whereby you undressed for me speaking such titillating phrases, tempting me as you
stripped your many layers. you untied me for miraculous love-making and suddenly i lay in exact
dormitory awake reading your messages sent to me by the boy. am I in prison? please tell me the truth. i
cannot love you from too great a distance. my walls forget all too easily. your aromas and fluids, i should
have known by their vaporous and exciting shapes that they were my own demented dreams. please close
that cellar door, for i cannot withstand your external & outdoors lightness. slam it shut and i will lay
naked splintered in wooden carousels of solitary confinement eternally. i thank you in advance, Madam,
for sheltering me Then.
* * * * *
A TURN ON THE OLD CLOCK: Wednesday, April 28, 2004 / 4:14:28 PM
All the people on the street are silently terrorists. The limit of human evolution is spontaneous
renouvelement: To renew oneself completely and spontaneously. It is the utmost bound of human thought
and human physicality. It usually comes once you’ve been estranged. It comes through thick waves of
psychosis and fluttering hummingbird wings of manic disposition. We are all secretly terrorists, dictators
turned inward. We command ourselves to do anything. Our Actuality is the effortless ease of
spontaneous restoration to perfect health and youth. It is what sages have sought for thousands of years,
the gift of immortality and superpowers. But it is a limit that cannot be reached save but a few rare cases
of actual rapid recuperation. The Cure for x, a malady, a problematic, a predicament. First you become
tainted material and your sludgy aura makes an imprint in space and is traceable. We find the seat of your
being, your primordial ties to the primordial ooze at the beginning of our universe. You are born instantly
from the ageless swamp an entirely new being.
Monday, June 07, 2004
“Forty bucks o’ white, do you know what that is, son? White is the crystallest, clearest sonumbitch place
you’ll ever find in this world, boyee. Here, take a little line, boyee, become a man! Hiyeeeeeeea!!!!”
I tasted it with my fingers first, it had a bitter taste. I wondered if it was any good. I sniffed a little bit
and motherfucker, it WAS the best place I had ever visited in the entire world. This was, after all I have
lived, the greatest place whatsoever to come upon. I had only dreamt of such a wonderful palace of gold.
Become a man. Fuck you, dude! I don’t have to reach heavenly peace on earth to become a man. I am a
man, period. I don’t need no drug to prove it. But coke sure is a good ride. I wonder. Maybe trying coke
DOES make me a man. I really, truly wonder.
Hey, Sonumbitch, whatdya have to say for yerself?
I’ve got to say that this life ain’t easy, yaknow?
Life ain’t easy fer ya, boyee?
No, it ain’t easy, yo!
On The Desk of Doctor Desmond Morris:
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
1:38:23 PM – Earlier to-day the body of Doctor Desmond Morris was found dead in his office on Main
Street. In order to help solve the crime – and the situation was intrinsically nebulous – the contents of his
desk were deemed important to the investigation and were thereby studied carefully.
On the desk of Dr. Desmond Morris:
Thirteen cigarettes, twelve dollars, fourteen Tarot cards upturned..
Notebook One and Two, and Kierkegaard’s Diary of a Seducer in paperback.
A Note: “Meet Evelyn at noon in front of the opera-house, Samosa Boulevard.”
Four packs of wooden matches. A small box containing:
A small bottle of gin.
His wallet with
His Last Will and Testament:
I hereby declare that I am dying. I woke up this morning and knew that this was my last day on earth. I
am to meet Evelyn in an hour but fear I will die before then. I would like to thank my friends for sticking
with me throughout all these years. I have been such a fool. I bequeath everything to my wife Evelyn
and my son Daan. I paid all of my last debts this morning upon waking. I feel a horrible emptiness
inside. My heart is a vacuum. I thank you but I have no more love to give you. I am dead inside. Now it
is up to my body to cease existing with life. I gave everything I had to give. This is it, Here I am, the
Desmond Morris, PhD
Selfsame Elsewhere whirlpools,
silver fire, a friar, and butternut pretzels
a clinical view of pancake eaters,
coffee and doughnuts, why nuts,
Becauses are becauses,
it was always that way
whoreholes & gun holsters.
Videos of Victorian Houses
laundry chutes and clotheslines.
and Protean war-hammer yielder.
Sugar is crass, is out of fashion.
Butter me up a pancake.
I said please.
“No please, no thank you.”
But please, sir,
“No thank you.”
Dumber than a rubber.
And in floods the momentary vanishing
of a high-proteinic diet of fish and ham.
Vanished before you could say damn.
Wished I could have kept some for an offering.
Friday, April 09, 2004 / 6:36:08 PM
Selfsame Elsewhere stares in the middle of the mirror.
Diary of the Making of a Self-portrait:
September 15, 2002
It’s not at all obvious, painting a self-portrait. First of all,
before laying out a framework for the formal aspects of the
painting, where do I get my face from? Do I stare into a
mirror and paint what I see? If so, do I paint the mirror’s
frame or do I just extract my face from the mirror? Do I
know my own visage well enough to paint it from memory?
The auto-portrait is not obvious at all.
I’ve decided that I will make a composite from a)memory,
b)various photographs, and c)a mirror. What ends up on
the canvas in the end will probably be the product of this
mixed up affair of peering into a mirror, peering into the
funds of my memory, and studying photographs carefully.
A self-portrait. Better to call it une Etude de Face!
Through this self-portrait, I hope to pin down some of the
problems integral to all painting, be it a landscape, still life,
or portrait, Historical painting, etc..
My preliminary sketches do not seem to take me any closer
to the canvas. I have primed the canvas and am entirely
ready to assail it, but I have no workable plan (A.B.).
More sketches reveal to me the necessity to think this out
very carefully. I have one sketch in which the final painting
would be me painting a canvas set on my easel and my face
equally reflected in a mirror, making my face, my reflection,
and my painted image sort of meet in a corner which is the
center of the canvas. I’m ready to go through with this one,
but something’s keeping me back: it’s not enough. I could
go ahead and paint this one and then make more sketches
and paint a different one later, so as to make a sort of series
of self-portraits, and I really would rather do it that way, but
I have limited access to canvases and can only make one
self-portrait at this point, so I want it to do more than just a
tripartite meeting of my face.
I would like it to have other elements. Sure, a self-portrait
at this point in time is an integral part of one’s oeuvre, but I
fear I could look a little Narcissistic putting my face three
times on one canvas. There has to be a reason behind it.
And there is: I am often caught in that corner, at the center
of an infinity of repeating images of myself, not sure which
one is the real me. Remember Rimbaud: Je est un autre.
I would like to incorporate much more. If I am, after all,
going to paint a portrait of myself, I feel I should show a bit
of my position, maybe not my position in society, my status
in my country’s social fabric, but perhaps more of my
country’s position in the world as industrialized or first
world. The very fact that we still label countries as ‘first’ or
‘third’ world is ridiculous and disgusting. But seeming as
we do still perform this mean trick, I might want to include
it in my painting.
Also, since I will be constructing a three-dimensional space,
I would like to include some flatness, like a flag perhaps.
My identity of being-Alex is three-dimensional, but my
identity as Canadian is still relatively flat, as a flag is flat. I
am not nationalistic. I belong to many sets, but Being-
Canadian is perhaps one of the least developed. I might use
this self-portrait as part of a development of these other
parts of my identity.
September 16, 2002
I slept on it. I thought about it last night and it seems to me
that if one really wants to study painting, one just has to
whip out the palette, the brushes, and the canvas and take a
stab at it. No amount of theoretical speculation can come
close to trying it in the flesh. By flesh I mean the flesh of
painting, the Word made flesh, if you will. I’m not saying
that Painting is God, no, not at all. I’m just saying that the
thousands of books theorizing on the different aspects of
painting are good, yes, but to really make that knowledge
concrete, I would suggest painting. Even if you have never
painted in your life, learning to do so, you will encounter all
the problems inherent in it.
I have made some great sketches for my portrait yet I think
that the best thing would be to set up a mirror next to my
easel and paint myself painting myself. I want to play a
trick, though, not a gimmick, but a trick, a rhetorical deceit.
You see, I want to look at myself in the mirror, paint what I
see in the mirror on a canvas within the painting, meaning
that I will paint my canvas and easel within my actual
canvas, and paint within it what I see in the mirror, meaning
myself painting and my easel seen from the back. Then
comes the hard part which is to abstract what I look like
painting this painting within the painting from the outside,
from a point before this event of me, canvas, easel and
mirror. That way, one will wonder, which one is the real
me, or perhaps even what am I painting? What did I paint?
I painted myself painting myself painting. I don’t want it to
get any more complicated than that. I would like to paint a
sort of mise-en-abyme such as this, but in painting these,
one must be careful not to go too far. I say this because at
some point it is possible to see oneself repeated to infinity,
if, for instance, one has several mirrors, but this I cannot
paint. You can see yourself repeated to infinity, but you
can’t paint that, because paint has certain limitations. Even
my eye has limitations. I can never truly see an infinity of
reflected images. At some point they will become
completely unintelligible. Infinity is more of a theory than a
I hope to reinstate a passion for one-point perspective. The
Cubists would have my head, having worked so hard to lift
off that suffocating convention. I think that it is the Cubists
who are suffocating. Who, today, can paint a Cubist work?
Who has the know-how, the ability, and who even knows
what they did? It appears to me that the Cubists invented
something impossible to replicate. There can be no tradition
after them. They killed tradition, even though some Cubists
at the time promoted that they were only continuing a
tradition of continuous innovation. I love Cubism, don’t get
me wrong. I just think that their work was created
somewhat in bad faith. If we trace the history of painting
from 1900 to the present, we can see a consistent
disintegration of the tradition that spanned several hundred
years. A new tradition was instated: a tradition of going
against tradition. The tradition before that was one of
innovation, of surpassing the masters while remaining in the
same conventions. I think that within the custom of
Renaissance perspective, everything can be done. Painting
is not meant to portray movement, we have film and music
for that. Painting is not entirely static, either. I just think
that if I dismantled the space of my portrait, fragmented it
completely, I could not make the same statement, if I can
say that a painting makes a statement.
I love abstract art, but a Jackson Pollock cannot do the
same thing as a Vermeer. It is not the same kind of
painting. I would never discount the work of the Abstract
Expressionists, or the Expressionists, the Cubists, the
Surrealists.. their work was necessary and I could not live
without it. I do think, however, that after one hundred
years of subverting the multitudinous conventions of
painting, it is time to go back and reinvestigate. Perhaps it
is only a personal mission, myself needing to study the
Renaissance craft of painting in the flesh, for it is not
enough for me to merely view these paintings or read about
them. I must undertake a Renaissance piece before I will
feel justified in circumventing its tradition. Therefore, my
self-portrait will use traditional perspective, though I shan’t
be overly rigorous in its use. My reflected image in the
mirror will not be 100% accurate. In fact, I want it to be
somewhat dislocated, revealing not the truth of the mirror,
its real image before my eyes, but a manipulation of that
image to suit the formal aspects of my painting. I will use
purely expressionist mannerisms, filling the background with
ornamental patchworks, abstract designs, because I think
they are meaningful. I myself am caught in these whirlwinds
of diffused color.
In the meantime, I have begun a painting of the house in
which I lived my early years, up to my adolescence. I
happened to find recently a picture of a Christmas party in
the basement of that house. Everyone is there, cheerful
Everybody. I have subtracted everything from the picture
except my grandfather standing with his hands a-pocket and
back to the camera. This picture must have been taken two
or three Christmases before my grandfather died. The
elements I kept are my grandfather back turned, the
staircase leading to the upstairs, two doors, one to the right,
one to the left, and a counter with a few bottles. I didn’t
feel the need to pain the bottles realistically, so I made them
nondescript bottles. The entire thing is painted in grisaille,
something that I had felt the need to do for a long time, and
since it is a painting of a staircase and my dead grandfather
with his back turned to the camera, I felt it was appropriate.
This painting is not to say that the booze killed him, because
I do not know if he was a big drinker. But in the spirit of a
vanitas, I put bottles to allude to the ephemerality of life.
The doorways, well, maybe you’ll choose one last door
instead of the staircase, grandfather. Maybe you haven’t
made it Upstairs yet, maybe you are still here in the Room
of Childhood, as in my dreams I often see you and we speak
silently of life’s joys.
That might be something I never mentioned, that I was
going to make my self-portrait in grisaille, in degrees of
black and white only. And I want it to be applied thinly,
too. The reason I want to obey strictly to the laws of white
and black and their multifarious contrasts, is that I am a
colorful man. I am so colorful that I feel a portrait with
color will fool the viewer. It will fool the viewer because
the color I now am is not the color I will be ten seconds
from now. In black and white, however, you get a clearer
picture of who I am. I am tonal, I am various hues,
concentrations, but my colors change faster than the speed
of light can make them visible. As for my grandfather, well,
I wanted this to be a study in the use of grisaille, but also it
goes without saying, this image of my grandfather walking
away from us, where it is kept in my memory is an awfully
grey place, the place of mortuary statuettes, the place of ash
An old photograph.
September 21, 2002
I just began a self-portrait and I can’t say whether it is the
same self-portrait I set out to paint. At first sight, compared
to the sketches, it is not the same portrait. On second
thought, is there ever truly going to be more than one self-
portrait, not just for me but for any painter? I made a
sketch of myself from peering into a mirror directly onto the
gessoed canvas in pencil. I was naked. Before undertaking
something more complex, something more specifically
about painting, about a multiplicity of reflecting images, I
decided to go with an identity check. I wanted to see what
I really looked like. I set out to paint myself with all the
dismorphic distortions that I hold about my body, I painted
the skinny freak that I thought I was and who would have
known, I look pretty good. The painting is not finished, not
nearly. I’m encountering huge problems with my brushes.
They are old and aren’t capable of being used the way I like
to use brushes. They apply the paint all wrong, or, rather,
that’s just the problem, they don’t apply paint at all, I have
to force so hard I almost feel I’m going to pierce through
the canvas. But I get a certain joy out of the difficulty and I
don’t think I’ll rush out to get a new brush any time soon.
I’ll sooner use a toothpick to make it even more difficult.
That’s painting to me. Painting is overcoming technical
difficulties. Painting, in a sense, is a battle with painting, it
is overcoming painting. As much as I idealize painting,
color it with angelic powers and forces, it is a medium full
of faults. In a sense, my portrait is about painting, though I
doubt a painting could ever truly be about anything else.
Painting is reflexive, it is by far a plastic medium. What I
mean to say is that when we began painting with oil on
canvas, everything changed with the change of tools and
materials. I would almost go so far as to say that works like
Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon are less works of
genius than works of the daftness with which painters were
struggling with the medium. I don’t know the material
history of the materials of painting, but I can safely
conjecture that around the turn of the century, that is, at the
beginning of the 20th
century, oil became available in tubes,
and to mass produce oil paints in tubes, for longer shelf life,
even though the tube is sealed from air, I imagine that
certain things were added to the paint, making it less
manageable. I know the flaw of this hypothesis, but I’m
entertaining the thought anyway. I just don’t believe in
genius, not the genius of the Demoiselles. Sure, I can easily
believe in genius, but then I must believe that every painter
is possessed by it in a certain degree. If genius exists, it is
not reserved for certain individuals. Everyone is genius.
And I realize more and more the small part a painter
actually plays in his art. My portrait, the one I’ve just
begun, is more a work of cheap gesso, cheap paint, and
cheap brushes, and if I succeed in surpassing the limitations
of my cheap materials, then I may just be possessed by
genius. Otherwise, the only genius is my supreme ability to
September 25, 2002
It has become Else. I now work on a piece much larger, in
size, in dimensions; a Multiplicity of objects, not just a
human body, or semblance. Oh, but I argue that the human
body has a Multiplicity of Multiplicities. It is a painter’s
arm. Before it, in the ultimate foreground, in an infinitely
thin plane that is the uttermost edge of what the painting is
physically. It is the Extremity, the boundary between Inner
and Outer for the painting as physical [arte]fact. This
current affair has many of the objects I have painted in the
past, mugs, fruit, tables, knives, windows, a bit of random
geometricity, playing with Marxist patterns, or other brands
of historical materialism, but in a linear/atmospherical
perspective, not fully linear [one-point or several-point], and
not fully Atmospherical or a Color Perspective: it is an
oblique, a tangent on multiple perspectives (is this what they
meant for Cubism, that it had multiple perspectives, as in
linear, atmospherical, color, etc.? or multiple viewpoints? A
viewpoint is not perspective. A perspective is a system that
deals with the mathematical composition and application of
a colored, multi-form pictorial space representing a three-
dimensional reality. The event or scene is fixed in time, the
situation is exact [though rhetorical figures can be used to
create absurd affects]. This is the bridge between meaning
Moving upwards from the bottom of the painting,
we get darker and darker. The ultimate foreground has a
pitch-black silhouetted table with objects seen from head
on. Next is the slightly less tenebrous painter’s arm, at the
right [the table also juts leftward from the extreme right.
Next is the plane of the Easel and Canvas [sub-plane of
table with candle, cigarettes, ashtray, coffee [or wine +
bottle] on a tablecloth. Next is the Arch. It is made of
stone. In the other room is a fire at the back with utmost
luminosity. It projects downwards in vibrant pearly whites.
There is a whole play of shadows + numerous interplaying
planes. At the utter left is the wall. The fixed viewpoint or
ideal reading starting point, is the bottom left-hand corner.
This is where we need to look. Just follow the arrows after
that. Everything is pointing somewhere. An indexical
perspective. Who has written about the indexical
perspective? I don’t know.
The Index perspective is a different kind of space. It is the
space of Theory, which is Sight, Spectacle, Speculation.
The Theatre: projection of the real onto sensitive
membrane, true atmospherics, only white and black,
creating an indexical space.
It is a rhetorical space. Signifying, yet not a language. Not
spoken, anyway. Visual symbolism, yes, indexicality to
everyday life, yes, except for the wall, the stone wall,
mighty, deeply ornamental [the candle, too, is ornamental].
Oblique planes mixing into straighter ones, the rigid into the
soft, the flat into the corrugated, stitched, the woven.
With a Madonna and Child appearing on the carpet in the
other room. The real Madonna appearing in the other room
is in an almost medieval style, late medieval/early
Renaissance, about 1450-1524. The Madonna and Child on
the canvas at the right is of an Afghan woman with her son
sitting in a room with a television. Either the television
room is in ‘real life’ in the other room, or it is on the canvas.
I can’t decide. The Medieval Madonna actually appearing
in the room makes more sense.