Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Some Poetry by 'Ze Masterrs'Accompanied by my Photos

 There was much to be said in favor of storms
  But you seem to have abandoned them in favor of endless
I cannot say that I think the change much of an
There is something fearful in these summer nights that go on
       forever. . . .

-from 'The Skaters' (in the collection Rivers And Mountains), by John Ashbery.

a poem is a city filled with streets and sewers
filled with saints, heroes, beggars, madmen,
filled with banality and booze,
filled with rain and thunder and periods of
drought, a poem is a city at war.
a poem is a city asking the clock why,
a poem is a city burning,
a poem is a city under guns
its barbershops filled with cynical drunks,

-from 'a poem is a city' (in the collection The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills), by Charles Bukowski.

Of all the iron beds in paradise
yours was the most cruel
and I was smoke in your mirror
and you sluiced your hair with jade,
but you were a woman and I was a
boy, but boy enough for an iron bed
and man enough for wine
and you.

-from 'for one I knew' (in the collection The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills), by Charles Bukowski

 Still, I am prepared for this voyage, and for anything else you
        may care to mention.
Not that I am not afraid, but there is very little time left.

-from 'The Skaters' (in the collection Rivers And Mountains), by John Ashbery.

Slightly encouraged, he dipped his brush
In the sea, murmering a heartfelt prayer:
"My soul, when I paint this next portrait
Let it be you who wrecks the canvas."
The news spread like wildfire through the buildings:
He had gone back to the sea for his subject.

-from 'The Painter' (in the collection Some Trees), by John Ashbery.

as if it were a scene made-up by the mind
that is not mine, but is a made place,

that is mine, it is so near the heart,
an eternal pasture folded in all thought
so that there is a hall therein

that is a made place, created by light
wherefrom the shadows that are forms fall.

-from 'Often I am Permitted to Return to a Meadow' (in the collection The Opening of the Field), by Robert Duncan.

 How all beings into all beings pass,
How the great Beasts eat the human Grass,
And the faces of Men in the World's Glass
Are faces of Apes, Birds, Diamonds,
Worlds and insubstantial Shapes
Conjured out of the dust - Alas!
These things I know.
Worlds out of Worlds in Magic grow.

-from 'The Ballad of the Enamord Mage' (in the collection The Opening of the Field), by Robert Duncan.

We drop like planks from a rotting floor
as the world strives to unlock the bone that weights its brain.
(God is a lonely place without steak.)

-from 'poem for personnel managers' (in the collection The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills), by Charles Bukowski

and if the flies wore clothes on their
and all the buildings burned in
golden fire,
if heaven shook like a belly dancer
and all the atom bombs began to
some people would be young and nothing
and the rest would be the same
the rest would be the same.

-from 'footnote upon the construction of the masses:' (in the collection The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills), by Charles Bukowski

(razor, carcrash, turpentine, gaspipe)
(good job, marriage, investments in the market)
what is left of

-from 'these mad windows that taste life and cut me if I go through them' (in the collection The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills), by Charles Bukowski

The horses were more real than
my father
more real than God
and they could have stepped on my
feet but they didn't
they could have done all kinds of horrors
but they didn't

-from 'ice for the eagles' (in the collection The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills), by Charles Bukowski

This is what you wanted to hear, so why
Did you think of listening to something else? We are all
It is true, but underneath the talk lies
The moving and not wanting to be moved, the loose
Meaning, untidy and simple like a threshing floor.

-from 'Soonest Mended' (in the collection The Double Dream of Spring), by John Ashbery.

Night after night this message returns, repeated
In the flickering bulbs of the sky, raised past us, taken away
      from us.
Yet ours over and over until the end that is past truth,
The being of our sentences, in the climate that fostered them,
Not ours to own, like a book, but to be with, and sometimes
To be without, alone and desperate.

-from 'Soonest Mended' (in the collection The Double Dream of Spring), by John Ashbery.

Photos taken of Borth (Wales) station...and exerpt from 'The Skaters'

The sands are frantic
In the hourglass. But there is time
To change, to utterly destroy
That too-familiar image
Lurking in the glass
Each morning, at the edge of the mirror.

The train is still sitting in the station.
You only dreamed it was in motion.

- taken from 'The Skaters'( in the collection  Rivers and Mountains), by John Ashbery.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Photo from the Tate: Jannis Kounellis

He put the birdhouse where you wanted it,
And I think I just felt the earth move.

The Unilever Series: Taciter Dean at the Tate Modern

In the darkened, cavernous space of the Tate's Turbine Hall a 13 metre screen stands. Not only does this impressive piece stand as a moving tribute to the demise of analogue filmaking, but also, in its own right,  successfully commands the space with an ambition comparable to Olafur Eliason's 'The Weather Project' (in which the Turbine Hall was basked in the HUUUUGE orange glow of a recreated sun). Both exhibitions/installations genuinely invigorate the daunting hangar-like space with a simple, but memorably affecting, vision. Watching the stretched screen flick between the industrial cigar of a monolithic chimney, to lapping waves on a shoreline, sprouting mushrooms, abstract colours, escalator steps and the slow inquisition of a snail on a leaf...all conspire to create a beautiful and surreal cinematic poem. The screen is utilized not conventionally as a simple window on to the world view-but instead  seems aware of its static property as an installation, becoming at times like a moving portrait-painting realised in motion...at times very tangibly like a window (not an unreflexive, unquestioning window on to the world eye), fragmented into stain glass cathedral gravitas. Even bored toddlers scurrying around the empty and dark hall couldnt detract from the magic. If anything their tiny sillhouettes, scuttling in sugar high circles, served to further enhance the monumental size and power of the screen. Running right up to the 13 foot cinematic beast, unlike their musing and dull parental counterparts, the children enhanced the viewing-unwittingly evoking the interactive power of cinema.

It also seemed a paticularly pertinent time to see the Tacita Dean film - rather than simply a fond nostalgia for the reel and cell, projectionist craft of film-it reminds us of the importance of such shifting milestones in cinema. Timing which coincides with the release of Michel Hazanavicius' inventive silent film 'The Artist'. The film follows a silent film star (complete with admirable moustache and comedy pet dog) struggling to find work with the advent of the 'talkies'. A film therefore dealing with the possible trauma of change, and one that explores the impact of technology upon an artistic medium. The tension between technical advances and artistic loyalties...with the welcome addition of a pet dog. There is one scene in which our ill fated star (Valentin) is shown feverishly tearing apart the reels of film, film that has come to represent his faded past and former glory. This physical grappling with the art form resonates with the Tacita Dean film; it seems Valentin's outburst of desperation in which he tries to destroy film comes unnervingly close to reminding us (as viewers...as an audience) how film, as a physicality, is being lost. However, that is somewhat warping the purpose of the scene through a lack of context - what could be comically intriguing, is a modern update: a contemporary aspiring actor/actress in a moment of career darkness opens her apple mac to calmly click away at the countless tiny digital folders in which her life...her work, is stored. Not quite as visceral...no need for fire or a frantic tearing of celluloid-just the detached tap of a touch pad.

 Although the film/digital change has long been on the cards...and it is woefully far from me to have any stumbling clue about the intricate history... and general facts of the whole...thing. It is clear enough that instead of simply being a change of economic advantage and advanced versatility, it will mark a definite shift in the aesthetic properties,style and editing nature of films to come. I have no overwhelming romantic attachment to the warmth or look of film over new digitalized approaches (as I am not a self proclaimed cinephile...but rather a procrastinator with a love of films...and a dangerous addiction to amazon purchases), but it seems significant to realise and consider this change with the attention and time it deserves. The style and approach to watching film, and making film, are changing with all the agility of the morph-tastic opening credits of David Fincher's remake of 'The Girl With Dragon Tattoo'...things be movin' quick...and in such breathless times the ability to sit down and absorb the atmosphere, scale, and beauty of the Tacita Dean film offers a much needed pause for contemplation.