Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Fool and His Froth are Soon Parted statement

“A Fool and his Froth are Soon Parted” Gae Savannah 2006

In polytheistic psychology’s circularity of topoi there seem to be no preferred positions, no sure statements about positive and negative and therefore no need to rule out some configurations and topoi as pathological;. …hence there can be more tolerance for the non-growth, non-upward, and non-ordered components of the psyche. James Hillman Blue Fire

The folly of subterranean emotional life, the sublimely ridiculous, mystical dreaming…--more intrigued by the ‘uncool,’ I’m not interested in making shrewd or prosaic things. Complexities of muddled emotions, narcissism, self-sabotage, self-delusion, stupor and intoxication attract me. Dostoevsky’s Fyodor Pavlovich abjectly refuses to reign in his perverse whims, propensity to provoke. (Brothers Karamazov). Self-declared buffoon, he will not be denied the titillation of pulling the rug out from under any sanctified rite of decorum. Mortifying all present, he can’t resist lampooning Catholic hypocrisy during a ceremonial family meeting with a top church elder. In Notes from the Underground, our needy narrator hounds a disdaining socialite to procure an invitation to a party. The day arriving, the narrator further demeans himself by turning up two hours early with desperation on his sleeve. Fitzgerald’s Beautiful and Damned Anthony Patch adopts irony and vacillates between self-effacement and aggrandizement all in the first paragraph.

I aim to traverse the murky depths of the subconscious, eluding the blandness of the conventional art world and vacuity of newest skateboard chic. It was ‘Lunatic’ Parsifal who asked the obvious question.

In River Town, Peter Hessler muses:
“(‘I dislike Hamlet’s hesitation. As a man he should do what he wants to do resolutely.’ student’s journal, Fuling China)
You couldn’t have said something like that at Oxford. You couldn’t simply say I don’t like Hamlet because I think he’s a lousy person. Everything had to be more clever than that; you had to recognize Hamlet as a character in a text, and then you had to dismantle it accordingly, layer by layer, not just the play itself but everything that had ever been written about it. You had to consider what all the other critics had said, and the accumulated weight of their knowledge and nonsense sat heavily on the play. You had to think about how the play tied in with current events and trends. This process had some value, of course, but for many readers it seemed to have reached the point where there wasn’t even a split-second break before the sophistication started. As a student, that was all I had wanted –-a brief moment when a simple and true thought flashed across my mind: ‘I don’t like this character. This is a good story.’ This was what I was looking for as a student—some sign that literature was still enjoyable, that people read for pleasure and that this was important in and of itself, apart from the politics…In Fuling there was no question that the students enjoyed what they read… Sometimes when they were working on an assignment, and I was looking out at the Wu River, I’d smile and think to myself: We’re all refugees here. They’ve escaped from their classes on building Chinese socialism, and I’ve escaped from deconstructionism.”

In buying hand-crafted Chinese furniture, baskets hand-woven on the islands of Cebu, Philippines, and silk hand-beaded in India to fold glibly into contemporary sculpture, I brandish American, suburban hubris. Craft/folk art is always an underpinning. Can I buy heart? In the global Capitalist paradigm, the 'fool' is the indigent craft laborer, forging exquisite colored glass lanterns in Morocco for quarters. Comically blanketing an old wooden Chinese footstool in plastic plaid hair clips epitomizes the foolishness of America. (plaid invokes our imperialistic lineage, England and its vanquished.)

The fool is l. I am like Bartelby. I refuse to edit and calculate my actions (artwork) according to what is acceptable social code. I prefer not to manufacture cold, sanitized, cerebral, sparse, snide, or hackneyed rectangles to sell to lemmings, collectors of the insipid familiar. (A new Korean SVA MFA student queried, “Gae where do they show the sculpture in Chelsea?” …Uhhh ...) I make eclectic, overdressed, queer entities. What a fool am I to pour obscene amounts of labor into un-beige-enough-for-the-living-room-wall ‘amphigory.’ A fool can’t resist sap, sentimentality. Ever indulging in the one-step-too-far foppish, I can’t resist adding wings to sculptures. Like a shameless dog, I have no dignity. Like Coetzee in Disgrace, ultimately, I rest my case on the intrinsic right to desire.

“The pleasure of the text is not necessarily of a triumphant, heroic, muscular type. No need to throw out one’s chest. My pleasure can very well take the form of a drift. Drifting occurs whenever, by dint of seeming driven about by language’s illusion, deductions, and intimidations like a cork on the waves, I remain motionless, pivoting on the intractable bliss that binds me to the text (to the world). Drifting occurs whenever social language, the sociolect, fails me…Thus another name for drifting would be: the Intractable—or perhaps even: Stupidity.”
(Roland Barthes, the Pleasure of the Text.)