PAINTED CIRCUMSTANCES

JOSHUA ASTER’S WORDS AND PAINTINGS from Inglewood,  (Introduced by John Cage)

or you Could say  /  study beIng  /  inteRrupted   / take telephone Calls  / as Unexpected pleasures  /  free the Mind  /  from itS desire   /   To  /   concentrAte  /    remaiNing open  /    to what you Can’t  /   prEdict  /  “i welcome whatever happenS next”

JOSHUA ASTER, blinkingmasks 2014 oil on canvas over panel, 14.75" x 11.75" Courtesy of the artist

JOSHUA ASTER, blinkingmasks 2014
oil on canvas over panel, 14.75″ x 11.75″
Courtesy of the artist

forRosannawordsweb

JOSHUA ASTER, time between 2014  oil on canvas over panel, 14.75" x 11.75" Courtesy of the artist

JOSHUA ASTER, timebetween 2014
oil on canvas over panel, 14.75″ x 11.75″
Courtesy of the artist

JOSHUA ASTER, compassoints 2014 oil on canvas over tablet, 14.75" x 11.75" Courtesy of the artist

JOSHUA ASTER, compasspoints 2014
oil on canvas over tablet, 14.75″ x 11.75″
Courtesy of the artist

JOSHUA ASTER, sunblot 2014 oil on canvas over tablet, 14.75" x 11.75" Courtesy of the artist

JOSHUA ASTER, sunblot 2014
oil on canvas over tablet, 14.75″ x 11.75″
Courtesy of the artist

 

 

COLLECTIVE VOICE

From FIONA CONNOR and MICHALA PALUDAN

Newspaper Reading Club, New York – Poster Project 2014

“Connor and Paludan ask participants to read from newspapers and periodicals of their choice, as they normally would, but to verbalize the process of skimming, commenting and personal editorializing that naturally occurs. A recording is made of the participants as they read through articles and make accompanying comments. These recordings are later transcribed to produce texts which become personalized documents of wider political trends, and which make visible the structures by which information is transmitted and absorbed. Through this process each edition of the Newspaper Reading Club comes to speak to the location in which it is held and the particular events present on the day of the reading.” 

To this official presentation I add that names of the readers are NOT given to the public. Posters merge into the texture of anonymous words hung and painted all around the passers by. Silent, unappealingly black and white, they are “a space of detachment,” as if they had given up having a body. Large pages, expanded leaves, they are not supposed to last. Marginal thoughts of unofficial readers. Their form is made with random and temporary reactions to the news daily printed. But THE READING MAKES THEM: which happens with no rules, each person cuts and runs on the pages following a sort of visual instinct, often masking the text with a texture of secret, unclear patterns. And words become crazy machines dispersing printed and uttered thoughts, a collective voice brought back to a fluid current, impersonal, fleeting. If the posters’ readers have questions, they become part of the flowing, of a FLUXUS perhaps? (R.A.)

 

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SPACE OF HOPE

ROSANNA ALBERTINI about HILJA KEADING

 “Well, daily life little by little becomes a thing in which there is space for hope.” (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

 

 

© HILJA KEADING

 Amazing Grace, Single Channel Video, 1978, Length 6:03 

 

A twelve year old Hilja, legs already long for her age, swings her new little radio on a chain. Music fills her body down the gravel road. The radio is red. “Feelin’ groovy,” she sings, “ Ba da, Ba da, Ba da, Ba da, / All is groovy.” The night of her 50th birthday, as she turns the radio on in the kitchen, Simon and Garfunkel’s voices unexpectedly sing in the room: “Slow down, you move too fast.” How many lives did Hilja Keading expand into, after that walk on the gravel, is hard to say.

At least a hundred lives. All the lives an artist needs to grow out, they are leaves of the same bush. Art picks you, one of her teachers told Hilja. It doesn’t work by decision. Then, would art be a matter of persistence? Stripping life from illusion. Filling art with truth. Keading became a maker of stories. Made with time and sounds, they don’t last. That’s the secret, maybe. Her stories don’t have to last, don’t have to be revealed. They tell us they exist behind silence or noise, behind the image of a smiling ten years old girl who lost her front teeth, still like a statue except for the fluttering of the collar near her neck.

Experience comes first, facts are erased along with their noisy flags announcing evidence, rather than truth. Keading pushes us to feel her invisible, intangible and distinctive truth, and to give up with easy explanations. There are none. Sounds and images touching us for opposite reasons, bring a phantom within, a cloud of wonder which is the major claim for every human being. Myth or soul, maybe they are the same thing: fleeting, ungraspable unless one image calls for them:

HONEY IN THE HANDS-CUP DRIPS THROUGH THE FINGERS, WITH DEAD FLIES TRAPPED INTO THE SWEETNESS

                                                                                                           fingers trying to brush something away from the collar bones, something prisoner in the chest

A NAKED WOMAN CROUCHED ON HER KNEES PICKS UP HANDFULS OF BROKEN GLASS FROM THE FLOOR

naked fingers hold a dead bird,

then they drop it, and start shaking like

feathers while a piercing bird voice

speaks a very loud mocking song.                                                                                                                        

AMAZING GRACE

 

 “Experience is all-absorbing, subordinating observed fact, drowning even truth itself, if truth is conceived of as something apart from impulse and instinct and from the will.” (W.B. Yeats)

Tundra-Venice: Chapter 1

COREY STEIN from Sunland – California

“If there was no geography no geographical history would there be any human mind not as it is but would there would there be any human mind.” (Gertrude Stein)

Corey Stein going to Chevac seven years ago to see a cousin took a quite bad panoramic photograph of the snow. Back to Los Angeles she saw it was looking more like the sand of Venice Beach. Chapter I started with that and was called

TUNDRA-VENICE

(Chevac-Alaska, Venice-California)

COREY STEIN, Panorama Quiver, 2017-2014 Seed beads, fabric, wolf fur, 11 x 20 inches Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Panorama Quiver, 2007-2014
Seed beads, fabric, wolf fur, 11 x 20 inches
Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Panorama Quiver, 2007-2014  Back side. Seed beads, fabric, wolf fur, 11 x 20 inches Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Panorama Quiver, 2007-2014 Back side.
Seed beads, fabric, wolf fur, 11 x 20 inches
Courtesy of the artist

“Looking down is the same as passing over.

Snow is always astonishing when it is looked at.

But the more astonishing when the trees the bare trees make shadows on it.

Dogs do behave as they please that is as they naturally please until they are told not to.

Anything like that is annoying and annoying has something to do with the human mind. It means it is attached and waits not to go away but to stay. In this way annoying or annoyance is a symptom of there being a human mind.

Yes a human mind.

And what is it.

Is it that all the same.” (Gertrude Stein)

COREY STEIN, Chevac Dump, 2011 Seed beads hand sewn on felt, 13 x 9 inches Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Chevac Dump, 2011
Seed beads hand sewn on felt, 13 x 9 inches
Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Venice Dump, 2011 Seed beads hand sewn on felt, 13 x 9 inches Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Venice Dump, 2011
Seed beads hand sewn on felt, 13 x 9 inches
Courtesy of the artist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does she say. She says that Benjamin Lincoln and Aaron Neville and herself were born in the same month and day the 24th of January and that this nobody can deny. Can any one this deny not even now and she does not but she would have liked better April 4th. Human nature cannot know that there is no use in being a baby girl born January 24th if she is to grow up to be a woman. (R.A. in the mood of Gertrude Stein)

Little White Hands

 THAT’S REAL

by Rosanna Albertini

The most unsettling walk of my life. After four days of amazement, driving up and down the Rocky Mountains and by the Colorado river, winding along safe roads inside red canyons and eroded rocks, we were hands down, the Southwest had won and filled our eyes. The more we “walked in beauty,” as the Navaho say, the more we felt, my husband and I, we were crossing a phantom country: an enormous reservoir of silence and emptiness, with a few spots of human settlement.

The engine goes, roads and views unfold so quickly that even stopping here or there there is no time to know what we feel, but we feel what we don’t know, the big slice of pie eaten by foreigners, abandoned cities in the mountains’ bodies, tribal life still existing, and the large amount of a history never written, scattered through the dust of the desert. The blue sky doesn’t care. National news even less.

Where did we really go? Navaho land. A big, voided country inside the American territory. The land of uncountable mountains sculpted by centuries of water for the tourists pleasure? Tired of monuments, we went to visit a family of local Navajos, friends of friends: Jeanne M.Salt, a fiber artist, and Charlie Littlesalt. Starting from five thousand feet of altitude, mountains look like quite friendly rocky hills, yet they cut your breath. Charlie Littlesalt kindly offers to guide us through the space of his own life, of his father and grandfather’s and ancestors’ steps on a ground – we were about to discover soon – that human labor couldn’t tame. It remains in me the feeling that I have been completely unaware, at the moment of the walk, of what Charlie’s directions really gave us, which is now engraved in my mind.

“Cross the creek,” the water touching my ankle, it doesn’t matter. The sun is hot. “Go right, make your path.” Although there is no path we can see some remnants of agriculture between the stream of water and the round shoulders that are pink, the lightly corrugated skin of the mountains. “This was a corn field,” “here more than one valley, every family had their own for the sheep, and everyone knew.” Silent stops became a punctuation giving us time to see, in our minds, the invisible past of the sites. “Let’s go up, (or down), you have an instinct, follow your own instinct.” Charlie liked better to walk behind us, letting us struggle with a ground very familiar to him. Nothing is steady on the slopes whose shoulder has crumbled: broken stones, cactus and bushes. The soil moves under the soles. Walking becomes climbing toward our guide’s goal.

“Left, right, up.” “Don’t touch the cactus.” Breathless, the legs on fire, we reach our destination: a cave at the top of a mountain. On a natural floor with no flat surfaces. I was dizzy. Was it the altitude? We only had to find the right inclination, or adjust our back on mother earth and look at walls and ceiling. Goats and sheep were brought there to sleep protected. Human hands built a wall at the end of the cave long ago, and made it with a window, sheep size, but not made for them. On the red-orange sandstone the Anasazi left the shape of their hands, white. Signs of a presence I hesitate to call history because most of it is lost, nor I would call it art because both words have lost the immediate, simple sense of these signs. “We are here” – the hands say – “And you are here with Charlie who is one of us.”

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The cave suddenly seemed crowded to me. As if we were surrounded by an intangible, old thickness of time and had become a part of it. No names, no dates, only human presence. Once upon a time a storm started, the sheep entered. It’s home. While time stops, I’m not condemned to meaning anymore, words roll down mixed with the sand. “The world is not what I think, but what I live through.”*

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Los Angeles. Charlie’s directions still vivid in my mind. Smiling, with kindness, he reminded us we could trust our own instinct, make our path in a completely unknown territory. Isn’t it what we try to do every time we meet an artist we don’t know? Past or present, it doesn’t change. Nothing granted, not only one truth. “Truth does not ‘inhabit’ only ‘the inner man,’or more accurately, there is no inner man [or woman], man and women are in the world, and only in the world do they know themselves.”** The descent is even harder than the climbing. We take short cuts. The soil at the edge of the cliff by the stream shows cracks… my instinct tells me I’m light enough but I could be wrong. We stop by a large wall: who knows who or when had carved a path on the rock.

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* and ** Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Photographs by Peter Kirby and R.A.

Translation for my Italian grandchildren, Francesco e Diego

LE MANINE BIANCHE

Una camminata piena di incertezze. Dopo quattro giorni di stupore, guidando su e giù per le Montagne Rocciose e seguendo il fiume Colorado, curva dopo curva dentro canyons rossi e rocce segnate dall’erosione, eravamo ridotti alla mercé del paesaggio. Il Sudovest dominava occhi e volontà. Piu avanti andavamo con la nostra “marcia nella bellezza”, cosi la chiamano i Navaho, piu ci rendevamo conto, Peter e io, che stavamo attraversando un paese fantasma: un enorme contenitore di silenzio e spazi vuoti, con poche zone abitate.

Man mano che il motore ci porta, strade e panorami si susseguono così in fretta che, anche se ci fermiamo, non c’è veramente il tempo di ricevere le sensazioni interiori. Prevale la sensazione di non sapere; l’ignoranza sulla fetta di territorio divorata dagli stranieri, le città abbandonate nel cavo delle montagne, la vita tribale ancora in funzione, e una lunghissima storia mai scritta, dispersa fra la sabbia del deserto. Al cielo blu non gliene importa niente, alla stampa nazionale ancora meno.

Dove siamo andati, veramente? nella terra dei Navaho. Un grande paese svuotato all’interno del territorio americano. Secoli di acqua hanno forse scolpito le montagne solo per il piacere dei turisti? Stanchi dei monumenti, abbiamo deciso di far visita a una famiglia Navaho, amici di amici: Jeanne M.Salt, un’artista che fa tessuti al telaio, e Charlie Littlesalt (Piccolosale). I monti sembrano colline rocciose piuttosto facili, ma partono da cinquemila piedi di altezza, (duemila metri scarsi) e mozzano il fiato. Pieno di gentilezza, Charlie Littlesalt offre di guidarci attraverso gli spazi dove ha trascorso tuttta la vita, come suo padre, suo nonno e gli antenati. E’ un terreno -lo scopriremo di lì a poco- che il lavoro umano non riesce a dominare. Mi rimane l’impressione che, sul momento, non ero in grado di raccogliere il significato più profondo delle direttive di Charlie il cui senso, adesso, mi resta stampato nella mente.

“Attraversa il torrente”, l’acqua mi arriva alle caviglie ma non importa, il sole scotta. “Vai a destra, fatti la tua strada”. Il sentiero non c’è, ma vediamo resti di agricoltura fra il corso d’acqua e le sponde di roccia che sono rosa, la pelle rugosa delle montagne. “Questo era un campo di grano”, “qui le valli sono numerose, ogni famiglia ne sceglieva una per le pecore, e tutti lo sapevano”. Piccole tappe silenziose erano diventate una specie di punteggiatura che ci dava il tempo di immaginare il passato invisibile di ogni sito. “Andiamo in salita (o in discesa), hai il tuo istinto, seguilo”. Charlie preferiva camminare dietro di noi, lasciandoci da soli a sfidare un terreno che lui conosceva alla perfezione. Sui pendii dove la roccia si è sgretolata non c’è niente di fermo: soltanto pietre, cactus e arbusti. Il terreno sotto le suole è instabile. E la camminata diventa un’arrampicata verso la meta della nostra guida.

“Sinistra, destra, su”. “Non toccare i cactus”. Arriviamo a destinazione senza fiato, con le gambe in fiamme. C’è una grotta sulla cima di un monte. La base è tutta curve, senza pavimento piatto. Mi gira la testa. Che sia l’altezza? Dovevamo solo trovare l’inclinazione giusta, oppure adagiare la schiena sulla madre terra per guardare muri e soffitto. Si portavano qui capre e pecore per proteggerle durante il sonno. Qualcuno ha costruito un muro sul fondo della grotta molto tempo fa, con una finestra di misura ridotta, ma non era fatta per gli animali. Gli Anasazi hanno lasciato la forma delle loro mani, in bianco, sulla roccia sabbiosa rossa e arancione. Sono segni di una presenza che esito a chiamare storia perche quasi tutto è andato perduto, e neppure la chiamo arte perché entrambe queste parole hanno perso il senso immediato, semplice, di questi segni. “Noi siamo qui”, dicono le mani, “E tu sei qui con Charlie che è uno di noi”.

Di colpo la caverna sembra affollata. Come se circolasse intorno a noi la densità di un tempo senza età, intangibile. Noi ne facevamo parte. Nomi, date, svaniti. Solo presenza umana. C’era una volta un temporale, e le pecore arrivano. Sono a casa. Mentre il tempo si ferma, la mia mente si libera dal cercare significati, le parole rotolano giù dal pendio insieme alla sabbia. “Il mondo non è quello che penso, è quello in cui vivo”.

Los Angeles. Le direttive di Charlie sono ancora fresche nella memoria. Sorridente, con gentilezza, ci ha ricordato che possiamo contare sul nostro istinto, e farci strada in un territorio completamente sconosciuto. Non è forse quello che cerchiamo di fare ogni volta che incontriamo un artista per la prima volta? Passato o presente, la cosa non cambia. Niente è garantito, di verità ce n’è più di una. “La verità non risiede solo all’interno della persona; o meglio, l’uomo o la donna interiore non esistono, stanno nel mondo e soltanto nel mondo sono capaci di conoscersi”. La discesa è anche piu ardua della salita. Prendiamo scorciatoie. Sui margini del dirupo lungo il torrente si notano delle crepe … l’istinto mi dice che sono abbastanza leggera ma potrei sbagliarmi. Ci fermiamo davanti a una muraglia imponente: non si sa chi, non si sa quando, ha inciso un sentiero sulla roccia.

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CIRCUS 2 : Bianca Sforni visits Federico Fellini

Rosanna Albertini about

 BIANCA SFORNI, FEDERICO FELLINI and JEAN GENET

— LOVING THE CIRCUS AND ITS ILLUSION OF DEADLY RISKS THAT TURN RIGHT —

“On n’est pas artiste sans qu’un grand malheur s’en soit mêlé. De haine contre quel Dieu? Et pourquoi le vaincre?” (JEAN GENET) You won’t be an artist without the big danger which goes along with an artist’s life. Which God would you hate? And why should you defeat him? [her? it?]

An odd burden hangs over each artist, over each of us; it takes at least two forms: the one in the mirror, we fill it daily with imagined qualities. The other is the image of us in other peoples’ eyes, the one who dances in their minds. They are both images.

Their truth fades away like clouds, never stops changing. But we all strive to shape an imaginary “us” as if we were acrobats. A tightrope-walker feels like dying before he walks on the rope, not when he falls. As Genet said, he dies before appearing.

Paris, 1992. Bianca had prepared her meeting with Federico with the same anxiety of an acrobat before the show. Six months were consumed by waiting, asking for a day, a time. Letters and phone. It was the dawn of fax machines. E-mails only for scientists in research centers.

Rome, Summer 1993. At Fellini’s door, she rings the bell. It sounds like chirping birds. They were maybe in her mind. Her folder with new CIRCUS photos tight under her arm, she is on the rope. When Federico opens the door the windows of the wall behind him spread a sweet light, slightly golden, typical of the Roman afternoons. “Bianca, ma quanto sei piccola” -he exclaims. Piccola means young, in this case. “How young you are.” Not a giant, but Bianca isn’t short neither.

He had probably imagined a tough professional photographer at the top of her career, if she had dared to be in touch with him and more, to ask him to write a text about her images taken during Circus performances. In front of him was a dreamer, a young woman petrified by fear. They talked about cats and monkeys. A bunch of cats were at home in that room, one was striped. Federico looked at the photographs and said “Yes, I’ll do it.” And he did it for sure, from up there in the sky, throwing words among the falling leaves. October 31 he left the earth.

BIANCA SFORNI, Circus 2, 1992, Hand colored gelatin silver prints, 23 x 17.5 cm Courtesy of the artist

BIANCA SFORNI, Circus 2, 1992,   Hand colored gelatin silver print, 23 x 17.5 cm
Courtesy of the artist

BIANCA SFORNI, Circus 2, 1992   Hand colored gelatin silver prints, 17.5 x 23 cm Courtesy of the artist

BIANCA SFORNI, Circus 2, 1992    Hand colored gelatin silver print, 17.5 x 23 cm
Courtesy of the artist

BIANCA SFORNI, Circus 2, 1992   Hand colored gelatin silver prints, 23 x 17.5 cm Courtesy of the artist

BIANCA SFORNI, Circus 2, 1992    Hand colored gelatin silver print, 23 x 17.5 cm
Courtesy of the artist

BIANCA SFORNI, CIRCUS 2, 1992   Hand colored gelatin silver prints, 23 x 17.5 cm Courtesy of the artist

BIANCA SFORNI, Circus 2, 1992    Hand colored gelatin silver print, 23 x 17.5 cm
Courtesy of the artist

BIANCA SFORNI, Circus 2, 1992    Hand colored gelatin silver prints, 23 x 17.5 cm Courtesy of the artist

BIANCA SFORNI, Circus 2, 1992    Hand colored gelatin silver print, 23 x 17.5 cm
Courtesy of the artist

 

il faut aimer le Cirque et mépriser le monde. Une enorme bête, remontée des époques diluviennes, se pose pesamment sur les villes : on entre, et le monstre était plein de merveilles méchaniques et cruelles : des écuyères, des augustes, des lions et leur dompteur, un prestidigitateur, un jongleur, des trapézistes allemands, un cheval qui parle et qui compte, et toi.

Vous êtes les résidus d’un âge fabuleux. Vous revenez de très loin. Vos ancêtres mangeaient du verre pilé, du feu, il charmaient des serpents, des colombes, ils jonglaient avec des oeufs, ils faisaient converser un concile de chevaux.

Vous n’êtez pas prêts pour notre monde et sa logique. Il vous faut donc accepter cette misère: vivre la nuit de l’illusion de vos tours mortels. Le jour vous restez craintifs à la porte du cirque – n’osant entrer dans notre vie – trop fermement retenus par les pouvoirs du cirque qui sont les pouvoirs de la mort. Ne quittez jamais ce ventre énorme de la toile.    JEAN GENET

Grammar of Hope – Andante con moto

About ANA PRVACKI  —  Thanking George Steiner

Art has many ways of being female, squeezing dreams into the work. Day after day, Ana picks up with the tip of her pencil the early morning sparkles of feelings not yet dissolved by the light, and still clear in her flesh. The pressure of reality isn’t heavy, not yet. To draw these remnants of semiconscious visions, added to pages of musical scores, is a grateful thanks to the sensual keys of our lives. (R.A.)

“Woman alone can construct and parse the grammar of hope. She can speak, she can write about he morning light on the day after her funeral or about the ordered pace of the galaxies a billion light-years after the extinction of the planet.” (A text by George Steiner with my arbitrary translation into a feminine mode. R.A.)

ANA PRVACKI, J. S.  Bach, Siciliana, 2014

ANA PRVACKI, Poetry vs. finance, 2014

ANA PRVACKI, Debussy, 2014

ANA PRVACKI, Modest score, 2014

“We are, at key instants, strangers to ourselves, errant at the gates of our own psyche. We knock blindly at the doors of turbulence, of creativity, of inhibition within the terra incognita of our own selves. What is more unsettling: we can be, in ways almost unendurable to reason, strangers to those whom we would know best, by whom we would be best known and unmasked.” (George Steiner)

If much of poetry, music and the arts aims to ‘enchant’ -and we must never strip that word of its aura of magical summons- much also, and of the most compelling, aims to make strangeness in certain respect stranger. It would instruct us of the inviolate enigma of the otherness in things and in animate presences. Serious painting, music, literature or sculpture make palpable to us, as do no other means of communication, the unassuaged, unhoused instability and estrangement of our condition.” (George Steiner)

ANA PRVACKI, Debussy, IV. Recueillement, 2014

ANA PRVACKI, Making love with Debussy, 2014

ANA PRVACKI, Annon, 2014

ANA PRVACKI, Annon, 2014

—HypnoErotic watch (For Man Ray)

This HypnoErotic Watch alters the way we look at Mother time. Could we experience each passing moment as nourishing rather than depleting? Surrealist, titillating, time keeping in your pocket. (A.P.)


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http://www.anaprvacki.com