Los Angeles — About MAD LOVE by EILEEN COWIN 

Today Reading   by  Rosanna Albertini

The hard task, looking at a narrative art work, is to stop connecting to the déjà vu. And stop thinking that seeing — not the metaphor, the physical eye-sight — is such an isolated, unique gift that drives us through the day. Scientific stories tell us that our small brain — cerebellum— controls our involuntary and visceral reactions to the symphony of stimuli brought by the wind, the passing time, a sound of potatoes crackling in the oven, a truck’s brakes screeching, the cat jumping on the chair, the mailman slamming papers into the box. The small brain transfers his work to the large brain that gives inputs to move uncountable muscles, including the heart. Our whole body sees or not, if we care or not. How the brain regulates the engine is still unclear after centuries of questioning.

The marine layer was soft this morning, dulling the pain in my head. They both dissolved in a few hours. After talking to my plants in the garden, I kept looking at Eileen Cowin’s images. This is the way I saw them, only for today. Tomorrow might be different.

EILEEN COWIN, Untitled from Mad Love, 2014,  5.5

EILEEN COWIN, Untitled from Mad Love, 2014,   5.5″ x 8.2″
Courtesy of the artist

glimpses of gestures and motions, instants, 

and life of stills asked to deal with a lack of light

black density of one kind on paper

and different on screen

a pond of ink filled with stories

written so many times that it’s better

to sink them, the infamous déjà vu, or

the black of the mulch full of promises and of

uncertain future

so that meanings I see in this art work are of today

mad love for life

the room of an undesirable end of the act

undeniable product of a black spot

a black page of time, unwritten story

that hides in flatness or ran away on spindly legs

ugliness is not to be transformed

in our greedy time of saved documents

separate from physicality — the skin is bruised

tactile pleasure is brushed away

and the major focus is in the eye

our cutting machine, close the eyelids

and the black will be there although not perfect

not as dense as the photographic black

not as defined as the vertical lines

forcing the image to restrain

or to grow hard as a metal box

only the eye is full

indifferent to the dinner’s leftovers

and reflecting the tiny image of something

maybe he didn’t care to see

(These are thoughts in vertical discontinuity, not a poem. RA)

EILEEN COWIN, Untitled from, Mad Love, 2014,   5.5

EILEEN COWIN, Untitled from Mad Love, 2014,    5.5″ x 8.2″
Courtesy of the artist

A poet wrote that sensuality is what makes a work of art timeless, that the world of the artist is the domain ruled by senses. Unfortunately, those fingers crossed in the washing hands will remain the same over centuries only if some material support will allow their image to be visible. But, it’s a wonderful idealistic trick to believe that senses have the privilege of timelessness. The poet was captured by his inner beautiful flame. Accidentally, of male nature. He was writing in 1939, war time. He had to magnify the human ability to perpetuate life.

May 11 in Los Angeles. As my work uses words, I see them peeling off. Precarious brain slaves in a uniform. They creep silently toward Eileen Cowin’s images to push back tears and flashes of memories that are the major presence in my day. Time, or destiny? has stolen from life someone I admired immensely. My mind has wrapped him in black.

Good bye Chris Burden.

PS Mad Love is an ongoing project by Eileen Cowin. These are two of the many images from the project.