BETYE SAAR : HER WONDER

An imaginary dialogue between

BETYE IRENE SAAR and WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS

Paterson  New Jersey    and     Los Angeles  California 

BETYE SAAR, Every Secret Things (Almost) 1982 Mixed media collage on paper 20 x 13.25" Courtesy of the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

BETYE SAAR, Every Secret Things (Almost) 1982. Mixed media collage on paper 20 x 13.25 in  Courtesy of the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

Note from the editor, Rosanna Albertini. This dialogue is based on my impression that her visual poems made with found objects and his poems made with words -we find them as well around us, since the time our ears could grasp them- are nothing but small machines endowed with an “intrinsic, undulant, a physical more than a literary character.” (W.C.W.) Not only they are not sentimental, their subject is not their point. As works of art Saar’s visual poems are made as islands of perception, imaginary cages for human stories touched with gentleness, not to break their skin or alter their movable presence in her mind.

The price she pays to shape her land of wonder is distance: objects coming from other  lives, and fragmented images that were probably lost or hidden in her brain if she needs to add stitches to drawings and glue as if preventing them from vanishing, pinning them down. Time, in her art, seems to struggle against the eternal present of the art work when it’s finished, and becomes a still, impenetrable combination of feelings about all the things that stir our lives and do not have the same clarity of words. Directions, orientation, destiny, chance? They are cages for feelings before they solidify in concepts. Collages on paper, three-dimensional  assemblages are simply things living their own life.

They declare nothing. It is the hidden sparkle they surround with beauty that pulls our hair.

Their eyes look at us forcing us to wonder about what we do not, we can not see. The poet writes:

So let us love
confident as is the light
in its struggle with darkness

and the visual artist takes the wind in the same direction, through darkness and light. Darkness is time painted by history, and caged in words, but for her as an artist darkness is a fact that patiently, stubbornly, she brings back to light. Game of chance, or game of destiny: she is standing in the shadow of love. Which is the real step out of darkness, and makes each piece of her art a strong physical metaphor, a cage for magic, and a house for ideas.

(The poem is the second part of Shadows, in William Carlos Williams Selected Poems, (selected by dr. Williams himself), first published in 1949, New York, New Directions Books.

The images are from Betye Saar’s double exhibition: Blend and Black White at Roberts & Tilton Culver City, CA Oct.-Dec. 2016)

 

BETYE SAAR. Standing in the Shadow of Love

BETYE SAAR, Standing in the Shadow of Love  2000, Mixed media assemblage  18 x 26.25 x 1.50 in  Courtesy of the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

 

BETYE SAAR, Destiny of Latitude and Longitude

BETYE SAAR, Destiny of Latitude and Longitude, 2010.  Mixed media assemblage  54 x 43 x 20.5 in  Courtesy of the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

Ripped from the concept of our our lives
and from all concept
somehow, and plainly,

the sun will come up
each morning
and sink again.

BETYE SAAR, To Follow Separate Stars 1982, Mixed media collage on paper 18 x 15.5" Courtesy of the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

BETYE SAAR, To Follow Separate Stars 1982, Mixed media collage on paper 18 x 15.5 in   Courtesy of the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

So that we experience
violently
every day
two worlds
one of which we share with the
rose in bloom
and one,
by far the greater,
with the past, the world of memory,
the silly world of history,
the world
of the imagination.

BETYE SAAR, Heartbreak Hotel, 2016 Mixed media assemblage 15.75 x 8.75 x 4" Courtesy of the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

BETYE SAAR, Heartbreak Hotel, 2016 Mixed media assemblage 15.75 x 8.75 x 4 in Courtesy of the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

BETYE SAAR, Heartbreak Hotel, 2016 Mixed media assemblage 15.75 x 8.75 x 4" Courtesy of the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

BETYE SAAR, Heartbreak Hotel, 2016 Mixed media assemblage 15.75 x 8.75 x 4 in Courtesy of the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

BETYE SAAR, Illusion of Freedom,

BETYE SAAR, Illusion of Freedom, 2009 Mixed media collage  8.5 x 18.5 x 11 in  Courtesy of the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

Which leaves only the beasts and trees,
crystals
with their refractive
surfaces
and rotting things
to stir our wonder.

BETYE SAAR, Always Just Out of Focus 1982, Mixed media collage on paper 18 x 13.5" Courtesy of the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

BETYE SAAR, Always Just Out of Focus 1982, Mixed media collage on paper 18 x 13.5 in   Courtesy of the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

BETYE SAAR, Collecting Twilight Corners 1982, Mixed media collage on paper 19.5 x 14.75" Courtesy of the artists and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

BETYE SAAR, Collecting Twilight Corners 1982, Mixed media collage on paper 19.5 x 14.75 in   Courtesy of the artists and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

Save for the little
central hole
of the eye itself
into which
we dare not stare too hard
or we are lost.

BETYE SAAR, Red Bone Black Scouts

BETYE SAAR, Red Bone Black Scouts, 2001   Mixed media collage on paper  17.5 x 25 in  Courtesy of the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

The instant
trivial as it is
is all we have
unless-unless
things the imagination feeds upon, the scent of the rose,
startle us anew.

BETSYE SAAR, Dark Times 2015, Mixed media on vintage washboard 21.25 x 8.5 x 2.5"

BETSYE SAAR, Dark Times, 2015   Mixed media on vintage washboard 21.25  x  8.5  x  2.5 in   Courtesy of the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City LA

BETYE SAAR, Serving Time

BETYE SAAR, Serving Time, 2010  Mixed media assemblage  64 x 17.25 x 9.75 in  Courtesy of the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA

CHRISTOPHER WILDE – NO IDEAS BUT IN IMAGES

…THE POWER OF ‘THEY’ …

By Rosanna Albertini

Damn repetition. Damn mental habits implanted in a middle class dream of happiness: an artificial place for every thing that was created wild, leashes for animals, and security belts for humans. Don’t expect an artist to adapt. Christopher reads words very fast, but he writes with images. Most of them floating on paper, on screens, industrially fabricated: the skin of a human landscape in which images are trusted more than words. The money makers’ business. What better way to jump in this crazy flatness than to grasp a pair of scissors and cut images out like peeling an apple, or chopping parsley and onions. This Wilde guy did it with money. Currency from all over the world reduced to linguine or tagliatelle so thin that what remains is paper grain. Then, from the primordial chaos of fragments, he rebuilds his own world shaped by feelings and prodigious fingers.

I won’t call it collage. It’s a place. Local statement where dreams and nightmares take free rides through the map. Their freedom explodes in the ride itself, and the horse blooms with flowers and leaves as if a piece of tapestry had woken up in a horse shape. Didn’t need a direction. Go!

C.K.WILDE, The Dreaming Horse

C.K.WILDE, Equina Antigua, 2010   Collage on paper, 6.5″ x 8.7″ Courtesy of the artist

He had just arrived to Los Angeles from New York City a few years ago. I was bumping my head against the wall refusing to look for a publisher. Though I had published several books, I had just written my first book free from academic rules. Christopher Wilde looked at me with surprise: “Make it yourself” he said, “use your fingers.” “The whole book as a hand made object? More than one hundred pages…” “I can teach you to bind it with no glue, only needle and thread.”

My mother’s and grandmother’s hands, both seamstresses, tickled my brain. My master was a maker of books as artworks. He showed me how to work through knots in the thread, and cope with the thickness of eleven signatures. Practice, practice! To my surprise, the physical ordeal was not merely technical. Giving the thread the right tension to keep the pages in only one body was no different than writing; there is a personal tension that keeps words and stories together. Every day brings a new tension. That’s why I refuse to lock this artist in his technique. Stories he represents are much more interesting.

Christopher’s studio was then in Alhambra, a cute small building lost among gas stations and car mechanics. But inside, it could have been an Italian bottega with a master proud of his tools. It was the place from which his first Los Angeles artwork came out, welcomed by Rosamund Felsen. Still not completely his place, not in a hospitable part of the city. And family stories filled the working space as a sort of necessity. I was adjusting to my new American life as Wallis Wilde-Menozzi, the artist’s favorite aunt, was searching for her new life’s meaning in her husband’s small Italian town.Moving to Italy made place a vast body that I had to reenter in all its difference.The same happened to me moving to Los Angeles. Wallis and I had followed the men we loved. Wallis wrote a wonderful book about her experience, I did not. Her book became the beginning of deep friendship between the artist, myself and our partners, based on our sense of place. William Carlos Williams said thatPlace is the true core of the universal.”

I borrow from aunt Wallis the body of the next and last paragraph. Her thinking is quite close to Christopher’s visual ideas. Literature and visual stories hold hands without knowing, one could never tell if they think or imagine to be thinking.

I hide, you hide, we hide, they hide. I conjugate the verb and wonder at it. I do it again. It is hypnotizing. I must address the I hiding, the you, the we. They. It’s powerful and empty. They has always been a false position. I can’t speak about a they.”

Christopher shows their hands.

C.K.WILDE, Leopold II. 2015 Collage of paper ephemera on museum board, nailed rubber frame 45 1/4 x 33

C.K.WILDE, Leopold II. 2015
Collage of paper ephemera on museum board, nailed rubber frame  45 1/4 x 33″  Photo: Grant Mudford
Courtesy of the artist and Rosamund Felsen Gallery

C.K.WILDE, Patrice Lumumba. 2015 Collage of paper ephemera on museum board, nailed rubber frame 45 3/8 x 32 1/2

C.K.WILDE, Patrice Lumumba. 2015
Collage of paper ephemera on museum board, nailed rubber frame 45 3/8 x 32 1/2″ Photo: Grant Mudford
Courtesy of the artist and Rosamund Felsen Gallery

“Patrice Lumumba was an African leader and the first democratically elected President of the Congo. He was a member of the Tetela ethnic group and was born with name Elias Okit’ Asombo. His original surname means “heir of the cursed.” Lumumba’s presidency was brief, as he was assassinated. His body was dismembered, set on fire, and dissolved with acid. The assassination was orchestrated by a coterie of international corporations, sovereign nations, and local political rivals. His death was part of the post-colonial struggle of African nations against the control of foreign parties.  Leopold II of Belgium was the colonizer of Congo in the 18oo’s. He set up a corporation with all the European leaders who had stakes in the division of Africa for colonies. Over twenty  years this corporation, disguised as a state, enslaved and killed 2-15 million Congolese for ivory and rubber. The punishment for trying to escape the plantation system was to have a hand or arm cut off. Hence the use of the images of hands to make up the body of Leopold II representing the rapacious lust of the European for African resources and the hands of the slaves cut off in pursuit of those resources. Behind Leopol are torn maps of the Congo in different eras, symbolizing the control of the land by naming and mapping it.  The portrait of Lumumba is made of maps of Africa, with the background made of hands in a halo around his head. Lumumba, the Pan-Africanist, appears here having been made out of the continent he loved, surrounded by the grasping hands of the world trying to get into his head. The Belgians, the USA, the USSR, and Great Britain all meddled in the life and career of Lumumba, eventually killing him rather than see his vision of a unified Africa come into being. The two portraits are framed in black rubber, in a final surreal gesture.”

MAD LOVE n. 1

 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.

WHAT’S A REAL STORY WHEN PAINTED N.4

137acUMAN

And the Human Language of Colors

UMAN, Mom of the year for small bird's, 2015, oil on wood, 3

UMAN, Mom of the year for small bird’s, 2015, oil on wood, 3″x 3″
Courtesy of the artist       Photo: Peter Kirby

         Artist statement

I paint. Often I get nostalgic about growing up. These memories express themselves mostly in the colors. They mix with the colors, movements and forms that surround me – seasonal changes in the foliage of upstate New York. Watching the birds migrating makes me wanting to be in that moment with them.

MY WORK IS NOT AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL, NOR POLITICAL OR NARRATIVE. IT’S AN AUTOMATIC EXPRESSION

(137ac is a collective studio space. A place to share my work with other artists who share similar values and attitudes about painting. We come in and funnel ideas, frustration, hope and love into our work.)

Uman was born in East Africa and currently lives in New York.

BIANCA SFORNI, Portrait of Uman, 2015

BIANCA SFORNI, Portrait of Uman, 2015

“I started to draw at a young age onto everything I could find. I was full of imagination.

I enjoyed our family vacations all across East Africa, from Turkana to Nairobi to Mandera, a desert where my Grandmother lived.

 I have fond memories of crossing the border with my parents into Tanzania.

LETTER TO UMAN

Los Angeles, May 1st 2015

Birds drop on your canvas the visual pattern of a melody. Each of them sings a different song, or a speech? Some of them thrive, others seem to shrink as if the end of their song had emptied their body. I don’t know why I see a breathing movement, maybe I’m bedeviled by questions I had as a country child listening to the birds and wishing to understand the language hidden in their throats. Perhaps I was at times mistaking birds for leaves, does it matter?

UMAN, Birds N.1, 2015, oil on Wood, 74

UMAN, Birds N.1, 2015, Oil on primed fabric, 74″ x 62″
Courtesy of the artist

UMAN, Birds N.1, Detail

UMAN, Birds N.1, Detail

These paintings make me think of a scattered mosaic, a collection of particles that you have liberated from being stiff and geometrical. It’s an organic transformation that I see, light and movable, and moving. I can feel the birds flight, their voices. The space is a mid-space between sky and earth, as if your brush could breath the colors and make them weightless.

UMAN, Scattered wild Universe, 2015, Oil on canvas Courtesy of the artist

UMAN, Scattered Wild Universe, 2015, Oil on canvas, 30″ x 24″
Courtesy of the artist

UMAN, Malaria Fever, 2014, Oil on fabric, 40

UMAN, Malaria Fever, 2014, Oil on fabric, 40″ x 30″     Photo: Bianca Sforni
Courtesy of the artist

Really, the visual language you paint isn’t different from the birds’ songs: not the ‘natural’ inhuman scenery, rather the ‘natural’ personal cacophony of colors and forms that makes us part of the universe and the universe part of us. Rectangle triangles or drops of ovals have something of a skin, a softness that makes them vulnerable. I’m trying to read them separately from my memories and thoughts even if it’s clear that I might reach them only if I put my sensitivity at stake, being absolutely sure that it’s different from yours.

A painting? An odd combination of chance and freedom, space and time with the artist as an instrument of circumstances. I give you some John Cage:

acrostic

He concludes that a note is “between points in a field of frequency or just a drawing in space … absence of theory…” Only NOTATION.

UMAN, Life should be this way, 2013, Goache, oil on board Courtesy of the artist

UMAN, Life should be this way, 2013, Gouache, oil on board, 47″ x 37″
Courtesy of the artist

UMAN, Dark Woods, 2012, Oil on primed paper, 12

UMAN, Dark Woods, 2012, Oil on primed paper, 12″ x 9″ Photo: Bianca Sforni
Courtesy of the artist

Imagination is the only parking place. Your paintings or drawings with one dominant image are harder to read. Ghosts from reality and art history enslave my mind, maybe yours too? I find myself in front of the Dark Woods,   today watching a dragonlike image hissing at a cloud of darkness, tomorrow I might see something else. But looking at the tree embracing the dove with human hands I do know it’s a dream of tenderness, please don’t go, migration is hard. You are a bird from Africa as I am from Italy. Your painting has absorbed my words.

I’m not sure, this piece by William Carlos Williams could speak for both:

“I go back to people. They are the origin of every bit of life that can possibly inhabit any structure, house, poem or novel [or painting] of conceivable human interest. It doesn’t precisely come out of the tops of their heads like flowers but they represent, in themselves, the structure which art . . . Put it this way: If we don’t cling to the warmth which breathes into a house or a poem [or a painting] alike from human need — (The stink, you mean) — the whole matter has nothing to hold it together and becomes structurally weak so that it falls to pieces.”

It can be an elegant dancer resting on a couch, or a brown spot on a red square, the human language of colors.

Yours,

Rosanna

UMAN, Luly in orange scarf,  2014, Oil on canvas Courtesy of the artist

UMAN, Luly in orange scarf, 2014, Oil on canvas, 8″ x 6″
Courtesy of the artist

FOCUS ON HERE, NOW

 AL PAYNE:

After a life spent hiding his paintings in a wood shed, Paris became his scent of the rose for two years, then he died: it was September 2007

by ROSANNA ALBERTINI

This post is dedicated to all the ‘invisible’ artists who steadily grow on the forest floor of the artworld. Often not known enough to be forgotten. Al Payne not only built his sheds, he filled them with paintings and the human scape the paintings contained, a physical density needing protection, not to be exposed to a price that could be money or intellectual evaluation or both. The colors of life, sounds and feelings collapsed, maybe, so inseparably into those pantings that the artist locked them into his inner space. He did not cut the umbilical cord.

Allan Kaprow would say, “His act is tragic because the man could not forget art.” And yes, Al Payne sacrificed himself in a romantic dream of purity, dragging his artworks into his tomb before death. It would be easy to misunderstand. Only an extreme love for life leads to such a secretive activity. Or the discovery that life, and art, are in big part beyond concept, “enactment of hope” out of heartbreak and failure. He did not want to break the common roots that keep a person and her art in only one body.

From Al Payne’s notebook:

Attempt at conjuring the unthinkable thru painting.

1987-2001 – reaction to cancer, light and passing of time, family as subject-drawings, paintings pictures of family, home. Focus on here, now.

2002-2004- Dirt paintings here, now. Existence drawings

2005-2006 -reaction to parents death, rejection by family-Painting o/c. Paintings become ‘automatic’ avoidance of photography as basis for imagery. Draw, paint.

Late ’00 – invisible sculpture, engage artworld, recovery from family rejection –

20150126_Box_Payne_064

AL PAYNE, Self-Portrait, 2007, Drawing on Paper – Courtesy of The Box, Los Angeles

Paris Late ’00 seems to be a NO TIME for Al Payne in Paris, his metamorphosis from the American inchworm to an elegant butterfly. A space of existence not needing to be measured. A taste of history, beautiful people, new food, a lot of white buildings under a sky shading walls and pavements with different clouds at every hour. An upsetting light. Often for lack of it. His dreams changed as well. He told Paul McCarthy, the affectionate friend who called him twice a week when he was in Paris, that he had a dream about his paintings, they were carried one by one. Time wasn’t moving onward, wasn’t moving at all. His last piece, The Invisible Sculpture, 2006/2007/2015 is a crate whose content changes size every time the container is opened. Open Paris, here is an other man, a new Al Payne, maybe taller, flaneur. “An old debonair man in a suit,” says Mara, “interviewed by Yves Klein’s daughter!”

Who was Al Payne? “A very sweet man” Mara McCarthy says. Her eyes in search of a figure that was a name, a story heard in her parents voice much more than a real person. “I don’t know, I don’t know if it’s me or my mom, who always told Al was the sweetest person in the world.” Odd coincidence, Al Payne left his painting on earth when he moved out, for his last journey, in September 2007. The same month and year in which Mara opened The Box, an L.A. art gallery she runs in collaboration with her father Paul.

On January 24, 2015, at 4 in a sunny afternoon, the Box made Al Payne’s dream a real thing: the wooden sheds were in the building with their big mouths open: from a truck parked outside the paintings were transported one by one, by hand, into the sheds. They will stay there, unseen, the whole time of the exhibition. The moving display (theory) of paintings was art for the time of a quick, imperfect view but also, unmistakably, a mystic exposure of the artist’s body spread in his work.                        

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From Shadows by William Carlos Williams

Ripped from the concept of our lives and from all concept somehow, and plainly,

the sun will come up each morning and sink again.

So that we experience violently every day two worlds

one of which we share with the rose in bloom and one,

by far greater, with the past, the world of memory,

the silly world of history, the world of imagination.

Which leaves only the beasts and trees, crystals with their refractive surfaces

and rotting things to stir our wonder.

Save for the little central hole of the eye itself

into which we dare not stare too hard or we are lost.

The instant trivial as it is is all we have unless-unless

things the imagination feeds upon, the scent of the rose, startle us anew.

Quote

A TRANSIENT STORY

Rosanna Albertini‘s fictional remake of FRANK MASI’s Personal Record of his Mother

 

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Frank Masi, non se·qui·tur, 2012

A transient story doesn’t last. Like happiness. The record of his mother, Frank’s mother, is made with echoes of her presence between Milwaukee Wisconsin and Los Angeles, in her son’s house. Her name would be too heavy. It doesn’t appear. Places lead the way, “the true core of the universal.”*

Frank looks at her through the large window of her room. She sits at the table watching tennis on TV and playing solitaire all at once. Her back is the only part of her body facing the outside; misleading stillness; her mind is at work, she has to finish before, like the letters she used to write by hand in good calligraphy for her employers. She married one of them, that time it was the good one, not like her son’s father. Maybe to play tennis to meet boys was not such a good idea. To be a secretary is good, after World War II at the top of expectancies of mothers and grandmothers. Frank used to splash in the water of gutters and play war with a big potato squeezer, where was I? Yes, we moved to a beautiful place. Thank god that man invented the way to fix the lead on the milk bottles, and other things. A beautiful place in Milwaukee, with many trees. Father used to walk every day by the railroad tracks to go to work and back, to come home. She is sometimes she, other times the first person, as if measuring the distance between the woman she is and images of the past that are figments rather than memories. They change every time she recalls them. Frank set up the tripod. For no specific reason he chose the out of focus, pointed at the window. They probably have never been so close, neither of them knew it.

At the beginning of 2011, Frank unpacks boxes and boxes of her objects: old kitchen stuff, Midwest Mercedes Benz trophies, photographs, albums. A crumpled piece of paper from one of the boxes calls for his attention, for no reason. Frank puts it on the couch, and clicks.

*William Carlos Williams

Frank Masi, Untitled, 2012

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