30 June 2011

New paintings by Liz Maw

This has to do with me

More here and here.

23 June 2011

20 June 2011

The disintoxication

Our ideal is 'the disintoxication'. We want to become an antidote for all the Immunised from our fallen art. We tend towards the White considered as a psychic entity or, in order to concretise this tendency thanks to innumerable rapports of colour and music, we tend toward the 'la' pure = 435 vibrations.
'Well-known occultist' Vivian du Mas:
I recognise in the paintings of Picabia the translation in aesthetic language of a part of that other world. I can vow that the representation of it is exact. I affirm that these paintings are not a simple fantasy, but a representation of the astral world.
Gertrude Stein:
Picabia has conceived and is struggling with the problem that a line should have the vibration of a musical sound and that this vibration should be the result of conceiving the human form and the human face in so tenuous a fashion that it would induce such vibration in the line forming it. It is his way of achieving the disembodied...

All his life Picabia has struggled to dominate and achieve this conception.
Should I be worried that this all makes complete sense to me?

And, speaking of being worried, I'm becoming increasingly concerned at this incursion of the neighbours' into my studio, which is growing at an alarming rate:
I might have to do something about it. I assume that, if anyone saw me trying to get round the back of the neighbours' place with a knife in my hand, they'd realise there's a reasonable explanation.

In other news, on Saturday, a couple of friends and I went to see Steve Ignorant and his Crass tribute band. It was excellent. On the way out, I heard one old punk say to another 'He's wearing glasses. You can't hit him.'

I looked around and, sure enough, there wasn't anyone else wearing glasses evident. When I related this, Rose's daughter Wendy helpfully pointed out:
Well, you do have one of those faces that people just want to hit.

17 June 2011

Good painting

Good painting is not what sells ... good painting does not exist; what exists is the man who has something to say and who uses the medium of painting ... to externalise his personality...

The personality which springs from a system can no more interest us than that of a maniac who could only write with orange ink...

Ah! Certainly I prefer the cubism of Picasso and Braque in 1913 ... the pity is that many people do not yet see how much creative spirit there was in the cubism of these two men; they often confound them with the group of idiots cast in their wake...

Delacroix, Ingres, Corot, Cezanne, Sisley, Pissarro, Seurat, Gustav Moreau, Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, these are men who have laid bare life, their life: their pictures have real pollen and their names can only be asserted under the nose of those who think that an epoch is great because it lasts a long time and those who participate in it are numerous. Such is the idea of the small school of the beaux-arts-cubists founded by L'Esprit nouveau; they know the why of everything, they have their laws, they know good and evil, they imitate God driving Adam and Eve out of paradise, God not being able to endure sin! Sin, the serpent, that is Dada!

L'Esprit nouveau will only be new when it is dead. At least then it will have evolved!

In several weeks 'the Salon of good painting', the Salon d'Automne, will open. In finishing, may I offer a word of advice to the members of the jury: to refuse pitilessly all that they like and accept only what horrifies them; in this way we might perhaps have an exhibition less stupid and less monotonous and some innovators would run the risk of having the great luck to exhibit in a palace consecrated to the glory of French art and decreed a public utility.
That's Picabia in 1922. I might have to steal 'beaux-arts-cubists' – but change it to 'beaux-arts-conceptualists'. Here's the artist Picabia'd like to see:
A man who would not be influenced by anyone, who would not be preoccupied with modernism or cubism or dadaism; who would not be socialist or communist or the contrary; a man who would simply be himself ... A man who would succeed in communicating to us the desire for a life of openness and full activity ... A man, finally, who would lead us to the new world to discover: the world of love which the mediocre have no desire to enter and which frightens the 'intellectuals' for fear of ridicule.

Jesus Christ invented that manner of life long ago; I would prefer it to the present dilution.

12 June 2011

09 June 2011

School report

Part of the MFA course is what they call the postgraduate symposium. Each student gets up and talks about their research for 15 minutes, then answers questions from the floor for five minutes. This will happen this year on 8 July.

I expect it will be hard going, to say the least.

We are also meant to provide a two to three thousand word essay summarising our research so far.

I've just tried to write out the guts of my argument as a series of points (the idea being that each will become several paragraphs).

It should give you a laugh.

It's called 'Perspective painting proves nothing exists':
  1. There is no intrinsic meaning in the world – neither god nor science.
  2. Individuals cannot construct meaning, because any such meaning would be fictional.
  3. No other meaning is possible.
  4. Therefore, the pursuit of any meaning to life is futile.
  5. The only way to live life free from illusions is to embrace its meaninglessness.
  6. However, the individual is embedded in society, a meaning-making machine.
  7. Social institutions + constructed meaning = social control.
  8. That leaves avant-garde art and crime.
  9. As Guy Debord recognised, art occupies a 'privileged position' within society – part of it on one hand, but separate on another.
  10. It is in this separate sphere that I choose to operate – within pictorial space.
  11. Consider perspective painting: not as the naturalistic illusionism decried by early modernists but simply as a method of dividing a painted surface to convey meaning – a meaning that says something profound about the way the individual relates to the world.
  12. The first step in constructing a perspective scheme is locating the viewer in relation to the space to be portrayed – this gives you the 'visual pyramid' from the viewer's eye to the corners of the picture surface, which is to be considered as a window on that space.
  13. That is, space is relative – an object's position in space is not absolute but relative to other objects from a given point of view.
  14. As Kant points out, this means that perception of space (and time) is an a priori property of the viewer's mind.
  15. The viewing subject gives the world coherence through perception of space and time. In turn, perceiving the world as coherent gives the subject coherence.
  16. However, neither the subject nor the world is a coherent unity. Both subject and world are made up of contradictory elements. Any apparent unity is an illusion produced by the mind. Neither self nor world exist.
  17. Perspective painting encodes the process by which both self and world are fictively constructed.

    Perspective painting proves nothing exists.

How they pluck her!

There they go plucked (i.e. fleeced)

All will fall

07 June 2011

Through the rainbow

Dan and I went for a Sunday drive to pick up a cat from Brendon:

05 June 2011

Sharp motherfucker

Entitled An exhibition of caricatures, absolute and relative, de Zayas' third and last show at 291 in the spring of 1913 reflected his scientism.

In the catalogue text he outlined the distinction, derived from 'experimental analysis', between absolute and relative works: 'I call absolute caricatures those in which the individual influences time by the whole of his actions; and relative, those in which time influences the individual – that is to say when the individual has to make abstraction of his real self to adapt it to the character of a given moment of circumstance.'

He believed the spirit could be represented mathematically by 'algebraic formulas' and that matter could be represented by 'geometrical equivalents'. Moreover, de Zayas found that 'man in relation to his own life and to mankind, forms a third psychological entity, which is not an arithmetical addition, but a chemical combination'.

04 June 2011

02 June 2011


New Zealand universities are sliding down a key world scale with the country's leader, the University of Auckland, at its lowest overall rating ever.

No New Zealand university is in the top 50 world universities, while Australia has five...

Massey University ... has dropped deeply and is now at 302nd place.

01 June 2011

Another footnote

In the second part of [Alfred Jarry's The Supermale], the Supermale dismissed the act of love as a machinelike action which could be repeated indefinitely when fortified with 'perpetual motion food', a compound of alcohol and strychnine. An experiment was arranged to verify his claim, and while 'science' (represented by a doctor) recorded the data of the experiment the Supermale proceeded to surpass the world's record for intercourse.

Complications arose when his partner, a young American girl, fell in love with the indifferent Supermale. To stimulate a reciprocal carnal desire in the Supermale, the girl's father (determined that his daughter should have her man) appealed to an engineer to make a love-inspiring machine.

The machine was hastily constructed and strapped to the Supermale despite warnings by the engineer that it might not do what it was intended to do. 'So much the better, this will be an experience,' interrupted the girl's father, as he pressed the commentator.

In a bizarre turn of events, the love-inspiring machine fell in love with the Supermale, overheated, short-circuited, and killed him.
visitors since 29 March 2004.