The Authentic Massacre of the Innocent Image Painting Number 77
David Stafford had one through his alter ego Jimson, (he of the24 to 48 hour anticholinergic delirium) all arranged by The Red Giraffe on an unexpected visit to Goya.
It went something like this:
“When Jimson first saw her he turned to see if Lemke (off the mail belt asteroid) also saw her but he was fiddling with the straps on his backpack . He wheeled round. She was still there.
“What a lovely mirage,” he thought to himself. She did in fact resemble a girl he had once met at a party – not the woman he married, but a stranger whose face had stayed with him. Now it hovered above him, as impassive as a sphinx, the face pulsating, a frenzied tangle of seething rivulets. Her face was water, Blue, cool.
He could feel the breeze coming across the desert like a kiss, a benediction as though he was walking along a shady creek. Lemke grabbed his arm.
“What ever you’re seeing pal…shes’s not there”. BUT SHE WAS!
She was a Spartan woman who broke into the most male of Greek arenas during this period: the Olympic games. Cynisca, the sister of one of the Spartan kings, entered her own chariot team in 396 and 392 BC. She won both times, becoming the first female to win the Olympic games (albeit by proxy) in its 400-year history. Pausanias, the ancient traveller and first ‘guide book’ writer, saw the victory monument erected by Cynisca at Olympia to commemorate her success still standing 500 years later.
The monument simply stated: My fathers and brothers were Spartan kings, I won with a team of fast-footed horses, and put up this monument, I am Cynisca: I say I am the only woman in all Greece to have won this wreath.
Pausanias, as mentioned before was a careful, pedestrian writer, he was interested not only in the grandiose or the exquisite but in unusual sights and obscure ritual. He is occasionally careless, or makes unwarranted inferences, and his guides or even his own notes sometimes mislead him; yet his honesty is unquestionable, and his value without par. In the topographical part of his work, Pausanias is fond of digressions on the wonders of nature, the signs that herald the approach of an earthquake, the phenomena of the tides, the ice-bound seas of the north, and the noonday sun which at the summer solstice casts no shadow at Syene.
Pausanias, was given a key by Cynisca which was lodged years later in the Needle of Hatshepsut. But more about that later. Suffice it to say, now you know that Cynisca is a Bhubezi Woman and that David Stafford really saw her.
I’ve periodically posted single images from this collection of altered photographs on Collaborative Canto and the Visual Poetry/Asemic Writing blogs, but this download contains all the images Marie and I have been working on for a few months.
It was certainly a long term project and it was interesting to see how the alterations Marie added to the photographs changed over that period. Some images maintain their minimalism, (particularly those done at the beginning of the collaboration), and, as time progressed, so did their complexity. These are not taut, surgical images, rather they retain the organic structure dictated by the original artworks – books made from clay. I had intended to do an installation of about 500 clay books (I MAY still…?) but boredom set in after about book 30. Marie breathed new life into these clay books, rooted in earth – (a most physical manifestation thereof ) and they became pieces of data in Ether Realms. These secondary structures, as ethereal as data are collected and available for download here:
Made of Clay.
Taken from the dust of the earth, these books became something else, data images that happened in Ether Realms. It’s always trying to breathe new life into old ideas – like us, they’re never quite ready to die.
Making books out of clay,
the work of a potter [shaping soil into pages]
the work of a writer [chiseling words out of sodden earth]
the work of a gardener [growing roots across fields]
the work of an architect [building stories through dust]
the work of a musician [composing songs engraved in ether]
The beauty of those clay books needed no enhancement, their stunning naked aura was evident to any eyes curious enough to see. But one can always demand more of books…
“One can always demand more of books” – wise words Marie, and I agree wholeheartedly – they cannot be constrained, forever demanding new readings.
Edition 12 Mail Art Makes the World a Town participants:
Mail Art Makes the World a Town Assembling Book
Reid Wood – USA
Tiziana Baracchi – Italy
Renato Sclaunich – Italy
Serse Luigetti – Italy
TICTAC – Germany
Vittore Baroni – Italy
Samuel Montalvetti – Argentina
DADANAUTIC – Germany
Jürgen Olbrich – Germany
Erich Sundermann – Austria
John Bennett – USA
Katerina Nikoltsou – Greece
Miguel Jimenez – Spain
Jeff Crouch – USA
Torill Elisabeth Larsen – Norway
Thomas M Cassidy – USA
Svenja Wahl – Germany
Claudio Romeo – Italy
Anete Ulmane – Latvia
Cuan Miles – South Africa
Pier Roberto Bassi – Italy
Mark Sonnenfeld – USA
Fatima Queiroz – Brazil
Antonio Gomez – Spain
David Stone – USA
Cheryl Penn – South Africa
There are to be only two more editions in the A5 format. A HAND MADE EDITION – i.e. each page must be hand drawn/collaged/printed/painted, and one further general edition. To contribute, please send 27 signed and numbered, double sided A5 portrait pages. A copy will be sent to each participant. The format of this publication will change at Edition 15 to A6 (postcard size). Send 22 signed and numbered pages. Copy to all participants.
Collaboration on http://artistbooks.ning.com
Edition of 10 unique books made from copies of Leonardo’s blotting sheets used when he painted Mona Lisa. Permission for their use was given by Magenta in a dream. Said Permission was given as long as his secrets were cut out from the sheets. That’s the problem with history – there’s a generally accepted version, and then there’s the real version. These cutout words/phrases are holes in the generally accepted version of Leonardo da Vinci’s life, clues he could not help himself recording.
That’s the problem with History – its so subject to winds of change. IF such facts were ever discovered, the course of art history would forever be changed to suit the pallet of the Moorish Darwish. The consequence of that? There would be no Bhubezi Women to Hold Up the World, and no Old Stories on which successfully functioning society is based. Taking a look around, the Darwish is not doing too badly anyway.
I “met” Guido in about April 2011 on the IUOMA site and mutual delight ensued. Week after week the most fabulous envelopes arrived from Guido. More than envelopes, I have two STARTLING paintings, nearly A0 in size which are treasures. From the beginning, Guido was complex, generous and honest about the way he felt about EVERYTHING – no mincing words, just WHAM – how it was. He ranted about galleries and war, poetics and philosophy.
He wrote and translated and painted and drew. He loved his animals Buzz and Nero, feeling a kindred spirit with animals. Health wise he was not well while mentally vacillating between immense love and grief. He lived everything he felt and my word, FEEL he did. His fierce honesty was raw and sometimes hard to bear, and although I received envelopes like “not all days are as bad as this one” see:
he still held a childlike wonder at life which he delighted to share.
Switch was the last work I received from Guido in July 2014 (see end pages) , but Faces on the Road were the last series of books received from Guido and certain lines from these ink drawing books, stand out from what I think are self referential works:
20 – Choose between dark eyes or eyes of darkness
43 – ALWAYS listen to the music in your head.
20 – The danger of flying in skies unborn
21 – Not all human faces are trained animals
34 – I’m all dressed up for what will be coming
37 – What we have lost is what we’re all about.
The Wild Ones:
27 – Lets solve the stupidity of first impressions
32 – Le cri aveugle/the blind cry
Faces of Universal Tragedies:
13 – Truth as a red tear dripping from a velvet eye
15 – A hero has no face at all
40 – There are more questions than answers – ALWAYS
43 – I am a prisoner of my own reflections
26 – I am not concerned about what I see, but about what I CANNOT se
40 – I am a blackbird in disguise and my real name is history – tribute to David Stone
“When I see your face I see my face 2gether we see faces of Humanity”:
I see what you mean.
(Unique book made from envelopes/artworks and photocopies of Mailings from Guido)
Marie has been really busy with the clay books. She has transformed what I think are ordinary photographs into works of art. I envy her skill. The interesting thing is that I don’t know what I would do differently to these images – this is true collaboration when the voice is symbiotic. As I’ve said before, I had PILES of these clay books which were about to be turfed. I had intended making an installation BUT got bored with making them (I think this is why some artists turn their work out in factories). Marie breathed new life into something dead-ended. She is also going to publish these images in an on-line book which will form part of the Books of Ether series – I am looking forward!!