WISHING WELL

for: r.h.; d.h. ;f.m.; k. e., & a.c.

If we look through a black prism there are some things that would come to light and some things that would remain hidden. Everything from Black Chanel Dresses to black vampires.

An image of a face so large it appears to be without body and so simple as to make the idea of meaning disappear in front of the viewer.

I love formal issues. Actually they have very specific meaning. Forms gather meaning from their historical moment. The minimalist exercise of the object being very pure and very clean is only one way to deal with form. Carl Andre said, My sculptures are masses and their subject is matter.” But after thrity years of feminist discourse and feminist theory we have come to realize that “just looking” is not just looking but that looking is invested with identity: gender, socioeconomic status, race, sexual orientation… Looking is invested with lots of other texts.

What if the beholder glances, glances away, driven by aversion as much as desire? This to ask not only, what if beholding were glancing; it is also— or maybe even rather— to ask, what if glancing is the aversion of the gaze, a physical act of repression, the active forgetting of an object whose resistance is now not the avoidance but the extortion of the gaze? To be perplexed is as pleasant as to know.

Is this a self portrait? Reflecting like a wishing well? It is a matter of producing ourselves, and not things that enslave us.

By the appropriative nature of Euroethnic art. I mean its tendency to draw on the art of non-Euroethnic cultures for inspiration.

The unknown makes us laugh.

Something like pushing the yes and no button at the same time.

Like gossip and truth. Truth and rhetoric. How these do a little flip-flop for good and evil. The way they create —and empty—community. The way art world people gossip — continually, incessantly —never letting up, it becomes a general fabric in people’s lives. With such a formal strategy, language is able to mobilize an array of themes in a manner motivated at once by urgency and caprice and themes that range from gay sexuality to leftist organizing, feminism to friendship, spirituality to grief. The work’s self-reflexive story telling elaborates a running commentary on itself that allows the work to sustain a critical meditation on its own intervention in an aesthetic and political practice.

You come out on the stage determined to make people weep and instead they burst out laughing.

We perceive colour when light strikes an object and is partially refracted. The band, or colour, that we perceive is that which is reflected from the object while the rest of the light is absorbed. Thus, a leaf appears to be green because the green part of the spectrum is reflected. We might therefore more correctly say that a leaf is anti-green.

If enough blindness is left in you, you are part of the problem. Running in the street conveys an impression of terror.

Color no es colorido, a sentence attributed to Goya means Colour is not Coloured. When I paint I sometimes use a pigment designated as olive green. It doesn’t match the colour of the trees in the yard. The two dogs are lying on the floor and they also look outside. It seems they see the world in black and white. I wonder if it is the same world.

BLACK IS A COLOUR

There are two kinds of black. The first, more normal kind absorbs all of the light and therefore contains the entire colour spectrum. The second kind of black, often called ‘blanco’ in Spanish) is entirely reflective. In this instance the colour spectrum is neither absorbed nor reflected, but simply rejected.

Learning that colour is a fiction of light is one of the primary shocks of growing up: that this hitherto deeply physical thing is just a reflection, and that nothing can keep its colour under the cover of darkness, are monstrous things to understand, even for an adult mind. Yet there is something about colour’s frailty at its twilight moment of oblivion that also brings out its magnificence. At colour’s juncture with night, everything is suddenly in climax.

Smile because it’s dark in here.

There is more pleasure in dissidence than consonance.
Art cannot restore to the world the fragrance it has lost.
The ideal of black is one of the most profound impulses of abstract art.
Radical art today is the same as dark art: its background colour is black.

What has become alien to men is the human component of culture, its closest part, which upholds them against the world. They make common cause with the world against themselves.

The real war will never get in the books.

From the standpoint of the mirror I discover my absence from the place where I am since I see myself over there.

The history of Afro-diasporic art is the history of the keeping of a secret even in the midst of its intensely public and highly commodified dissemination. These secrets are relayed and miscommunicated, misheard, overheard, often all at once, in words and in the bending words, in whispers and screams, in broken sentences, in the names of people you’ll never know.

The right to obscurity must be respected along with the evidence of things not seen.

These things, these images projected here are dummies, substitutes, one might say they’re keeping some painting’s place, or are they perhaps models, possibilities, postponed prescences, or shattered or crumpled indications? What is a doppleganger? What is a double? Prescence circles around absence and around questions of perplexity, disappointment and desire produce a cluster of mirror spaces. A chasm in the visible and meanings which tumble out and begin to oscillate. Much more rushes toward me.

Some of this problem comes historically from the problem of American painting. The subject of American painting has been thought, assumed, or believed to be on the surface of the painting (in its ultimate conclusion). But, in fact, the subject is on the surface of the wall. This was possible because they eliminated the middle ground and were concerned with the complete ambivalence between near and far ground, but it is no longer possible to carry this off. Not only are we not sure about the near and the far ground, but the middle, as well.

—AJK, COPYRIGHT, 2012