stray thoughts, more words

the quote i read that sucker punched me this week:

I pursue no objectives, no system, no tendency; I have no program, no style, no direction. I have no time for specialized concerns, working themes or variations that lead to mastery. I steer clear of definitions. I don’t know what I want. I am inconsistent, noncommittal, passive; I like the indefinite, the boundless; I like continual uncertainty.
–Gerard Richter


if artists were weather patterns, what would richter be? a plodding, thick, continual rain? tenacious and thick with mist?

and i learned this week that the japanese use large department stores as exhibiton spaces for photographic projects. it seems i knew that about miwa yanagi’s work, but had not applied it mentally across the board. this mode of aesthetic representation at once seems horrid and fascinating. more the latter than the former. and the department stores often have hired curators as well, to manage collections. i guess alot like corporate collections being managed here, except that in a department store all sorts of everyones will see the work. i like that better. the idea that one can be shopping for bras one moment, and then be displaced by art in the next, while never leaving the same space. shouldn’t that be a tenet of art anyway, displacement?

many stray thoughts this week. finished reading ghost’s image, and am seized with the desire to hear that voice once more. he has another book i’ve been told i’d like: to the friend who did not save my life, and i will order it in the coming weeks.


i’m chastising myself because i went on a book-buying binge and am waiting for the avalanche to arrive. of everything i ordered, however, i am most excited about the copy of masahisa fukase’s the solitude of ravens that i found for a decent price. i cannot wait to see the whole project as he laid it out in book form, and i hope there is some writing by fukase in it as well. been a bit obsessed with the idea of photographers that integrated superstition or folk lore into their own representational personal psychology. emboldened by that find, i also looked into trying to find a copy of hosoe’s kamaitachi, which was a body of work produced in the 1960’s involving a country myth of a weasel-like demon that enters a village, charms the villagers, seduces ladies, and then lies in wait to steal children away with it in the end. an eastern pied piper? hosoe wanted to revisit the myth because the dancer he used to portray the demon was from the same place he had been evacuated to as a child fleeing the cities during wwii, seeking sanctuary in the countryside. the exotic expanse of the countryside fueled hosoe’s imagination as a child, and he remembered being haunted by this story while living as a refugee in a place that was so foreign to any context in which he had been raised. in any case, i entered bizarre territory when researching this book, finding only two copies both of which went for around $5000.00. my god, i thought, i’m entering the realm of the ninth gate! never before had i entered a book title in a search engine and generated a sales price into the thousands. sigh.

i would still love to see the complete folio one day, though. one i dug up just now that i’d never before seen:


striking me: when you encounter work that, to borrow van gogh’s language, “hits the yellow high note,” it is at once made known to you that what you are responding to is an articulation of your aesthetic that you had yet to realize, something within that you are confronted with, and that once confronted you know that your task is to find a way to wrench it from your being and put it out in front of you. like that which you are looking at, but to have it come from you.

i believe that if my aesthetic were a character, its character notes would be that which was ambiguous, and a little bit darkly so.

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