DC Art: Haven’t been to the Hirshhorn in perhaps a year: Jiří Kolář’s collages are up, hard to come by online and elsewhere. Was banned from publishing his poetry or even giving his poems to friends so he expressed himself through photographic collages, which are wonderfully subversive and, being anti-Stalinist, can be shown across the street from Voice of America. They seem to be grouped around elemental themes like water, earth, smoke, the vertical.
Nine and a half minute interview with Václav Havel on Kolář (link to avoid registering):
I noticed they have a strong assortment of early David Smith- late Ernst sculptures which is always pleasing. A seven year old girl said she liked Ernst’s Moonmad the best (there's also one in Philly).
Miniature Whistlers in the basement of the Freer. I like how his paintings upstairs are the occasion for presenting Pound’s attack on American art of the time on an accompanying card. African and Indian getting more folky rather than modern. Still no Old Musician.
Dream journey: Got into the food business which led me to be one of a cluster of 20 nude men that hammer pig’s feet in Tunisia, in a manner that taxes the waist, to make some sort of gravy. I started to pull raw sausage out of my mouth and the sausage turned out to be 20 feet long.
“Kurt (Gartz, a Bavarian medical student) was obsessed by the philosophical ideas of Nietzsche and I observed in him mental anomalies; at the same time I observed that he, in common with everyone who had read Nietzsche, had not in fact understood what constituted the true novelty discovered by the philosopher. The novelty is a strange and profound poetry, infinitely mysterious and solitary, which is based on the Stimmung ( I use this very effective German word which could be translated as atmosphere in the moral sense), the Stimmung, I repeat, of an autumn afternoon, when the sky is clear and the shadows are longer than in summer, for the sun is beginning to lower. This extraordinary sensation can be found (but it is necessary, naturally, to have the good fortune to possess my exceptional faculties) in Italian cities and in Mediterranean cities like Genoa or Nice; but the Italian city par excellence where this extraordinary phenomenon happens is Turin. I tried to make Kurt Gartz understand all these beautiful things; he listened to me very intently and made a great effort to understand, wrinkling his forehead and looking down, but I felt that he did not understand and would never have understood.”
- de Chirico, Memoirs