02 February 2015

What's up

I promised I would post on the Clemente show at the Rubin again while it was still up and so I pass on this reminder that it ends today. I will post on it again soon, as I have assembled my own early 80s Theosophical Library here and don't want it to turn me out just yet. I have had a basic outline of my interpretation since seeing it.. I faintly recall when the Regina Silveira show was closing in mid-2013, I wanted to write something but had no idea what to say, but then it hit me a few weeks later.

Luisa Rabbia at Blum (20 w 57th) is ending this Saturday.. Rabbia in past years has sculpted homeless people, the 'minor figure, uprooted from any social context.. (in) a non-place where suspension and reticence prevail' (Achille Bonito Oliva). Unlike Francis Bacon's Popes, the isolation of Rabbia's homeless figures doesn't have to be proven or suggested by the composition so their appearance, in her earlier sculptures and paintings, in minimalist planes sound different tones of solitude with the frames around them. As Blanchot says the solitude of the writer is comical 'by using methods that prevent the individual from being alone,' Rabbia seems to seek externally what he calls 'the monster of desolation (who) needs the presence of another if his desolation is to have a meaning,' along with mortality and the will to live separated from historical materialism* of which Schopenhauer wrote 'I cannot really imagine this will apart from my body.' 'Rabbia depicts (the body's) greatest depths, drawing attention to the membranous quality of our skin as it envelops us entirely, assisting in the animation of 'I' and 'we', as living membranes.. The body contitutes the hermetic vase that contains life - while at the same time separating it from that of others.. ' (Oliva)


The titles in this show suggest the cosmic body by inverting the appearance of one with the naming of another: two heads placed together are called 'Worlds,' a heart like image surrounded by veins in four directions is called 'NorthEastSouthWest,' patterns from her fingerprints are called 'Pathway.' The title of 'NorthEastSouthWest,' the large scale centerpiece of this show (shown above), resembles a Vastu-purusha mandala,** where the sides of the frame would represent the points on the compass, enclosing 'Brahma's body.. the vastu purusha or "person of the place," who fills the mandala.' (Dennis Hudson) The title suggests the movement of the sun from the rise to set, or from the northern winter solstice to the southern summer solstice. 'Kama (desire) came from the heart', one of nine sons of Brahma that Hudson cites, and what appears to be perpendicular arteries lead out from the central figure, perhaps another representation of the will in isolation.

Also JMW Turner's Liber Studiorum (Book of Studies) from between 1807 and 1819 is at the Public Library for another two weeks.. something about a movie out too..

* Linh Dinh takes great pains to show homeless people inside history
** I am obviously looking at the thumbnails on the the early 80s Theosophical Library laptop.. hope to get to the show later this week

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