Wednesday, January 24, 2007
SPARKS: BY INVITATION ONLY, ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Male Geometry #4, Holly Crawford
BY INVITATION ONLY: ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!
They say “you make your bed; you must lie in it.” What the hell, I made a bed with roses and I’m lying in it. Come and see! I have every intention of lying in this bed until FIRE exhausts itself.
This nest of the Phoenix is surrounded by long stemmed blood red roses, like the one you were kissing with your Coco Red lips on the cover of Champagne Tango, a live literary creation of yours re-invented as a banner five feet high on the wall behind you.
Two nights ago, you had a dream about children re-creating themselves with images molded on their T-shirts and a town named Stop that used its own image on the geometry of a stop sign. Didn’t you use your own image to fill the rectangular geometry of the Champagne Tango book cover?
Presently, you are utilizing sacred geometry to reflect a new image emerging from the introduction of two characters, Y & FAME, into the narrative. FAME is in hanging on the wall in the mandora shape of an opaque silver mirror. This object is placed opposite the glossy Champagne Tango poster with the image of you kissing a red rose before a mirror. Underneath is Y in the shape of a silver and gold U shaped Oaxaca carving with a face at the base, Salamander slithering down the golden right arm, and Snake coiling down the silver left arm. Sun (gold) and Moon (silver) alchemically merge in the face marking the apex. This alchemy is also present in the photographs you have taken of the opaque surface of the silver mirror.
The evolving work of art that is the Roger Smith Hotel is the obvious birthplace of the hieros gamos. Over the years, the sculptor James Knowles created a primordial language of symbols for the resurrection of the feminine. These metal works placed in the hotel lobby, outside the entrance and the façade of the Roger Smith Hotel. This evocation of the primitive origins of the Goddess beautifully frames your installation of Her emergence in contemporary art. His son, John Knowles, demonstrated an innate respect for the power of the Goddess. He stood at the rim of the circle after videotaping the ceremony, waiting to be invited inside.
In the front window of the gallery is FIRE, the work of art you created with the Olivetti typewriter on which banged out the first draft of the tale of your Underworld passage. The image of yourself on the front of the book, now threaded through the typewriter, passes into a new generation. This process of the writer re-creating herself through an icon is reflected by your dream. Your dream image was of a town called STOP utilizing the geometry of the stop sign to project its own image. This activity was taking place even as the sign served the mundane purpose of declaring HALT!
This is indeed your intention in having the image you sculpted, FIRE, as the cover image for the invitation to this installation performance. It represents a burning through the tangled web of projection of your inner fire and rising from the ashes like the Phoenix surrounding the discarded broken red candles intended, in your former incarnation, for the ceremony anointing the New Man. Does he exist outside of your extremely active imagination?
The linear strands of red & black Olivetti ribbon, interspersed with the shimmering ribbons of audio-tape meticulously hung by Holly Crawford on the back walls of the space indicate a more hopeful future: the shift away from the chaos of the ribbon in FIRE to a more linear masculine perspective swaying with the motion of shifting energies. The strands are draped over Crawford’s erotically charged “Male Geometry” series of paintings and the encaustic “Prologue” and “Epilogue” archiving your journey.
FIRE signifies an embrace of Uncertainty -- with a conscious intent – to STOP the destructive patterns, the seductions of Pluto thwarting the journey to the Self. The effort towards self-empowerment has been chronicled through mounds of your writing that will be made known in subsequent phases of the alchemical experiment.
You are not a sculptor, but like children in your dream who mold their images subsequently worn on their bodies, you have sculpted your discarded skin in paraffin, the remnants of a treatment you had under the dark moon, and you are currently sculpting the identity you will embody as you exit FIRE.
The road to transformation, they say, is paved with projections. Even when there was no companion on the path to reflect the emerging Self back at you, there was always a mirror where you could interact with a newly evolving manifestation of the Self. The one that you loved the most was the image that emerged out of the Native American sweat lodge, the womb of the Great Mother.
And here, in the installation you created with your female collaborators, your polished image blown up to five feet is mirrored by FAME, the silver mirror reflecting not a human reflection but the alchemical union of Sun (gold) and Moon (silver), the hieros gamos.
Three nights ago, you had a dream of wandering through the innards of a hotel service area until finally you arrive at a large ballroom where the only person inside is a developmentally disabled boy labeled EROTIC CHILD who entices you to engage with him. This, you know, is the only way out of the hotel, through the transformation of your inner sun/son. And so, after a decade of surrendering your expectations on the threshold of how many artists’ studios, pen in one hand and tape recorder in another, you are now inviting people into a space that has been charged with both protection and attraction by MP, visionary to the process.
You gaze around you – opening yourself to “Male Geometry” and Yuliya Lanina’s inventive characters of the Persephone-Demeter myth. Last January 23, Yuliya unveiled in this very space a sculpture of a flowerbed as womb to the birth of androgynous female, the human reflection of the Aquarian Sky Goddess. With these charged images forming the edges of the space, you are secure in knowing how powerful the boundaries are in the center, in the nest of the Phoenix, because John Knowles, the hotel videographer and first man to enter the installation, would not enter the circle without permission.
Today, January 23, you have a visitor scheduled for1:30 PM. His name is Richard Humann, the artist whose explorations of self have been guiding him to the universal Self, the hieros gamos. You met him in the spring of 2001, shortly after you entered the New York art world, and you have been in dialogue ever since. He is forthright in accepting your invitation to join the performance; he leaves two hours in his schedule for the process; finally, he arrives without expectations. All the prior conditions of surrender to Uncertainty are met before he steps inside the gallery.
This journey comes with only one expectation: to embrace the unexpected. The unexpected is in the air on this fortuitous day marking the 10 year anniversary of the cosmology of the hieros gamos – the six pointed Seal of Solomon imprinted in the sky (see www.thehierosgamosproject.com for explanation of this amazing event). Richard revealed his acute sense of timing when selected not only the date but the time, 1:30 PM. Gemini is rising and Pluto is setting while positioned on the Galactic Center, a prescription for a highly transformational dialogue reflecting the Paradigm Shift.
Richard’s appearance in the installation is a projection of the inner change you are feeling. Your entrance into the Apple store on Fifth Avenue across from the Plaza Hotel in the bitter cold last Saturday night felt as if you were crossing the threshold into the Age of Aquarius. As you descended into the spiral stair to purchase your MacBook, you took the giant leap towards an instantaneous connection with the collective consciousness manifested through your Blog-Novel. This personal shift is mirrored in the political shift to the feminine power. Demeter responded with crocuses sprouting in January!
You and Richard launch into a passionate discussion regarding the transformation of art through the ready availability of technology, the sudden impact of images passing unfiltered into the collective consciousness and the entrance of the feminine power in politics. You agree that the shift in paradigm is transforming the collective consciousness. The proliferation of the Internet translates into imagery uncensored by the patriarchal grid that pioneering artists were butting against in their personal trajectory during the change in millennium, at times with tragic outcomes.
This impersonal dialogue gives Richard time to absorb the symbols surrounding him. You indicate for him to sit in the chair you placed just outside the border of protection. Before doing so, he removes the rose. The action is a sign that he is not to be considered a target of seduction wooing for entrance into the circle. It is a redundant action, for the physical boundary between you has always been respected as you engaged in a pursuit of the conjunctio through the merging of right/left brain, symbolized by the black tree behind him filled with doves that have eyes on the top of their heads.
You introduce him to the archetypal characters of your drama: the menacing head of Pluto; the glowing red nipples of Demeter; Persephone in her bonnet; Inanna in the window wearing your fuchsia appliqué tunic purchased in the Argentine antique fair. Y is to his right and FAME extends geometrically through the center of the apex.
During your dialogue, you are sitting on the bed with your feet dangling over a shattered ruby red goblet on the floor. He points out how your posture sums up the danger of your invention. He is acutely aware of this danger. Every time you move, in fact, he tells you to watch for broken glass.
He gets it!
In those pre-September 11th days, when postmodernism was dying a slow and agonized death, Richard was focused on a solitary path of excavating, deconstructing and transforming personal identity through his materials. For example, he made a work of sculpture out of a vitrine containing his torn up identification documents. At the time, such personal explorations of self could only be located in artists’ closets or under their beds.
Art containing personal narratives of transformation was the only work that interested you because it reflected you path as writer. Your dialogues with RIchard led to an avant-garde theory summed up by the new Darryl Tookes CD, Journey to the Hieros Gamos. Music, they say, is the purest art and therefore the first to express the emergence of an archetype.
You don’t feel comfortable on the bed anymore. You start moving around it. You spontaneously offer to give Richard a chakra-balancing and he thoughtfully declines; he says he needs his inner darkness to create the tension to bring his current series to the next level. This friendship has supported you both through the dynamic of the shadow – the personal shadow and collective shadow – in years of extensive dialogue regarding a mutual process of emergence. It is fitting that symbols of the shadow now surround you: the skull in the dead tree covered in ashes; Persephone in the mouth of Pluto. Yet, there are also symbols of birth in the narcissus shooting up from the green pot; they were planted in a pentacle, the geometry of Venus, around a green stone in the shape of a heart
With your unique history – which exposed you to the collective shadow as an infant through the drama of your father’s psychotic episodes -- you are at odds with the hegemony of conceptual art sanctioned by the art world, work that doesn’t have the necessary levels to make the paradigm leap into the fourth dimension. Only recently have you seen evidence of work reflecting a personal/collective mythos enter the galleries.
How can something that denies the role of the collective unconscious in human evolution be called art? The mind flatters itself into believing it captures the whole picture but only captures part of the picture. Conceptual art is a lie that flatters the mind into thinking it is free even as the human organism remains guided by unconscious impulses.
You discuss Colette, whom you invited into FIRE at last week’s closing party of her exhibition “Transformation Portraits.” This international artist has been on the scene since the seventies through a public performance persona that places her in bygone eras when aristocracy set the standard for beauty. Her beautifully crafted art mainly personifies her image in many forms of media. The work seems to be an extension of the images she creates in public performance.
Richard remains on the chair at the edge of the circle of protection. He faces you as you sit on the edge of the bed, feet dangling over the shattered ruby red glass. There is no seduction going on here; Richard and you always have respected the other’s personal boundaries. Y has guided you through previous dialogues and Y guides you through this one.
Y: The nest of the Phoenix is charged with transformative energy. To access it, you only had to place yourself in Uncertainty’s embrace.
Will the geometry of this installation deliver a breakthrough? You have faith that it will, for you were present and participant in the opening day ceremony in which MP offered a prayer for the creative product from this alchemical experiment to reflect the highest good. And your dreams revealed the support of an awakened man to pull you through.
Y: The awakened man in your dreams is your animus, your inner male. You must release your desire for a companion. In pulling back the projection, you will have the energy to pass through the fire.
RICHARD: The truth about fame and art sales is that it is NEVER ENOUGH. Once you begin to consider these issues and make them apart of your daily personal dialogue, you will come to the realization that you are NEVER famous enough and that you NEVER sell enough. But again, without the other positive balancing side of the argument -- I am famous enough, I do sell enough -- it is not a dialogue; it is a monologue of self destruction...
YOU: Fame is a subtext of FIRE, which is about hunger...
RICHARD: You want to know something...when I got your e-mail, I wasn't certain what your show was about; I thought, Lisa is now part of the art.
YOU: It is a reflection of my philosophy -- about confronting opposites so they can be integrated. The opposite of the critic is the artist; for me to embrace the artist, I liberate the inner critic. The last time I went to your studio, you were plunging deep into the collective shadow.
RICHARD: I am exploring the darkness, the public spectacle -- devices for execution – the rack, the electric chair, the cross – all in an amusement park setting.
YOU: Death and Celebrity – the legacy of Andy Warhol.
RICHARD: No artist today escapes being influenced by Andy Warhol.
YOU: He hooked into what was going on in the collective conscious and put a mirror to it. (Points to the glossy poster of her book cover for CHAMPAGNE TANGO) Like this; it is about narcissism.
RICHARD: There is your mirror. It is a triple mirror. There are three people in there because we are looking at it too. There are the two people in there that are the same person and the person who is looking at it. We are looking at it as well. And you are looking at it yourself. If I look at the poster, I look at me looking at me looking at me looking at her. Four people are involved.
YOU POINT TO THE OBJECT OPPOSITE, THE OPAQUE SILVER MIRROR CONTAINING AN IMAGE OF A WOMAN KISSING HERSELF IN THE MIRROR.
RICHARD: That woman looks like Marcel Duchamp’s altar ego, Rrose Selavy.
HE STANDS BETWEEN THE TWO MIRRORS – ONE FLATTENED BY A PHOTOGRAPH AND THE OTHER A THREE DIMENSIONAL OBJECT OFFERING A MULTI-DIMENSIONAL PROJECTION. HE ABSORBS THE TENSION OF THE OPPOSITES OF HIS ANIMA, THE DICHOTOMY BETWEEN SELF AND THE COLLECTIVE, AQUARIUS LEO -- ARTIST AS SELF-PROJECTING CELEBRITY OF THE MOMENT AND ARTIST AS VISIONARY GUIDING COLLECTIVE HUMANITY.
YOU: I wanted to discuss narcissism with Colette because we both use our own image in the material of our art. Actually, my book cover indicates the text is about narcissism, so I am interested in how women artists can use their own image without falling into narcissism.
Y: Through the alchemical transformation…
YOU: She is entranced by artifice and therefore avoids the shadow.
RICHARD: She doesn’t know that she does.
Y: The shadow comes up in her persona but not in the art.
RICHARD: I agree. Collette is her art.
Y: She needs to do a public performance of the complaints of a woman performance artist who everyone steals from and is unrecognized for her art.
RICHARD: Maybe she does. Maybe when she goes to someone’s opening and complains, maybe that is her art!
YOU: Oh, my god! I get it! Colette doesn’t want her performance to be her art! If she did, she would have to become conscious of her shadow. Otherwise, the shadow surfaces in the unconscious performance!
RICHARD: I don’t think it has to be conscious.
YOU: In the 21st Century? Of course it has to be conscious. How else can you embrace the Uncertainty Principle!
RICHARD: If someone makes a gestural painting, it doesn’t have to be conscious.
YOU: We have come full circle, Richard! You said earlier that you can’t just make a painting anymore; you have to understand every aspect of the materials that go into a painting…including the shadow!
RICHARD: But it is just as conscious for her to learn about it from you as from herself.
YOU: That is why I need to write about it! This is why I have this Blog/Novel; I am writing about people who refuse to collaborate with me! Is it necessary? I don’t know what that was important but it was.
RICHARD: Maybe they are working with you, just not consciously.
YOU: I think they want me to write about them, but only in the accepted manner – not the only way I can do it – which is my way!
RICHARD: You do it your way and they will be just as happy.
YOU: This all boils down to my re-visioning fame. As long as they spell your name right, you know! But I’m not putting everyone’s name in this Blog-Novel. Some people’s names are left out. Do you know Jones – the celebrity art collector, party impresario, the Devil’s Advocate of the art world?
RICHARD: He is the guy you could heal.
YOU: I met him here at an opening reception. He introduced me to the FLAME that was addicted to PAGE SIX.
RICHARD: JONES and the FLAME obsessed with PAGE SIX aren’t so far from one another because that is what JONES does for a living.
YOU: They need me to reveal their shadow to them.
RICHARD: That is the full circle. I get e-mails from JONES all the time and I don’t go.
YOU: I confess I went once, to an exhibit of his celebrity art in a club and it was soooo disappointing! I felt attacked as soon as I entered; maybe the lost souls there attached themselves to me because they thought I was a celebrity! I felt like I was in a nest of vampires! The experience left me with such a negative impression of the bloodsucking energy surrounding celebrity!
Y: We must revision celebrity for the Age of Aquarius!
YOU (HAVING AN AHA MOMENT): Richard, this is a culmination of all these years of dialogue!
RICHARD: I’m very happy I came here.
YOU: You had no reservations at all; you picked the time and day and just did it! I want all the guys I write about to come here. They all want me to write about them and all I want to do is engage them in a transformation! I want them to enter this space for a healing -- right into the mouth of the Lion. That is fame – the Strength card of the Tarot with the image of the woman putting her hand into the Lion’s mouth!
RICHARD: You have a few more sessions left. This is just the first. Let it happen. It takes an hour and a half just for a breakthrough.
YOU: Was it a breakthrough for you too?
RICHARD: It felt really good.
Y: YOU have made your bed and now you are lying in it, awaiting those who dare cross the threshold…
BY INVITATION ONLY: ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!