I really like the way you see and talk about my work. Often times, I think, my written statements serve to obfuscate my visual works instead of illuminate them… I think, however, in your last letter you did a nice job of pulling together something from them that might actually help people “see” what I’m doing. Thank you.
As far Dadaism, I’ve had a few conversations about this, and honestly I don’t know. I find myself always justifying a small hope for progress to my more nihilistic friends, arguing against naivete to my more “modernist” friends, and against myself for staying situated in the middle…
And I think this hits on your problem and mine: My work doesn’t commit to quiet poetizing. I don’t want to turn any disaster into a new and utopian dream, I don’t want to try and banish all the nightmares. Rather, I want to gather up all states and happenings of life as I find them (or they find me) — all the redundancy, good intentions, missed opportunities, pain, love, luck, obligations, bullshit, etc. — and build and paint something between it all. Thus, it is not quiet, as you suggested, but rather it is in a poetic tension.
I think you hit on it in the last part of your letter:
“To violate the origin of purpose by stripping it of its apparent employment and re-appropriating it, not to another use, but instead binding it in a place disconnected with our actions, purely transcendent of need or demand so that it may provide rest in its
capture and uselessness. The new status, ambivalent to its former meaning, is now the fulcrum for contemplation, imagination, poetic primacy and object of a less obvious truth — a seeker for its owner.”
In any case, what you’ve said, to my mind, is quite fitting.
Write when you have the chance.