November 30, 2012

Bookshop

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Sad angry bookshop
world against world and
again world
who are the scumbags who
think they can hide all the
good books
a poem is a world without poetry
sexual fantasy about someone
I met for less than ten minutes
and who is quickly receding into the past
a poem is a world again
against the books that are read too much
towards secret worlds
and future hits
and future time
we are here



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November 24, 2012

Paul Celan quote

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Reality is not simply there, it does not simply exist: it must be sought out and won.

- Paul Celan


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November 23, 2012

Isabelle Stengers on diplomacy

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And this is something that I link to the question of diplomacy – which is about the risks of war and peace. Diplomacy means that in such and such a situation war is the normal thing to do, but that it may be possible that peace has a chance. In other words, peace is possible not probable. When you have a police operation, peace is what you enforce. Today many wars are in fact police operations, pedagogical operations. ‘They’ will learn how to behave. It is easy to put yourself in the place of people having to face a zero-death war: stop fighting or you will be crushed. No place for diplomacy here, because diplomacy presupposes a peace to be invented, not the weak part bowing down in front of the strongest part. I think of the diplomat as a figure of inventing peace as an event. And a diplomat will never say to another diplomat, of the adverse camp, ‘In your place I would do this or that’. They know they cannot share their risks because those risks are related with what the population they belong to will be able to accept, the risks this population will accept to take. If there is a practice where hope is important it is diplomacy – hope and not faith, because it is a matter of becoming able, not of ‘seeing the truth’.

An important point here that makes diplomacy possible is the difference between sense and meaning. When you have a war situation, when ‘This means war’, there cannot logically be a place for peace – it is a matter of winning or being defeated. But the diplomats are the ones who can play between meaning and sense. You try and risk keeping the sense while a small modification of meaning may produce a possible articulation in the place of the contradiction from which war did follow, logically. But the population to which the diplomat belongs must accept this modification, must accept that sense has been preserved while meanings have been modified, and this is a risk for this population. If they refuse, the diplomat has failed; she can even be called a traitor. So the risks the diplomat is able to take depends on the trust she has in the population to which she belongs. Trust is always the condition of experimentation, of taking chance. Trust must be created for things to change.

- Isabelle Stengers, from an interview in Hope: New Philosophies For Change 



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November 20, 2012

Olivier Assayas on the two paths (for art today) that coexist, and are not mutually exclusive.

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My point of view today, and this had determined a good deal of my relation to cinema and to fiction in general, is that when it comes to art, and particularly the relation of art to the world, two paths coexist, and are not mutually exclusive.

The first path would be the one that shaped the 20th century: that of avant-gardes and their constant interrogation of the relation between the arts – their role, their borders – and the world: also their interrogation of their own nature. One might say that the situationist moment is its final stage: there was formulated the answer that remains, of its kind, unsurpassable.

But the very nature of humanity is to survive the unsurpassable. There are novels after Proust and Joyce, there is poetry after Mallarmé – even if the aforementioned, each in his own way, through a transcendent oeuvre, defines a resolution of those questions that constituted the inaccessible horizon of their predecessors. I am describing this in a doubtlessly summary fashion; however, it seems to me that beyond supersession there lies not necessarily another supersession but, rather, access to a virgin terrain, a lunar landscape where everything remains to be built anew, sometimes even using the same tools as before.

Situationism identified precisely the path to supersession of art and proceeded to carry it out. From the vantage point of the plastic arts, let’s say that we are today in an after which is not only unable to find itself but has often given up even seeking itself, sparing an individual, fragmentary salvation only at the expense of a pretty remarkable reduction of its ambitions: a space nonetheless sufficient for the expression of specific genius in some great, entirely isolated artists.


The second path, which grows in the shadow of the first and often in ignorance of it, is that consisting in the simple representation of the world where humanity simply concerns itself with the human, with the timeless means that, in every era, have allowed it to reach these ends, always renewed, always the same.

What I mean to say is that beyond all theory, beyond any historical perspective on art, there resides within a contemporary artist the same question that posed itself to a gentleman of the Tang Dynasty: how to capture this moment, the face of a beloved, a country road in an autumn mist, the corner of the street where you live. Or, to pose in a more specifically contemporary context the same timeless question: how to seize the thoughts that traverse us while we are seated in a metro, rushing through the underground tunnels of the big city?

This is where to find the simple, limpid need for figuration as one of the immutable functions of being human. But does this idea actually distance me all that much from situationism?

Didn’t Debord write La Societé du spectacle while simultaneously making autobiographical films devoted to preserving from the ravages of time, to capture in a flash for all eternity, life as it offered itself to him at certain moments of grace? And did he not also make these films so that, in them, might radiate the glow of the faces of those he had loved? Isn’t that exactly where their poetry vibrates most dearly? All this I see clearly today, even if very few know how to articulate it, even among those who regard themselves as being closest to Debord’s ideas.

- Olivier Assayas, A Post-May Adolescence
 


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November 18, 2012

Success

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I didn’t succeed
I failed
and will fail again
my work will be forgotten
no one will read it
it will all disappear



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November 17, 2012

of the

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Tomb of the unknown drone pilot.



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November 13, 2012

Idea for a stage project: Three Old Movies

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At a large German Schauspielhaus, three separate dramaturge’s are instructed to pick one old film each. The film must be feature length. They do not tell each other what old film they have chosen, and also do not tell anyone else. They each assemble a cast to perform the film, one actor for every roll. Each dramaturge works in isolation from the other two, yet employing the following, identical method: the film is projected onto the wall of the rehearsal hall and the actors are instructed to imitate it to the absolute best of their ability, imitating the timing as well as the performances. For the entire rehearsal period they simply imitate the film over and over again, until they have created a more or less precise stage facsimile of it. On the night of the premiere, on a large empty stage, all three casts simultaneously perform their films, on the same stage, at the same time. Each separate cast is instructed to perform their film as precisely as possible, while at the same time remaining aware of everything else happening on stage, avoiding collisions, etc. Many unexpected and fascinating things will occur as the three separate films overlap, as well and many moments of pure incomprehensibility. It will be a spectacle.



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November 2, 2012

Harry Mathews quote

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It’s true, as I’ve told others, that knowing one knows nothing is the best way to be, since life, minute after minute, is never more than being inspired to rediscover what one thought one already knew. I did know it, but… No, not “but”: and I’m about to know it again, right now.

 – Harry Mathews, 20 Lines a Day



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