Oscar Murillo and the intercession of an “annihilated world” beyond painting. Part 1.

rev,. Oct 29, 2019.

Note: This is a POV thought piece not a review of any exhibition, or informed by the artist’s view of his work.

Sooner or later I was going to have to deal with the spatial dynamics in and around the paintings of Oscar Murillo. My interest has been slow to simmer, then boil up. Recently, I criticized a picture of his work in the Turner Prize competition, until I saw the whole picture, then I better understood. This is my first response; but it really started when I also posted, sometime last year, about a show at Zwirner in which he had all the paintings out in the main gallery (see below), but then in the second side gallery off to the side and in the dark he had bleachers built, and on the bleachers were paint, but then in the gaps below the bleachers, in back of them, under them, one of the spaces of my youth that I loved, there were what appeared to be puppet versions of homeless persons seeking shelter, and this struck me. Obviously, I saw it as a crawlspace, the graph would be simple

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that is, he created a counterspace (turn away from gallery, but then reimagine it over your left shoulder), and in the swing of it, as per my old star system of material use, he swung round to the counterspace with the gap in mind that he did not use a stretcher in his paintings, so in the counterspace he would put the stretcher first, in a comparable form, and that then he made real, for it to come back through his art to form a counterspace reversed by reverse engineering or ostension, which also, then, by the space, gave life to mannequins or dummies

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that, then, is where he is situated, in terms of being in relation to painting when painting, in a counterspace, becomes the cult element that is the basis for a reverse counterreality.

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in connection with his latest, this is what Murillo says about his work, he compares it to the sense one has when haunted by a bat.

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but here, he relates to the blacknesss, and the overallness of the paintings, a weight, then it is like a religion, accepting projections, then, too, an abstract space where you can unload a weight. Hmm. This sounds a bit more complicated. Then, very much germane to my current reading of Girard, he again sets up an abstract situation, in which violence breaks out. Violence is the break point.

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This sounds like something bigger than a formalist model, or even a simple agency 101 or dynamic agency model. So, where to go?

In a show at Bortolozzi in 2016, he was inspired, apparently, by flying, but there being a dead body in the plane too. He then talks about a rightward turn, and that when they made that rightward turn with that dead body in the plane this was as close as he would come to “some kind of annihilated world,”

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this has to eschew for the moment precise agency graphs, as it enters into altered or hypnagogic states. What it sounds to me like is a Black Out. But a black out, after life, in death, where a “radical negativity” exists, detritus. So, this

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that is, in vigilogogy, sleepy wakefulness, on a plane (lattice form), it swings right, he gets a sense of the scale of things, the distance beyond; but, then, projected from the idea of the body in the baggage, where death is, below the bottom of dream, that all swings up like a black wind behind him to just send him mentally into a general wow at the whole scale and vast emptiness of the ambient-sentient space unexplored past vigilogogy, to have that feeling about an annihilated world (ambient being spins outside the head; sentient being signals from deep space). But, then, in the gallery is a hypnagogic representation of that, and in this sense, the dead body is the cult object at the center, then the experience of it is a nightmare, which bounces out (the rightward turn), and landing, there, I have a catch space where he can land, I call it the Black Out, or Chthon. What happens in this bounce is that, if previously he had used painting to secure the sides of whereever he was in a counterspace of painting, now it went with him all the way to the dead, to compare to the shrouds of the dead; then in the bounce out, it all bounced out with him, so it becomes the sides, the structure, that is, as if of the Black House itself into what I term the phthchth, the desert of meaninglessness, out in the far Ambient, heading off even into the sentient; and then since his pressure of emotion is still fixated on death this drops through even what I call Geithum, then even to what I think is the black out equivalent to death in the core, what I call, tentatively, Galooth, in my system. And so his “paintings” become but a siding of this hypnagogic destination, a limbo if you will

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he calls it a “signaling device from a bastard territory|. Thus, in ambience, where things spin, “painting” is reassigned the task of signaling, which it always does nevertheless; and it acts as heavy siding to “create the space” and the bastard territory is, of course, the Black Out. But, now, reimagined as a kind of camp in death, below, so you are in the space in-between the painting acting as siding

0 0 10thus, the painting becomes Onus (2016)

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it seems to be seamed together of the clothes or gear or uniform of the bounce out

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then, shifting back to my dynamic agency graphs, it becomes an ostensive space, a “reality” in this “redoubt” of the Chthon, where some sort of mission or something is taking place

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the proof seems to be in the rocks collected to represent the phthchth

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this all takes place behind, in another room, the frontispiece or frontiserion of the piece, the set up, the Islamic element, which you then step around

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representing the countries flown through, but then now thinking of the dead, passing through a door, into a dark place, then the swing of the plane in its rightward turn, and zoom, a nightmare, bounced out into the limbo of the Black Out, then sinking from that into the Galooth (death below black out).

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then, of course, once you’ve created the nightmare space, you can reverse again to come back in in places to suggest corridors and other dream formations like the Narrow Path, the Cursed door, etc. all of which I think is likely here, this is both

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but, just taking it as it comes to me, this strongly establishes that Murillo knows of the spatial dynamics of an interior psychogeography, encompassing vigilogogy and hypnagogy, and so, it is more than formalism, as I might post as an “expanded field” for forms (RIP at last Rosaline Krauss’ take), but an opening up into the expanses of the mind. But then notice here too that the apparatus that opens things up is a file like slat array, very much like a bleachers.


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as another case, let’s take his show at the Jeu de Paume, in 2017. He leads you down in, but as if in an indoctrination space, or, again, the frontiserion, he introduces some themes from his art. It looks like some of his factory oriented performances, which I have less an interest in. And, in terms of where they are, related to his paintings, there is no “formal” relationship, they are just another part of his practice, out there in the rational-material, critical-conceptual universe of rationality.

0 0 20I no longer have much interest in such critique of our system, as it seems like the system is out of our control at this point (ie is in a doom spiral), still, nor does it make for good art, as the system always wins, it can always “jump” one, it can always make a move to circumvent your critique before you even get a stand in it, this might be an example of what in a press release to a show yesterday the press release to a show by Stefan Fuchs in Cologne called the exhausted self, the self just can’t keep up with it anymore.

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but, then, back at the Jeu de Paume, after indoctrination you go down in, and it is black, and , it looks like, formal squares to represent “painting” in the black out form, possibly draped in black, or maybe just his black paintings again. So, we are now in hypnagogic territory. You have gone down in, and this is his version of the Glass Onion, a symbolic space

0 0 22we have a drawing of his, pretty much mapping things out as I have above, the system is there, he worries that identity politics only feeds it (this is a concern), then there is the central core, and it is the elan as I have it, so he is a vitalist, as I am, and believes that that vitality is expressed through nonrational forces of something (he puts it in terms of rage, I wouldn’t, as that is reactive)

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then, again, there is another drawing of another plane, making a turn, it is metaphor of this period in his work, these turns are his perceived sense of what are the vectors or spins of agency in my graphic system.

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then we come into a space, apparently underground, or in the basement, and he has people there (or this is a video). This I think is the High Light, signified, but, then, taken in to light up, if with insomniac impulses, the energy of this space. This cannot at this point be the bounce out, so he is just vectoring to a hypnagogic stage of half-asleep dreaming below or beyond the enclosure of his “paintings” then this space made real. So, in terms of my agency graph, this is, again, a reverse formation, something that was counter, now by ostension become a new reality, but in a displaced place, in my hypnagogic graph, I place this is in the glass onion

0 0 25so, here

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this is not a real space, but a ritual space, it is a fishbowl, if you will, like in a horror movie, it is space simplified, so whatever instruments are involved are related to the ritual

0 0 27then there are ritual actions, which create strange formations of things, as it does in my daily life, I do not know the meaning of this, I do know the hypnagogic spell upon them, it is a ritualized event, in a simplified space

0 0 28but then we learn this is about a space in Paris, where immigrants are, so we bounce out back to the rational-material, but maybe with understanding, having visited a ritual place of that diasporic culture

0 0 29so, in that piece, Murillo put us to sleep, to wake us up. Another strategy in the dynamics of his thought

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but what happens most of the time with Murillo is that, as at Zwirner, the paintings, for one market

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then adjunct spaces, where he expands upon things; the Meandering here in the tone of the works I discussed above, so in the Black out, in the hypnagogic basement, as it were, of his art, and his conceptualization of how painting-on-canvas is the material that holds all this together.

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the paintings of late expand the field, but the explanations are all formalistic, signifying that he works much like Mark Bradford does, creating contesting surfaces the marks and process of which means something. Fine.

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I am particularly interested in his Surge paintings as his metaphor of oceanicness, it seems to me to be the carryover from the jet plane metaphor in the earlier work. The Surge opens up to other spaces, not just layerings

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and even in his News paintings, the layering, all of which is of interest, were this note about the micro levels, but there is suggestion that the meaning is also behind the painting, coming from some deeper place, and that would be a prototype cult space got to by a backbuilding to it, a regression, so that might be the primary drive in his painting, to build it back into a new prototype zone, where things are…hypnagogic.

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This is what I think is going on. When you revert to a preexistent state, only in the mind, then you are in a prototype space. I have written of how this is becoming a redoubt of some interest as it seems that while one is up in the mediated space of modern or postmodern or postpostmodern life, you are compromised by the meme power of the discourse to always reduce whatever you say to the green slime. But, in prototype space, some actions (this is where, for example, I think the devolutionary trend in Euro figure art is at the moment, going to pre binary to root out the binary, in social life, impossible to do, but in art, it’s what art does) can bite. So, Murillo takes painting to a prototype space, this array I have been using for a while is more or less another form distantly related to graphs based on the “expanded field” concept, but, then, dynamic agency takes over.

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if the painting is the gallery basis, and there is a meaning in the layerings, then a hole or break in the painting would take one through the looking glass into another space; that function is got to by the simple process of countering, then reversing back by reverse engineering to life in ostension, as noted previously. So, with this graph, let’s just say, using the formalist method I apply to film, that Murillo wants, like Turner did, to have in the backspace of his ground an indexical spot that touches upon the actual reality behind the painting, as such (just as I imagine that the vision of Polyphemus in Ulysses deriding is that indexical spot meant to startle one into or back into reality back of his painting). So, here, especially in Surge, it breaks back through that hole. That hole is in his current show.

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then taking with him the element of the stretcher, as I said, he leaps back into the prototype space.

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in his work he backbuilds not to cult, but to intercession, to opening up, so as it were in the interstices of the painting on canvas, the layers are reimagined as opened up in a prototype intercessional space, and thus the stretcher malforms into a bleachers; then, it occurs to him, this can harbor in it representations of people, the new year’s eve figures of Colombia, where he was born

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so we have what I viewed in the Zwirner show, a ritual spatial dimension, that is, the paintings in the pronaos, as it were, but, then, the bleachers, leading somewhere else, in the cella itself, this is where the gods are, in this exhibition.

0 0 42in this Manifestations show at Zwirner, in 2019, there were paintings, in the Surge series in the main gallery

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then, after you take in the process, and consider the formalist points

0 0 44you turn around

0 0 45approach

0 0 0 2you step into the adjunct gallery, and there are the bleachers.

0 0 45with a projector projecting one of his paintings in the other room on a wall opposite

0 0 47the projection acts as a device in the gallery of dematerializing the paint, but staying with the paint, and the aura of the brushing; it is like a false door, in ancient Egypt, it opens the door of the painting, out the back, then opens up into a spirit space, if you will, behind or within the facture of the stretcher world beyond. It also as video serves the purpose of the dematerialization of painting to act very much like a common device in film where watching a film, the real thing suddenly comes through to you, so this is a fairly commonly understood device (from a general not art world culture perspective).

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most people are likely to turn and look up, to stay with the painting; but, then seeing the dematerialization, feel the haunting, the removal to another space, with different entities in it, to then turn and look at the bleachers

0 0 49then you get the bleachers

0 0 50you see that, in effect, a number of the surfaces of the bleachers are worked with canvas and then downshifted or degraded examples of his workmanlike brushstroke as, in this lower condition milieu, it lets the climate of the space and its metaphor bespeak his stroke, to result in a cruder, simpler, more real world style, as if inherited from his stroke.

0 0 51and while you are free to think of the stroke on the canvas on the steps of the bleachers as just an expansion of the formalist stroke onto a stretcher that is really stretched out into a shaped form, that’s fine; except, now, you cannot help seeing that the under space is much more important than the surface space, there are figures under the seats, in the darkness, and discarded ones on top

0 0 52as he makes clear in other variations on this, you are meant to look into these vignettes of human presence, in a piece in Shanghai, he imagines a personage or figure on the bleacher, cooking some food

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or simply assembling a little group of tiny collectible pickups he or she has made to represent his basic human effort to, even in such a situation, try to remain human, by calling on his household gods.

0 0 54unfortunately, there are very few images of this bleachers, I broke away a few close-ups

0 0 55all of this, by asking you to step out to the farthest reach of his movement in media space behind but still attached by way of an expansion of the idea of stretcher to his paintings, he now asks you to burrow back in, as if to come up from behind into the paintings, to look more carefully for human presence in the interstices of all this. Again, this I have graphed out above, in a formalist way, as a simple extension.

I just want to mention in passing that usually I see backbuilding as only happening vis a vis cult, and the opening up of the agentic array. But on that array the vector can go to intercessional, votive or apotropaic, to take over the backbuilding, thus making for very different kind of spaces. To imagine that Murillo backbuilds to a cult space is absurd, where he seems to take this breakback into a prototype space is to the diasporic space of the intercessional doorway, and for him, this intercessional space is one of nightmare, then bounced out of, often leading to hypnagogic spaces.

0 0 56this way of viewing things, however, remains somewhat formalist, and might equate Murillo with, for example, Fontana, whom we discovered at an exhibition of them at Gagosian in 2012, went through the gash, into an ideal or prototype cult space beyond or behind it. This would also parallel my treatment of ancient Egyptian art, forever, when faced with depleted cult, burrowing back into the cult prototype space, to get a deeper ground, to shore up the cult (this also often happens in horror movies). But, if this is happening in an intercessional prototype space, that is something different. In cult prototype, it can remain in the space in the penumbra of the painting or work of art.

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but in intercessional prototype space, this would seem to open it out to doors, to passageways, to entries, to streets, etc.

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(and, in fact, the ancient Egyptians knew this too, making square viewing holes in tombs of kings to give the king a view of the night sky, all to aid in his catasterization

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there is also the notion that the Tut tomb had the beds of minor gods to serve as flying vehicles to transport him to heaven too, golden slippers too, with which to walk to heaven

0 0 60though I don’t want to go into it, this would in actual graphs likely work out as a compound agency as I think any deepening of the lore or magic rite or belief was a cult restoration/reinforcement task, which then would swing off into the intercessional agency. Also, I now see that the golden bed, which I have loved for a long time, is, in fact, a classic example of a Famulus, that is, an inanimate object become animate, and, for that, thought to be an early sighting of a conjure figure, so it is part of a conjuring, which is, of course, often intercessional.

It is important to know that while there is backbuilding to cult space, it seems to me that in Murillo there is shift from the primarily cult-reinforcing backbuilding to an intercessional-variant, and this opens up into a flowing, tunnel-oriented space. The question then is, where is this space, in terms of the mind? I situate the bleachers hypnagogically as a lattice, breaking down into hypnagogy, from the rational painting practice up across the Luor in vigilogogy. You pass through the nexus, represented by the video and its dematerialization, this comes at you in a kind of whoosh, if not THE whoosh (I am only just now exploring the lesser whooshes of softer splats).

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there is a nice example of this passage in the movie Madhouse (1974), Cushing having murdered people to prevent Price from taking the role of dr death from him, is watching a movie of this, in victory.

0 0 62the movie has a scene, then Price is burned

0 0 63but, then, close-up

0 0 64something in the shot seems ambiguous, not what it was

0 0 65then Price gets up to start to walk to him

0 0 66Cushing blinks, I can’t believe what I am seeing, it is a startle effect

0 0 67but, no, no doubt, Price is, while still in the movie, no longer “in” the movie, in terms of its plot, he has got up and is walking out of the movie, toward Cushing; this is a whoosh, an ambient attack of a conjure figure from out of the fire

0 0 68then there is a complete cover up of the eyes, not to believe it

0 0 69so Price comes out of the screen, into real space, to attack him

0 0 70it is a full on ambient-to-hypnagogic inyourface attack, a whoosh to nightmare

0 0 71this, then, is what happens when you cross the nexus, dematerializing, then, as it were, falling into a new consideration, passing into a below or beyond space, which, because of its intercessional pull, is larger than any imagined previously

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all I can gather from the personages is that they are there under the aegis of Hans Haacke’s Chocolate Meister, which seems to include the word Trumpf, so it is a “political” piece (but truth be told this sort of lateral pass to mention another work of art, to make the art about other art, then to also mention the politics of the day, is mostly just rationalization, providing clues to where to go with the piece, but, not, in my view (or until I look at it in more detail) elemental to getting into it entirely (in my social theory, he is talking about the under the bottom, a place below the bottom of the ladder, where, if you get knocked there by bad paperwork, or a record of any kind, in today’s computer-generated recordkept world, you are cooked, forever and ever, to live in a black market world below).

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But as the Surge paintings reach out into an Ambient space, to spin on your eye, and, taking in the sea as an idea in your mind too, that more open energy can in fact precipitate down and be caught up by ambient spins in the hypnagogic to then come swinging in to the lattice by way of the Under the Bed, or the Kunstkammer. This is precisely the hypnagogic space in which these figures live. They are reduced to anthroparions or, worse, like the haunted and disabled pulp figures in Suspiria (2018), their souls kept down by what’s in the kunstkammer, also below, and this is where we are. So, somehow, Murillo, by breaking loose from painting, but, still, within a painting universe, has, by moving past the expanded field to the hypnagogic mind field, opened up a space for new action. Chocolate Meister is the piece which, a while back, incited my current interest in his work.

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But, then, the best expression of the fullness of Murillo’s sense of space as it exists vis-à-vis his painting comes with his Turner Prize installation at Margate, 2019. This expansive arrangement I will cover in Part 2.

Tala Madani (at david Kordansky, September, 2019) and the hypnagogic haunting of Shit Moms.

rev., Oct 25, 2019.

Note: This is a POV piece based on online sighting of work which corresponds as possible case study to my interests, sans input by the explanations of the artist about her work. All pics from Kordansky Gallery website.

In the past 18 to 24 months, the art world has again surprised by a few new markets opening up, as if spontaneously, without forecast. This involves the striking reemergence of “figurative” art in all its forms, in a kind of painting which I call picture play. I named it that, well my first term was “game painting,” because it struck me that at long last what goes on on people’s phone and computer screens had somehow visually at last migrated into painting. That means that the painting happened in the interactive frontal space between viewer and canvas, and that viewers were expected to think of it in the same way as they do visuals on screen. It also meant that the image on the canvas was existing vis-a vis the visual universe of what appears on screens and for that reason, since the visual universe of selfie world is endless, in terms of art, measured against the more limited borderpatrolling of former media regimes, anything goes. But, then, I also call it “picture play,” this is more a fusionist idea. Picture play is what I call it when in horror movie something happens in a room or castle to cause injury or treatment of a portrait or picture in the house. If, for example, during a séance, as happens in The House That Will Not die (1973), the picture over the mantel falls off the mantel into the andirons, to then get pierced

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that is picture play.

It is also picture play, more distinctly, in a fusion mode, in art itself, when, for example, the artist Gregor Schneider, as he has done in a current show in Rome, selected 40 lesser works from the collection, hung them in a hallway, then got himself a ladder and a blowtorch and torched the pictures.

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Titus Kaphar would be an example of a painter who engages, in his modus operandi, in picture play, and picture play does, in fact, overlap with the first great plume of the new figuration, which I call the Black Portraiture boom. Engendered by the example of Kehinde Wiley and Kerry James Marshall, as well as Kara Walker. Because this marketplace seems more attuned to audience growth with non-art world audiences I also call this painting social justice painting, with a clear social purpose. This discourse has already laid down theoretical rationale from each of those involved, and, altogether, they add up into a discourse, with strong theoretical ground. It is fun to parse the scene, because it is so active, lively and alive to the moment, things happening like an old fashioned model of how I imagined artists interacted in a market model back in the 80s.

But, then, there is another side of the picture. Mainstream artists seem to have taken the new figuration into the direction of what JS unhelpfully calls “witchy figuration,” or neo-surrealism, both unsatisfying terms. There are so many approaches, all designed to create an emotional effect, that it is very hard to thrash out the good from the not so good. For that reason, I have brought to bear on the discourse my hypnagogic dream stage model, and dynamic agency hypnagogy theory, to determine if these paintings are hypnagogic (I think most are; but then to see if they, in fact, as I hold movies to this too, exemplify “visual wisdom”, that is, they are visual records of emotional currents that actually go through real minds when they are cogitating in a somewhat dreamy place). So, I “review” the work by running my model against it, if my model comes up with some evidence of truth, then I am ok with it, more so if the artists shows a broader insight into hypnagogic states, and, then, not so good, if it is just based on preexisting clichés created by the prefrontal imaginings to misrepresent the workings of the brain, for it to remain in power. And, so, in a fusion spirit (because you are going to have to know the tropes at large too, if you hope to do convincing hypnagogy in painting), I simply judge them or not based on their verisimilitude not to likeness, or resemblance, or realism, but to the dynamics of the mind in hypnagogy. This, then, has become a major frontline of my interest, and all such picture play art that seems to have taken a more interior turn, I call Hypnagogic painting, and value it more or less for adherence to a model thereof.

So, this is why earlier this season, in September, I latched on to the paintings of Iranian-born American artist Tala Madani. She not only has knowledge of hypnagogic states, but she has paused to extract from her experience of them some forms or tropes that signify. Then, too, she is not stuck in one state, as many hypnagogic painters are, but can move from place to place in the hypnagogic universe, in the manner of Neo Rauch.

In an excellent show at david Kordansky in September, Madani displayed the full range of her notion that we all live now in, in mediation, a hypnagogic world. In fact, the exhibition “starts” (in the sense that I am now re-placing them in sequence of going down into a dream zone) with cave pictures. There is a black and white one

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then a greener one,

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both signify to me the entrance into the hypnagogic world. I learned about the role that caves played in inducing such states in ancient Greece both from Deborah Larsen’s Nymphs, and then also from Yulia Ustinova’s book about caves and altered states of mind in ancient Greece as well (Caves and the Ancient Greek Mind), with parallels in many world cultures. It then surprised me that it did seem at one point di Chirico seemed to explore the same idea as the Caruso cave model votives left by votaries upon completion of their treatmentin 400 bc. Then, it is also true that my favorite artist of the moment, Jean Pierre Appriou, did a whole series of cave pieces last fall at Zurich. And, now, caves again. In my graphs, I simply identify the line of crossing over the gap, or the Luor (as I call it) into the hypnagogy, into a cave zone, as the same. So, it signifies that one’s visuality is altered by the assumption of a cave oversight.

Madani does seem to also have a model of where the type of visuality she is interested in comes from. In two works in the show, in the corners, which is important, she has diptychs in which half the painting is of a slide projector, then the other half is of what it casts on the adjacent wall, set up as as if a visual plain in a nexus reaching across the corner of the room. So, this

0 5then this

0 6leads to this, where, in the manner of an anamorphic baroque picture, the project projects a distortion of the image, as well as a blurring, or degradation of the image, to create an entoptic field of dreamy what-is-it?

0 7normally, in my system, any source of light situated in the vigilogic would be evidence of a High Light. A High light is that inner lightedness that lingers on after a high set blue dot in one’s still vilogogic entoptic zone passes over into a positive image in hypnagogy, and as a result of not letting go, of passing over with it, it remains a disruptive, insomnia-inducing presence preventing one from trying to get to better sleep. As one is in fact as a mind in a body trying to sink down into the body, to sleep, the High Light keeps pulling you back up. I have written of this before, here is where I situate it

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but Madani situates it across a corner, horizontally cast, with distortion, as if to retain the orientation of the imaging machine in reality, that is, it is a slide projector (which I always hated using or seeing images in). Rather than impose upon her placement of it, for now I am just going to assume that it is the same thing, she just imagines it as situated in a different place. That is, the projector is just outside or around the corner from hypnagogy, in the outlying Ambient zone, and as it casts an image in, it also allows for a measure of reagency by blurring the distorted image but, then, in the second one, bleeding another effect, so that it looks, at least to her imagination, like the figures are being as if spilled out of the anamorphic distortion, and taking on a life of their own.

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here is the one where there is a projector, at the other corner

0 11these are the figures that bleed out (this alone could be construed as a form of intramedial picture play as it seems as if the slides are positioned here as if parallel to traditional war pictures, or genre pictures that hang on the walls of a pub; but, then, now, the figures have come off or out of the picture, to attack, to be more real, in entoptic space, moving, then, on to the glass onion etc.

0 12Madani makes more specific what she thinks is happening as we absorb images, in a video, where, this time, a movie projector projects images on a screen in front of a man, but then whatever he sees on the screen now appears in his head, the video called Overhead Projector. My first impression of this video was that it was a nice statement of what the art of political polling has become, it is simply nothing more than a poll of how many people watched TV this past week, it is not like Americans actually have self-arrived-at opinions about all the issues of the day, it is not as if Americans going about their life really care about the Kurds, it is simply that for one week Trump’s decision to leave the Kurds to their fate in dealing with Turkey and Syria made them leverage points for Trump disputation, so they were cared about as the takedown heroes of the day.

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Madani lessens the visual wisdom of the work by having the projector simply project by richochet a previous video in which a bunch of people are trying to get control of a giant penis, to show that, ha ha, that is the only thing that is going on in most men’s brains (this from an earlier body of work). All this is fine, and I will not hold Madani to the fact that projecting such images on the prefrontal, or, maybe, with the emphasis on the top of the head, another place, does not involve authentic hypnagogy; but it’s ok, the main issue is that there is a force in vigilogogy that is the source both of the light and imagery of hypnagogic imagery

0 14this, then, establishes, as it were, a prologue to the rest of the work. does it speak to what will be going on in the other pictures? Actually, it does, though I did not pick this up in my quick breakdown of the images in my FB post in September.

But the proposition is that there is a light in vigilogogy that is the source of light and image in terms of what gets into the brain, the High Light, then what is translated to sleep as it were keeps a large part of Madani’s imagery in the realm of its origins in vigilogogy. That is, her images are haunted by the High Light, and, for that, may or may not get down into being actually hypnagogic. This may account for a mixed duality in the work that, in fact, works as a “figure” in art, but is not quite accurate in life. Just to jump ahead, my analysis of the imagery to come is that all of it fits perfectly into the phases of hypnagogy, and as a whole provides one with a whole visual journal of her hypnagogic musing on the subject of children. So, I saw a picture like this, and thought it was a perfect example of a conjure figure, and in particularly, Famuli, that is, forms taking shape out of inanimate forms, at an Ambient approach zone, the imagery getting closer to you. This, I thought, was not only an excellent rendering of the Black Out zone, which is where this sort of thing might in the mind occur, but, then, it was mostly about the objects, but then the babies seem to be developing out of it.

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this is fine, but, not quite accurate. In fact, the babies are already independent, and as I look with more care on the series, they are more or less independent of the process of hypnagogy in changing them. They exist as an excited or animated element that  cross- cuts the ensuing phase of hypnagogy. What is going on?

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in my previous reading, I saw the above image as A in Ambient conjure position as it begins to gravitate in into the hypnagogic glass onion zone to become a configure. In its current transition, it is a Famulus animating an inanimate form in the zone. But there is another problem. There is, in the vigilogogic a type of visualization in the entoptic field that is somewhat disturbing, and bothers me more as I look in on it more often. This concerns itself with what I call “punks”. That is, the fissures of the entoptic zone, animated by nervous energy, without any seeming relation or influence of anything in a dream day, seem to create as if a entoptic equivalent of an earworm to create a kind of imagery in the brain which has no clear origin. You close your eyes, the entoptic fissuring clusters, it forms an image, then, it is an image of say a TV host on a TV show you have never seen interviewing a singer you have never seen, as if stuck in some parallel universe. Last night, for example, I saw my entoptic field pinch into what looked more like an undersea coral reef with openings out of it, then I saw a figure “swim” into it and look out of that hole at me, and he seemed like a man from an old 50s movie. This happens so often, self-generated, without any intent, that it bothers me at times. These are punks, then, images with no connection, self-generated by my brain thinking on another level. They act as disturbance or interference in hypnagogy, and now and then one might actually travel across into the gap, to take part in the deeper, true hypnagogic formations below. This is now what I think happens here, the babies are in Madani’s vigilogogic state, but, then, they are on her mind, they exist on a screen in front of everything else she does, in this body of work, so that they jump the gap into the dream to show up in the dream in a fashion somewhat at odds from the scene, as if the only thing you want from it is to extinguish it. So, when you see the babies, those are avatar punks of Madani’s vigilogogic mind, imposed upon the simpler musings of the hypnagogic work. With that proviso, however, I will proceed simply taking that for granted, and deal with the babies as they come, in whatever stage of hypnagogy they come in on.

So, as Madani falls asleep, hypothetically, she comes upon some border imagery of a standard nature that signifies moving into a less material zone. The images simply by their reverie quality say, here we are, we are passing over. This picture of clothes lines and a sheet is based on long term use of dustsheets to cover furniture in vacant houses in horror movies, but also to the use a field of sheets hung out as laundry to dry, as a sighting site where she might first be broken in to the zone of haunting.

0 17 (2)

here is another transitional threshold piece, a trope so numerously used it is taken for granted, blowing curtains, you are entering in.

0 0 1venetian blinds, as well as entry into vacant houses, are even simpler signifiers marking the crossing over into hypnagogy, these are all sources of entoptic effects, which she sees as maybe parallel to other visual works of art she’s seen, without psychogeographic locale in hypnagogy. Venetian blinds mean that everything you see on screen in this scene is shady, do not believe what you are seeing. There are also some ghosts

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All this is fine, and I now account for the presence, already, of the ghost babies, or whatever, as representing “punks” that are on her mind, in vigilogogy, which she cannot rid of in her mind, so they interfere with and pollute, as it were, the hypnagogic passage, these are therefore mixed, partly rationalized images of the descent.

0 19

Finally, there is always, in such an ensemble, an anchor piece, which is the best of the lot, and signifies in a general way where an artist is going, and what she knows, visually, about how to get there. The Sleeper is by far the best painting in the show, mainly because it is hypnagogically true, on several levels. On one level, it also deals with bedsheets, but they are upset, rolled into forms, as if upset by tossing and turning in the night. At present, in this view, you cannot tell if there is a body in the bed, or the sheets in the bed have, as in the manner of the classic trope of putting some pillows in your bed to take your place, and fake out parents from doors checking to see if their kids are in bed.

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but the fact that you cannot tell what’s what means that it is also a transitional piece. It is an entoptic field, sheets are there alone, but there is also a movement toward figure, so this means this is the very slightest and far off sense of a conjure figure taking shape, with presence. In fact, in close-up, there is NO person there, but the bedding is quite distinctive

0 22there is a full form, suggesting a body on the left; then, it seems to be being strafed by ambient light coming in, giving it a certain secondary layer of possibly sighting. There is also on the left a more sinuous form, maybe suggesting another sleeper, or just a throw of another blanket; but then too in general the light cast over it all, coming from the opening at the left, seems to indicate an empty bed, then too it is such a vast bed, even more than a double, it seems. All in all, it can only then be called an image of sense of presence.

0 23depending on one’s nervous state, it being entirely liminal, that is, at the edge, you will see it as abstract, or see it as figural; either someone is not there, or there, which is it? (The added interest here as to how ambiguous it gets it that in my current posting on rmarts, updating a note I made on the very careful picture play of a sequence in Halloween (1978), I mentioned that I had heard last year a joke, at the expense of this sort of thing, ghosts interacting with sheets).

0 24

Because it exists entirely on the razor’s edge of the crossing over, it acts as well as a dreamcatcher. And to emphasize that I am beginning to appraise such picture play pictures by their hypnagogic truth to life, I noted as well that it could serve as an actual dreamcatcher, which I saw hang over Frenchie’s bed in The Nun (2018) (see rmarts post), to catch in transition his thoughts coming back up into consciousness, to leave them there, caught.

So, I place them, vis a vis a body on a bed, which in hypnagogy is in the center of the lattice, as such.

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But then, there is another dimension to the image, which activates even more. There is a partly open curtain at the window on the left. It is a blue gap in the curtain, letting in ambient light. The light then is cast across the bed, but also cast across the ceiling over the bed.

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then there is a collection of the light in a corner, in the upper right, where the light seems to strike a mirror or a door, but, in it, there is also a round “head’ like element, so it prompts an “is anybody there?’ inquiry.

0 27Then, from there, the eye comes around under the bed, and then turns the corner of the bed, to enter onto the bed from the end. Thus, the presence is just a presence, it has no form, but there is an inkling. It could be a Gray, then, there is an inference of a walk around the bed, gingerly stepping past what is under the bed, and this is a dynamic of going round a corner that I think elemental to the characterization of the entry into dream, for it to then come up on the sleeper, in bed.

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and so, in fact, having a dynamic that amounts to a conjuring by the imagination of a presence that turns into a force that can walk around one’s bed to enter it from the foot, that is a conjuring formation. It abides by my model, which I have been feeling a lot from this season, of an ambient force, emitting a power that conjures up a something in the corner of the eye, that is the sighting of a presence, that is what we have here in the upper right; but, then, next time (and this was mapped out in my treatment of Whistle and I’ll Come to You), it takes on a recognizably human form, that does not quite happen here, but that would be a Figment; then, it somehow fuses with or involves itself in its generative sighting with an object in the room, that is, an alibi formation, except that this time it is there, this is a Famulus, a special kind of closer-in conjure figure that I have had trouble with this year (meaning, I saw one, in real life); and then, at last, it turns into, at the sighting, coming in at you, no longer her having any doubt that it is there, it is a monster or a figure, with an animated life of its own, and that is a Configure, or Conjure Figure. We don’t get to this stage here, but because the picture both in the subject, the bedding, and the object, the invading sense, the light in the corner, the sense of presence, then, too a slight animation, and because that animation walks around the bed as a pure form of nervous energy, it is true, this is as it were a vaccinating haunting of the viewer’s eye, to block all such out when actually sleeping. It is, that is, like to like, by sympathetic magic, a dreamcatcher, repressing fear, blocking out bogeys that might haunt you in your dreams. It is a wonderful picture.


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But it remains rather general, too. Now comes a series of works that I think were particularly sharp, given the reinterpretation now as the babies as interference sent down from the High Light, in mapping out, in fact, the invasion of the soul by a conjure figure. It is the precision of the placement of the dynamic of these pieces that most excited me, the extraneous Shit Mom or baby meanings aside. So, then, the lay out in the abstract the dynamic of a conjure haunting.

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first, as noted, what you see is a presence, if just a shadow, out of the corner of one’s eye, it just exists out there, it bothers you, spinning there, but stays put, you are creeped out, but it remains entirely, abstractly an ambient force, given its nature and my need for names for these things, I am going to lift the term Throbber from computers, and suggest that definition gives a bit more meaning to what this is, as it indicates that it is there, something is happening, you are being influenced by it, but it all remains in the background, it is a throbber, so, an update on my chart

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Then it scares you a bit by coming in on you. When it crosses from pure ambience, the zone of nonfigurative spin, it latches onto an entoptic staple and thus becomes a Figment, that is, a pareidol in whatever element it takes form in, in my treatment of Francis Bacon and also Whistle and I’ll Come to You, it was newspaper blowing; then, as it moves closer in to the glass onion stage, it latches onto a more solid object, closer to the materiality as it would be of the thing you suspect it now of being, and in that it also becomes distinctly and clearly animated, so, now more question now, it is there, a kind of ghost, that is, named after the familiar of witches, a Famulus; finally, as it at last comes in on you, to scare you, to cause you to bounce up, that is a Configure. There is also the problem that, if you are like the professor in Whistle, and set up a model of prefrontal rationality to give form to the mind, with no allowance for the fluidity created by surfacings in vigilogogy of hypnagogic effects, then you might be startled awake by the up-close nature of the Configure, for it to then be pulled up with you, to, then, in vigilogogy, come out, or crawl out, or come alive, as the bedsheet in the bed next over did to the professor, to, then, disbelieving it, he already being on the edge, drive him mad, this is the demon.

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And the most amazing thing in these paintings is that Madani seemed to acknowledge this gradation of sighting of a demon, coming in on you as a conjure figure. Although all of this, for her, is figured out, as it were, by the imposition of the babies on her mind in vigilogogy, we see in various shots the stages that they play in the creation of a conjure figure. That is, she has figured out the process of conjuring up, by the babies acting as if figurative representations of the visualizing states we go through, as a conjuring approaches. So, early on, there is a straight on shadow created in a dreamy room, this is an entirely ambient presence, nothing more, a something in the corner of the eye

0 33 (2)

It is interesting at this point to also mention that Madani installed these with some sense, though not entirely consistent, that this sort of thing is “in the corner of the eye,” in wide ambient, spinning space. The fact that this appears to be one of the small paintings, and the small paintings are contrasted with larger ones, and seem to be involved in capturing these more intimate, finely sliced moments of hypnagogy, may relate

0 35Then, as we come closer, and as we get closer in, passing into hypnagogy, we now see forms, which she now shifts over into the shit patterns, suggestive of a presence of figures, in her case ghost babies busy in the very creation of a conjure figure, so I count these marks as a Figment, they have, for their reach, ergonomically, an inference of human form, made by small ghost forms, on over a piece of furniture also negatively formed to accommodate human form.

0 36 (2)Passage could also be tentatively placed, for the abstraction of the milieu, then the footprints in the sand disappearing as they cross, then the form it forms, the shitform, being the substance and form of the conjure figure, if a bit too figural, as a simple hnh, seems like there is something there, ie a Figment.

0 37 (2)

There is also in this one, Quads, a sense that, in the ambient light, the dirt in the scene has begun to the eye to look figural, not quite, and its not quietness is by far its most interesting aspect, but being formed by avatars of her worrying brain, to begin to take shape, another, that is, Figment, precisely as I define it

0 38 (2)

This is another delirious vision, if she is now identifying with the shit, and the whole saga is a journal as it were of her feeling entirely crushed by the labor involved in having and raising kids; but, then, also imagining that if she is a different person now than she was before, they, the babies, the demon babies, they in fact enacted themselves in my life by making me the Frankenstein of my new being. So, here under an entoptic play of red and spot light, as if on stage, or under the sea, they once again are busy drawing out the figure of a woman on the floor, in shit, for it to begin to look like an actual figure, but it is a Figment, an inference of figure in an entoptic-from-ambient visual

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I do not, in any way, demand that an artist working in their imagination in any way corresponds to my mapping out of a model of it. This is another variant of the previous in which by making the white light shine with a bit more lightning fury, then directing it almost as if the bolt of lightning that created Frankenstein, then, in the process, this being so revolutionary, that even the avatar baby thought he better make a reinforcement extra baby out of the shit too, this is actually set up in the entoptic zone previously used to render the appearance of a Figment, but now has lept in to actually bring to form a distinctly human form which can now be imagined as being a haunting figural ghost form, that is, a Configure, which appears when the conjuring approach enters into the Lattice level, below.

0 41 (2)

But, by far, my favorite paintings here, for showing such precise visual wisdom in capturing an actual transitional phase of the conjuring of a figure in the frightened mind, for it to then by its phases come in on you and attack, is Madani’s work with the Famulus. The Famulus, to review, is a figurative form that now in fact takes on a form very like something human or animal, but which remains in material and frame somehow stuck transitionally inside a piece of furniture or some other form. It is, in fact, an animated or to-be-animated form caught in an inanimate object. It is a well known haunting, and I now have the pleasure of pinpointing precisely where it can be found in the brain of a light sleeper, it exists as the conjuring approach enters into the glass onion level of hypnagogy, latching onto any of the furniture or other forms which exist there, to make symbols. So, in this wonderful piece, Madani pictures a still more intense level of the avatar babies creating a new sense of self for her as shit mom, they are making sandcastles, out of shit, which, we see, will be becoming a woman, but at present, at this limn, on the Perfect Beach (a place colonized by dechirico too), she is still in the form of a sandcastle

0 43 (2)Construction is by far my favorite theory piece in the show because, again, it shows keen insight into a specific phase of conjuring up of a figure in the mind. It exists, in fact, a little more on the far side toward nonfigurative, of the Sandcastles, because I am not sure what those pinks things are, it strikes me that they might very well have got somehow pulled into a Black Out zone

0 44 (2)

Then there is a certain construction of shit in which two legs are straddled by a crossbar, which might be formable into a figure; then too there is a slumped over half figure something on the left. This is really, truly, under construction, and for being able to identify this precisely as a Famulus, is special

0 45One note about this, however, just to offer another possible reading. The ultimate goal of the shit moms as conjure figures is that they are, in fact, going to come zeroing in on her to present themselves as grasping nightmare forms, and that will cause a nightmare splat, lept out from, but maybe also only bounced out from. The latter would end us up in a Black Out in Ambient space, a twilight zone of arrest outside hypnagogy again, and so one might take Shitty di Milo as a final nightmare shot, the shit monster come in from the ambient light, in a deeply evocative-of-conjure green room with dawn light, causing you to bounce out.

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So it may be that Construction is another one-off errant fit of nervous response, which ends us up, nonsequentially, in, perhaps, a cycle of nightmare bounce out, typical of the insomnia induced by the High Light, that input represented by worries, which are figured out here with the vigil forms of the babies, this then ends one back in the Black Out for an eternity seeming to have to address the rebuilding of one’s self, one’s self-esteem from scratch, forever, over and over again.

0 48Something like this (with another weird thing being that the composition, like a scirpograph, almost underlies and matches the psychodynamic force under the picture).

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But, then, now, at last, we come into the conjuring approach right up close to the sleeper, and this is the Configure stage, lattice to lattice, in which the conjuring figure now has animation, and form, if not substance, there it is a demon, up close, tormenting, but, in her world, such as in dream Riders, the avatars of her worries play with and even torture her (not sure if that is toilet paper coming out of her mouth, which would make her head a dispenser thereof, thus suggesting entirely she remains an inversion of her creation too).

0 50 (2)Then, finally, we get to the point where the thing comes in on one to wake one up, or bounce you out; but just in that last phase of approach, it begins to haunt you, and turn on you, and it as if gloms onto you, and clings to you, and you see it behind you in bathroom mirrors at one’s toilette.

0 51 (2)it even washes your hair, which is, in fact, a haunting I have seen (re The Grudge)

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now as in Nature Nurture it tries to nurture you, not sure if it is doing it

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and at this phase, it is all over you, making a life for you, and at some point the babies will decide what kind of life it was, parenting, the eternal conundrum.

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This closeness, in fact, at this level, posits a fifth, touching, waking up, nightmare presence of the Conjure Figure, when, in fact, it takes over, so this is it, it comes round the bed, then hovers over you, in your face, mirroring you, this is a Sleep demon deluxe, a Conjure demon, is all I can call it now (it is close cousin to the manon in Fuseli’s Nightmare, but not quite the same thing; it is of interest, however, that Fuseli’s picture seems to also have a hierarchy, the curtains are the Figment, the white horse is, perhaps, the Famulus, and then the Configure, or, either or a demon, comes in).

0 57this is the trajectory of the attack

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One does wonder, Madani is clearly looking back on her motherhood years (or wondering of it, if she is not, personally, a parent), or at the idea and expectations of motherhood; and she is without a doubt haunted by thoughts that maybe, though try as she might, she was nonetheless a shitty mom, and she is in her sleep, insomnia, forever caught under the interrogation of the High Light, flooding her mind with worries in the form of the putti babies, and in the show as well as conveying a general sense of unease at how she did with mothering; she was, more specifically here, in the truly thrilling momentum of the show, specifically haunted by a conjure figure that started out, as they do, as a mere something in the corner of her eye, then it took some form, as Figment, at the edge of the entoptic; then it got closer, and in the glass onion, it became strange Famuli figures; at last it took form in shit to then be played with, as a Configure, in the lattice; but at last it had to come all the way in, to bounce you in the nightmare, as Sleep Conjure demons attacking her.

Like I said, I will now more often than not be judging the value of a new figurative type of picture play painting by whether or not it has “visual wisdom,” which is, imagery in art that captures the truth of effects of the mind in life, a matching up that by itself alone cuts through the rationalized sand-lines drawn by the rationalists when discussing identity, to concede at least that every artist alive is human, and in our dreams, and in our nightmares, that is all we are.

Halloween (1978) sex as death, indicated by pumpkins and breasts.

Rev., Nov 1, 2018.

Note: there would be a nudity warning were it not for a self-censoring bad print used in analysis. HH, 2019.

A few notes on watching, this year, a Spanish version of Halloween (1978) on youtube, because I didn’t have a TV. And what this revealed to me is that, for the most part, most of the time, on mainstream TV showings of it, we get a censored version. Not a lot is cut out, but enough is cut out to change the pungency of the movie, as it is quite amazing, but true, that showing a few breasts can change the whole demeanor of the movie.

So, what triggers Michael early on, in the 1963 flashback, is that, apparently this is after trick or treat, because he still has his costume on, and part of it, his mask, was tossed on the floor of his room upstairs, for him to pick it up at the kill point, is that he was annoyed and upset that his sister, rather than looking out for him, invited her boyfriend over, and, then, she immediately only paid him attention, then, even more liberal for 1963, they go up to her room for a quick fuck, with the boyfriend coming down the steps surprisingly quickly after, and then he goes up, filled with a loathing for knowing what they were doing, or with wonder at what they were doing, and thinking the worst of it. Now, this means that when he gets a knife from the kitchen drawer, he is commenting on his household, and that there is something going on it that he does not like, that threatens him

0 0 0 1this view, as he comes through the dining room, means that he sees domestic rituals as empty and ghostly, devoid of meaning; somehow, she and her actions have emptied them all out, it upsets him

0 0 0 2when he comes in by the spot where they began to get into it, making out, there is an inference here of two pareidols, echoing the couple intertwined in a way that imitates the whole piling up pillows to make it seem like a body is there, but also that the couch has become contaminated by outside and grownup sex

0 0 0 3there is also a picture in that room, right over where they were making out, before they turned off the TV to run upstairs and turn on sister

0 0 0 4not surprisingly, it looks to me like either a Delacroix or Matisse bit of orientalist fluff, a shapely woman in shirt and pantaloons striking a provocative pose with her arms over her head

0 0 0 5in this area, Delacroix

0 0 0 6But of this gentler, more family appropriate sway in the hips and figure, the snake form

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Then he gets to the stairs, up which he knows she is, there is another painting to act as a breadcrumb to cause his mind to continue on in its mad drive to go up there

0 0 0 8This is a winter scene

0 0 0 9its quick switch to cold from the hot nature of both the odalesk picture and the fact that he knew that he had just passed the place where they were making out, which he saw them doing, wondering what it was, makes this as it were speak to his cold rage, the spot he saw the boyfriend bouncing victoriously down the stairs from his quick fuck, now the cold spot of her turned-offness after the heat, it is a good subtle effect. Now, for some reason, though this is part of it, and then even exaggerated in part two, I latched onto the fact that the camera closes up into the flesh of the interior of the pumpkin in the beginning. Moreover, this flesh is only visible by way of a carving, that is, the pumpkin was “killed” to make it a jack o lantern (there is also a destroyed jack o lantern, and then a carried replacement, later in the movie). I think this then represents Michael’s relationship to the body, and to its interior spaces, that is, to sex, he is overcurious and wants to get going with it, but too young, so he fixates on the body of his older sister, who must be senior year high school at least if she is fucking in 1963, and what this means is that the movie as a whole also is only replaying that title sequence by closing up in on the flesh of the soft body in front of Michael’s eyes. What this means is that, not to get too Freudian, when he stares up into the darkness of the staircase, that darkness, all of it, represents her private parts, her intimacy, the magic world of her nakedness which is taking place in his life right on the other side of her bedroom and bathroom doors, and driving him literally crazy

0 0 0 10from this, the stair then is her private parts, projected by his curiosity

0 0 0 11it seems he must have been doing this sort of peeping around his sister and her nudity for some time, because, in the scheme of things of how peepers make exciting meaning and arc of plot by sightings, the light through an open door means that the door is open, which means that he is going to be able to see through the door, to see her naked

0 0 0 12notice now that he finds his clown mask at this spot in the passage in and up, I don’t recollect if the boyfriend had taken it to play a prank on her then tossed it off as he came up to get serious about having sex; or if it was left there by Michael earlier when he was coming down from the candy party after Trick or Treat, a period of time which demands, symbolically, a death of the ghost represented by the kids costuming, but here is could also, in the momentum of the approaching moment, represent his little boner, which has now become excited by the possibility that the open door offers

0 0 0 13and now he is even more titillated by the fact that there remain clothes that she flung off while stripping to have sex in a classic impulsive ritual of clothes doffing to add to the propulsive excitement of as if falling in a spin into the getting laid in a bed, this is a classic trope. Also note, that as it is now seen through the pumpkin eyes of the mask, or the mask eyes, things are more concentrated, we have moved to an intenser stage, a crisis is upon us

0 0 0 14what does this mask-eyes mean, POV wise? He has approached the site of the murder with one POV, straight on; but, now, to close up, he has to come in on her in another, more intense POV. Why? On a simple formal level this could be an adjustment of the line of sight to indicate that the optic lens is screwing in to a tighter close-up, the equivalent then of a menacing hand come from afar to close in in a startle moment over one’s face or view. But it might also mean something else.

Earlier this year, I argued that the Caruso cave votives took the form of tiny models of the cave because they had a double two-way purpose. On the one hand, the votary wanted to leave a thank you note that was pleasing, or algamata to the gods, and thus thought it flattering to create an image of his or her experience and report by it and all its models that it was good and worthwhile and appreciated. At the same time, it is conjectured that in an incubation in a cave to have sight of a god or nymph in dream with attendants about to induce dream or by disturbance or massaging of it in the course of the night create intense dream moments maybe even taking on the character of a nightmare, that there would be from this epiphany some elements of it that were well beyond the comfort zone of the viewer. So, a second purpose of the votive, and the reason why it is diminitivized, as if seen through the turned-around telescope, is that the votary also, as well as thanking, wanting to bid good riddance to the god, and distance him or herself from it, never to return.

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That is, the votive exists in a nexus, between inside epiphany and outside remembrance of it, and in that nexus there is a spin of both positive and negative views encapsulated in a strange little work of art in which reduction of the memory to a diminutive form takes all the sting out of it, allowing then of this distancing. In the same way, this diminutivizing would explain why it is that so many ancient or folkloric rituals end up getting reduced to things kids do in culture. After a time, we want, even in our observance, to distance ourselves, so we diminish them. Thus, at Halloween, in Trick or Treat, children serve as representatives of the ghosts we want to keep away from our homes, those ghosts we appease with gifts, like we might any ghost or demon, a sacrifice, to calm them down and satisfy them for a time, and then we feel safe again. But because child sacrifice is no longer allowed we have the ghosts present only in the diminutive form of the children, and materially only in the form of their costumes, that element of spirit in or around them that night, and then we appease them by giving them candy, and for that they go away and leave us alone in our good luck. Finally, to finish off the evening, the children have a candy party in which they count up their booty and no doubt engorge themselves on it so that they grow heavy and maybe even sick to the stomach for that then through them to instrument, by way of the deviousness of candy offering, cause at last at the end of the crisscross all the ghosts to cross back over. One of the things that has always confused me about Halloween (1978) is the timing. But it turns out that there is daylight Trick or Treat because that was the thing then, in the 1970s, after a scare of bogeymen putting razors in apples. Then, that means that, later in the movie (see my other piece on Halloween). the reason Tommy is still in his costume is that by the time Laurie arrives he has already had his candy party and thus expelled the bogeyman and it is only then that there is a dysfunction which causes trouble. It would also seem that by this model Laurie’s strange carving of the pumpkin, and procession of it through the living room, after it was all over, is a closing event of the day, to, as it were, carve out an outlet by which the ghosts could leave. Or something like that. But, the point is, Trick or Treat is us adults creating a votive offering to the ghosts to appease them to keep them away, but we reinforce that with diminutivization, just like the Greeks did with their models, to make sure that a nexus exists that distances that danger for good. Thus, just like the Caruso cave model, Trick or Treat is a votive ritual to thank the gods but also keep them at a distance. For this reason, then, I think the raccoon eyes, to target eyes, the two-eyed mask eyes is also a nexus formation, it brings an apotropaic dimension into the POV, it screws the iris tighter so that the boy is not looking at the same time that he is looking, he knows he should not be looking (like peeking through one’s fingers), but he can’t help it, so it is a push-pull mechanism, which tells us crisis time has arrived.

And, then, it is no surprise in the uncut version that the first thing he sees in his mask-sight is his sister’s breast, naked, her sitting naked, sitting pretty after sex too, at her boudoir mirror. She does not see him at first, so it is clear shot of her breast, her nudity, it is forbidden. If he has been in fact peeping on her, this might be his very first breakthrough into full on nudity; worse, nudity he knows has only just a few minutes before been involved in fucking, so the hairs on the back of his neck are excited-outraged by this sighting. It also formally equates his mask-sight with her bosom

0 0 0 15there is no question, however brief the glimpse, that he is seeing her breast, not just side boob, or a slice of it, but a full view of it in profile, strong

0 0 0 16this, then, almost immediately after he has switched to mask-sight, turns him on, and since he is a little psycho turning on means, immediate repression of the sexuality of it, to turn into an impulse to conquer and expell it all as dirty, so he expresses his desire to fuck her too by slashing her. And notice now, just as I have said of the scene with the roots in the forest in Evil Dead, the POV of the mask sight as he gets closer almost microscopically choreographs a sex act, of intercourse, her body now is placed right between his eyes, in his control and grasp

0 0 0 17then he sees her nude crotch, sitting there, entirely exposed, no doubt an excessive bonus, and he profiles it to the sheets, dirty with the fact that she was just rolling around on them having disgusting dirty sex (it is unclear from the existence of any towels if she has showered after or not, but in the logic of the sex scene as related to a woman at a boudoir that would’ve been involved, still, for him, she is filthy with the smell of sex)

0 0 0 18and, again, in the uncut version, there is no question, this is pretty daring for its time, a full on crotch shot (usually, in horror, signifying death)

0 0 0 19and then, only then does she see that he is there, and start yelling at him, but to do so she pivots around on her chair and so in yelling at him gives him, but not us, a full on frontal view of not only top but also bottom and that is yet another step in the phases of complete stripping bare that the male monster requires to bring a sex act all the way through to the end, so we have moved to actually, paralleling the sex we did not see, having the sex

0 0 0 20and then he strikes, and in striking, this in the uncut version only, we see that he has cut directly to her breast, and we get, however blurred in this bad youtube version here, a full on shot of her full breast, so this like copping a feel

0 0 0 21and as she attempts protective action, she only squeezes them more together, making them a bigger target

0 0 0 22and there is absolutely no question that Carpenter formally reinforced the attack mode of the raccoon target eye by giving it a target it has hit, her nipple in the middle of her rather large breast

0 0 0 23and then the two eyes of the mask sight meet up for perfect formal intercourse, as it were, with a double breasted frontal shot of all her sexuality, for him to destroy it

0 0 0 24then, in that sequence, under the rain of stabs, she twists and turns, almost as if in a sex scene, here displaced to

0 0 0 25and most surprising to me, in a shot I have never seen until this Spanish version this year, the whole sequence ends with her a dead odalesk on the floor, her arm falling over her breasts, entirely exposed to him, almost a sexual pose, and then her leg lifted, for a full on view of her crotch, that is, this is an orgasm shot, a completion of sex, a full conquest shot of the woman satisfied by sex, but in a thanatopic inversion of it

0 0 0 26and again, full on breasts, quite ample

0 0 0 27and again, as if lingering for a moment, victorious

0 0 0 28the surprise theatricality of this shot makes one think of other damsel in distress shots, both carried by monsters, as in The day the World Ended (1959)

0 0 0 0 4or as laid out, like in The Marquise of O (1976)

0 0 0 0 1the archetypal image, of course, coming from Fuseli, the Nightmare, which this is; and which then also strongly suggests that in his action, this event itself has turned Michael into a demon beyond the human (this later copy, with suggestion that mask-sight is related to the horse’s white eyes, the approach of it)

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and then he pulls out, and the stairway going down is still a sign of her intimacy, but he is “detumescing” down it, and out

0 0 0 29and then his parents whose intercourse and sex gave birth to him, but which remains un-believable, literally, to a child, especially then when sex ed was so poor, they appear in his POV mask site, as if sperm and egg in an educational film; and the movie flips back out now from the POV to the standard set shot to see in frozen tableaux that Michael in fact was dressed in his after candy party costume and he has a knife as if the carver of the pumpkin for the night, in that ritual; but what he has chosen to do, out of rage and outrage at the fact that his sister was having sex, and he did not know what that was, but that it was dirty and she was guilty, for that, the ritual of carving is transferred to the sacrifice of a human being by way of stabbing her nude body to death, a perfect regression to ancient form of the stage of the ritual of sacrifice that I, in fact, now believe is underscored in prototypical space by the rationalized modern form of the candy party and some ritual to close it (in this case, the strange carving of the final pumpkin as if to end it with that—an odd thought that somehow the memory of the Michael Myers case, like its taboo presence at a house in the town, twisted the rituals of the day in Haddonsfield to act out a repressed remembrance of the horror of it all in a distorted candy party ritual that featured a final carving of a pumpkin at the end of it all, to close the whole ritual of the crossover of spirit and body).

So, strange, I have watched the scene many times, but only if you see it with the breasts involved, do you appreciate the degree to which Michael’s stabbing is an inversion of his sick curiosity over his sister’s sex, and his disgust at the betrayal of his fantasy of her for having disgusting dirty sex with some boy who is just using her, so he sees her nude and for that reason kills her, to purify himself of his rage and feelings of corruption, in her presence (acknowledging the theory that producer Moustapha Akkad brought an honor killing idea into the mix). But, then, this whole sexual sequence seems to parallel a ritual of the encounter with ghosts and spirits on Halloween, and the two are nicely folded into each other here.

Now, the issue of sex, of course, comes up at both the planned babysit visit by Annie to have sex with Paul, and then the fact that PJ Soles and Bob get the house to themselves, so they go have sex upstairs in the master bedroom. I have mentioned before how weird it is that they are fucking in someone else’s bed in someone else’s house, and it does not bother them at all. But, then, it kind of does, because they need, nonetheless, to create, if not a romantic, then a “their space”, inside the remote space, to make them feel, for the time of their sex, at home. So, in typical movie cliché of Icantwaittohavesex rushing to have sex, they tear off their clothes and let them fly on the floor. This is what I call a clearing out, where somehow in order to make the sex work you have to clear out from you all the mental reservations and worries of the world, but also any physical restraint that might prevent your body from taking in in full the exciting escalation of the action and thus carry it on through by a growing momentum of interaction to full on orgasm, and successful sex, in the logic of the sleepover one night stand world. So, yes, they do toss their clothes all over the place

0 0 0 0 5and their clothes are draped on the bed, as if to say, this is, for the time being, my territory (the shirt on post as a herm)

0 0 0 31now a curious touch is the lit pumpkin. Where might it have come from? How did it get there? Again, I have noted there is a certain time curiosity in the carving of the pumpkins in this particular town’s ritualization of the events of the day, with their ancient ghost-appeasement roots. Normally, a jack o lantern would be carved beforehand to sit outside on one’s porch on Trick or Treat night to not only keep ghosts at bay, to scare off evil in an apotropaic way, but also to show by a sign that this was a house that was participating in the ritual, as it does in, for example, Lincoln, NE, where not a third of the houses participate. So, in addition to its deep apotropaic function, it also signifies an intercession votive, come in, we are participating. It may be, then, that after it has served its function for outdoor Trick or Treat some people brought it in just for fun for the sake of the party for it to say it is party time and this is still Halloween. I imagine Soles fetching it from the porch and taking it upstairs to simply say that, it is still the holiday, and we are, by this sacred sex, participating in the human sacrifice ritual evasive form of sacred sex. That, then, is why a pumpkin is placed next to the bed. But then, it could also signify, as per the preceding, her carvable flesh, her smiling happiness at having sex, her body heat, so it serves as a kind of signifier of teenage sex too. It does seem to smile and even make faces as, when they roll about, they partially obscure it, for it to almost as if an avatar of Michael as a child, but this time in a sex positive way, to gaze on the sex

0 0 0 32and one must say their movement in the sack is a bit odd, at one point, he rears up, the pumpkin smiling

0 0 0 33then he kind of separates from her, as if concerned with something other than her breasts, sweating right beneath him

0 0 0 34but there is an amazing formal separation or pass on in this shot, from the pumpkin, to another presence it might already have suggested, as in his moment of pulling off, as if there is a problem, or the classic getting into it, but, then, feeling some presence haunt them (though usually it is the girl who balks), we see (and this shot too, I think, is rarely shown, as it seems that most TV versions of the movie cut this scene as it shows too much of the up and down and in and out of intercourse), we see a passing shadow of Michael Myers, and he just walks through the scene, like a shadow over their sex!

0 0 0 35It is as if he is the Nemesis, the god of carnage, to warn youth, do not have sex, bringing trouble getting it up to boys, for that purpose

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then, oddly, the moment passes, and he gets back into it and then it is in this attack that he seems to get back what he lost (my guess is that for a brief moment it seemed to him his dick was not getting hard enough to function, but then it recouped); and in this we see some breast nudity from Soles, they really get into it, it is presumed, by the movement of the bodies and the blankets, that orgasm is had by both; and then he rolls off, happy, satisfied, and as he rolls off, we get the fullest shot we will, also cut, of PJ Soles’ breasts, as if to speak to the happy girl, happy in sex, satisfied, relaxed, that is, her after sex in precisely the same position vis a vis the having of it as his sister was in Michael’s attack

0 0 0 36it is also to be noted, as if in an involuted micro-formalization of the scene, her nipple is quite hard, and her breast is heavily profiled by the pumpkin, indicating how hot she is, but also that the pumpkin, the gaze of the world upon her is, as it were, biting her nipple

0 0 0 37and then they have a smoke, with more casual, aftersex shots of her nipple, indicating presumed assumed normal intimacy of bodies, even if they are just horny teens

0 0 0 38then when he goes off to get a beer, she never to see him alive again (this also then a survivor view), she snuggles down in in life comfort and satisfaction of just having had her brains fucked out, as the language was back then

0 0 0 39and, then, the prankster arrives at the door. The prank is made believable or plausible by the fact that they are in fact soiling some other people’s sheets, they are rudely having sex on the sheets of the master of the house, they didn’t wash them, or put a new set on, they just jumped in, so this is kind of jokey acknowledgement of their journeyman or interloper status (oddly, this Halloween I saw some ghost idease, someone had a New Yorker cartoon of a husband discovering an unfaithful ghost wife, and the ghost the woman was caught with had escaped detection by becoming the bedsheet (this could be an old joke)

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then in Trick or Treat itself there was an inflatable display where an owl sat on a ghost tree, that is, a tree form, but it was a ghost). Also, he did play with his glasses, and put them on after sex, so this might be a ball spike joke to say how much he liked it, since he put his glasses on after sex too

0 0 0 40she clearly, given the fact that she had previously put up a pumpkin to give them some atmosphere, seems to interpret all this as an overture for round two, because she drops her sheet and asks him if he sees anything he likes, even if he has just spent a good amount of time with them, boys, a few minutes later, they are all good to go all over again, in the uncut version she does show a lot of chest, and a hint of nipple

0 0 0 41and then he is not him but Michael so she gets testy and bails out for the phone where, with more show of nipple, her second sex act comes in the form Michael likes it best as, a murder with a phone cord

0 0 0 42Michael’s experience with seeing them having sex, and then that they put a pumpkin up to light the way, imprints on him an idea of how people have sex today so to counter it in his thanatos version, sex equalling death, he comes up with the tableaux of Annie, whom he has taken from in the car up to the bed, to place there, then he has placed his mother’s tombstone, which he stole from the cemetery, and he has put the pumpkin here, and, also, by the way, disposed of PJ Soles and Bob in the closets, and this is his statement of “for me sex is death, and I will always only want to kill those who like my sister had sex around me in a way that entirely screwed me up by exposing me to it all way before I could know what it was” or something like that (the Freudian version of fetishism being a child sees thy parents having sex, thinks it violent, looks away, wherever the gaze falls, thy fetishize)

0 0 0 43all in all, then, an uncut version of the movie discovers a few more intricate wrinkles in the wiggle room that Carpenter wove around his little drama, and in so far as these make clearer the inversion of sex with death, but death choreographed on the model of sex; and in so far as the ritualization of it, as if an ancient rite, clarifies that this sex ritual is a variant on the human sacrifice aspect of the end of the Halloween ritual, which in Haddonfield takes the form of carving a go-away pumpkin at the end of it all, and Trick or Treat and kids just being the nexus psychopomps to carry it on in a diminutive way that does the job so that the danger cannot come back to us–all of this once again, on yet another level, enriches a viewing of this really very careful little masterpiece of filmed horror.

Blow Job (1980, aka dolce Lingua, Italy) and extreme situation point of view in griefstruck musing on the death of a lover (related to the Blind Spot hypnagogic effect).

Rev., Sep 19-Sep 20, 2019.

Note: nudity included.

Until recently, I believed that what I am going to call extreme situation POV, or ESPOV, was limited to the movies of david Lynch. In fact, I argued that the only way to make sense of the hypnagogy of Mulholland drive (2001) was to think of it as his imagining what the dream of a suicide looked like in the head of the dying diane on that bed in apartment 17 in the movie. That would be an example, then, of extreme situation ESPOV, that is, a movie told from the perspective not only of a single POV, but even more extreme, a single POV frozen or locked into a standpoint or startpoint of a particular situation or event. But, now, I see that there was a giallo movie which was based on a telling from the point of view of a girl when she got hit by a car at the beginning. And, now, with Blow Job (1980), I find that Alberto Cavallone is dealing with an extreme version of extreme situation POV, and the ESPOV is, that, earlier in the movie we see a couple, Stefano and diana, in a hotel room, she is quite eager to have sex, he is upset by the management trapping him, threatening to confiscate his car, for him to pay the bill. Then, we cut to an image of a distraught lady upstairs, directly over them

0 0 1then, she goes out the window

0 0 2they are shocked that she first hits their window, bloodying it

0 0 3they rush to the window, nude, but then he has an idea, this is a distraction, let’s clear out of here without paying, so they do

0 0 4then we go through the whole movie, where at the end, they have a fight, he trying to save her from the witches, or whatever it is they want of her

0 0 5but she goes out the window

0 0 6then, after a few more runarounds the witch breaks a mirror, says

0 0 7then we flashback, and see, shockingly, that it was diana that went out the window, and everything on screen since then was a movie of his mind trying to cope with what he had just experienced, and in fact dreaming up a whole rationale for why maybe she did it, or why he should get over it

0 0 8this is certainly an extreme example of ESPOV, extreme situation point of view, that is, it is an imagining of what is going through his mind in response to the suicide of a girl he’d been with on the road with for about a year. As with Martins’ movie Hellish Flesh (1977) this is another movie which finds in the unsettled crawlspace and wiggle room of life on the road, moving from place to place, a mind worrying about who or what he happens to be sleeping with at that moment. But, then, for that, we must ask, how does Cavallone communicate to us the clues that we are not watching what is really happening to him, but we are watching the scenario devised to exonerate himself by the man who experienced the suicide of his hotel girlfriend? We have to look for visual clues, then, as to how, by what trope or theme, Cavallone communicated to us that what you see is not what you are getting.

The first thing to be said is that I think the eponymous blow job happens with Sibilla, the witch, apart from the castle, in this scene, where we do not see the blow job because it is pictured way at the end of a tunnel in another room; and, then, too, she swings around to the camera so that her buttocks block the camera from seeing it. It is, I think, in this sex scene

0 0 9Then, we have to assume that as a result of this being controlled by witches that this to them is sacred sex, which means that sex acts, in escalation of intimacy or consumption of each other into each other, mean something, symbolically; so one can assume that there is a scale of importance in acts, and that a blow job meant a greater degree of transformation than a regular act of intercourse. Since this also makes more of a body part that cannot be shown on screen in soft core, this means that the buttocks is the displacement of that action. This might be why, when Stefano comes back to the castle, he sees not only a woman done up as an ostrich getting it from behind.

0 0 10but, as he comes in, there is a man he has seen before, and he has leaned a nude woman up against the wall, her feet up on the wall, her head down on the floor, for him to then inscribe a circle on her buttocks, then kiss each cheek

0 0 11One would hope that he was not engaged in some sort of coprophiliac play and the circle is made of feces, but that is certainly a possibility at this late, manneristic stage of Italian giallo, but, then, he just kisses her on each cheek

0 0 12then the woman from below smiles on him, Stefano, and I think that is, in fact, diana

0 0 13and it is the shock of seeing her submit to such a sexual perversity, as if having lost all pride of self in the body, the body in fact merging with the undifferentiated whole of being, that causes him to at last flashback to see that in fact the woman who jumped out the window was not a woman upstairs from them, which was an uncanny idea in any case, but diana herself, sick of him.

0 0 14This then would explain why when the woman who goes out the window lands below the camera lingers on the fact that, somehow, the fall disemboweled her, and all her guts are out

0 0 15which they comment on in conversational shock up in their room, it’s spaghetti, it’s a mess, it’s terrible, all mortality salience indeed, so, during that, diana can’t bear to think of it, so vomits in the bathroom sink, still in the nude

0 0 16this, then, posits, in a general sense, that the diana we see hereafter is not actual diana but either his thinking to himself why diana would do that, what drove her to it, thus she is an avatar of wondering in his mind, try to mind read her mind; then he is also trying to put together a scenario where by thinking back he imagines moments or things he might’ve missed which told him that they were drifting apart and he is unsure how he missed them. So, she stops being diana, a character, that is, a cult figure; and becomes diana, ex voto, an image of her after death, in which, making an offering at her death, he tries to figure out why she did it, and the movie consists of his mind trying to come up with that scenario. Then, of course, it would be amusing if as a man he could only come up with as it were an effigy of her consisting of the parts he liked best of her, which he would say was her ass, her cunt and her breasts. So, this is a radical view of a man trying in his limited way to imagine why she would kill herself. The question, then, is, do we, physically, get any clues of this ESPOV distortion in the movie? In fact, we do.

The first strange scene that tells one one is not watching an entirely conventional movie, but that a visual imagination is at play, trying to make cinematic point, is when Stefano is in bed, in the hotel, making calls; she is in the bathroom brushing her teeth, then, she comes in on him, eager to continue to just be high and have sex, and we are shown her trying to do that by being coy by crawling around on her knees around the side of the bed.

0 0 17she crawls around to the other side, her bottom fills up the screen, this is rare, in movie visuality

0 0 18then not getting a response from that side of the bed, she comes round the other side, all of this on her hands and knees, subservient, fun, playing.

0 0 19then she gets up over him, in the full enclosure of her crotch and breasts, but he continues to be unresponsive

0 0 20then, in a completely rare shot, she steps up over him, pussy over his face, putting him entirely under it, in the everyday casual nature of two people nude in bed together, and he is in the world of it, complacent

0 0 21but since he is still ignoring her, and given that she might be high, and wanting sex, and feels she is being ignored, it might be that in retrospect, this is his imagining of what state of mind she was in, when we see the woman upstairs, who is really her inside her head.

0 0 22then, I draw your attention to the unreflecting, glaring mirror. What this means is that what you see on screen is not a reflection of whom you see on screen, but that some other power is at work, outside the shot, and this force is splatting in a nightmare.

0 0 23thinking about this, at the time, I connected it with the same form in Wangechi Mutu’s sculptures at the Met, the circle on her forehead


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but then in a subsequent FB post related it to the splat, the form of the splat, meaning that the nightmare is not a reflection of the self, but of an invasive force. What I really mean by that, as I then experienced waking up from a “nightmare” of a sort the other night, is that, sometimes, when you wake up you experience the Blind Spot, or Ephialtes’ disc, this is what consciousness upon waking remembers of the content of the nightmare, which is nothing in the core of it, it is a blank; but then it struck me that the nightmare must’ve been about my current issues, and for all that all the worries came rushing in, and I wanted to block them out, but they came in in the form of lightning bolts flashing around the edge of the Blind Spot, but as just worries in vigilogogy taking on a highly intense form, almost a panic attack (Joyce said, “History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake,” this would be the form of that), so the Blind Spot is here, after the second ephialtic leap, in vigilogogy (ie sleepy wakefulness).

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I call this the Blind Spot, but more formally it is Ephialtes’ disc, it comes from the splat, second time up, it then has that fixed solid form, it blocks out memory of the actual nightmare, except that one is consumed indirectly by lightning flashes of worries of the issue it was likely related to, to be swamped in emotionality. I first noticed this sort of “eye” when Hurricane dorian stalled over the Bahamas last month, and its entire eyewall was a wall of lightning

0 0 27how it looked from below

0 0 28This was the graphic, but with lightning signs all around it

0 0 29This a picture from later on

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Thus, the graphic of the Blind Spot vigilogogic formation is a solid disc blocking out the previous content in a reflective-repelling glare; then it is surrounded by lightning strikes which represent the inferences of consciousness of what the nightmare was all about, due to the nature of all the worries swarming about it (this analysis confirms that the Blind Spot on Wangechi Mutu’s Seated (2019) is the form that a nightmare woken up from by the figure takes, then her sinuous striped form IS the lightning of concerns and worries nonetheless had, but controlled by the unreflective disc. This then would make sense related to the lore of the caryatid, originally a slave prisoner made to hold up the building of the victor, thus blocking that out, then being strained in a state of worry in perpetual labor)

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This would also, back in the movie, relate forensically to the stain of blood on their room window, how could a body bouncing off of it from a floor above make such an impact impression? it seems more likely to be the result of a gunshot spatter in the room, as she went out from here. This is likely viewed as the leap after the first splat, the second splat being death.

0 0 32Thus, there is a certain body language and body topos in the creation of the mental architecture of Stefano trying to imagine why diana would commit suicide. And it might be fair to imagine this movie as Actaeon trying to imagine why diana would send his hounds against him, for him having despoiled her unseen purity. So, in that logic, the buttocks symbolizes that what you are seeing is not what you are seeing, you are seeing the buttocks side, the backside of the screen, what you see on the screen is cover. This would then explain the clear path from diana showing her backside early, before suicide, then saying goodbye to him in an extreme ritualized form of him imagining that moment when she was being spunky, but he was distracted, so the buttocks counts. More so, that she was crawling around at the side of the bed. I have argued that the “under the bed” space is connected to the lattice as a body lies on it in the center of the third level of hypnagogy below. I have also placed Telesphorus as the dream guide who resides in dwarf form under that bed, to lead you on. In my construct of the Night Mirror I also argue that there is a loop whereby on the energy of a morning storm dream (there was thunder this morning, but it did not play), you can come in under the figure of the bed then come up through her to save her or yourself. In the movie The Green Man (1991, BBC) I argued that when in a second stage nightmare Albert Finney walks gingerly along the side of the bed he is skirting the under the bed space to find by the Narrow Path a pathway across the top of the REM state to the Far Place gained access to by way of the Cursed door.

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this, then, is here precisely communicated by this very rare shot. This is, more or less, HIM trying to imagine “where she was at” that might’ve lead to her to act impulsively in that moment, and go out the window.

0 0 34Then, too, in his imagining, there is an immediate lightening up to a more rationalized view of the same, she is the one who vanishes down the back hallway

0 0 35she is the one who drops all her worldly possessions down too. I have argued that bed sheets in giallo fused with them on laundry lines to create a field of evasion, in light dream, then, on par with dust sheets in haunted houses. But this is really a tighter twist of him thinking about her coming nude around the side of the bed, this is the bed sheet now all tangled up into a rope, a classic trope, to then communicate that all that happens from that material lead is also land of counterpane dreaming

0 0 36then she runs

0 0 37but this is only him taking that thought thinking about what she was doing, and, now, after slightly rationalizing it, swinging it round under a thought of “she’s dead” how did this lead to it, does this illustrate the moment of her snapping, impulsively, to jump?

0 0 38

then, of course, we have the magic encounter with the witch at the races. Diana is not there, at first, but he is, admitting he is basically confusedly fantasizing a what if? thinking of how by some miracle he might’ve alleviated the situation to make things better for them, so she wouldn’t have done it.

0 0 39But then he is pulled up short again by another I cant believe she’s dead moment, seeing death himself on a motor cycle look back at him, then death shuts down their car, so he has to absent himself, to go get help, leaving diana in a dream, with the witch.

0 0 40then it is communicated that, mentally, in his grief, he is now under the bed too, looking up, and imagines diana in bed, but, now, resentfully, worrying if she was getting anything else, she is with another, and a lesbian witch too

0 0 41sex that for the first time brings her crotch into the picture, as her pants are unzipped, and the witch puts her hand down them.

0 0 42In terms of body topography it is quite clear that what his mind musing on all this most misses about her is sex with her, which would be symbolized by her pussy, which means, in 70s movies, the bush. Having established, in the pornomorphy of the movie, that the buttocks is the primary channel through which his post-mortem under the bed imaginings of her are going to dwell, since that is somewhat unsightly to talk too much about, except in that one true laugh-at-him scene at the end, where diana laughs him off as a fool, this tunnel vision is transferred to her crotch, and, in the symbolism of 70s movies, to her bush (70s slang for pubic hair). There is a lot of bush in this movie, for sure. It is all but a spelunking operation in bush. It has to be accepted that, one, as I mapped out years ago, bush came to represent “total nudity” as it was a clear cut visual sign that the woman in question on screen was not toying with you like a stripper by not showing you what you think you were seeing, but she was in fact actually totally naked. Then, it became an exoticized trope place related to all sorts of things from cats, to bats, to jungles, to caves, to whatever, earth goddess symbolism. It could be argued that whilst the text of the movie will soar into all sorts of otherworldly rhetoric, all of this was wasted on Stefano who mostly misses her sex. The pussy is also somehow associated with death, or, again, it is the thing most missed by her death, she shows her bush in this shot

0 0 43then sees death behind her (note again the glare of the lamp, blocking out sight)

0 0 47later, under the guise of a patriarch

0 0 48the witch, again, drops to crotch

0 0 49later, with a lot of mumbo jumbo, taken aside by another witch, he is conquered by bush

0 0 50when the sex scene which leads to the eponymous blow job starts, it starts with bush, conquering, setting the tone, laying out the landscape of it

0 0 51he is entirely in its thrall (this echoing on the opening scene in the hotel bed)

0 0 52when the blow job comes it is like sending the phallus into the bush, or the body of the female in a different way; exactly at the moment when he is given his blow job, I think, the witch, back at the house, arrives by carryall into the party

0 0 53as the bush still rules back at the cave

0 0 54now diana lets loose, as does the camera, focusing on her bush

0 0 55it is rare to see a nude dance in a movie, all the angles.

0 0 56center of everything

0 0 57then the more extreme dancing, touching herself below, or the witch touching her, now, the touch of death

0 0 58afterwards, the witch with one eye burnt closed now also shows her bush to him, the final ta da (this is after he runs off, feeling that Diana, up against the wall, insulted him)

0 0 59then she takes control in a way that seems somewhat compromising to him, he lays back

0 0 60but then he can’t get it up (the witch is very disappointed)

0 0 62then back at the house he has a fight with bottomless diana in the bathroom, she goes out the window

0 0 63all of this posits to me a body topography in close-up on the bed in the lattice, as such

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that is, he is basically trying to imagine some scenario by which this might’ve made sense; so, in denial, he posits a rethink whereby they are hijacked by a witch, that witch is a lesbian who steals diana away from him, she fills her with all sorts of ideas, that then drives her to suicide. But, all the while, he cannot help stopping himself, a hundred times, thinking it through, but, damn, she’s not here anymore, there is no more sex with her; thus by way of the innerds of the corpse of the suicide on the ground he imagines the buttocks as the body part that sent him into this deep dream state but when all the subplots seem to all be being lead through a tunnel of bush to force upon him the idea he cannot believe, she is dead, he at last sees that having thought this through through her body, he comes to understand that she is dead, and he must go on. It is, like I said, without working it out any more than that, an extreme situation point of view, an ESPOV, this is his imagining of why it happened or how it might been avoided going through his tortured mind thinking of their time together and all of it because so immediately at a time when their sex life was still the basis of everything, framed within a repeated disbelieving shout of realization that he is never going to make love to her again, so he keeps falling, and falling, to at last come face to face with death. It is a very good example of extreme situation point of view, indeed.

De Chirico’s dream mis an scene, a preliminary mapping of his hypnagogic world.

Rev. May 19, 2019.

Note: “Ophthchthony” is an invented word to account for the fact that after a figure-eight formation of a double nightmare, one might experience a third stage, consisting of sleep paralysis, in which case one can gaze down through the “surreality” of dream to the truth shot far below. This structure, which is fairly common in dream-based movies, is here applied to art. Ophth “means” seeing, chthon “means” the darkness, seeing through the darkness. See previous post, Summer 2018, on Chthulhu Mansion (1992).

In working out the various reasons why de Chirico’s various styles, past his classic style, the style that made him famous, in my view are every bit as rich as his valued work, the issue is that of mis en scene. As I apply the term to painting, I argue that especially scenic paintings have mis en scene based on interiority, or the projection of interiority onto the exterior world. If interior, as in de chirico’s case, while the painting and his painting it might exist on a vigilogogic level, it is easier if I just argue that all of it somehow relates to the interaction between viglogogic and hypnagogic, in the manner in which I dealt with the work of Jasper Johns (see previous post). By mis en scene in this context, I mean what I did with Neo Rauch, with Johns, with others, that, somehow, the painter found a way to delve into many different states of dreaming or reverie, and, doing that, soon found that he could go from space to space, and create a series of paintings based on the mind-travel to this or that place in the dream formation. What this means, generically, is that if I take his whole oeuvre, then I can place various works depending on how they relate to the vigil-hypnagogic whole, and whatever the arrangement amounts to, that will be his mis en scene, over the course of his career.

ch 1but the fascinating thing about de Chirico is that it looks like he also found some places based on dynamic agency dream theory, that is, he experienced, for example, nightmares, night terrors, and even the ephialtic leaps back to thinking he was awake, he experienced the paralysis of that state, and, then, somehow, he stared down into his world and saw it differently, down at the end of the telescope.

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thus, while it is tempting to say that this painting is just a picture of the village of dreams, moving out below into the glass onion, both in hypnagogy

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That is, like this

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that is, to see it as a picture of crossing over, the tower represents the central core, of wakefulness, now cast into the background, the train is moving along on the narrow path of dream from core to periphery, still in the waking state, then the distance is the crossing over, then, once you get over, there are some conjure figures, always seen out of the corner of the eye in that zone, including a conjure statue or mannequin in the middle, and then the arches recede up to us either side, down into the glass onion, to complete the picture. It kind of works. However, the problem is that the tower establishes that it all happens in the central core of the psyche, that is, this is where de Chirico’s paintings take place

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once you begin to move through adjunct space, things are centripetal, moving away from the center, toward the periphery, and you cannot, in fact, get to a quiet center like he paints in in his classic work. So, how did he get here? The answer is that the only way to get there in my way of thinking at present is to have gone, off or precanvas, into a triple-nightmare formation, to end you up in the third leap spot, up on the lattice ledge of vigilogogy gazing down

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then, by the dynamic wake of it, there will be in the background, a windup residual effect projected on the matter by the first splat, then a second windup by the second splat, to suspend one between sleeping and waking, or being unable to tell, and, then, it is paralyzed, which accounts for the uncanny stillness of his art, drifting down over it, and, finally, he sees it by way of “ophthchthony”, by peering through a telescope at things that are small because they are far away, but things which are very highly chiseled and quite clear what they are, in this setting, because he is “seeing through the darkness” to their truth. In this formation, then, de Chirico painted in his classic style centralized pictures of the passage of ophthchthony through the darkness into dream, to, invested with the monumentality of the core, the stillness of the paralysis, the distance of the gaze, the backup of the leaps from sleep to waking, making it both, all these are characteristics of this amazing type of painting, a true, rare dream formation painting, a painting, in fact, of ophthchthony. Then, when he chose to paint variations, he just rotated his gaze around in that space. It looks like he also made use of time of day to get variation

ch 7Then, the first variations, I posit that, situated in three depths, based on the norms of space, fore, mid and background, but with the understanding that this distancing also looked UP back into the telescope of the ophthchthonic gaze, and, for that, he felt there was more weight above, than below, and this changed the pictures.

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for example, when the tower in the center becomes more foreboding and oppressive, such as in this painting

ch 9This is that

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that is, it is painted, if not literally, then conceptually, from at the base of the visual plane, on the hypnagogic lattice, looking back up into the ophthchthonic scope. This causes more foreshortening, and vertical degree of sight, things up top look more ominous, so take on a more formidable tower form, and then that means the distance between it and the view is wider, meaning he can fit a village in there; then the statue in the square is more imposing, vertical, silhouette, and so it goes, it results in this kind of painting. You are looking UP at the painting painted in ophthchthony, but it is looking down still at you, and there is that in the painting, it gives it a heavy, looming feeling. At present, when I deal with this looking up, I have identified a few forms of it in the context of the Night Mirror dream formation, but this straight looking back up into the direct core of ophthchthony, at present I just call it a splat view, and, in so far as it is view added onto to the view that formatted the whole painting (so the painting is a view, re-viewed from a different place it was originally conceptualized from, thus binocular), it is a re-view, a self-reflecting nexus in the process, if not in the mapping of the painting.

Then, there are others, where he closes in, and just views it all from across the square. It still has that stillness that I think can only originally have come from sleep paralysis in the eldritch process, it still has its “miniaturization,” or micropsia, that is, looking at it from afar, from the telescoping effect of ophthchthony, it still has that unreal color, it all looks like a truth shot at the bottom of a third attempt to get to it, but, spatially, it is narrower, less vertical, on a sort of upward diagonal

ch 11I place it there

ch 12then, finally he goes right into the town

ch 13And this I place here, solidly in the glass onion level of hypnagogy, with shadow playing at the entoptic realm, all up close, but still in the core ophthchthon space

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somehow, in his mind, de Chirico was able to accordion out the stages of vigilogogy and hypnagogy, somehow he knew about the structure of nightmare, and the way it affects seeing, he knew about sleep paralysis, and its effect on the body and sight, and he could incorporate it all into a centralized style of painting, at the core, characterized by the core ophthchthony, but, then, calibrated to different moods and tempers by parsing it according to the allowable measurable distances in the mis en scene. This is abstract, but, if I was to parse the spaces from line to line, to every other line it can interact with, then go up and down the scale, I could, but I will call all this intra-core, or intra-ophthchthonic views of his core work, and for now leave it at that. Within the central core classic space of his art, he was able to create a great deal of variety for knowing that he was constantly operating within ophthchthonic space inside the telescope, but, then, telescoping hypnagogy to vigilogogy, from lattice, glass onion and entoptic levels, to each of those above, and this was the sum total of the set of relations that he was able to work with in this core art of his.

But I want to move on to the fact that, in addition to staying in this core, and being able to move back into it at any time in his career, from now on, he also ventured out from it, into adjunct space, and, thus, into the various dream formations I write about more often than the core, including the ambient and maybe even the sentient, which I will study next. These will entail first of all, determining the basic agency of his work, in order to argue that he felt he had to go out into adjunct space because he wanted to recreate his world in the ground of a different agency.

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But while he can and does spin about variations within the silo of the stillness of ophthchthony, he also seems to step aside into an adjunct space, to look back at the space from an angle outside of it. This one, The disquieting Muses, the POV seems to be out to the side, seen in close-up from there. They are on some sort of roof, and the slant of the sun comes from the right behind your right shoulder. And yet they still retain that “stillness” the eeriness of which I think he only got and was able to get in the paralysis of an episode of ophthchthony (or remembered from germinating episodes, I am not saying he could only paint while having an episode).

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I place this here.

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that is, his mind could only to get to that state by splatting, after a blockage of ophthchthony, out toward the Ambient zone; but, in this case, in my view, stopping in the place that lies past the village of dreams, the twinfire zone, just as it crosses over, but then he looks back. In this scenario, while still in the de Chirico truth-seeing stillness, the emphasis has shifted from gazing holistically on the eerie stillness of it all, to dealing with an array of symbols which one is invited to push around, just as one does in the light sleep stage I call the glass onion, where it is you push around symbols, and just repeat it, over and over again, and the Presque vu of it is created by the stillness. What he sees out here is, however, just as “still” as his core work, precisely and only because he knew the path from one to the other, and stayed on it, carrying the magic to the periphery.

Then, also in the “foreground” but from the side are paintings in the same vein, but with a different mood, of a darker or more melancholy quality, such as The Song of Love

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And I place this on the other side of the dream state, it still has that quality of ophthchthony, as if a truth shot, but it is more cryptic and crepuscular, so for me that comes in with the other side, Chthon, but, again, in the glass onion, entirely of symbols

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but then there are moments when he goes back to the moment of the splat itself, and situates his mind there, and, as if in a meta state, comments on the generation of his own dream-state painting; and this one, the double dream of Spring (1915) is double because it involves BOTH the ophthon and chthon sides of bounces from the splat to a truth shot, and he arrests his mind there, at the top of the REM state, for a bit.

ch 20And in works like The Anxious Journey (1913) he can and does go into the darkness of the Chthon zone, fallout from the sight of truth

ch 21And on each vector he, of course, made many, many variations, and, note the irrelevance of dates, he found, could return to and find again all of these places, at all points in his career, his mind just moved from one to one.

But, for that, then, I argue that all the paintings that he did within the fallout zone of the original fall of his work, the nightmare drive, to then by an event of ophthchthony see into the truth of things, represented by the uncanny stillness of his cityscapes of his mythical truth town, all of this happened in the hypnagogic realm.

But, then, there are even greater variations. I noted in review of a movie or two that there are other spaces within the hypnagogic, depending on how the mind got there, that can become the site, mentally, of painting. One thing that he does is seem to move as it were into a building on the plaza of his town, to simply arrange things in a more concentratedly symbolic, but utterly glass onion manner, we are, then, in an interior. Such as in the Melancholy of the departure (1913)

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I sense a different Stimmung here, it is not the paralyzed awed stillness of the paintings in the zone of ophthchthony, but offers a more searching, piecemeal, investigatory gaze, you pore over and explore. This, then, is not in the zone, or in any fallout from it, but situated as if in a false-ophthon space as I mapped out for when a daimon takes over, trapped in a place in hypnagogy got to only by some circuitous route. As such this I suppose for the other side, Melancholie, Hermetique (a herm against danger too).

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as such

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But, then, something else happened, and, in this, I mimic what occurred in my own exploration of hypnagogic space. He discovered a larger scope of conceptualization, and this had to do with mood and the degree to which agency is intensified or released by a mood in a particular Stimmung. To make a great generalization, arguing that all of his painting in the classic form is hypnagogic, all of it also is cult art, that is, though mysterious, and sometimes problematizing the space, all of the paintings that have that original stillness caused by a truth shot borne of a telescoping of ophthchthony in his work, all seek to return to some pure, mysterious, alive past. All are imbued, by the crystal gaze of truth, with a serene nostalgia, a longing, a cult desire to find ground and safety in a mythical place before time.

But, then, as he lived with this world, somehow, he also began to realize that every time he picked up a brush, he was not duty bound to return to that pure prototype space, but that that space somehow had, by the process of his work, come forward in time to involve even his painting today in it, that is, it had brimmed over out his classic work, to allow for wider swings of dream. Moreover, each of these swings had a different agency. So, in a body of work much deplored as less serious, he learned that his world had a road that could lead to a beach and on that beach things of a sort could happen, and, bounced out from his original splat nightmare, it would be composed of elements of it, but let loose along a much freer and more open liminal space, crossing over into the easy-flowing atmosphere of the Ambient zone of dream. And this is what happens in, for example, Alexandros (1935).

ch 31Though the symbolism of the painting is traceable to origins back in town, the horse has emerged as a symbol of a new force, and then they are in an entirely marginal, ambient zone, a seashore, at the end of his mental world. I place this here.

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that is, with the original ophthchthonic drop, splat and bounce out as premise, by that dynamic carrying the ruins of classical culture, and references to it, out over the hypnagogic into the further out Ambient zone, at the level of the lattice, since the body exists here in bodily form, we are out in the perimeter of his world. And because it is so ambient, and flowing, and the space circulating under his feet, that accounts for why the horse becomes the symbol, and why the horse has such amazing manes, and why things are so loose and open, he just is able to let his mind run out on the beach as he imagines it at the edge of his internal dream world, I will call this site, lateral to the lattice, in Ambient space above the zone of Ophthon (because bounced out), The Perfect Beach, and for a good deal of time, de Chirico spent his time in mental relief on the perfect beach, another one, The dioscouri on the Beach (1934)

ch 33The fact that de Chirico was obsessed with the Dioscuri, if I recall said to be the patrons of the small Greek town he was born in, suggests that there is a structural twinness or twinfire form in his work as well.  In that regard this ambient space might also have meant to him that once you pass over into it everything doubles, as well as becomes more profuse and flowing. This would suggest that the bounce out to this zone passed through a twinfire trapping (recollecting that I make no claim that this is what happened in his particular formulation of the arrangements) and thus he saw Ambient space as a circulation of doubling space

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it is the free flowing quality of these spaces, the easy arrangements of forms, that interested me when I saw them. They can multiply, to populate the zone, they have a touch of cult intent, but, by and large, they are more intercessional, as if they are taking you somewhere, all is adventure, like in Puritan and Centaur in a horse fight on the beach, he can, like Virgil in the Aeneid bring in anything

ch 35He can go minimal, abstract, just a scene of two horses by the beach

ch 36Or go off into pure Greek myth legend pictures, like Perseus, to be hung in a magical beachhouse by his beach

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And, in my view, with the previous, he also goes to even a further out point, he leaps out into the Sentient. Though I reserve the sentient zone for far whirring noises like winds or whispers, spinning wide around the conceptualization of mindspace, it is also true that in his mind the myths of old might’ve spun exactly as if unspoken whispers and lore and tellings and the like way at the far outside tinnitus of his mind. And, for that, he felt that if he went to a place, far out on a beach, then, he could also pass out into the sentient space.

ch 38And it is out here that he could in his mind revisit mythical spaces, and, vis a vis, still tethered to, his original ophthchthony, still find a certain stimmung, way out on a place in Thessaly, The Bank of Thessaly, where he was born, in these mysterious pictures, indeed, there is a certain how-did-I-get-here? do I really want to be here? feeling, like stepping onto a beach unknown in Jason and the Argonauts (and Apollodorus describes how the first thing the Argonauts did every single time they stepped onto a new beach was makeshift an altar to thank the gods for survival of the last leg, and isn’t this votive a model for mythic art?); there is, then, a touch of danger, but a willingness to encounter it, if there is more of deeper cult feeling, or truth to be got there, like a truth got as per the mission given you by a story like the golden fleece; then you go in, and in this far zone we have an apotropaic/intercessional/cult, prototype compound impulse that is, still, in his mind, an uncanny transposition of his original idea

ch 39Then, too, there is the stormy dark, Chthon side

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As such

ch 41But while these might be trophy works, on site, exulting in a mental return to a world of adventure which, on the premise of his original vision of his truth, in the core of the quiet town, exists as a counterpart, there is also, then, another possible pivot in this universe. Just like in a myth, he can bring these things home, that is, back into town. And he represented this return of the adventurer in the form of a recreations of the forms reduced to objects or symbols held in hand by abstract figures, sometimes literally functioning only as mannequins, and by this means, see them in a more placid and distanced way, relics of the great adventure, returned to becoming symbols for in-town life consumption, like The Archaeologists (1927).

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As such

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Thus, these counter from previous discovery, and have an entirely folded over feeling, as if part of his world brought back, and they also for me have a much more easy-going and even generous spirit, and to me they are the equivalent of votives left at sacred sites, or trophies made of objects from the trophy in a war, back at the temple offered as votives there, they have a very charming, touching quality, these were the works that I responded to last summer (2018).

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When I was trying to figure out why after a night of incubation votaries would have miniature model votives, what I call genre votives, made for them, after leaving, at the Caruso caves (Larsen, Greek Nymphs)

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and, here, in the 20th century, was EXACTLY THE SAME THING!

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And, then, like in The Return of Ulysses, it is almost as if he is making of his little interior space, his space of reflection, little children’s games of pretending, setting up a battle of lions and tigers and bears (like we used to play in the dark in our bedroom), a perfect little miniature world of the adventuring spirit of other of his paintings made good. The feeling of these paintings is so different from the stern, serene, discovery of cult truth in the core town site pictures, these are welcoming, playful, fun, votive paintings, offerings, to be painted when in a generous, or thinking-of-times-past mood

ch 48Then, too, the level of variation, how much could he bear to remember, to bring back in, how generous was he feeling, any given day, this is where the stimmung comes in (as, for example, various themes of pornography are made to accommodate various states of arousal or what you can bear on a particular day). So, here is another Ulysses, but this wave back into town brought with it much, much more of a beachside painting; so it also has in it a fantasy or counter form of the easy intercessional impulse of the free and easy beach paintings (even more interesting, he played with space, as this seems to be a house at the beach, with his ambient liminal scenery right outside the window).

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After a time this approach became more nexus-oriented and by that I mean in his mind he shifted them into the in-between waking and dreaming space I call the Luor, he probably had a name too, and, for that, they become like the nexus room, also where I situated, conceptually, the Caruso cave models

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To, as it were, as a turnstile, manage the movement from one zone of his world to another

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and then, without going into it, he found he could do this shift from exterior to interior, and back again, over and over again, with the gladiators, the wrestlers, all the temples, maybe even the horses, it all could flow in and around in the circulation of his mental passage in his dream world as he concocted it over the course of sixty years painting.

A final word about another group of paintings. If, on the model of the previous, after a while he could just “visit” a “place” in his world, without having to go through the whole derivation from the original truth shot–the fall, the splat, the bounce, the spin, the spin back, the return–he could just go to, for example, a place outside the village of dreams in the entoptic zone, as it drops to the glass onion, and that is, where, for example, I place the Mysterious Baths paintings, yet another place he discovered, which kept some of his uncanny spirit in it, he says it right in the title, a Visit to the Mysterious Baths (1935)

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And these I place here, right transitioning out of the back parts of the village of dreams as it crosses over into the glass onion, but farther out, almost as if crossing over into the ambient, for its space to be able to spread about at the edge of things like a leaf fort or the like, this too.

ch 54I imagine I could, in fact, encyclopedically place pretty much every painting de Chirico ever did, as happening somewhere in the internal hypnagogic world I have generally mapped out. There are places even I have not yet discovered, but, this is how it works. The reason he could be so prolific, and so changeable, changing from body of work to another on a dime, making chronology all but irrelevant in his work, and making art history’s preference for the original “surrealism” body of work over anything else he painted ridiculous and jejune, is that, as he worked it through, but most of all, after he had, indeed, an experience of a triple bounce nightmare that lead him by a telescopic vision down to the truth shot of his soul, ophthchthony, he was free to, given this key to explore all of the mysteries of feelings lurking in his mind. As I have tried to map out in movies, so in de Chirico, he was a hypnagogic traveler in the world of the mind, and made a record of every place he ever went to, leaving us a full mapping of a space and spaces in the mind that very few of us, alas, ever knowingly get to visit.

Devolutions of the body in recent art: “potentials”, “wriggling figures”, “entomes” and other dream forms.

Artists mentioned Titus Kaphar, daphne Ahlers, Nils Alix-Tabeling, Rochelle Goldberg, Brook Hsu, Beth Collar, Suspiria (2018).

Rev., Apr 29, 2019.

In recent scanning of the perimeter for advances in contemporary art, as opposed to simply providing the status quo with fodder for maintenance of it, I have come to see that “body art” has undergone a strange new decomposition. A number of artists, especially in Europe, but involving a few Americans, have begun to address the body from a more “evolutionary” viewpoint, and, then, too, inside a dreamlike consideration of what, exactly, the body is. The issue is the continued power of the binary when it comes to telling us what bodies are, genderwise. Because society at large is controlled by the “mind forged manacles” and those are always generalized and binary, there is little danger that a male-female binary will be entirely dismantled any time soon; but, artists can dream of a time when that happens, or chart paths of mind or dream with wiggle room in them by which that might happen. And it looks like the strategy that has been most often developed by various artists is to return to a prototype space, preexistent to the current binary state, and, then, from that new premise, work up from there.

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that is, they have been working in their particular mode, artist A making art A with various qualities, but ruled by the binary, and then viewer takes that in as “contemporary art” which may or may not make an impression on him or her. The main problem with art made about gender making use of the binary to critique the binary, well, you see the problem, it is just a vicious cycle, a spinning wheel, going nowhere. This sort of batting back and forth of the binary has become, of course, the premise and structure of all the “cultural” journalism disguised as art criticism that appears in the press and is as a result the sixth grade level of discourse that clouds minds with its endless rationalization, and its silly self-defeating ping pong of binaries.

The way out, then, is to leave the debate, to step aside or step out to reject the premises and terms of the binary itself. This is done by the artist undertaking a reagent sidestep to set up their practice on a nonbinary premise, and, for that, most artists that I have run into using that reagent reset have pushed past and through the space of their previous work into a prototype zone relative to it, and then set up a new idea of things in that prototype space.

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in my terms, prototype space is somewhat dangerous because relative to what you have set inside current art in its medial relations, the prototype is real life, and this risks a return to essentialism in some form. But it is also true I have shown in several different ways how movies can backbuild the premise to an ever more essential or root cause of the scare, for by that strategy claim for its fright a primal quality. I have also explored how every time in ancient Egyptian art over many, many centuries, the conventions of the moment began to deplete and feel washed out the Egyptians reagently regrouped by intensifying the art again, and again, and again, mainly by looping back into a previously unexplored prototype space as imagined prior to the conception of the prototype space they were working with (in all cases, the mistake made by the rational mind is that this prototype is a precise, real thing, when it exists as “prototype” only relative to the current disposal of forms or media in the art). What appears to be going on in the discourse of body art is a similar effort by artists of a younger generation to intensify things by backbuilding into the prototype space, the wild west of body art, and see if they cannot find something there that can ground a new movement forward. They have, that is, undertaken a purposeful regression, in order to then, having found a ground that speaks to them, move forward from that.

In his commentary on his newer glass pieces, for example, the artist Titus Kaphar, who has interested me a great deal because he has been deconstructing portraits of the men of the house, ie slaveholders, into haunted portraits, which is, precisely, a deconstruction of the cult prototype image of the world of the slave, in an interview in Artnet (April, 2019), he explains that his method involved retrenching by way of abstraction (and glass, and it is a matter of interest as well that a lot of artists using this mode of approach have also enlisted glass and ceramic for their capacity to perhaps better represent what they conceive as a more intense, mucky, gooey, inosculate and conjoined type of space). My comment on FB

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this, I think, is what he calls a “potential” of the form of a “hero”’

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This is the quote, from Artnet

“A lot of what you’re doing, whether it’s sculpture or painting, is creating a balance in how we view our country’s difficult past. There’s almost this act of negating, or an element of pulling away, from the image of Jefferson to reveal the story of Sally Hemings through this glass vitrine.

So there are a couple significant parts to the material and the approach to the “Monumental Inversions” pieces. You know, we think of molds as a means to an end in a sculptural process. The mold tends to be the thing that gets us to the ultimate object. But I’m fascinated by the mold itself because the mold is also representative of this idea of potentiality. The mold is at once the absence of the object itself and all of the potential for it. And so for me to take these significant and important figures—the founding fathers—and represent them as molds, as potentiality, there is a way where you can recognize both the negative and positive things they did in their lifetime. We either deify or demonize our founding fathers and neither one of these extremes is beneficial from a historical point of view. And so with the works in this series I attempt to stack on top of each other the narratives of the founding fathers—that we have been bombarded with for our entire lives—and the narratives that we have always known but swept under the rug and didn’t want to bring to the surface”.

Kaphar’s word is “potential,” that is, he backbuilds to a state prior to the binary, where the binary elements of it revert back by merging into an undifferentiated whole (the degree to which this is related to the existential, or the attraction to the primal, I leave off for now). The form that his outlines of elements of statues in glass, for example, have, is only in its “potential,” somehow, something will grow from its suggestion, but it will be different, from this point, a different binary or no binary at all might grow, and this is where he works, in the “potential.” Here is his example

0 6Kaphar explains (also in Artnet)

“One of the works in particular, a sculpture I did a little while ago called A Pillow for Fragile Fictions (2016), which is blown glass in the mold of George Washington’s bust. The glass vessel is about two feet long and three feet high. Because it is hand-blown glass the figure of Washington is distorted. The piece started out after a friend read this book about George Washington and his relationship to slavery. To summarize the narrative, Washington had become sick of this one slave continuing to run away. So Washington decided to trade this man for a grocery list of items: tamarind, rum, lime, and molasses. So in this sculpture, those elements are actually what are inside of the vessel itself, this distorted glass bust”.

So, “potential” is the word. Then, even more interesting, on the same day, I viewed the art of Daphne Ahlers and in her press release she also makes use of the word “potential,”

“Perhaps Daphne Ahlers’ works could at first be described as revealing a relation to the body. We see impressions of faces, shapes of female genitalia, or structures that remind one of limbs or body fluids. However, the relation to the body is rather subtle and has to do with the utilized materials that include latex, silicone wads, nylon, or soft shell. With Ahlers, the body is usually not whole but remains a fragment. It is not evoked as an agent or an experiential space located beyond what can be grasped with language in the sense of a mystical or magical experience; and it is also not something that is expanded or altered along the lines of post-humanistic or post-identitary ideas. This is remarkable because especially in the past years the body has experienced quite a revival based on these aspects and potentials and is highly present in contemporary artistic and theoretical discourses”.

one could suspect from this that it might be artspeak or a buzzword in the making but for now its application is so particular and precise, and a dead on description of exactly what is going on, that, no, I don’t think we are in the pile-on moment when people who don’t know what they are talking about begin to exploit the term to use it inaccurately etc. Her realization of the word is also more literal, in that she presents forms which mimic in size, the body, and that is this large cushion form, a kind of effigy formation, and then she “dresses” them in ways that in abbreviating references to gender pushes them back down some imaginary evolution to start over from undifferentiate to by miosis dividing into some other binary state. Thus, in this one

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this one too

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(This from Daphne Ahlers, Die Langstreckensängerin, Halle für Kunst Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Germany, January 19 – March 29, 2019).

At this point, since this is also a kind of regression from consciousness–which in any time is defined by the binaries of social understanding by which people conventionally live–the scale of the work and then the operation of backbuilding to a “potential” state upon it happens in certain vigilogogic or hypnagogic zones.  Since Kaphar works in glass with forms from public statues, and there is a faint whiff of de Chirico in his strange proto-statues, I think vigilogogy, daydream forms; but Ahlers works in more clothing or even bedding forms and this suggests the intimacy of the gown prowl in horror movies, and, for me, this, if for now only by association (she did a piece on witches burned in Glasgow), places her art in the hypnagogic. It is also in the hypnagogic, simply for convenience sake, I will place other works talked about here, to keep an easy hierarchy.

And there is a hierarchy, as I have mapped out a thousand times, I argue that there is a space in the mind between when the mind nods off into light sleep, falls through certain phases, and then finally drops into REM dream state.  I have mapped out, lighter to heavier, leading to stage five, which is REM, the entoptic, the symbolic (what I call the glass onion), the lattice, and the whoosh; and, then, if the whoosh drops you in a spiral down in you slip into REM and have real dreams. And in each phase there are also segways into adjunct spaces where the mind can stall; and also dynamic dysfunctions, most of them at present worked out involving the ephialtic drop or leap, as a nightmare is experienced as a whoosh, then it splats, and if it splats that means you bounce out of nightmare into some further ambient lost zone. Using this model, and seeing what Kaphar and Ahlers are doing to forms, to backbuild into a prototype space where they are “potentials,” I place them such

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but, then, vertically, I enclose that agentic array inside the zones of hypnagogy. I place them there because the basic human form of the form is still suggested, and still at “life size,” that is, the same scale as a human. They are simplified in order to act symbolically, but in a “potential” way remaining undefinable, that is, no signified or meaning assigned to them. At present, I place these “potentials,” taking somewhat human form, in the lattice, that is, third stage hypnagogy, concentrating on the body, since I have for some time located the single thing concentrated on when the mind gets heavy as very often consisting of the body, with elements of the adjunct lattice being extensions of the sleeping body itself imagining itself differently. I have seen this often in movies, here it is in art.

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I should also say that I have already, in a less discriminating way, sensed something odd in body art over the last five years, and noted as early as 2014 that there was a trend sparked by Tobias Spichtig since 2015 in making use of clothing to represent the body, and then he actually treated clothing to allow it to stand up or sit in galleries, and that’s what he was doing

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But this I called a homunculi, on the model of what is called a homunculi in brain science, that is, a physical representation of the connection of two body systems in a grotesque image of that body. But then, for me, homunculi, I now see, were “further out” toward the ambient, and might even have participated in a discussion of what I call psalliction, the sentient forces of the universe tearing the body apart, and leaving only devastated elements of it. All of this was homuncular art. but I placed it far out to the ambient, and, then, lower down, feeling the first vibes of whoosh to pull it apart. By contrast, as potential in lattice adjunct space seems rather stable, and symbolic, and tends in the devices of its alteration, at least in Ahlers, to use symbolic discourse, so I place it nearer in, and in the uppermost level of the lattice, toward and maybe even crossing over to the symbolic (glass onion). For now, then, this is where I see both Kaphar and Ahlers working with potentials.

But, then, at roughly the same time, I learned another word. Two Czech artists, Anna Hulacova and Zsofia Keresztes, had a show at Colleredo Palace, Czech Republic, in which they described the decomposition of body into some primal state prior to the binary, as “entomes,’ which is the Greek word (which, of course, I love, since I use Greek words to nail down both the specificity of the concept and my ability to remember it, given my increasing memory problems) for insects, which as in-sect, that from the latin, literally means, “alive after it has been torn apart” (the sect part), and this is what they came up with.

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I would hesitate, however, to call these straight on entomes because they look too large and too fluid for insect forms, which suggest something smaller and more “dissected,”

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and this, I think Hulacova

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again, Zerestez, this from a one person show.

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As is, with their curves, and their vertiginous quality, I would have to locate this particular type of entome, which I guess I will call positive-entomes, in close to the spiral of the life force, and near the very bottom, almost about to fall off the lattice, overseen, in fact, I would think, in my mapping, by a caretaker.

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But, then, at the same time, that, I was also watching Luca Guadignino’s Suspiria (2018) and by way dance witchcraft Olga, a rebellious dancer, was reduced to a broken pulp

0 20And, later, it was found that there was yet a room in the school where such reduced-to-pulp broken bodies, almost as if entirely and only works of animation now, alive by the spell on them only, and no other means in them, were left to lie in a dark room

0 21surely, this was a horrifying idea, but a more accurate realization in the flesh of entomes, that is, living on after being torn apart. Since the battery done on them by way of witchcraft and dance was a psalliction, and did tear them apart, I have to take in sentient space, where the energy for that type of witchcraft can alone come from, and then too acknowledge that in the beating of them, reducing them from functioning humans to pulp left-overs of bodily life, but yet alive, that there is an element of suffering the whoosh, but in an adjunct way, so that entomes end up lying somewhere at the bottom of the splat, because they most certainly went splat, but then suspended still in sentience by a spell, and left out to pasture, and so I place them in a spot but relative to a path that got them there as such

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these are negative entomes, lying as rubbish at the bottom of the whoosh, in the splat zone, on the roof, as I call it, locked out of REM by nightmare, so there they are.

I was thinking of another artist in this broad discourse, who is not only working with what appear to be potentials, like Kaphar, and often with glass or ceramic too, but in a more horizontally desolate way, almost in the desert of no meaning beyond, and in this context to she seems to have some awareness that when moving in hypnagogic space you encounter forms by the nature of the movement, and so she named her particular guide figures, which I generally place in the glass onion, as intralocutors, figures that ghostly move in and out of the door, basically helping you in or out the door, Rochelle Goldberg, who is also part of this discourse, but I have written of her before.

0 23Then, more recently, I come across a few more artists, in this case, all of them women, who seem to be working in the same terrain of prototype space, a primal space before binary creation, in which forms grow in undifferentiated form, to create new forms, Brook Hsu and Beth Collar. Hsu seems to have also retrogressed to some original dreamland where Pan rules, in an ambiguous way, and then there is a muddy pool at which horned skeletons drink, for some cult reason. It seems a rather desolate place. I have written about this too (see previous post).

But, finally, now, another artist comes on my radar, and he seems to have, in front of my eyes, developed along some chain of association in the space of the potential, this is Nils Alix-Tabeling.

Nils Alix-Tabeling, Limules, 2018, Robot, animated wood carving, resinated papier maché, peacock feathers, speakers, ormeaux shells, trinkets, 7min sound piece looped, 70 x 70 x 110 cm

0 24purely anecdotally, in the context of the story of Syrinx, whom Pan wanted to rape, she ran, the earth god covered her up and planted the spot where she was taken down into the earth with reeds, which made a melancholy sound when the wind blew through them, and these Pan tore up in a rage; but, then, found something soothing in remembering her, and in guilt at what he had done in a moment of lust, forcing her into this drastic, if not suicide, at least a complete decomposition of her current state of being, for another–and this model seems to reinforce this piece as entirely partaking of the entome, of the negative sort, because it was body part, then it waved some peacock feathers mechanically, then it let out a plaintive da da da, it was, to me, almost an uncanny realization in contemporary art of things on my mind, reading of nymphs in ancient Greece https://artviewer.org/pastoral-love-at-lucas-hirsch/

As to the title, I had to look up Limules, it refers to limulus, related to the word limn, and it means, as in the manner of a crab, to move sidelong, that is, limuluslike, and seeming locked into that limulite motion. This is, again, but another example of the broken body imagery that continues to flow out of European art (It may be that USA art lacks this certain broken quality because our rhetorical grasp of art as something to inspire and literally bring on social justice prevents us from telling the truth about the situation of body culture in the current age. If you always have to be a hero, it represses truths of struggle). But, the important point,  I placed entomes as fragments out in the adjunct areas of some state of being past or bounced out of nightmare, so I would guess stuck in the Chthon, the black out. But, this term, limule, is much more specific, it says the same thing, this is a being, with a body, reduced to this, so it is past an entome, but, even more so, its limitation is that it is restricted to a very limited script of action, in a negative sense, as in it cannot do anything else. As a result, it is an entomes, truncated further by a limiting of its scripts, and its activities—what is the word when unused muscles lock together—and for that fixed state, it is a limulus, and controlled by a demon, that is, it is not free, but has a closed system, is not open and free, it lives in a caged state far below freedom of will. This is the limulus. Since the limulus as described is a sidelong movement only, like a crab, that is, moving crabwise, then I can only at present assume that it is a creature of the dark path over the top of the REM state, and toward the Cursed or Seventh deadly door, as it passes out to the ambient zone.

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that is, it is a creature of this zone, at the bottom of the whoosh, but, then, the added detail is, it is bound by a spell or demon, or another, thus it exists inside brackets, derived from a higher source, such as this

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and then it lives in that life, period. So I place these here, but, then, the instructional thing about Alix-Tabeling’s progression in his art is that a few years ago he was making figures like entomes, but of more serpentine bodily form, that is, up the ladder of development in the primal space, as positive entomes, perhaps.

0 27But, then, maybe by way of thoughts of formaphilia, he began to see that there was more interest when these forms were trapped by a higher power in another type of object, so he began to both break down his positive entomes, make them more furniture like, and then work them out as pieces of furniture, with a memory of St Clair Cemin here, figures trying to wriggle out. I use the word wriggle, from May, 2017 to recently, January, 2019, I argued that the situation in terms of discourse politically in the West and possibly in the world had become so topsy-turvy that artists had begun to start with the chaos then wriggle back to the light. I pictured this as a difficult wriggling, through a darkness, not unlike wriggle figures of tight fits and bodies all but trapped in them which you see in cave movies like As Above, So Below (2017). As a result, I guess for the moment I will simply call these figures, wriggling-figures. They exist here, in my charts

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that is, they are at the edge of the whoosh, living in the whoosh, feeling all currents and changes in a panic, they partake of panic politics; and, then, from that edge, almost in ambience, they begin to wriggle their way in. I place this wriggling as as a kind of narrow-arc’d horizontal whoosh, but the opposite of a whoosh, a pulling through, to approach, but not get to the light, and I saw a good deal of wriggling sculpture to confirm my view. I did, in fact, give a shout out to an Alix-Tabeling in 2017, I might have called a piece of his a wriggling figure.

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another view

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for some reason, which I attribute to dislike of the white cube, I have noted that, by a desire by some artists to leave the white cube, to go outside its walls, then, in that crawlspace view it differently, then come back in, to then inhabit the gallery in an all but backwards, hesitating, entirely negated way, the spindly leg has become a form in contemporary Euro art, in Aline Bouvy, in others, and here.

0 32But, then, on its top, and in its form, a wriggling narrowing, this is a figure that has wriggled, he has done a lot of it, and now is close. But, then, as he approaches enlightenment, it looks like the back of his brain is shot out, as happens a lot in zombie movies, and from that brain, empty, springs, not Athena, but a kitschy Roman style chariot group in ceramic (like the kind I wanted to buy in the window of a shoe shop window on Smith Street near Union in 2012), and this seems to materialize in a miniature allegory right there the brain state of a wriggling creature, that to get from a to b in his wriggling he makes use of tropes that rotate in the cingulate in his head, and if they happen to be dated or nonsense urban legend-like models, or just scenes in movies, like Ben Hur, it doesn’t matter, he will make use of whatever it is in his brain that is actionable in order to push his wriggle on. Thus, I see the outbreak of the miniature form here as evidence that this particular wriggling statue has come close in.

And, the interesting thing is, finally, it appears that in order to get to a point where he thinks he can work without any interference by devices inherited from others which he is not interested in using anymore, it appears that Alix-Tabeling has as an artist enacted a purposeful negative devolution down the chart from Potentials, through Positive-entomes, through wriggle figures, and, then, finally, in his latest work, which I think is in fact his leanest and meanest and the work best suited to develop into something new, to the negative entomes at the bottom of the splat. But is there “room” for him to wriggle in, vertically? I think there is.

Other terms continue to emerge, for example, just to make mention of them for future reference. There was also a show in Brussels on transfusive forms that evoked entities like “geniuses” or lares in Roman art, so, I place geniuses at the entoptic level, a conjure figure would be one; at the glass onion level are the Potentials, then below that you have the entomes; but then at the bottom of the whoosh, the limuli. Another new category, in a show in 2017, is the hypokeimon, which is the theorized essence that remains after all elements and artifacts are gone, an essence, so there is a class of forms that somebody considers evocative of the hypokeimon, another category. This I will place down in the realm of actual REM past nightmare.

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Finally, at bottom, the word worm is showing up a lot in this sort of art discourse. It is apparent that there is a kind of race to the bottom, to represent the body in as primal broken down forms as possible. As a worm form, I picture this as being pressed by a fever or external demon force (see the exhibition, Fever dreams, previous post), from the entome state to a state prior and lower even that that. Beth Hsu is also going here, and in her cultivation of the green slime of this world she has raised the word holometabolys, that is, very early insect forms, in fact, egg, pupa, to imago, the life cycle of (again) insects, with a radically restricted Umwelt (yes, I think all this derives from von Uexhall), and she does the green slime

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And then Collar the pupalike form (see previous post). So at present, I will place these as splat forms that have, by external pressure, been pressed through the membrane of REM dream and hover in the sliver of space where some small consciousness remains, as one dreams, or lives in a dream

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So there we are. A full somatic cosmology of the body that is being torn apart, by psalliction, in the universe of today: theory is, the Euros are feeling it, as their traditional sense of who they are is perhaps being pulled at from outside; while in the US we are still entirely in an aspirational state, with the ego or the demon of the exploitational mind often propping up a semblance of real bodies, but in a binary way, even when we talk about nonbinary, that is our blockage, our demand for immediate social outcome in this

This is a system in the making, at present, in the graph derived from just going through notes on the artists, Titus Kaphar, daphne Ahlers, Rochelle Goldberg, the movie Suspiria (2018), then the work of Nils Alix-Tabeling, and the work of two artists in the Fever dream show, Brook Hsu and Beth Collar, a taxonomy, in a hierarchical treatment of dream formation, takes shape, I have identified SEVEN pre-binary forms of body forms being explored by artists either side of the Atlantic at the moment.


This piece is a companion piece to an entry made about Brook Hsu et al, in Fever dreams; as well as my treatments of Rochelle Goldberg, and others. It also cross-references with my ongoing explorations of forms in horror movies, and with my treatment of likenesses, like doppelgangers and other forms of homoioma, or likenesses, another word (they exist in a mirror space across the nexus, no doubt), in the context of twinfire.

Charline von Heyl and the possibility of mapping agency in abstract painting.

Rev., Jan 7, 2019.

Note: This is a speculative POV piece; all pics from CAd von Heyl file.

In a recent post, I parsed the abstract painting of Charline von Heyl, and decided that the spontaneous outpouring nature of her work meant that she worked in a way that just put her into a hypnagogic-aware state, and then just painted as accurately as possible what she “saw” entoptically (Increasingly, I find that it seems more likely that one can touch upon agency in hypnagogic events). This then would result in her being in that state, and, gradually, over time, finding a variety of possibilities, beginning to map out the entoptic, or at least the Land of Nod in the lightest stage of sleep.

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and so, in my working out of it, this one represented a simple closing of the eyes, and reading something symbolic into the dark flow of entoptic imagery, in the Purkinjee forest, the first two, one dark

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then it kind of lightening up

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then as I have sometimes posited it, more romantically than normal, after weeding your way through you come to a clearing, of sorts, where there is a singular tree, either the Hecate tree as I have found at the edge of town, like in the devonsville Terror (1984), or just the tree on which the Hanged woman will be found, but the idea is, she has, for this image, moved a bit deeper into it, and out into it

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this could be another version of the same thing, come at it from a slightly different angle

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and then that encounter entails a close up element, the Hanged woman, as I have posited in my currently posted use of the term about the movie In a dark place, the hanged woman represents a figuralization of an occlusion in the entoptic in which a reside of blue dots or such now build up into an obstruction, which you then step around, and because there is that step around, I have also (poetically) argued that there is a map of where else to go, on the bottom of her foot. So, this painting, again, as a painting per se, it doesn’t seem to make any sense. It is a mix, I can see the formalists arguing over what it is. I think that all it has to do is strike a certain weight, a heaviness or a lightness, to represent a state of mind one is at, and in that mood alone it serves as a psychopomp to lead you into darker places where things might have to be confronted. The fact that this is a strange combination of an almost facial element, and of a witchy nature, and then there is a double loop of more painterly elements that could be read as a map, this SEEMS to work

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then you come to the Black Bog itself, this is a slightly deeper place, it represents a heavy float of a blue dot horizontally over your entoptic eyesight, as you lie on your side, and if you focus on it, and let it take you down, you can by descending into it, go deeper in. I guess too then the nature of it is that it reflects things, or not. But here the issue would be, why, in a body of work that is going off in other directions, does von heyl just stop and do a simple large gesture wash, and then leave it at that. It is because the thinks of this as a threshold piece, the black bog, it simply represents in this particular body of work that she got there, there it is

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but then the best one here, and the one that set me off, to even make this proposal, is this one

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read as just an abstraction, with a formal interest in varieties of painting, etc. it does all the abstract things I suppose you can make it do, but, for me, it is uncanny, because it does capture all but perfectly, a kind of entoptic event, in hypnagogy, when, that is, you have nodded off, and are, in fact, sleeping, if only lightly, when all the light-on-black entopic effects with no dimension, sudden flip to black on white, and have a scenic dimensionality. This really to me in that context can be read as a map, the black is the path to and the Black Bog, the first scrying pool you come to in hypnagogy. This Bog is, often, surrounded by abstract elements, as, for example, on the grounds of an English country house, then as you gaze into it, it sees things, raises them up, places them on the shore, and if they are ruins of classical objects or the like, they go on the lower shore, the Village of dreams, or, if ramshackle, on the upper, Amityville. That is, your gazing pulls up some objects, then distributes them either side. And so in this one that form in the middle was somehow drawn up from the previous forms, to situate itself as a perfect abstract equivalent to the Village of dreams

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as an abstract painting, per se, it means nothing to me, it is just a chess piece for the modern material-rationalist mind to play with, without agency; but, taken as a psychodynamic painting, and as a hypnagogic-psychopompic painting, its presence, its form, its combination, all speak to heading out into dream, and as such acts as an intercessional, gateway or other sort of intercessional painting. It has, in short, agency.

Then, she delves more deeply into the Village of dreams

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as to this, I had a very strange Morning Fog dream this morning. They always happen between 630 AM wakeup, then falling asleep again til 930, but, all the time, thinking myself awake, but in a light sleep, in the village of dreams. In it, I imagined I was in a weird Oliver Stone movie in a small tented village and every time one character told a story, very vividly, dimensionally curvy, he or she somehow spun around to become the story, or the space to accommodate the story and every one worked their way of telling out by any number of reagent feints or movements. This is purely scenic, for instance

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that is, each time A, a different A, told a story they turned the space around them in a different way, something else, in the way of a haunting, or appearance, or a transport to a different place, happened, and each time there was a downward arrow of reagency to a resulting condition this also involved, as per the dynamics of the Land of Nod, an osculation from vigilogogy to hypnagogy, thus the feeling I have in these things of being always awake, and then “watching” and trying to work out all the combinations, and of course with Presque vue (and it might well be that this variation, this overlapping suturing, is the very dynamic that causes Presque vue). And then, when I was up, my experience in “a perfect example of the Village of dreams encountered in a Morning Fog, I was in a state of splat sleep drunkenness, and in that state was thinking of how my own life, as it gets smaller, and “spirals down” into inactivity, is also being pulled on by these reagent forces of perhaps a negative sort, ie side effects (this a graph of the effects of a med re AMI, on dreaming).

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So, in that regard, in addition to being a place loosely constructed of imaginings pulled up out of the Black Bog, in the Purkinjee woods, the Village of dreams might also be a place to collect oneself, to pull together by rationalization some elements of what has been going on, to work on them making sense, so here above we have the black tears motif that I like so much, and then some sort of glass onion heraldry bit, and then there is even, in my mind, a hint at moving to the glass onion, more symbols. I also associate this movement as red, so I place that there, this is an entoptic Land of Nod Village of dreams psychopomp augury work of art, bespeaking a state of psychological wariness in approaching deeper truths.

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I also want to place in the Village of dreams, a figure, who can offer you some help along the way, especially with regard to avoiding demons. Related to psychopomps, the thing about Bird Box (Netflix) that I liked was that Surgat, a  very specific demon, was mentioned

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the sigil of surgat

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Bird Box (Netflix)

sep 16then related it to trump demonization news art

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the sigil like play with the mic booms

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with possible related sigils, one

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there are, in fact, some paintings by von Heyl that have a sort of sigil demon look, as well, so, to be continued.

And, then, as I do, in post-related reagent swings around issues that I address, I made a locale for one painting up but with, I think, validity in the system: I imagined that at the end of the Village of dreams is the beginning of the Ambient desert, and from there you can see the Black Pyramid, way at the end, it possibly even being what you can see of the Sentient, from this point, way off in extrapsychic space

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which I place roughly here (note: since I have posited the Black Out space, the Black House, and the Grindhouse, as other places in Ambient mental space).

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So, is this valid? well, in a show last fall in Berlin, a theory of vitalistic economy painting, was the premise, as such.

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the text

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And von Heyl was in there, along with others I admire, Kersten Bratsch

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and the von Heyl

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for their features of that sort. The curator left it at a formalist level, though what she was describing was an agentic relation between the viewer and the artist, but not differentiating cult from others, as I would

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but, then, for me, she just sets up a generic relation, which could be construed as simply asking for more Stendhal syndrome, and feeling, and contextualization in content, when what is really required is the coming alive of an actual agentic solicitation of particular meaning, or agency, as there is no such thing as “general“ agency, except as something being talked about; there is only, in reality, specific ones, apparent in dynamic formulations, but I have separated off into four, so I would posit that this vitalistic response occurs in four different ways, which she refrained from making

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a vitalist response to painting cannot be made by simple appearance of agency, by emotion; it cannot be made from a premise residing in the zone of brackets, that is, the rationalizations with which we have encumbered art for the last 200 years, the cult of the artist is not an agency, but a rationalization of a cult, cultism in the bad, exploitational sense, a false god; no, a vitalist response is a response to the painting alone and itself as an acheiorpoetoi with numinous power to cause this coming alive, this epiphany, it, that is, represents, the only thing that it represents, the LIFE FORCE, the ELAN, as Platt would have it, and this can only occur in an apotropaic, intercessional, votive OR cult posture, in front of which a painting from any node, one, in activated agency, responds to the art’s aliveness, its ability to speak, its mysterious nature in terms of production, and then as a thing that actually feeds the loop of involving projections one has it, in relational space, operate in. THIS is the answer, she got partway there.

At present, I simply pose this idea, I have no idea if it works, but at least it opens a door to a post-zombie formalism reading of abstract painting, going beyond the forensic by finding the actual agency in art, or art that is imbued with authentic agency.