Teorema (1968), Le Belle Noiseuse (1991), vita of St. Mary, Balzac’s The Unknown Masterpiece (1831) and illustrations thereof by Picasso: the map of conjure dream art.

with mention of Rochelle Goldberg, part 1; Emile Nolde, Raphael, Ibsen’s Rubek, Julian Schnabelm, part 2.

rev., Mar 15-17, 2020.

In the excellent movie, Teorema (1968) by the, to me, highly erratic Pasolini, apart from explaining the whole movie, especially the more open part about how by his experience the son in the family is made over into an artist, a very curious sequence occurs when the maid, after Terence Stamp departs household, also departs, unable to work there anymore, and she goes home to the Commune. There is a very big houseplant on the way out, bespeaking evil

t 1The world outside the house is pictured as overscaled, vast, industrial, a kind of modern desert, this shot all but rear projecting her outofitness

t 2But, then, once there, she sees where she is from, what her family waiting for her, always having waited for her to return, look like, peering at her, so she just can’t, she pauses

t 3then she walks over to a bench in the Commune, and sits down

t 4and she sits there for days

t 5In this situation, in her silence, she becomes a kind of mad saint, like St Simon Stylites, people come to see her

t 6there is a candle to make of her an intercessional being, a votive offering is made to her.

t 8like anything, like the currrent coronavirus lockdown descending on the world of today (it seems strange to write that in a March that was entirely unforeseen in January), if it lasts a day, OK, a few days it gets weird; a week, panic, a month, it is something out of the norm, maybe even supernatural. At one point, it seems that the peasant class, much discussed in Italian film in the 60s, will suffer (Pasolini seems to have believed, if I gather right from comments in the beginning of this movie, and in his narration for Il Rabbe (1963), that the rise of the bourgeoisie has been so complete there is no more class war, but that as a result the peasants will simply return to religion, it is hard to say, he was such a contrary Catholic, if he is pro or con here, I think pro, the people come to her soon enough as a saint

t 9in this group of people there is a test, a blue boy, no foolin’, a real blue boy, who has some form of a skin rash

t 10she stares at him

t 11his skin seems to clear

t 12she makes the sign of the cross

t 13his skin clears up! it’s a miracle!

t 14all the people now believe, they kneel

t 15this image by Pasolini of the blue boy looks an awful lot like the Brangolin pictures of the Crying Boy, which became the subject of an urban legend in the UK in the 1980s (Brangolin churned out these tourist pictures in Venice)

t 16

they also echo, today, on Joker (2019), though I suppose this is a remote quote by way of a trope’s widespread nature.

t 17The Blue Boy signifies that the boy in the house is in trouble; but also that he is the Wrongful Scapegoat, that is, he is not guilty, but he will suffer for the crime. It is possible that Pasolini knew of the scapegoat dimension of the blue boy, in any case, it identifies the peasantry as the primary victim of the change going on in society, then, here, the immediate beneficiary; but, ultimately, Pasolini seems to be saying, the ultimate victim of the maid here becoming as if the opposite of Legion in Gerasa as described by Girard, but the Commune’s pharmakon, in which all things supernatural are harbored, is the Commune. Things, then, get worse or better for her, she is now tended too by children, it is as if her miracle has made her a patron of the well-being of the children

t 18later, we see that she floats, ascending over the Commune (this is Pasolini’s whole all-is-now-bourgeosie, class war is over, it’s a return to primitive religion again theme, I think), which is wild, now she becomes a sensation

t 19the bell, often rung for various reasons in Italian towns, to signal this or that, here signals that a miracle has occurred, that the supernatural has come into the town.

t 20but then she has her mother go off with her to then find an appropriate spot to immolate herself, that is, bury herself in the dirt of a construction site, and the mother does

0 0 0they leave the world of the agricultural commune, to go back into the new world of industry

t 21and there, in a pit

t 22she immolates herself, that is, has herself buried

t 23that’s that.

t 24A similar scene happened earlier, as Silvana Mangano is having trouble living on in her empty life after she claims Stamp opened the world up to her. So, she too must leave her protected zone where the world is depicted in capricious ways on the surfaces of her life, here pilgrims

t 25She too goes out into the world

0 0 0 0She is caught, that is, in a spell of twinfire, going to pick up male hookers who look like him, then pretending that sex with them is like sex with Stamp, but it isn’t (the statue behind him says that she is in a palliative zone of formalism, a formal likeness will, she thinks, be enough.

t 27She makes, if I may say so, a nice pickup, with nary a word

t 28In the room, a few pictures tell us it is not exactly what she is after

t 29then, after that, she keeps going, it becomes a mad way of life, at one point, she has one pretty boy drive her out of Milan into the country, to make it secret, they see a remote, isolated church

t 30they go there, they go around the back, against the wall

t 31but even that is not secret enough, or equal to her sense of abjection enough, so he is like, let’s go here, and here a beautiful upper class woman in 60s fashion in her prime lets herself be laid by a hooker in a pit of dirt, the same fate.

t 32afterwards, she regrets it, even runs back to the church, to ask for forgiveness, I suppose, but it does not seem to work (I am not interesting in going through every step of the process here).

t 33Pasolini has a protoptyical relationship to the ground, to, that is, prototype space, it is almost religious, his belief is that beneath the cobblestones, there is a desert, or, in his case, the side of Mt Etna, where the husband, the master of industry, ends up wandering, naked, in the desert.

t 35Every move that any “civilized” person makes in conscious modern life is really, for Pasolini, a primal need, happening in the desert of being, below our modern life.

Where this is, is not entirely clear.

I place Pasolini with Tobe Hooper and others of his era, as a late modernist, seeking the endzone of things, the last word, of a discourse of seeing the world which was coming to an end in the 1970s. For them, there was conscious life, then there was REM dream space, or nightmare, nothing in between.

t 36

thus, when they, from on high of consciousness, acknowledging none of the in-between places that I think their movies nonetheless were intimating the presence of, they had their Eyes Wide Shut horror-struck gaze, they saw a drop so precipitous, it was bottomless; they also saw only nightmare and too irrational REM dream, nothing else. As a result, they paused, with existential dread. Then, at least Pasolini’s mind went lateral, to expand out from this Eyes Wide Shut, ever seeking lower ground, to the most basic, primal thing modern man could so, that is, he moved out into the ambient and sentient spaces, but lateral to the interstitium, or consciousness, and at each membrane, or parenthesis that one passed through, there is only screaming, nothing beyond, pure terror.

t 40

but, Mangano did not quite go into this primal state, like the maid did, who turned into, in fact, a saint; but then, too, Mangano in an urban fashion more or less ended up in the same place, but as if precipitated from that ascension space, and here we have yet another function repeated in consciousness which I have found in both hypnagogy and vigilogogy. If you end up prostrate on the “beach” on the edge of the in-between, between waking and dreaming, but, then, look back up over your right shoulder, you will see far off a vision of a fata morgana land, and it is that projection which becomes as it were one’s vision of society, from your extreme POV. I have explained that a fata morgana is seen from St Etienne, a spot lateral to hypnagogy, looking up over vigilogogy, this is genuine fata morgana; it is not quite the same thing, but I still call it fata morgana, for vigilogogy, and Werner Herzog is in particular obsessed with that fata morgana space, his far projection of the world as it ought to be (by averting his gaze, Herzog is an early postmodernist). But, from consciousness, from abjection, at the edge of the utter pitch blackness below, there is a stranger, more severe fata morgana, as of course Pasolini’s obsession with desert, and his situating his Oedipus and Medea in remote desert locations, in a primitive prototype world, indicates, this is a space I will, in fact, naming after the actress who discovered it, the silvana mangana (sic) space.

It is, of course, funny, I suppose, that when Giotto, I think it is

t 41at the end of the Decameron (1975), an uneven movie, he has a morning dream, a fantasmata

t 42and there on a cliff in front of him, Pasolini has set up a living tableaux

t 43he sees the sinners, naked

0 0 0 0 0of the ascension of the virgin, with all the elements of the scene, and, even, no foolin, Silvana Mangano making a cameo as the virgin, proof enough, he looks to a place that is like the fata morgana but which floats aside the interstitium.

t 45A fantasmata, as worked out in the middle ages, as quoted by Roscher, was when you toss and turn, so the presumption is a type of insomnia, mulling over a problem. But this is one of those problems that you sleep on, to see if a solution comes in the night. What happens, then, based on what I know from the various forms that light dream takes in various stages is that the mind as if after a bout of insomnia similar to the Night Mirror formation, has a shallower drop into the glass onion level, sent spinning by the hall of mirrors effect of the preceding insomnia, and this converts the usual formations of the glass onion, nonsensical abstract stichomythiac back-and-forths with no solution into spun solutions for all that then to reknit and to be made sense of to then be conveyed into the head of the sleeper on his bed in the lattice, for him then, almost as depicted above by Pasolini, with his feet out, his head up, staring, to arrive at wakefulness, but in a groggy state of wonder, the problem solved, the waking up to the solution, and it is all clear. (This is really much more like Herzog’s notion of the fata morgana, an ambient-sentient counterculture seen over the shoulder of vigilogogy, that the other type, the silvana magana (sic) from consciousness, even though she makes a cameo, but this is where I think we are).

t 46

In any case, in two instances, we have characters that were part of the life they were living, an as if cypher scapegoat, but waker-upper, a clarion creature, enters their life, (note, I have just thought of the term, the opposite of a scapegoat is a bespeaker!) to shake everything up; then they all depart, one caught in twinfire, one to become a saint, and for Pasolini I have to make use of my old style system graphs, as these persons are broken out of the schema redoubts of their sequestered world, their empty lives in that world, then broken out upon the wide world beyond even the professions, to then as if faced with that see it all as a waste land, to return to primitive life, a perpetual wandering in the desert (then best expressed in his films Oedipus Rex and Medea).

t 47

I have much more to say about the spaces in Teorema but my theme today is the lives of saints as they are fed into Pasolini’s movies. Having seen this movie this weekend, I also saw (virtually) Rochelle Goldberg’s latest show at Miguel Abreu, in it, she takes her interest in St Mary of Egypt for another spin, in a sequel as it were, it even includes scenes from a vita, a life of the saint icon.

t 48she has versions of the vita in the exhibit, indicating a deepening, but also changing agency, with regard to the mythos. This show is more “scenic” and “illustrative” of the vita as a whole, thus there is a clearer sense of direction in terms of where she is going, it has a stronger intercessional push, with more serious boundaries. But, having written of Goldberg before, simply to indicate that hypnagogic space is characteristic of her work, here I only want to extract from it the elements of the vita of St Mary of Egypt. She is, of course, early on, the promiscuous woman, of trope lore, the prostitute, as all sinful women, in a storied universe, were; but then having gone on pilgrimage to do more business, because the caravans were filled with men who however holy their ultimate goal still were human along the way, she then is shocked to be turned away from the Holy Sepulchre by an unseen force. This, then, converts her, so she gets in a boat and crosses the Jordan into the wilderness, shown here.

t 49

then she lives in the desert for so long that, like Mary Magdalen, in her hermetical age in France, she ends up covered only in her own hair.

t 50then she has the encounter with Zosimos, at the bush, he gives her his cloak for her to cover her nakedness, then, later, when she is to die, she lies down, a lion then digs her grave.

t 51

that is here

t 52then Goldberg has a reading I had not heard before, she rises up to heaven, her own body is the witness to her ascension.

t 54

and in various abstract ways, these incidents play out in this tidier exhibition (now, unfortunately, but weirdly symbolically, as St Mary emerges as a sort of patron saint of social isolation, by the coronavirus plague, closed to the public, there to as if stew or marinate to take meaning into them).

t 55A vita is part of a votive, made to help you relate to a saint on any of several levels. The main events in the vita are that she goes on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, mainly just to drum up more business as a prostitute. But, then, when she is at the Holy Sepulchre, an “unseen force” will not let her enter (St Anthony is also the saint of lost things because he was tempted but in truth tempted by “unseen things,” the implication being that, in the homely patronage over lost things, he can see through, that is, he lives under the Blue Sun, an an-thon, a nowhere).

Then she crosses the Jordan, to live for 47 years without seeing a person or even an animal, which is interesting (so she is also a kind of silent beserker! like Orion, or Godzilla, who then chases animals in on man, top contaminate).

t 56

then Zozimos encounters her, she is embarrassed and hides her nakedness, he gives her his cloak

t 57

she gives him signs of her saintliness, including, surprise, levitation

t 58

then other things happen, he acknowledges her, then he sees to it that she is buried, and she is buried where (this relates too to the Living Idol (1958) then too), the lion begins to paw at the dirt or sand.

t 59

It is quite the vita, the vita

t 60

the vita developed as an adjunct expression of the icon of a saint. An icon of a saint in the Eastern tradition was made large, and even forceful, to give the saint living physical power, the power of a palladium, on the model either of the mandylion or the theotokos. That is, these images were not just images, they were not just art, they were agentic objects with religiomagical qualities and force, to help you act in the world. When you needed them to intercede for you with god, they did, by the example of their suffering, you were lifted up into a confident relation with them, so that you believed that they did (in this capacity some icons in the ameliorated icon tradition underlying its stylistic effacement in western art, St Rocco, for example, was seen as an intercessor against plague, even being at it, praying at it, the picture, touching it, any sort of inosculation (which seems ironic, in the no touch zone of today’s situation) would ensure that intercession, and provide you psychological relief; if you needed then to thank them, leave a votive, to by giving thanks ensuring their continued dispensation of that help; finally, also they were apotropaic, and at one point I taught this section of my course with an emphasis on the large scale imposing icons whose fierce presence alone made you believe that they could, as images, do this for you (all this, of course, from Belting). Marcovaldo was the artist who first took in this fierceness into Italian art, before the new sweet style arrived with duccio, and this trend was curtailed.

0 0 0 0 0 0

But, then, the most intense thing a devotee of a saint, in a saint’s cult, could do, was an imitatio, and I cannot help but think that when the maid leaves

t 61she is imitating St Mary, she is crossing back over her Jordan

t 62

when she goes sits on the bench, refusing to move, letting herself go gray

t 63she is taking up where Mary left off

t 64

Like Mary

t 65

she levitates

t 66

Like Mary

t 67

she is buried in an open pit, in her case dug by her mother out of loose dirt, not a lion, but it could’ve been.

t 68In other words, though I have not proven this yet, I am quite sure that Pasolini, the erstwhile catholic–whose Catholicism, in fact, given his other work, looks as perversely psychologically grounded as my own un-re-un-re-un-re-un-re-unrelapsed Catholicism–models his Gerasa-like saintly-scapegoat stories, in all cases of those effected by Stamp, the tale of a bespeaker, or saints’ vitae, giving truth to people, to then chase them into the desert.

Mary’s vita goes according to Girard’s model of the “scapegoat mechanism” pretty closely, there is a period before, when all is undifferentiated, her promiscuity; then there is a gatekeeping moment, when she is blocked out; then a conversion, she is cast out, crosses the river; and then the episodes of being the scapegoat in the desert, and Zozimos is our go-between to interact with her as bespeaker to her scapegoat, to then release her, eventually, at sacrifice point. (Goldberg has some of these dream figures in her latest, there seems to be a greater emphasis in gatekeepers, she still has the intralocutors, and in the St mary story, that is Zozimos, the one who can move back and forth, the Mercury of this story, the Hercules, too, then she has a series of pictures based on the vita, so she wants us to grasp the scapegoat predicament of one against the world.

t 55But, then, looking up St Mary of Egypt, or Mary Aegypticus, I also found out that she exists in other art too, or rather, picture play art, unreal art, in Balzac’s The Forgotten Masterpiece, Frenhof is working on for ten years a picture of St Mary of Egypt, nude; but, then, years later, he meets two painters in a pub, Poussin and Pourbus, they want to see it, so do, then are horrified to see only an abstract mess, and yet then they see a foot, there WAS a figure there. This part of the story not only involves Nolde’s fateful religious turn, in 1910, which started with a series on Mary of Egypt; then, as he illustrated Balzac’s story, in he 1930s, a crucial time in the art of Picasso, leading to Guernica; then, too, a French movie of the 1990s mulls over he forgotten masterpiece too so….. Part 2.

Urbi et orbi (2020), covid, the fishtail and Titian.

with mention of 1522 San Marcello crucifix and the Pieta, Titian, 1576

rev., Mar 29, 2020.

On March 3, I experienced my first “phase two” dizzy attack in a year or so, or more, I felt like a force was behind my back, it picked me up and swung me around, the whole weight of my lack of balance behind my back as if built up into a body, a demonic form, which just threw me around from behind. I said it was like a large fishtail was attached to me, and that is what I am now going to call it. Moreover, since I imagine this fishtailing occurring in the Conjure phase of an incoming conjuring, I will also ascribe to it a haunting, demonic quality. It is here, a “body tunnel”, as if pulled out of me, by a force

1

that is, I am in the “lattice” position, in my chair, but then I get dizzy, but unlike the hook, which pulls me to one side, that is, on the devil’s road, or the spacewalk, which suspends me in space, phase 3, though there was an element of this; it is as if the whole space behind me concretizes into a form with force to pull me from side to side, to as if fishtail me, to fishtail me as a car fishtails (and I suppose theoretically if it fishtails out to the sentient that could be a jackknifing, which I addressed recently in the discursive nature of the accident in Pet Sematary (2019)).

2But, then, I expanded the issue, as I always seem to do.

In dealing in a ameliorating mental spiritual way against the covid virus ravaging Italy (and how weird it is to think of that, that we live now, again, in a time like all premodern times), Pope Francis walked a pilgrimage to the San Marcello crucifix, and to the Maria Salus Populi Romani, I will only focus here on the Crucifix. So, he was taking upon himself, what Romans were forbidden to do, it was like a voluntary scapegoat function, not unlike Christ (I don’t know the word for it, sacrificial lamb) but while others could not be out walking, he walked

3then he prayed in front of it.

4so, his walk was an approach, part of the whole sequence, ending up at the church. That is, as relic it is a cult votive, left to remind us of a miracle, it is a symbol, on the glass onion level, in an actual glass onion. He walks to it, to activate it again, for the current crisis.

5

that is, normal life in Rome is overcast in a crisis, it casts conscious life, waking life, into a vigilogogic state; but he has to do more, and as there is a dream world of hypnagogic faith hidden in the old art of Rome he walks down across the Luor (my term for the space in-between waking and sleeping) into the village of dreams, eventually coming through the town of Utrillo (both terms for entoptic-glass onion formations in light dream), in dream, to the place in Rome, at the end of that, ambiently, where the crucifix is the symbol-lattice of cult, in this adjunct space. The reason I have him walk down through the core to a whoosh place under it then to come back up around to it through Utrillo town, is that his walk is, if only remotely, meant to retrace the steps of the original 1522 circumambulation of the town which resulted, in August, 1522, in violation of a no procession order, the curing of Rome. This in turn, for its counter-clockwise nature is also a long term reiteration of the superstitious magic of Roman triumphs, that direction ousted spirits, and cleansed the soldiers, so this was the same thing. But I record both in, as it were, the background of the cross.

6

what this means is that the crucifix, as a miracle object, is an object with a history

7this means, while we see this as him looking at a “work of art” even if in a church, a two dimensional object, it actually has a whole history behind it, and he is also considering all that, moreover its situation there, its placement, the decoration on it or around it all are meant to be additions over time to provide a reliquary accumulation of sacred power as relic with miracle power, to bring that all to mind. But what is it if, as well as just see it, you pray at it, or even if you experience a delirium, a dizzy attack, that is because you have activated the fishtail in back of it.

8

that, by a whoosh pull, pulling you to it, a type of the spiral to the steps, it creates by that, a religious experience.

9

now, comparing art to agency, I compared this to J Jones appreciation of Titian’s pieta of 1576, from, that is, fifty years after the 1522 plague, and one that in 1576, did kill him and his son.

10

11

12

13

14

15

17this is fine, but, in fact, it presents a very clear cut, mainstream, art-centric example of an artist fishtailing back from the status of his work as art to as if make of it a sacred picture.

18

By my analysis, the picture is, of course, a dream, or nightmare. One is lead into it by the keystone at top, then for one to be lead down in by the psychopomp, Hellespontine Sybil, who announced his coming, now announces that, though this looks like death, it is the fulfilling of his coming. As such, as well, taking up the whole side of the painting, and having, relative to the zone of stone she is in, she has a sort of lifelikeness that plays upon the mind in the manner of a Famulus, which means a conjure figure realized in hypnagogy. That then means that the scene is a conjuring, coming in on Jesus, dead, as the lattice figure, the figure in bed, in this case his mother’s lap. But it comes in by a change of form. As we zero in, the Sybil hands off to the Conjure demon, and that is, art historians believe, an image of Titian himself. He is the one who is coming around in “under the bed” to then swing round and come out of the body of the sleeper, restored. He does this, and this explains why Mary is depicted as if in a hiatus in some other time or space, young, in the light, not grieving, I have to wonder if this is not Magdalen on Easter morning in the garden, but, as in these swing round ins, like the attack of a conjure demon in bed, she is the outside force that in this instance will take over the artist, who becomes a Blue Angel

19

and thus, there is in this deposition a situational prophecy of resurrection. I relate this then to my analysis of Picasso’s drawing of the unknown masterpiece. I place it at this phase of the conjuring

20

a zoom below, around, which strangely results in this disposition of figures in and around the painting, very complicated picture play!

21as I quote from my essay on that

here, in this remarkable picture, Picasso shows that even he as the artist is now being reduced to a puppet or mannequin in the hands of the god, who now holds him. I am not quite sure where Picasso got this from. But if I put it in sequence to the conjuration model, the final swing round, to completely not only possess the artist but allow his or her energy to flow or touch unimpeded to the canvas on the easel, it requires a very strong I better say daimon as opposed to demon, and this demon does two things that in Picasso’s rhetoric of how to paint are strange. One, as he comes round the under the bed and the kunstkammer phase he not only leaves behind the Mary as a bust, but he has such power that he wrests up the artist to turn him or her into a poppet before the canvas, in my treatment of shallower dreams, in the House that dripped blood, I noticed that when the conjuration begins to turn, as a hurricane, to the other side of the storm, to that of adjuration, that is, pushing out, not pulling in, the Blue Angel can appear. Perhaps this is the Blue Angel, and this split off of lingering artist hesitation, taken over by a powerful demon presence

22

is partly worked out by Fuseli in his Nightmare, with the white horse being, in fact, this form of the demon, and the imp the reduction of the artist to a poppet in the hands of a greater force, that is, at canvas, possessed

23I also had reinforcement for this admittedly odd reading–but this is what I see–from doctor Sleep (2019), when Rose the Hat intrudes upon Abra’s bedroom, Abra is asleep, and maybe Rose thought that that meant she would not sense that she was here, that her space had been intruded upon. But the mind, especially, if it shines, as per the novel, has layers of sensing that are beyond consciousness, and in effect always on, even when we sleep, the ambient and the sentient, and so as Abra sleeps, her ambient power takes over, that is, manifests, though remaining as the sleeping form, but enlists to attack for her, a golem, an avatar, a poppet, Abra, but with blue plastic hair, no eyes, a Blue Angel.

24so, it plays a part, I am saying that is what Picasso sees of himself when in thrall of a possessing dream demon (whom I am going to have to find a better name for), ending the process of conjuration, then converting it to adjuration, to start with the canvas in the work of art to push out the former, more distant renditions of the final form, now taking on is full demonic fury, the finished work.

25This is so like a Greek votive it scares me, as Platt worked out, this is not just a picture, everyone is spaced and sized to indicate that this is an epiphany, in effect, a kind of conjuration, approaching to then appearing before a god (though I will not work this one out here).

26And in another essay, in which I quote the above again, the model of the figurative impulses behind the lore of St Elmo’s fire at sea provided me a word to describe precisely and only this kind of figure, the conjure figure that swings round under to emerge in the final filtering, it is a Corposant. Thus, though a conjuring is usually, in a horror movie, scary, taking on successive forms, a Throbber, a Figment, a Famulus, the Conjure demon itself, the final stage, when it swings around under, to possess, I now call the corposant (keeping the Spanish spelling to avoid implications of corpus).

But, then, there is a twist. Titian, if that is Titian, is mainly a figure of the whoosh, figured out by drapery flowing off of him, himself being stripped bare; he also kneels beyond the splat space, heading towards death. Why is Magdalena running off, on the left? She is as if part of another painting, Moses is leading her out, she is distracted, what she sees is the resurrection, so she is about to run out from this scene. Her gesture accords with the trope of her in the garden, reaching out to touch, but being told not to, this by Hans Holbein.

27Her departure leaves Titian in her wake, and he is then exposed as while on the surface, in the ritual of the scene, serving, as Jerome, Jesus, as Titian, as the person outside the canvas, in a part of the canvas that is more like a lucid dream, which I mark by embrasures, he is himself, serving his own religious need. She is the psychologue who, by putatively “leaving” it, causes the painting to change from a public to a private work of art. Titian has now actually stepped into the painting, a fiction, on his own behalf, nonfictionally, in masquerade, pretending to do one thing, but really trying to do another. And that is that he wants to enlists the body of Christ almost in a form of white-magic necromancy, to by his fishtailing of it, or its transformation into a Corposant, a holy body, save his life from the plague, to remove him from the world-cemetery which he now imagines the world of Venice as. And to signify his fear of that outcome the lions are terrific reminders of Roman sarcophagi, the guardians at the gate, the door keepers

28Hercules coming through the door in the middle of the strigilus wobble-wobble effect between worlds (only he and Mercury had the power to cross back and forth).

29

then, below the one on the left, as if left at both the Sybil statue as a shrine in Ancient Greece, and, personified in him, at the foot of the pieta, the virgin and jesus, an ex voto of him and his son, thanking them in advance for helping them out, sparing them (it did not work).

30

It is a bit disconcerting that the Sybil was born in dardania on the Hellespont in the time of Cyrus the Great, who is the occult role model among extreme conspiracy theorists for the current president, which would indicate to me bad prophecy, but if Cyrus is the host of the Sybil in time and place who predicted Christ, that certainly lends still other occult powers to Him About Whom All Things Are About.

31

it is also odd that as the author of one of the sybilline books, she also looks like, in this statue at least, the graveyard figure in The Medium (1985, Poland), as I have written about with interest, perhaps to indicate her presiding over that

32also the goddess of truth could reside at the outermost edge of the painting, to make the ex voto below her as the ultimate truth, in terms of motive, of the canvas.

32

as such, this means, the composition, vis a vis the ESPOV (extreme POV) of his personal need, a fixed fear and obsession, usurping high art with the low art form of an ex voto, which has more spiritual power, he has situated himself, and Jesus, and Mary, one, two, three, in a fishtail swing as the eye zeroes in on the ex voto, to see it, to then center it, then to think of time and space relative to it, in this hijacking of art for a personal need, a quid pro quo, this is a fishtail!

33

as I work it out, then, a death-obsessed canvas, where, whatever his public purpose, a private quid pro quo caused him to undermine the conventions of pieta paintings, to, vis a vis the ex voto, transmute a general conjuring of a vision of the pieta, into a personal dizzy vision of it, to then infuse him in a fishtail formation, to then zap holy energy of assurance, into a presumptive ex voto made for such time as him and his son, Orazio, survivors, completed the contract they made with Mary here, and thanked her for saving them (I mention in my note above that I too am currently still under contract to go to Alotting in Germany to leave an ex voto in thanks for the Virgin solving my problem in 2014, I had no other way out).

Thus, a work of art with a one to one direct viewer to work address, stopping there, was spun into a fishtail by the symbolic meaning of the statues, sending this into the future, then showing the deposition as a prefigure of the noli me tangere moment in the garden, this fore-casting into Easter, then at the side, under the statue of the Hellespontic muse, it a lion, symbolic of a guardian of the gate of death, and a small votive of Titian and his son Orazio thanking the virgin for a saving that did not happen, they died. This is a very clear example of picture play whereby a work of art as conventionally consumed is transformed by its maker into a religious object with clear predictive wishful thinking in an ex voto manner (it is the kind of investment in art that I categorize under the guidance of “the exterminating angel,” as I wanted to curate a show of precisely works of art that I did this to, for personal reasons, myself).

So, from this I also developed the fishtail sign of the cross, out from chest to points, in from front to points on chest to protect one’s backstab spot, this a variation on the All Saint’s crossing, to add power to the devotion of an object by acknowledging its original agency and that it might, if activated by belief in this way, it might work. Greek for fishtail is Ichthys-oura, perhaps, ichthysoos, for fish-spin).

34the fishtail itself though took on symbolic power in even more

35

with, of course, this is art history 101, he acrostic also becoming a secret symbol, the name ichthys is an acrostic for, in greek, Jesus Chris, savior of the world, which if you write as initials on top of each other, makes for the eight-slice circle

36

Then, it surprised me more that after having recreated to cycle of the comitia, processioning the cross in 1522 to every comitium in town (with relation here to temporary usurpation of neighborhood geiton or comitium statues, like as relate to the October horse), the Vatican then came up with the staging idea of involuting it, that is, taking the relics he visited and this time bring them to the Vatican and place them, even, in front of the Vatican, to put all the power of the Vatican itself in the fishtail of them, to stage the Urbi et Orbi wish in 2020, an event which very early in Lent, before the 5th Sunday even (with me having observed the Fourth Sunday by the carrying out of death, Marzanna), so then, this. They remove it. This reminds me of the discovery of the lever behind the painting in Black Sunday (1960). The fun part here is that not only are they all wearing mask, and by the corny rules of photojournalism, this becomes as if a secular deposition, that, just like in Black Sunday, the one man is up inside the space of it.

37as such (and remember, this discovery, by accident, opened up the gateway of the house, between the bed and the tomb, to let the witch manifest, it, that is, the lever, operated as the fishtail of the hidden panel behind the fire in the fireplace, to open it all up, amazing).

38but, then, the brass attachments, of no great value, used in the tableaux set up, with deep space, as signs of the radiance of the thing, are as if, abstracted, activated, the negative form of the removed crucifix speaking of the fishtail negative space behind it ( I am sure these men, for this experience, now think themselves immune).

39

then, it ends up, in front of St Peter’s in the rain

40then they stage it this time as Pope Francis climbing up the hill of the sagratto

41a structure whose permanence I am unsure of, it is strange, as if a Golgotha

42this is backdropped as if almost by a perfect rainy evening small gathering of a few souls under umbrellas, a recreation of the foot of the cross.

43then from this view the statue presides, in the space of the Sistine, whose ceiling was finished only a decade before the ceiling was finished (this observance also casting me back to the years when my culture of the da vinci code was heavily leveraged on Rome, and the church, and the culture of the church, both weirdly in the neighborhood, and in Rome)

44then at one point, unable to get up to it in situ earlier in the month, he now can touch it, and kiss it, an “inosculation” which activates all the space in and around it

45then, just as I suspect there is a prefiguring of the Resurrection in the Titian funeral painting, so here the monstrance of the host is brought out from the basilica to the open door, for the pope to then use incense to clear out its status in profane life as just a thing and restore it to dream status in a momentary templum as an alive symbol in miracle space.

46the doors of St peter’s as if opened to the world, in this terrific shot, all the staging of this.

47interesting enough, and though I do not remember when the monstrance was held forth in the church calendar of the passing year I am fairly certain I was able to serve as altar boy at at least one of these such events, it is a beautiful dream object, with the lattice form an abstraction, that is, a white out apophasis, a white negation

48then the whoosh circulation is represented by a gold ring of clouds, with some putti at the four points, so casting a quadrifrons, janus spell at the doorway out into the world, a nice whoosh.

50then even more remarkably, it is tinged in red and blue, meaning that it is supported by a color shift, occurring in lateral ambient spin space, surely, this is something. Just in passing, the blue nicely echoing off police blue behind

53like St Elmo’s fire (see article on The Lighthouse (2019);  that is, this intercedes, to purify the symbol down to its opposite, this is an enantiodromia formation too, then the red and blue represent the push-pull of the whoosh of the gold, the reach behind to the fishtail ambient space

 

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in in THIS fishtailing, from this intervention, we have nothing less than the whole of fricking St Peters, and all its art, including the Sistine, including the Raphael baldinaccio (its wobble-wobble miniaturized in the monstrance).

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but, richocheting back out the other side, the whole city of Rome, so this is a symbolic circumambulation

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in scirpograph (entoptic), The Corposantification of the 1522 Plague Crucifix in Rome (2020)

0 3 this fishtail then swings out around to the mysterious exozone of my thinking, where aloof magic persists, indeed, I have long held that St Peter’s is in its place and ritual a site of extreme hyperformalistic art and culture that is nothing less than a vision of heavenliness on earth. And as a I read it now, as in this encounter I place St Peter’s in ambient hypnagogic space lateral to the monstrance, and then the art and Sistine in the sentient space behind even that, I also have to acknowledge that as these things are thought about in such postures they, in the mind, become less physical, less material, they become as if spirit-infused. My term for objects whose materiality is compromised in hypnagogy is the periacqueductal, and my term for objects whose independence from another are compromised by compression in either ambient or sentient spins, that is, in fishtail movements, the pseudoperipeteral. Thus, the reason such involutions of objects have such an unspoken effect on viewers, who might not even understand the hypnosis, is that the rules of material reality are being momentarily suspended.

So, to conclude the ceremony, as if someone there actually understands all this, the Pope now goes gets the Monstrance, then carries it out into the rain, to bless the city of Rome not with his hand but with the more powerful presence in the substantiation, a thrilling ritual, almost like the holy door

57a great view with the rain pouring down

58then they bring it back to heaven, inside St Peter’s

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with its serenely grand uniquely hyperformalistic presence and depth, with incorporated elements in the art going back centuries and centuries, the capitol of fishtailing, but by this procession re-incarnated as real in the after-moment.

60I also like that the Salus Madonna got its plexi wet, miracle rain for that then too.

61all in all, then, as well as a startlingly rare breakout of a miracle object out of its modern framing as a “work of art,” this is a dramatic extension of the notion of the fishtail, to the whole zigzag or wobble wobble of tradition that exists behind a holy object, if not in the holy object, and for that this was for me, in this time of the plague, likely also to spark other cultivatings this final two weeks of Lent, a very moving experience (though I only saw it the day after by way of my feed).

Note

My FB post today, it seems the rain caused a controversy over damage to the cross.

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Waking up to the sound of music: The Beatles’ Let it Be (1970) and the Night Mirror dream formation.

rev., Mar 13, 2020.

A short note on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles announcing that it was over, April 10, 1970; and Let It Be, #1 US hit, April 11-April 24, 1970.

In a classic Beatles song, Paul McCartney talks to us about a figure that appeared to him, in “times of trouble,” since at the end of the song, he sings that he “wake(s) up to the sound of music,” this means that it is late at night, and insomnia has come to afflict him. And it has hit him so bad that he tries with two verses to get to sleep, but he struggles. Thus, “Mother Mary,” whom it would be precipitous to identify with the Blessed Virgin Mary, is invoked as a dream guide, to, somehow, get him to sleep, please, let me sleep. The song is Let it Be (1970).

a 1it then gets worse, as the “hour of darkness” approaches, this is that moment in insomnia when you are simply in despair, but, then comes the wisdom, and the wisdom is a paradox–if, after besieging sleep several times, and failing, if, after all that, you still can’t get to sleep, there is only one answer….stop trying. That’s it, stop trying to get to sleep, just lie there, content to be “resting,” but taking the pressure off you of getting to sleep, that is, “let it be,” and, then, poof, surprise, six hours or so later you will wake up having slept.

a 2these words are such a surprise, that as he recharacterizes them in the chorus, they are whispered, as if one hardly dares to say them aloud, the secret sounds so unbelievable.

a 3at this point, he expands his answer, to maybe be the same solution to larger problems, in the world

a 4that is, he is comparing being broken up, that is, “parted”, he wants them to understand that not being in love is a lot like insomnia, you have to stop wanting to be in love, you have to “let it be” and it will then happen to you again. This too is a whispered word of wisdom, more so in a world of dating services, and hookup apps, nope, the searching somehow makes love impossible to find. Wisdom.

a 5this kind of thought, expanding on your “wisdom,” would seem to act against the wisdom, in fact to work you up, to keep sleep even further away. But, here is where a dream model that I came up with a year ago, comes into play. I noticed that when you do have a night of insomnia, and do wake up, surprised in fact that you in fact actually got to sleep, meaning that it was a surprise sleep, that the nature of the dream you had was different, it was more spinning, I was more reflective, as in a mirror; in fact, I argued that when in insomnia, you assault or besiege the palace of sleep so many times, more than five times, well on to two thirty in the morning, that does something to the sleep chamber of the brain. As I characterized it, each assault of insomnia, then repelled, as if cuts the space, to create of it, in sum, if five to seven attempts are made, a crystallized dream space, and turn it into a hall of mirrors.

a 6

Here is how I characterized it when I thought I saw the formation take shape in the movie, Suspiria (2018) (this from February, 2019, on my blog in 2019):

So, there is a second possibility, one, which, oddly, I have only formalized recently, and that is a dynamic agency dream formation I call the night mirror. By this theory, 1) if you have insomnia, you try to get to sleep, but can’t; then, 2) each time you lay siege to sleep, like an ancient army besieging a city, there is a reaction of your push in the dream space, a faultline or hair fracture as it were is created, to absorb the blow. If you have serious insomnia, and for me that will be five at least failed attempts to get to sleep lasting from ten pm to maybe past two thirty in the morning (agony!), then you will have so shattered sleep space, for that night, that it is a tissue of fractures. But, then, 3) the way to get to sleep is to forget it, accept what rest you may get just lying there, stop worrying about getting to sleep, and, then, surprise, you slip in. But after insomnia you slip into a very different sleep space, it is 4) a hall of mirrors, everywhere, in the core, in the adjuncts, the siege of insomnia against it has reduced it to a crystal, all mirrors, and this allows for a full line-less, unlinear wide spinning quality that brings the ambient right in, and in which one floats, and echoes, and, in fact, the brain becomes this big echo chamber (this is a good time to pick up a pen and write poetry, which will sing). This continues for a time, then 5) you begin to come in under the lattice, where the sleeper is, this is where the humming or singing commences, as well as a movement upward; this is followed by 6) moving up “under the bed,’ which includes looking up 7) to see through the mirror on the bottom of the bed. This, then, allows you to 8) wake up not in a leap but in an easy glide, going through the body, in which you find yourself actually humming the song in your awake state. I recorded this model the morning after having experienced all this (I recorded it at last after having experienced it a half a dozen times in previous years). The Night mirror dynamic agency dream formation, then, as I map it out, is an eight step process. Is this structure in Suspiria (2018)? I think it is.

That is, one is awake, then you assault sleep, at the level of the glass onion second stage, it cuts you off, you are bounced back up; then that happens three, four, seven times. Overall, this shatters the “glass onion,” that is, the symbol space, into a hall of mirrors. This results, then, in some sort of activation of the symbolic stage, so that, in sleep, when, that is, you surprisingly, having “let it be,” slip into sleep, the sleep you experience is more like a spinning prism, and a hall of mirrors in fact, which causes the mind to hum and echo as if an echo chamber (this is an excellent time to start writing poetry). In Let it Be, the song, this hall of mirrors moment is met by a repeat of the chorus, and the coming in of the “wall of sound.” That is, acoustically, someone, George Martin, someone, knew, that at that point in the sound, things had to open up and echo more.

And, then, something more surprising happens. In the hall of mirrors of a light sleep created in spite of hopeless insomnia, experienced almost as a nightmare, but not a nightmare, a certain spinning acceleration happens, bringing in from the ambient zone lying outside hypnagogy, more sonorous and heavy spins, which then as if an anthem, sing out loud (I have mentioned this characteristic of this type of dream too, that you begin to dream of being a singer, of really singing, and it is a loud, anthemlike, Broadway musical type thing (see my verse on this, February, 2019). Thus, the spin is somehow generated as a richochet effect of echoing from the previous assaults rebuffed. So, this is the hall of mirrors, and its expansion in an echo chamber

a 7

but, then, something remarkable happens. After the set up of that spinning, a conjuring approach formation comes into play, and in the space of the lattice and whoosh either side of the sleeping body, now come into view, a rich sonorous song resounds, I am serious, this happens; and, I am shocked, this is PRECISELY, where, in the Beatles Let it Be, George Harrison plugs in the Rickenbacher, and lets loose with one of the greatest lead breaks in all Beatles songs, this IS the form and the acoustic nature of this phase of this type of dream.

a 8

there is some deep intuition at play here, this is exactly how the sonorous songs that flow through this type of post-insomniac dream sound, you can even hear it, in the dream (or the light dream), the song takes over the dream, it is as if it is coming up out of some darkness, to take over the self. This is real, and George has rendered its reality in a masterpiece of architectural lead breaking.

But, then, another surprise. There is something that must be acknowledged. Paul sings, when the verse resumes, in a sudden hush, quiet, “the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me.” This too is an element of insomnia that I know exists. If you lie down, there is blue spot or field in the crown, as it were, of your internal sight, that is, entopty. This light I have identified as well. It remains turned on throughout your whole sleep; it might dysfunction sleep to make it more likely this sleep will harshly bounce into nightmare; but it also can generate ghosts, and creatures of the night, represented in horror movies, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, it is the High Light, I have written about it often. This light Paul chooses to see as a sign of persistence through the darkness, that shines out onto down on him even on cloudy nights (yes, that is the High Light, as a trope in movies it is the full moon), I see it more as a negative force, because of the dangers it poses, but as it is an essential element of insomnia, it is necessarily an overseeing part of this sleep or dream formation, the High Light is what directs the siege of sleep, then is rebuffed. All I can think of for why it is neutralized here is that its jolts of energy fed into the frustrated hall of mirrors, then surged out to ambience, and, coming in, sonorously, takes it all into itself, to turn it into a positive, thus offsetting its negative impact on the other side of the hall of mirrors.

a 9this thought is partly supported by what might end up being, if science cannot prove it, the more pseudoscientific part of my dream theories.

When you lay down to go to sleep, and settle in, you close your eyes, and see blackness. But, really, you don’t see blackness. Already your body around you is sending fissures of sub-entoptic “light” into your entoptic field, the forest of purkinjee trees, and at present I name six different formations that, settling in, one can “see” (with Le Fanu eye). Sometimes, the entoptic glow just settles in next to you, this is the face opposite, a trope, it also looks like a pet or alligator lying next to you, low, below your eye, identified with your body. But, then, 2, you can also simply feel like a green as if scarf of fissuring light lie over the eyes (I got in the habit one year of draping an eye patch over my eyes to induce this formation, in the hope it would reduce insomnia by taking the out-of-oneself distance of entoptic space out of entoptic space). 3 is another form, usually if there is a headache, I don’t have much to say about it now. But, 4, I often feel, often created by the piling high of blankets on my shoulder, it is the Blue Cave, and I know that if the Blue Cave forms, I am probably drifting off; ditto with 5, which is the Green Chainlink, that is, the entoptic seed as it were of hag attacks, down at your legs or feet. And then there is 6, sometimes, I settle in, and, if lying on my left side, up high on the right exposed side of my head some openness or pressure communicates to me some “light” and this hangs there like a bright blue sky, even in the darkness, it shines through, the High Light. This, for me, means, insomnia, but then again it also promises an interesting dream journey. But this is the light that Paul is talking about, again, he saw it as a sign of hope, I am a bit less hopeful, but I see his point (see my analysis of the High Light in movies like The Cremators (1974)).

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then, my basic theory is that when you fall asleep the elements of the entoptic that you latched onto, they take you like a magic carpet into sleep, across the Luor, the in-between space, to bring you to a trope formation that is the “positive” outcome of the “negative” entoptic image. I believe this, I know it happens, though I have not entirely codified that, for example, the Hanged Woman is the hypnagogic form that, say, the Scarf over the Eyes takes, when you finally get to sleep. In any case, the important point here is that the ONLY form that does not translate over, or only does so at the end of insomnia, in its surrender, in the form of the hall of mirrors, is the High Light, the High Light over vigilogogy creates a haunted, palliative world, it then fills the in-between with monsters, and it can create in actual dream expansive scenarios. This is where we are.

a 14so, Paul, then, from this quiet pause, acknowledging the role of the High Light, points out one more fact that is an important element of the dream formation I am talking about. And that is, as he says, “I wake up to the sound of music,” and says that “mother Mary comes to me,” this is something too, because it often happens that this dream formation is made known to you by the fact that you do, in fact, wake up singing, I am not kidding, you wake to music, in your ears, or in a song being sung on a stage by a figure in your dream, you come up out of the dream by a pathway of song too, the song takes you up into waking, and I will happen that you actually do wake up singing, no foolin (I only experience this formation three times a year, but if you cultivated it, would you experience it more often?). The amazing thing about this is that Paul is known to have written some of his most important songs, such as Yesterday (1966), as fantasmata, that is, he WOKE UP IN THE MORNING, and the song was in his head, this is true. A fantasmata is one of the oldest dream formations known to mankind, “I will sleep on it”, is what people say. And what they mean is that somehow, if the parts of a problem are not gelling in a way that points to a solution, with your rational mind, you can, in fact, sleep on it, and it might well happen that you will experience a dream formation like that that pulls it all together. Medievals called this the fantasmata, it is a technique I have used often in my life. But, now, this dream formation that I have formulated, what with insomnia, hopeless insomnia, the creation of the hall of mirrors, the wider spinning of pent-up energy, the sonorous song-singing echoing; then the coming up through the body of the sleeper, with a solution, singing, as if an insomniac dream turned out to be the most refreshing kind of sleep (which it most of the time is not), this is the formation I call the Night Mirror! I wrote about it quite a lot in the months after I discovered it, or put a name on it, in January, 2019. And here is Paul McCartney telling the world exactly how he wrote songs, and, as always, the only answer is, as it always was, “let it be.” As a result, it may be said that abstractly “mother Mary” is what is called a muse. Moderns have in their rational technical way imagined that a muse is a specific person one is in love with, that such love inspired poetry or whatever, for that some feminists now frown on the muse as an exploited being, but, no, the muse is simply the dream FORMATION, it is THIS EXPERIENCE of dream, that then turns out like this. I suspect that in his more creatively aware days he gave a nickname to this particular type of night visitor, and Mother Mary is what he called the Night Mirror.

On April 10, 1970, Paul McCartney shocked the world by announcing that the Beatles, the greatest band in the history of rock ‘n roll, having been a group since the late 50s when they were just kids, having had one of the most phenomenally commanding careers in the history of all popular music, not only in themselves but in terms of the whole “British invasion” they inspired, and the whole look and feel of the culture in the Swinging London era, Paul announced that the Beatles were breaking up. It was over. By possible coincidence, or not, the Beatles Let It Be charted at number one on the Billboard charts, for a two week visit after a month or six weeks of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge over troubled waters, on April 11. The Beatles would have another hit off the Let it Be album, the Long and Winding Road, in July, 1970, but, then, I think (I am a Beatles fan, not a Beatles nostalgic historian), that was it. It was over. And, as the swan song, Paul, though notorious for his inarticulateness in explaining his creative process, working, as I suspect, entirely intuitively, told us his secret, the secret to his creativity, the secret to the greatest accession of popular music into a realm higher than that, where art is made for the ages, since, perhaps, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, in the 20th century. And, now, here, 50 years later, I am amazed to find that, having come to believe that one’s soul is in particular the dream path that one adopts in one’s life, the Night Mirror, by the High Light, is how Paul McCartney got his sleeping brain, after the “hour of darkness” to write his most hopeful anthems, an amazing possibility.

And, as for the group, I have often joked that if you fed George’s guitar work as muzak into my coffin, surely I would live forever, and never perish. Now, strangely, I find that prophecy confirmed, he gave voice to the sonorous ambient voicing of the Night Mirror, the “night before” that leads to the “morning after”.

The Beatles are, for me, the Beatles. From the time I heard I them, when I was 11, to the moment they broke up, my musical life was all about the Beatles, all the time. I played guitar, on the model of George, and learned to play most of their songs, I was in a garage band, I performed a bit. But it is the experience most of all of the graduation of their creativity from mere cover songs for former pop stars into self-contained musical compositions in their own right, doing things that just about broke apart my little brain, and it is that experience, and the model of creativity it offered (I began to speak of this model, changing, accelerating, growing, as early as Sophomore year in college, 1972), that I remain committed to, it is quite fulfilling too then, as I now look to hypnagogic states as the key to creative expansion, that the actual Beatles, the Beatles that influenced me and shaped my life, those are the only Beatles I remain a fan of, all the rest is extraneous.

Peace.