Friday, February 16, 2018

Ante-Monuments*



Filling a large gallery only with the light from flashlights held by gallery goers

Creating traces, prints one might say, by bouncing basketballs on a tall canvas leaning against the wall

Blindfolding one’s self, and plugging up one’s ears, then walking among the bar flies

Voguing in such a way that you are moving everywhere while sitting on a chair and otherwise given only two feet of space between yourself and the audience surrounding you at the club

“Merely” breathing, “merely” continuing to breath

Standing glass jars filled with autochthonous rice in the gallery space instead of human figures

Replacing fine craft objects with shackles and other evidence of their being bound to appear

Sleeping out in the hallways, sitting out in the stoops

Refusing to cry

Annotating and redacting

Selling art to prevent the foreclosure of the homes in your neighborhood (so this non-foreclosing surpasses art’s good intentions)

Asserting the gratuitous freedom of sitting by one’s self with all the lights on not even wondering what’s going on above ground

Buying her house to save it from demolition

Monumentalizing the non-reifiction of life at the rent party, the club, the corner, the stoop, the barbershop, the beauty parlor, the ballroom, the church basement

Withdrawing all images of violation and harm and the hypervisibility of sexuality to offer only small flags pinned to a map, and an Afro-Futurist counter a la Isaac Julian, and the rain falling on a windshield, and the extra-diagetic mash-up of Anna Meredith and The D.O.C., and the moon passing behind clouds then passing behind a tall building

Limiting distribution (as an act of inclusion)

Making “words […] ancillary to content”

Maintaining the “non-reduction of phonemic substance” through the repetition of “stay on it” as in: “Stay on it Stay on it Stay on it Stay on it Stay on it Stay on it Stay on it (falsetto) Stay on it (falsetto) Stay on it (falsetto) Stay on it (falsetto) Stay on it (falsetto) Stay on it (falsetto).”

“Merely” standing, merely standing and not being harassed, and not being shot

“Merely” being together, merely being together around a table collectivizing one’s research by telling stories about one’s self

Compiling the morphemes and printing them on a mirror so that one must look at them and one’s self interchangeably a kind of practice of portraiture performed in real time

Refusing to [______]

Standing in front of the painting, annotating it with some words on a t-shirt while you block the view

Being here, taking up space, standing your ground

Opening up a view to the Washington monument as though an invitation to what?

“Privatizing” one’s archive (as an act of inclusion)

Continuing to imagine interstellar travel as a response to the loopholes and crawlspaces so that everyone on the street is all of a sudden wearing NASA hats

Asserting the gratuitous freedom of ascending and descending those levels in the music

Inviting so many to collaborate on your album (as an act of exclusion)

Praising the vegetation, once nourishing and medicinal

Recalling fondly your dug-out

Holding the secret meeting in the open where everyone can see it


Producing a recording of your voice even though we have the transcript.


*composed 4/17 for Kathy Westwater's "On Monuments and the Monumental"