Thursday, October 15, 2015

Kiki Smith's "Blue Stars," Bruce Nauman's "Mapping the Studio 1"

Kiki Smith, "Blue Stars on Blue Tree," 2006.
Ink and silver leaf on Nepal paper.

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge was born in Beijing and grew up in Massachusetts. She is the author of 12 books of poetry, including Empathy, Four Year Old Girl, I Love Artists: New and Selected Poems, and Hello, the Roses. She has collaborated with many artists, including Kiki Smith and her husband, Richard Tuttle. She lives in northern New Mexico and New York City.

I Love Artists
I go to her house and talk with her as she draws me or knits, so it’s not one-on-one exactly, blue tattooed stars on her feet.
I pull the knitted garment over my head to my ankles.
Even if a detail resists all significance or function, it’s not useless, precisely.
I describe what could happen, what a person probably or possibly does in a situation.
Nothing prevents what happens from according with what’s probably, necessary.
Telling was engendered in my body and fell upon me, like a battle skimming across combatants, a bird hovering.
Beautiful friends stopped dressing; there was war.
I’d weep, then suddenly feel joy and sing loud words from another language, not knowing my song’s end.
I saw through an event and its light shone through me.
Before, indifference was: black nothingness, that indeterminate animal in which everything is dissolved; and white nothingness, calm surface of floating, unconnected determinations.
Imagine something, which distinguishes itself, yet that from which it distinguishes does not distinguish itself from it.
Lightning distinguishes itself from black sky, but trails behind, as if distinguishing itself from what espouses it.
When ground rises to the surface, her form decomposes in this mirror in which determination and the indeterminate combine.
Did you know, finally, there was not communication between her and myself?
Communication was in time and space that were coming anyway.
I may suffer if I can’t tell the agony of a poisoned rat, as if I were biting.
Bruce leaving for the night makes space for his cat to enter.
Mouse (left) exits door and returns
Moth and mouse on sculpture exit (left), noise.
It’s an exterior relation, like a conducting wire, light fragment by fragment.
I realize my seeing is influenced by him, for example, when we change form and become light reaching into corners of the room.
Even now, we’re slipping into shadows of possessions that day by day absorb our energy.
I left my camera on to map unfinished work with shimmering paths of my cat (now disappeared), mice and moths (now dead).
There’s space in a cat walking across the room, like pages in a flip-book.
The gaps create a reservoir in which I diffuse my embarrassment at emotion for animals.
I posted frames each week, then packed them into suitcases, the white cat and her shadow, a black cat.
I named her Watteau, who imbues with the transitory friendship we saw as enduring space in a forest.
A level of meaning can be the same as a place.
Then you move to your destination or person along that plane.
Arriving doesn’t occur from one point to the next.
It’s the difference in potential, a throw of dice, which necessarily wins, since charm as of her handcrafted gift affirms chance.
I laugh when things coming together by chance seem planned.
You move to abandon time brackets, water you slip into, what could bring a sliding sound of the perimeter of a stone?
You retain “early” and “walking” as him in space.
When a man becomes an animal, with no resemblance between them, it feels tender.
When a story is disrupted by analyzing too much, elements can be used by a witch’s need for disharmony.
Creation is endless.
Your need would be as if you were a white animal pulling yourself into a tree in winter, and your tears draw a line on the snow.

Bruce Nauman. Mapping the Studio 1. 
(Fat Chance John Cage). 2001.