Sunday

Deus ex Machina

A peculiar morning here in Bethel. Today the reading concerns limits and the wisdom of knowing them and adjusting to them. I wonder if this is what is generally known as 'common sense' ? Or one part of it anyway. Growing up I would often catch certain looks, stern looks, followed by the statement 'if you don't have common sense none of the rest matters'. Or I would hear someone who was pretty much a fuck-up, despite seemingly good intentions, described as 'not having any common sense'.

I'm not sure if I've ever known an artist who accepted limits. Our entire purpose is wrapped in the notion of expanding or breaking known limits. And I'm talking artist here, not illustrator or craftsperson. And I realize the breakage is abstract and to do with form, thought or obvious function.

But this refusal seems to creep into the life of every artist I've ever known. Refusal to face facts and get a real job. Refusal to accept that "painting is dead". Refusal to accept that you are unconnected, unknown, living in self-imposed exile on the edge of the world and still believe that New York show will be happening maybe this next year. Oh yeah.

And the damnest thing is that generally we're fairly astute about the physical world, what is it and how it functions. Well not so damnest if we consider knowledge of a thing necessary in re-arranging its element. Destruction, of course requires no knowledge. The passion of hatred being all that is necessary to walk up and do a little smashing.

Picasso in making his first assemblage, Bull, did not shatter the bicycle into bits but rather disassembled it. The handlebars creating the horns and seat creating the head were very much intact when they were mounted. Not a messy piece of work in any way. His life, though, seemed a little messy. All those women. All those wives and mistresses. A large appetite I would say. One that would not accommodate the limits of someone else. One that was perhaps indifferent to the limits of another. Another trait of common sense, presumably, accepting the limits of another.

My life, too, seems a little messy. And this makes me feel guilty, which I really dislike. Casting about for blame I turn to myself. Turn on myself. Oh fuck that. Deus ex Machina. Let it come.