Thursday, 25 February 2010

"Dear Alex
Do I deduce from your blog that you are planning an imminent visit to Whitstable?

It would be good to meet up, and to think more about possible venues for your work (venues are not easy in Whitstable, none of the usual Biennale stock of disused warehouses and abandoned industrial areas to choose from).
Best wishes
Sue Jones"

Perhaps I have been remiss in my comunications. However I am looking forward to meeting Sue again. The vexed question of the presentation and siting of my work has been firmly at the back of my mind drily scritch scratching inside my skull. I am not fond of the idea of inflicting my work on an unwilling public and am always wary of those artists who seem happy to act like the fox who always craps in the most prominent place possible. The other side of me craves adulation and twenty foot projections. What I really need is a secret lair, a bat cave, a Graceland, a Neverland, perhaps not Neverland.

I have just found this crucifix and been sent this 1970's translation of a Vampire poem by Baudelaire:
The Metamorphoses of the Vampire
Then the woman with the strawberry mouth,
Squirming like a snake upon the coals,
Kneading her breasts against the iron of her corset,
Let flow these words scented with musk:
— "I have wet lips, and I know the art
Of losing old conscience in the depths of a bed.
I dry all tears on my triumphing breasts
And I make old men laugh with the laughter of children.
For those who see me naked, without any covering,
I am the moon and the sun and the sky and the stars!
I am so dexterous in voluptuous love, my dear, my wise one,
When I strangle a man in my dreadful arms,
Or abandon my breast to his biting,
So shy and lascivious, so frail and vigorous,
That on these cushions that swoon with passion
The powerless angels damn their souls for me!"
When she had sucked the pith from my bones
And, drooping, I turned towards her
To give her the kiss of love, I saw only
An old leather bottle with sticky sides and full of pus!
I shut both eyes in cold dismay
And when I opened them both to clear reality,
By my side, instead of that powerful puppet
Which seemed to have taken some lease of blood,
There shook vaguely the remains of a skeleton,
Which itself gave the cry of a weathercock
Or of a sign-board, at the end of a rod of iron,
Which the wind swings in winter nights.
— Geoffrey Wagner, Selected Poems of Charles Baudelaire (NY: Grove Press, 1974)

-- posted abroad

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