Hauteur

Liz Smith has enthused about mayonnaise, about fried chicken and about French cuisine and she wrote in the New York Times "We ate high off the hog, low off the calf" and told in that space another good anecdote:

I learned a lot about comfort from Henri Soulé. One weekend the elegant DuPont-wed Francis — yes, with an "i" — Carpenter and her friend Shirley Maytag sailed into Sag Harbor. "We must go to the Hedges," Francis said, and so they set out for East Hampton. Arriving, Francis was stunned to see only a few cars. The dining room was all set up but empty. "Tell Mr. Soulé that Mrs. Carpenter is here for lunch," Francis said to a passing busboy. Soon, Soulé appeared in a bloody apron wiping his hands. Apologizing that he'd been butchering, he was charm itself, seating the ladies and asking what they'd like. "Whatever you'd like us to have," responded the gracious Francis. To Mrs. Maytag, she whispered: "Poor Henri. He has no customers."

Soulé served them a fine lunch accompanied by an excellent white Bordeaux. When Francis asked for the check. "Oh, madam," Soulé said, bowing. "There is no check. For you see, there is no lunch at the Hedges!"

So, who says there's no free lunch? If you're lucky, you eat high, and you eat low.
Liz Smith
"Mayo With A Slice of Life"
The New York Times Magazine
November 4, 2001

And so for day 1249
15.05.2010

Smothered

Étouffée: A method of cooking food in a tightly closed vessel with very little liquid or even without liquid, often called à l'étuvée.

Étuver: To cook food in covered pan, without moistening. This method of cooking is suitable for all kinds of meat, poultry, vegetables and fruit. A suitable quantity of butter, fat or oil is added. [Larousse Gastronomique]

Therefore, and as much as intervening is no mere uncovering of a desire or meaning, associating is no simple enumeration or reporting; each utterance can reconfigure the many series that precede it, invest them with new meanings and project them in different directions, help them produce further associations or altogether stifle them.
Fadi Abou-Rihan
"Constructions Revisited: Winnicott, Deleuze and Guattari, Freud"
British Journal of Psychotherapy 31, 1 (2015) 20–37

And so for day 1248
14.05.2010

Phono Photo Places

Imagine a clacking keyboard throughout the duration of reading this entry.

From the archives and a review of Dianne Bos exhibit at Wynick/Tuck by Thomas Hirschman ["Sensory Deception: Two Shows Play Tricks with Sight and Sound" Now, Vol. 22, No. 41, June 12-18, 2003].

A lot of art stimulates the brain. Some pieces excite the theatre of the mind – where sounds stimulate the imagination to create imagery. At Wynick/Tuck, a body of new work by Dianne Bos takes that a step further, mixing audio with still images to create moving pictures in your head.

The length of each audio recording corresponds to the duration of the exposure. One photo captured three minutes and 33 seconds of a French carousel spinning around and around. The result is photo of a grey blur accompanied by the sounds of merry-go-round music and excited children. Voices and the constant crash of water hitting the pool of a fountain can be heard for one minute and 39 seconds at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City. The accompanying image shows off the beautiful architecture of the space, its stillness contrasting with the motion of the water.

Looking at the pictures, listening to the ambient sounds, the scenes spring to life. And for the length of time dictated by the exposure of the film, it's as if you are there.
Or elsewhere. I would argue that there is a décrochage. There is a still photograph and ambient sound. No matter how transported the viewer/listener may be, the sound is coming towards you and the photograph is before you. You are not simply there. You are elsewhere. You never get here.

Stop keyboard clacking.

And so for day 1247
13.05.2010

Hurry of the Unharried

The context is very specific to a drive through a given landscape but the image can be applied to our being in the world as

A hurry through which known and strange things pass
The line speaks to me of our modern condition and the sense that both the familiar (known) and the exquisitely bizarre (strange) come to us even as we remain still in place treading like a mad red queen.

The line by the way is from "Postscript" collected in The Spirit Level by Seamus Heaney. The line itself strikes us as both strange and known (because we return to it and return to it "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.")

And so for day 1246
12.05.2010

Meat: Horrid & Otherwise

In the middle of the anthology edited by Mark Strand [The Golden Ecco Anthology: 100 Great Poems of the English Language] there is Melville's "The Maldive Shark" which has striking ending epithet for the maritime beast:

Pale ravener of horrible meat
In the middle of another anthology there is a hunger of a different sort:
I have broken the sound barrier of morality
with one crunchy bite on the phallic biscuit.
In my boyish womanhood, with my soul in drag,
I have been personal concubine to hundreds
of queens and princes, mistress of many
hedonists, lover of all.
The poet is William Barber. The poem, "The Gay Poet" collected by Gavin Geoffrey Dillard in A Day for a Lay: a century of gay poetry.

And so for day 1245
11.05.2010

SHORTS ON SHORTNESS OF LIFE

To judge a book by its cover, this one is an homage to Jenny Holzer. Holzer on screen and cityscape (from the days of Truisms) and George Murray in book work (Glimpse) trade in aphorisms.

One of my favourites from Murray:
The only reliable form of time travel is living.
And so by moving forward in our reading we turn to the past and open the book Jenny Holzer: The Venice Installations to Michael Auping's curatorial statement in which we read "Given the character of Holzer's texts, the quietude of Holzer's antechambers is decidedly unsettling." Consider the opening and closing of "LAMENTS 1987-89".
THE NEW DISEASE CAME.
I LEARN THAT TIME
DOES NOT HEAL.
EVERYTHING GETS
WORSE WITH DAYS.
I HAVE SPOTS
LIKE A DOG.

[...]

I WANT TO GO TO
THE FUTURE PLEASE.
As Murray writes, "We're already being studied by the future."

And so for day 1244
10.05.2010

Marker Mindfulness

At the corner of Crawford and Barton, north west corner of Christie Pits, in the tree-planted area where the Garrison Creek is marked, across from St. Raymond Catholic School. One tree caught my attention, not so much for is commemorative plaque, but more for the words on that plaque.

IN MEMORY OF

SUZANNE GENEREUX BEAUDRY

"Paix" "Joie" "Sérenité"
But a name and a sentiment. A reminder to be mindful. And so easy to pass by without noticing.
I hope the tree fares well. And its tripartite motto carries on.

And so for day 1243
09.05.2010

Varieties of Orgasmic Experience

The book first appeared as Elements of a Coffee Service in 1982 and then when it was published by Ithuriel's Spear, Robert Glück, the author, noted "We dropped of a Coffee Service from the original title of Elements: I got tired of saying it and no one else seemed to remember it." Good story. Worth adding to a trove of lore.

Notice how the shortened title opens up the set of elements.

This is in tune with the varieties of experience exposed in the pieces:

Orgasms come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes mechanical as a jack-in-the box — an obsessive little tune, tension, pop goes the weasel — other times they brim with meaning. And other times, like now, they are the complimentary close that signals the end of a lengthy exchange. I recall a memorable climax, a terrific taste of existence in the summer of '73. I was with Ed; we weren't doing anything special but the orgasm started clearly with the fluttering of my prostate, usually a distant gland, sending icy waves to my extremities. Then a hot rush carried my torso up into an arc and just before I came a ball bearing of energy ping-ponged up and down my spine.
Juxtapose with the description of the pace and form of conversation:
We settled in, obligingly gauging ourselves to each other's rhythm as a sign of friendship: my abbreviations and wisecracking, Bruce's paragraphs and meditative periods.
Note the order of presentation: abbreviations then meditative periods. A capsule history of the title.

And so for day 1242
08.05.2010

Escape Velocities and Stillness

"Notes Towards a Minor Art Practice"
Simon O’Sullivan
http://drainmag.com Vol 2.2. Syncretism (2005)

It is then as if there must be two moments, or movements, to a minor practice: one of dissent (either a strategic withdrawal as a form of engagement, or strategic engagement itself), and one of creativity (the production of new forms). Art is a name for each of these strategies. We might reformulate this as a question of moving at different speeds to various institutional apparatus of capture, of moving faster, but also, if we take Henri Bergson’s thesis into account, of sometimes moving slower (and sometimes even standing still).[19]

[19] I am thinking here of Henri Bergson’s gap, or hesitation, between stimulus and reaction which in itself allows creativity to arise. See Bergson’s Matter and Memory, and especially chapter 3 ‘On the Survival of Images’ (MM 133-177).
(MM) Bergson, H. Matter and Memory, trans. N. M. Paul and W. S. Palmer (New York: Zone Books, 1991).

See work of Suzy Lake. In particular the concept of Reduce Performing. With attention to the execution of extended breathing in public places. Especially "Extended Breathing on the Steps of the Detroit Institute of Art".

And so for day 1241
07.05.2010

What Pops Up Pops Out

The copy in Robarts Library was presented by Jearld Moldenhauer.

Robert Glück. Family Poems. "The Body" (1979)

Some of us went on to wear our erections
like jewelry and others of us didn't.
An unusual carrot — purple with two "legs" and a "pelvic bump" puts me in mind of Glück's lines.

And so for day 1240
06.05.2010