Steve Dalachinsky
March 2016



foundation 1 (morandi)

who will preserve space /
the fullness of emptiness –
valid question?

the flame of the shell / a warning of roses
a kind of soupy meld        within
the intentional  near unseen warp
to conserve the dust & then know how to use it

is this line solid / are we all
part of this ingenious self-portrait?
this still life that moves
with or without us
despite the movement of others
despite the movement around it

/ ? \ |}

regardless of the movement of others
despite the seeming freedom of   not from
placement –  but what is fascism?
the ability to control this accumulated dust?

a portrait of a still-life  framed by a fireplace

brick faced  residing in a black

rectangular box

supported by a ledge of immediate undertones

though the urgency of these forms

never assaults our vision

but rather

subverts   &  subdues


what do painting & politics amount to?

real size ???    real  color???

if anything


which to what to which or what

is the true transformation?

suspended above a glass-tabled floor

the frame @ times

a bourgeois addition

to the historical problems of crisis


are these compact(ed) objects:
milk? facsimile?
crisis? freedom?
bourgeois? synthesis?
anything? everything? nothing?
solid?  liquid?  ephemeral?
rich?  poor? illusion?
human?  sacred?  fiction?
useful daily   favorite daily
soup recepticles?
imagined reliquaries?
aesthetic vehicles
filled with emptiness
faded by loneliness?
learned & discarded behaviors?
studies of studies?
the instability of war?
3 sisters & a mother?
headache & arousal?
fallacy or
phallus de-emphasized?

time is at rest
the clock with its back
toward the viewer
always refusing to reveal

she quotes the critics: it’s about
“a feeling of demonic vitality”    as he
“attacks the objects in order to dissolve them”
exploit them
tells us “morandi is just morandi”

&  as we decompress
fade & melt with the paintings
dark shadows flow & fill the space
& as the tour reaches its climax
she gives the painter the last word >

“finally only a white bottle remains.”

foundation 2 (compact:)

closely & firmly packed / together / a small cosmetic case usually
containing face powder & a mirror / to make by putting together

i want to tell the brown skinned man talking to himself on the train that
no matter how much he rub the “flesh” tone “pow(d)er on his face &
hands he will never change his color. his varied hues blend like a
morandi. he talks & talks while nervously  dabbing the powder puff
around in its octagonal case then massively applies makeup to every inch
of his face. lips, eyes. give up, i want to tell him, you are crazy to think
this transformation will occur & besides you are beautiful the way you
are. he keeps dialoguing with someone in his head who may or may not
be responding. like he was on a cell phone. he is an alpha male touched
with fire trying so very hard to extinguish his own distinct, personal &
brilliant glow. on a path that can only take him further toward his
successful ascent into madness. he is surrounded by bags full of stuff. he
falls silent from time to time. looks franticly into the compact (ed space)
then dabs & dabs & dabs. rubs & rubs & rubs. at times using only his
fingers. what does he see this caked up altered self portrait? he repeats what
sounds like the number 7…in the mirror…the angels…they like my face…
like they made…they like my…so much…they created…3…6…7…side
ones…a monday…still gotta be april… we cross the bridge. he’s lost in
someone else’s idea of beauty where local & express run on the same
track at the same speed forever. he rubs & rubs. are we all part of this
self-portrait that moves with or without us? milk? facsimile? reflection?
fascism? crisis? bourgeois synthesis? freedom? anything? everything?
nothing? solid? liquid? ephemeral? rich?  poor? illusion? fiction? human?
sacred? covenant ?    dreams(s)?                                         ?CONVEXION?

nyc   2/19/21/23/24/16

Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964)
Center for Italian Modern Art

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