(Mercado de San Miguel)
"If there is a self proper to woman, paradoxically it is her capacity to depropriate herself without self-interest: endless body, without "end," without principle "parts"; if she is a whole, it is a whole made up of parts that are wholes, not simple, partial objects but varied entirety, moving and boundless change, a cosmos where eros never stops traveling, vast astral space. She doesn’t revolve around a sun that is more star than the stars.
That doesn’t mean that she is undifferentiated magma; it means that she doesn’t create a monarchy of her body or her desire. Her libido is cosmic, just as her unconscious is worldwide: her writing also can only go on and on, without ever inscribing or distinguishing contours, daring these dizzying passages in other, fleeting and passionate dwellings within him, within the hims and hers whom she inhabits just long enough to watch them, as close as possible to the unconscious from the moment they arise; to love them, as close as possible to instinctual drives, and then, further, all filled with these brief identifying hugs and kisses, she goes and goes on infinitely. She alone dares and wants to know from within where she, the one excluded, has never ceased to hear what-comes-before-language reverberating. She let’s the other tongue of a thousand tongues speak — the tongue, sound without barrier or death. She refuses life nothing. Her tongue doesn’t hold back, but holds forth, doesn’t keep in, but keeps on enabling. Where the wonder of several and turmoil is expressed, she does not protect herself against these unknown feminines; she surprises herself at seeing, being, pleasuring in her gift of changeability. I am spacious singing Flesh: onto which is grafted no one knows which I — which masculine or feminine, more or less human, but above all living, because changing, I.”
— Hélène Cixous, an excerpt from Sorties
Recently, I finally mustered up the motivation and courage to venture into this practically unbearable weather to experience the Paige Powell photography show at Suzanne Geiss Co. (NYC), which features a number of nude photographs of the late, and ever-so-great artist, Jean Michel Basquiat. While most would consider the show highly provocative and, depending on how you may feel about the artist and his life journey, including his tragic death, somewhat disturbing, I achieved an overwhelming sense of serenity. Pure, raw, calming. It was easy to love him. It was easy to understand why so many others did, while he was alive and for what seems like now, an eternity after. His child-like, relaxed, comfortable nature was beautifully captured by Powell, and brought to a larger scale for us admirers to observe. It was easy to be one with him, all thanks due to the photographer’s vision, as well as the intimate connection she more than likely shared with the artist. Sheets of white snow engulf the streets and on the inside of the gallery, on these pristine white walls, hang the images of beauty in a rare, raw form. Vulnerable, yet we are all staring. We are all imagining. Some of us, including myself, longing. For something. It was approaching 6pm and I didn’t want to leave. It felt like home. Even with just the exhibition of a few black and white portraits, his innocence lingers throughout the gallery, spilling onto our native New York City streets and I could feel it — A minuscule fragment of it latched onto my heart and departed with me. And with me, it will stay. Forever.