Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Of Warriors, Punks and Silence

Three interesting comments from fellow artists about Abakanism, which seemed to throw lights interesting enough to comment on:

1) Stanley says he is disinterested in "competing". He will talk about his art to those who seem sympathetic, but thinks that this is something the artist can choose or not choose to do. The artist is not OBLIGATED to explain, still less to shout anyone down.

2) Erwin (filmmaker) says that whenever he tells people what this bit or that bit derives from, is reacting to, is inspired by, etc,
he gets labeled as "pretentious," and finds that the less he says about his work, the more positively people seem to respond to it.

3) Lyle (filmmaker) says he can talk about his stuff, but doesn't think he can write about it.

To which I warmly pontificate as follows ;-)

1) Well, yes, nobody should have to do anything they don't want to. I know a couple of gentle souls myself, who have no verbal claws, and no wish to grow any. I would not wish them to change a hair either, and so I have secretly decided that I am their champion and protector, so let the evil and thoughtless beware, mwahahaha. But Abakanism is a polemic position, a warrior's code; naturally its internal hierarchy places warriors on the right hand of God. Samurai think civilians are kind of cute, but soft.

2) I didn't mean, when I said that real artists should explain, that they should tell ALL. I meant that they should be ready to impart whatever information is necessary for the work to become legendary. It is possible to curate with silence.

3) I wonder if Lyle (whom I find to be consistently insightful, funny and articulate in person) is laboring under some preconceived notions about what "good writing" should sound like. What if good writing DOESN'T have to sound like what you think it should sound like? What if it just has to do the job and sound like you? I sound like I do basically because I 1) put in the big stuff and 2) leave out everything that it would bore me to leave in. This doesn't GUARANTEE that you'll produce something good or even readable, but it's a good place to start. I would like to see texts/manifestoes/clarifications that were not "literary" in the sense of being polished or slick. I want to read punk criticism! (You read that here first!)

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