“I have broken the blue boundary of color limits, come out into the white, beside me comrade-pilots swim in this infinity. I have established the semaphore of Suprematism. I have beaten the lining of the colored sky, torn it away and in the sack that formed itself, I have put color and knotted it. Swim! The free white sea lies before you.”
(Of course, in the modern American dialectic, this quote will be read as a race-based communist conspiracy. It’s about painting, jerks.)
(quotation from ‘Catalogue 10th State Exhibition’, Kasimir Malevich, Moscow, 1919; as quoted in ‘Autocritique, – essays on art and anti-art 1963 – 1987’, Barbara Rose, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, New York, 1988, p. 71)
Malevich’s Suprematism was in reference to the purity of artistic freedom and feeling…the lack of color and excess form that can clutter the aesthetic conduit. Perhaps it was that sense, gained through deconstructing the assumed simplicity of cloud forms, which I felt unbind my heart?
Or maybe it was this new/old version of God, that ancient electromagnetism, that stunned me into shocked belief. I imagine that Malevich, seeking purity in rudimentary forms, probably stumbled upon that thinly thrumming peace that one sometimes happens upon when they find great meaning in what appears to be nothing.
“What is this focused reckoning? Is it lunacy? Is it truth?”
(I had the wings done in late-1999, in Athens, Ga. by an artist now deceased.)
(No, they don’t ever seem to fade.)
I held my tattooed palms open like supplicant scales…and as those around me heaped their scorn up toward the sky, the clouds grew even more weighted.
I have always thought in image. I thought everybody considered their lives as recalled pictures, old movies in their minds. When the right angles hung white and drifting, they struck me as lightning bolts, or simple letters written by hands that somehow hold my own in that fashioned double-helixed dance of damned heredity. The clouds somehow appeared as more than they were and in focusing on the drift of vapor and light, it occurred to me that all our oldest stories are mostly about the sky.
I walked around in circles, imagining that footsteps would make some sense of the world. The equations of ritual are unknown to me; I had only instinct and that great hopeful feeling exploding my heart like a million birds taking flight all at once.
…and I kept looking up to see where they may be going.*
The wind was stirred as if by wings and I wished with my whole heart that everyone in the whole fighting and fucking world would just stop. I only want the world to stop, to start over, to finally get it right. Is that so wrong a thing to wish for?
I know I am a fool, but there are far worse things to be.
I wonder if our belief systems weren’t so damn riddled with words and dead ritual and ring-fisted rule, if we would have a better idea of how to capture the true feeling of freedom and hope…to reclaim the old sense of goodness that has been lost amongst the clutter.
*(No, haters – I didn’t actually think birds were flying in my chest, nor did I expect to see them when I looked up. I am just writing. The world is, to me, still a beautiful place…full of possibility and wonder. I am tired of seeing greedy and self-righteous people mess it up. Forgive me if that seems insane.)