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Prudence in Hell 046
As Alonso and I celebrate our anniversary month —we were married by law on 07/07/07, and by the church on 20/07/2007, all numbers he chose for us— please meet Vassily, the piebald peacock, our new addition to the family menagerie. Our places, to all who have known them, are unfailingly eccentric in the English way, and we continue to cram them with objects —natural and artificial— that inspire curiosity, excitement and frisson.
Vassily has furbished my accelerationist office with a flush aplomb, and since we are on the subject, I have not forgotten that I promised to write about this space, and the art in it, in Prudence 005. So I will do so now.
Though completely improvised, my current office is characterful. In addition to Vassily, it already has animal tissue: the unborn calfskin I mentioned in Prudence 010, on apostematic dressing. The space is presided by a Charlotte Perriand I won while leading the potlatch life from which I promised to retire earlier this year —yet here we are... It’s a beautiful chair, bordering poltroon, without armrests, probably covered in the original fabric, or one might want to think so, given its strategically spotless stains; that aggressive little tear. And I cover these indignities of age with the skin of unborn —truly, sacred— cows.
Cresting the Perriand is the Sinisca. It is the most perverse artwork in my collection, part of which is already comprised of decapitations. The Sinisica is a hyperperspective, not in the Escherian sense, but through the Nietzschean sensibility of Italian Futurism. It describes the collision of parallels meeting. It is catastrophe and eucatastrophe. It is the kiss of the car crash. It is us forever now.
I will not say how I came across this extraordinary work, but that I wear it as a crown when I do video calls. It is just at the height to crop over my head, the most extraordinary fascinator you have ever seen.
The other picture I bought in Berlin, during the Berlinale, ten years ago. I was going through one of my life’s two great break-ups, both with mentors. We met in the Theatre District, hoping to run into Mike Leigh, willing to settle for Herzog. He could not believe I would eat raw merluza, and he was titillated, because of course I did (the of course being the perversity). A relationship of carnivores that started with, now that I think of it, the intellectual obsession with food, and ended in cannibalism. I am still trying to make sense of this episode, but this individual was my first accelerationist and animus —and I may have been his. The artwork is an original print —a pastel— of an 1894 Benz “Velo”, a predecessor to the car. It is notably well-framed, with impeccable Germanic balance. It is simply the best frame in the house.
And then there’s a Nendo table and a lovely floorlamp.
I have Stendhalian moments with the peacock. What a beautiful, auratic object. It has originality and presence.
It’s the piebaldness, I think: it is both colourful and monochrome.
I would like to die by work of art same way Bergotte does, in view of my Delft.
As it is my anniversary month, I will not close without a secret for all lovers.
There are three (series of) novels one must read to fully understand the range of contemporary love (Austen is eternal).1
One is, obviously, Proust’s Remembrance, featuring the greatest writing on the matter since Dante. The other is, less obviously but no less truly, Musil’s The Man Without Qualities. The last one is The Alexandria Quartet, perhaps the most belóved of the three.
And we should talk about Pursewarden —modeled after Percy Wyndham Lewis, the rangy genius who, from Time and Western Man to Tarr, in addition to the reams I have on his graphic and painterly work, occupies most corners of my library— soon.
Miller ain’t it, either, brilliant as often he is.