Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Here we Tetraktys to the left and be pronounced as a translator

but none of them owns the landscape, the still
covetous vision of things in absolute dominion...
-Medard Boss

Was thinking of Gregor Schneider this evening, but imagining a more bucolic setting for his work, or rather a transplanting or even a translating of a sort of rustic 'lean-to' mood that I had gleaned before on viewing a film about his hauswerk on Unterheydener Straße in Mönchengladbach-Rheydt. looking through my own inner back door eye, I suddenly found the simple search terms German Impressionism + licht, and was surprised to find the painter Georg Arnold-Graboné. A painter who, while schooled in cubism would come to write “Ich bin kein freund der Abstracten kunst”, I am no friend to abstract art, which is sort of interesting because recently I also saw a documentary which said that Picasso's blue period was the result of a general jingoistic abreaction against abstract art in France during the onset of WWI, and was being called unpatriotic, and "German".. But besides all this, and much more left unmentioned, Georg Arnold-Grabone' became the art teacher of Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950's. From Wikipedia:

In 1951 U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was stationed in Garmisch as the commander of occupied Europe. Sir Winston Churchill encouraged Eisenhower to take up painting as a hobby. Eisenhower followed Churchill’s advice and began to take lessons from Arnold-Graboné. At that time Arnold-Graboné had his studio only a few miles from Eisenhower’s headquarters. For a period of time Eisenhower flew twice weekly from Paris to Füstenfeldbruck, and then by automobile to Tutzing where he took his art lessons from the professor. They formed a friendship and one of Arnold-Graboné’s paintings hung in the White House. Later the former president hung one of the paintings, "Zugspitze" in his home in Gettysburg.

Arnold-Graboné’s circle of American friends acquired at NATO headquarters also included General Nordstrom and Robert L. Scott (author of "God is my copilot"). The artist marketed his works to the junior officers stationed at NATO headquarters and he often invited them to exhibitions his work. As a consequence, many young American officers purchased paintings and brought them back to the United States.

Through Eisenhower, Arnold-Graboné eventually became acquainted with Sir Winston Churchill. Churchill was interested in the artist's spatula technique and asked him for some tutelage. The two of them spent several weeks one summer in the early 1950s painting together on the Isle of Man.

Although he maintained his studio in Tutzing the artist exhibited throughout the world. In the 1950s and 1960s Arnold-Graboné had exhibitions in the United States, including New York, Chicago, Washington DC and Sarasota, Florida. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson owned in his private collection an original Graboné titled "Arber".

In 1929, the Swiss Microbiologist Arber Werner was born. His work postulated the existence of restriction enzymes, selective enzymes that break down molecules of DNA into pieces small enough to be separated for individual study but large enough to retain bits of the original substance's genetic information. These enzymes (later isolated by Hamilton Smith) laid the foundation for the science of genetic engineering, and for this work Arber shared the 1978 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine with Smith and Daniel Nathans.

I looked awhile at the available work of Arnold-Graboné examining its DNA you might say, until I came upon the single house that I would make my own Gregor Schneider in. Here is the house:

As soon as I had begun to work in that landscape inside the house itself, I knew it was the one. The two 'audience houses' would be accessed by tunnels from the hill house stage, or Haus Hügel Bühne, an no external entrances would remain. The luckiest part was finding an indoor well which led eventually to an abandoned mineshaft whose recesses I would begin to fill with the gems of my production. But suddenly I began to come under the influence of Inge Müller, as I knew my hauswerk had every right to fall down on me, crushing me. Inge:

Under the Rubble III

When I went for water a house fell on me
We bore the house
The forgotten dog and I.
Don't ask me how
I don't remember
Ask the dog how.

“Ich bin kein freund der Abstracten kunst”

I remember making in a small magazine, in a small house, a cabaña
a little picture of Winston Churchill as a bulldog centaur while on LSD,
but nobody on LSD will be allowed in my Haus Hügel Bühne, not with Inge.
She is sensitive, disturbed, she changes the plumbing system so that the eaves of the house
drip water that runs down in rivulets into dog shaped pools. She has a tiny hand carved dog
with a lever in its chest that lets you move its mouth. You see the teeth, and the red tongue, but
the lever looks like a penis growing from its chest. It's strange, or maybe it's a misplaced tale.
Like the one she tells:

I left you during the night tonight
For a long time, it seems to me: forever.
The morning was a gray chamber
And as you left there was smoke in the streets.

She has a trauma. The air is vast and bucolic. I make heavy tables for taverns, break bottles on rocks
and care silently for colored patches of light in the green sheep's wool ground.

“Ich bin kein freund der Abstracten kunst”
Wand ohne Bild

On the walls are many pictures, and I read long days in the big bucolic barn where I play rearranging the walls of this hilltop stage house. It isn't Inge here I realize, but Gracie..

In Grace's veins flowed mercury, the purest distillation of icy metals. Her skin was transparent almost, and pale. One felt that if one took a piece between finger and thumb, and ripped downward, say from knee to ankle, the whole epidermis would come away wetly, effortlessly, like sodden brown paper, cleaving the flesh and bone open. On her back as she sat on our inadequate bed, I have trace many a curious forefinger among the soft grooves and lucent vertebrae - colorless nuts - transparent jellybeans - each housing a tiny orphaned fang of mercury, barely protruding under their transparent cover.

That's a whole house there to stage up. As in Merleau-Ponty's "flesh" written only as F, its initial sympathy.
I am no friend to abstract art, but neither an enemy. What I see or seek is a more fundamental bodily dimension to my home. The gem tunnel is fine, and all day I toil carrying soil into the attic where Inge's graceful faucet can turn it to eavesdropping mud.

Fink and Heidegger back and forth, Georg and Gregor slandering froth, and the house in Arber Werner,
eros once again limb-loosener, sore Novalis fleeing no pain

the hauswerk
the arrangement
of the cup
the speakers
the table

a pyramid
with horns