The Polish Rider
May 30, 2016 - accent chair
The uncover was up, designation complete, a opening was a successive night, she’d fought her final requisite battles with her gallerist, Elena, about sequence and press release, they’d done adult over a drink, she’d taken an Uber she couldn’t means from Chelsea behind to a Lower East Side unit she couldn’t means to get some sleep, usually to realize—just as she’d drifted off into a dream in that her mentor, Katrin, arrives unannounced from Kraków, temperament news Sonia always wakes before she can receive—that she’d done a terrible mistake. She had been wrong to concur what had during initial seemed a teenager point: that a paint on a sides of dual of a 10 canvases—incidental flecks and smudges—would remain, given all a other sides had been spotless up, overpainted white. Elena suspicion a tiny traces of prolongation contrasted easily with a ubiquitous immaculacy of a paintings, that this emphasized their “handmade quality,” and Sonia, exhausted, had said, fine, fine, so prolonged as Elena resolved to hang them during a surprising heights Sonia preferred. Agreed. But now Sonia—jumping out of a bed she’d hardly slept in for a week, struggling into her jeans while summoning another Uber—decided that this tiny benefaction compromised, in fact ruined, totally destroyed, a tinge of a show, digest it all theatrical, self-congratulatory, trendy, cheap. It said, “Look during me stating a value of portrayal in an epoch characterized by a epitome soundness of new media”; it said, “Look during how slicing dilemma my old-fashionedness is.” (Sonia suspicion these things in Polish as a automobile sped adult Tenth Avenue; she always reverted to Polish when she was exhausted, and if she suspicion in Polish she was certain to dream in it, that meant that, progressing rather than later, Katrin would appear.)
When she saw Sonia pull open a potion gallery doors, Elena accursed audibly, afterwards walked, smiling, with counsel slowness, toward her. Elena put her hands on a painter’s shoulders and pronounced to her in Italian, to that Elena reverted in moments of frustration, “Love, it’s finished, a uncover is adult and looks wonderful; go behind home and get some nap as we agreed.” Sonia had lived for dual years in Rome, had schooled to pull there, sketching bodies and fruit in an academy beside a Tiber, but, not usually did Sonia destroy to know Elena’s Italian, she unsuccessful to know that it was Italian, and a abyss of a incomprehension in Sonia’s eyes dumbfounded a gallerist, who cared some-more about Sonia, ultimately, than she cared about a show. Elena asked a partner texting behind a high list to move Sonia some H2O and one of a folding chairs they kept around for abounding or noxious visitors. Sonia let herself be staid into a chair, emptied a cosmetic booze crater (all a partner could find), and afterwards stated, though evidence or explanation, “The sides contingency be blank.” (“Blank” wasn’t definitely a word, Sonia felt, though it was a closest English tenure she could muster.) “I’ll take them behind and purify them and afterwards a uncover is finished, we swear.” Elena suspicion for a second, fingering a malachite match she always wore, and said, “O.K., O.K., have some some-more water,” and shortly a dual paintings were in a black leather portfolio box successive to Sonia in an Uber streamer downtown, where she would repair a sides, afterwards Uber them behind up.
Every portrayal in Sonia’s uncover decorated a same thing: a famous lick between Erich Honecker, a celebrity of a German Democratic Republic from 1971 until a tumble of a Berlin Wall, and Leonid Brezhnev, a conduct of a U.S.S.R. from 1964 to 1982. The iconic “socialist fraternal kiss” took place in Berlin, was photographed by Régis Bossu in 1979, a year of Sonia’s birth and mine, and circulated around a universe as a pitch of a Eastern Bloc. A two-page widespread in Paris Match, etc. The unrestrained of a kissers, a snippet of amorous excess, combined to a fascination. Growing adult in Kraków, Sonia had mostly seen a photograph, though what she remembers some-more clearly is a second life: after a Berlin Wall came down, a Soviet artist Dmitri Vrubel embellished a picture on a East side of a wall with a heading (in Russian) “God assistance me to tarry this lethal adore affair,” transforming a iconic picture of a Eastern Bloc into an iconic picture of a collapse. In March, 2009, a fading, flaking portrayal was private by a authorities, nonetheless Vrubel afterwards remade it with some-more durable paints, an eventuality that troubled Sonia, who saw it as de-historicizing, spectacularizing, cheapening. we pronounced any portrayal in her uncover decorated a same thing, though that’s not unequivocally right. Did a sold portrayal of Sonia’s etch a tangible kiss? The sketch of a kiss? The portrayal of a sketch of a kiss? Or was she portrayal a repainting of a portrayal of a sketch of a kiss?
The canvases were, as always with Sonia’s work, meticulously composed, though any was stoical in a conflicting chronological style. One board decorated a lick preoccupied into Cubist shapes and volumes, another was Caravaggesque in a chiaroscuro (the lick of Judas?), another endangered a reduction of expectation and fuzz that removed Gerhard Richter, and so on. In my letter for a uncover we likened a array of styles to all a iPhone detailed effects and filters, how we can select “transfer” or “instant” or whatever, all these images of routine isolated from tangible processes and now done accessible during a post-historical touch, nonetheless Sonia was both citing and reversing that condition, as her possess paintings were anything though instant, anything though digital: a painstaking, studious execution of her canvases was one of their many critical features. And afterwards my letter took adult a ways in that a conflicting measure of a canvases influenced a hire of a lick they depicted: a staggering canvases evoked a sermon of socialist-realist heroism, propaganda, or a measure of a satire on a Berlin Wall; a dual smaller canvases (the dual with a unwashed sides)—twenty by sixteen inches, a distance some-more ordinarily compared with portraits—made a lick feel intimate, depoliticized.
It concluded, a letter we mean, with a discourse between Sonia and me about a conflicting resonances these images have for us—she was 10 in Kraków when a Wall came down; we was 10 in Topeka—and a grade to that a sold senses of art story and politics are remarkable by her carrying been lifted behind a Iron Curtain, my carrying been lifted in a American heartland, and what all that means now that new versions of a right are on a arise in both places and new imaginations of a left are urgently required, now that all a nineteen-nineties pronounce of a finish of story is history. Elena had asked if we would review an discuss from that partial of a letter during a gallery during a opening, afterwards have a kind of open conversation, and, to my surprise, Sonia had pronounced yes.
Uber was perplexing to encourage a open that a drivers were scrupulously vetted. There had been rapes and murders; in fact, a few days before Sonia left a dual paintings in a car, a motorist in Michigan had shot and killed 6 people, apparently during random, and between fares, if they still contend “fares.” Uber was also perplexing to remonstrate a open a information were safe, that Uber’s information about users—credit-card numbers, obviously, though also transport history, real-time locations—was being scrupulously protected. And all this done it harder for us to figure out how to get Uber to reason a temperament and a end of a newcomer successive to Sonia.
When we showed adult during her apartment, sweating, notwithstanding a cold early-spring weather, given I’d biked conflicting a Manhattan Bridge, Sonia was shouting and great during a same time, saying, “It’s Elena’s fault, she done me splash all that water, so we had to pee, so we rushed out of a car, forgetful a paintings.” When she finally stopped pacing and sat down in her apartment’s one gentle chair, we went to a fridge in a kitchenette to get her something to eat. (Besides a white leather armchair, miraculously unstained by paint or adhesive, and besides paintings and materials associated to painting, a studio was furnished with usually a low bed, a incompatible dining-room set she’d found on a street, and a hire desk.) The fridge was dull save for butter and condiments and leftovers of indistinct age. we non-stop a sideboard and found a package of candied walnuts that had substantially shaped partial of some holiday basket from Kraków, struggled with a badge and cellophane before opening it with my teeth, afterwards emptied a package into a play and took it to her, educated her to eat. She nodded mechanically and began to gnaw while we woke her mechanism and Googled “uber manhattan office.”
Sonia had satisfied immediately that she’d mislaid a paintings in a car, satisfied it before she took out her keys to open her building’s door. She ran after a Uber, screaming for it to stop, until it had incited off her transport toward Delancey. Willing her hands not to shake, she located a driver’s information on a app—his name was Kashif, a phone told her; his normal rating was 5 stars—and called him, too out of exhale during initial to speak, though shortly yelling, “I need we to come here now, now.” Kashif had positive her that he would be right there, was a notation away, nonetheless she also pronounced that he had an accent that was formidable for her to understand.
It incited out that Kashif had suspicion she was a successive passenger, not a prior one, and so had brisk to a new address, that conjunction he nor a association would reveal, to collect adult a chairman whose temperament a association felt thankful to protect, to dump him or her off during an undisclosable destination. That chairman contingency have taken a paintings because, by a time Sonia got by to Kashif again, by a time he’d come behind to her building, on Hester, a paintings were gone. (As distant as Sonia was concerned, Kashif himself was over suspicion—he hadn’t been wakeful of a paintings during all until she explained to him what had happened.) “I definitely literally was on my knees here on a pavement,” Sonia told me. She begged him to take her to wherever he’d usually come from, though he refused, usually steady apologetically, as he attempted to get her to mount up—a flitting teen-ager had stopped to film them on her phone—that she had to call a office, “I’m so contemptible there are rules.”
From a speed with that Kashif had returned to Sonia’s, she’d unspoken her paintings contingency be definitely circuitously her apartment, and this desirous Sonia, who was substantially a tiny hectic during this point, to ramble a circuitously streets, vaguely anticipating to confront someone carrying her case. Near a dilemma of Bowery and Broome she saw herself reflected in a window of a restaurant-supply store and was dismayed by a picture of her possess desperation, that was when she texted me.
Eventually, she started checking dumpsters and alleys to see if someone had rejected a paintings, maybe wanting usually a leather portfolio case. Near Chrystie Street, she stepped on a rat; “I listened it scream, afterwards it laughed during me.” Cold, dizzy, despairing, she finally sat down on one of a benches during Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Two kids were play fighting, wrestling on a soccer field, one in a pompous red jacket, a other in a pompous blue jacket. No, they were unequivocally fighting. No: play fighting. She couldn’t decide.
The yellow-cab driver—the marker label in a bulletproof assign between front and behind seats pronounced his name was Miguel de Arco—who gathering us to a Uber offices, that happened to be in Chelsea, usually a few blocks from a gallery (this was a fifth time that day Sonia had been conveyed adult or down a West Side avenue), told us, when he discerned from a review where we were going, about a “fifteen second” rule. The problem with Uber isn’t usually that Uber drivers are shit (“murderers, rapists”), and are also (“though who unequivocally cares”) treated like shit by Uber, and that “surge pricing” means that passengers are gouged whenever there is a lot of trade or flood or a healthy disaster (“How most we consider they’ll assign during a successive hurricane?”), and that Uber is run by a garland of assholes who use private information to harass their enemies; no, a misfortune thing about Uber, Miguel said, is a fifteen-second rule, that is putting all a lives during risk. At a red light on a dilemma of Twenty-third and Seventh, Miguel found my eyes in a rearview mirror, afterwards explained to them that, when a motorist gets a ask from a customer, a motorist has approximately fifteen seconds to daub a phone and accept a request, and this means that a already shitty Uber drivers are hurriedly perplexing to negotiate requests, profitable no courtesy to a road. “It’s like all else,” he said, as a light changed.
The Uber offices felt like a pop-up store (corporate capitalism’s perverted picture of a interloper camp, a tent city), like offices determined fleetingly in somebody else’s space. Everything seemed designed for discerning disassembly, desks and shelves stoical of white particleboard, black laminated melamine. Each chairman we spoke to hexed usually a appetite to impute us to another chairman of equal or larger powerlessness until we found ourselves confronting a manager named Mike, who looked fifteen, his blond hair prolonged and bony on top, a sides of his conduct creatively shaved. Mike had a management to tell us with finality that there was zero anyone could do, nonetheless he accepted how profitable a paintings were, and he was contemptible for a loss, an reparation that stirred a bizarre debate from Sonia, that we brisk to interrupt, about how a paintings were worthless, “perfectly worthless,” though how that done it even some-more critical that she get them behind before a opening a following evening.
In a intervals between Uber representatives, I’d been meditative about “Taxi,” a TV series. we suspicion initial of Latka, Andy Kaufman’s newcomer impression from some vague Eastern European country, and how Sonia’s jumbled debate was going to start coming Latka levels of unintelligibility soon. Then we summoned Louie, played by Danny DeVito, a violent dispatcher, and deliberate how most easier a hunt would be if we were interacting with Louie, how most some-more humane—or during slightest human—his nastiness was than this Kafkaesque sequence of kindly ineffectual patron reps. we wondered what a cab garage in a substantiating shot of a uncover had been incited into—condos, Chase, or Duane Reade? Then we satisfied how absurd it was that my nostalgia for a prior mode of labor and transport was indeed nostalgia for an progressing impulse of TV, and a picture of New York it had promote to me in Topeka in a form of reruns we watched with my dad, who looks a tiny like Judd Hirsch. (I asked Sonia if she’d ever seen “Taxi.” “Yes,” she said. “De Niro.” She simulated to furnish a gun from her sleeve.) By a time Mike was before us, smiling, my conduct was dull solely for “Taxi” ’s unhappy thesis song, stoical a year before Honecker and Brezhnev kissed, before Sonia and we were born, and we suspicion that a tinge of that thesis song, a operation of feeling it could hold, was wider and deeper and messier around a edges than anything one listened on radio now, nonetheless we didn’t watch adequate radio to know. In fact, wasn’t radio ostensible to be improved than ever before? Wasn’t we always envying a HBO miniseries, a ability to etch systems?
Mike explained—or, some-more accurately, recited—Uber’s remoteness policy: Uber does not yield strike information about other riders underneath any circumstances. We asked him, as we had asked everybody else, if someone could strike a successive supplement though disclosing any information and ask him or her for information about a paintings, maybe offer a reward? What, Sonia asked, if a newcomer didn’t take a paintings though took them usually with a wish of returning them to their legitimate owner? We weren’t seeking a association to credit anyone of anything. “I’m sorry, we usually can’t do that,” Mike said, “but if a newcomer reaches out to us”—we kept conference variations on a word “reach out” during Uber: interjection for reaching out; let me usually strech out here to a colleague; etc.—“we’ll let we know immediately.” we asked Mike if to his believe such information had ever been common and he pronounced maybe, if a military were involved, if there’s a subpoena, nonetheless he wasn’t privately sure, was usually speculating, and so, given we couldn’t consider of anything else to do, we left a offices and hailed a cab downtown to a Seventh Precinct, on a Lower East Side.
As we headed south on a West Side Highway, Sonia forked out a clouds over a Hudson, a vermillion they were branch in a nightfall (“like blood in cotton”), and given it was a initial thing she had pronounced that wasn’t about a mislaid paintings, we suspicion it was a good time to deliver a suspicion that we competence not redeem them, by that we meant there was no approach we were going to. She nodded though didn’t speak, and we started to talk—just to fill a air, really—about a stories we adore that engage busted paintings or vacant paintings or unprepared paintings. Henry James’s “The Madonna of a Future,” for instance, in that Theobald, who has been operative on his masterpiece for decades, turns out to have constructed zero (while his denote aged), a vacant canvas. Or a Balzac story “The Unknown Masterpiece,” to that Sonia introduced me, and which, graphic me, she could review in French: a painter Frenhofer overworks his masterpiece until a board is usually a spiral of tone in that a singular unclothed feet is legible. There are dual things, we pronounced to Sonia, who had leaned her front conflicting a window, whose eyes competence have been shut, that amour me about these stories in particular: first, how these unsuccessful paintings seem to expect complicated art—Theobald’s white canvas, as several people have noted, is like a Robert Ryman; Frenhofer’s disorderly board a foreboding of Post-Impressionism (Cézanne: “Frenhofer, c’est moi”). But, second, we said, as we upheld a new Whitney, that loomed, in a advancing twilight, like a beached sea ship done of steel and glass, these stories are unequivocally opportunities for a authors to claim a supremacy of their possess art, of literature, over painting. James’s or Balzac’s difference can report paintings a crazy artists can’t indeed paint, or intuit canvases that were as of nonetheless unpainted, unpaintable. And isn’t it unequivocally loyal of all ekphrastic literature, novella and poetry, that even when it claims to be describing or praising a work of visible art it is in fact stating a possess superiority?
“Your students are unequivocally lucky,” Sonia pronounced flatly, as she perceived and responded to a text. we couldn’t tell if she was creation fun of me.
Sergeant Kingdom (would we make that up?) was, to a surprise, sympathetic; we sat during his list celebration a undrinkable coffee he offering us, perplexing to figure out if there was any approach to enforce Uber to help. At first, we suspicion Kingdom was encouraged usually by a newness of an appealing unfamiliar painter going on about mislaid art, afterwards we suspicion he was substantially usually avoiding some-more fatiguing work, as there wasn’t going to be anything actionable about a “case” (we couldn’t even confirm if we were stating a theft), but, as we talked, a source of his thoughtfulness became transparent to me: loathing of Uber. First of all, he explained, they sinecure rapists and murderers. Second of all, any other day somebody comes in desperately seeking “valuables” they’ve left in a automobile and Uber roughly never helps. And they’re assholes on a phone. And what’s next, Kingdom wondered, a patrolman app? Anybody who wants to be a patrolman usually gets a gun and a smartphone and waits for a text?
“And a fifteen-second rule,” we said.
“Exactly,” he said, emptying a third parcel of Splenda into his coffee.
“It’s like all else,” Sonia said.
“Exactly,” he said.
We were interrupted by a lady screaming, “The lease, my name is on a lease,” and afterwards something in Portuguese, as she was hauled—she was handcuffed; her legs weren’t shackled, though she was boring her unclothed feet—toward a list during a behind of a room. (The steel desks here were bolted to a floor, a conflicting of Uber’s modularity.)
“Could we shock Mike into helping?” Sonia asked.
“Who is Mike?” Kingdom asked.
“Mike is a manager of Uber’s Manhattan office,” we said.
“Scare him how? It wouldn’t do anything,” Kingdom said. Then he had an idea: “I could try scaring a driver.”
“What do we mean?” we asked.
“Kashif?” Sonia asked, as if she and Kashif were aged friends.
“I call adult a motorist and I’m usually like, ‘Sergeant Kingdom here, from a Seventh. We’re questioning a theft.’ we don’t make any tangible threats.”
“It’s in my name,” a lady sobbed.
I looked during Sonia. we could see her weighing a best probability she had to redeem her paintings conflicting a awaiting of seeking a military to harass an newcomer motorist who was usually following a rules. (Somehow, it occurred to me usually now to consternation whether, as a policy, Uber should exhibit a series or residence of a passenger; substantially not. But what if Sonia had left, en track to a hospital, a kidney or a span of corneas in a cooler of ice? Was it usually that we didn’t amply value paintings?) And we wondered, as we looked during a list of “fallen heroes”—a board was merged to a red section wall behind Kingdom—if and how a meditative about military appetite and notice were different, she carrying been innate behind a Iron Curtain, we hailing from a heartland, both of us vital in what was, for some-more and some-more of a population, a military state now.
As Kingdom and we waited for Sonia’s response, we suspicion about how a vacant paintings were undergoing change as we chased them. The paintings would be conflicting in some essential clarity if we found them rejected in an alley or unresolved reverently in someone’s home. we meant that a story trustworthy to a paintings would buckle them conceptually from now on, during slightest for us: if Sergeant Kingdom fearful a member of a heavily surveilled race into agreeable information that led to a paintings’ recovery, afterwards a paintings would etch fake companionship propped adult by tip police; if some good foreigner returned them by Uber, afterwards a lick would have a new spark of sociality, during slightest advise a probability of village suggestion instead of a evacuated image.
This is all partial of a artistic routine now, we told Sonia behind during her apartment, warming to a idea as a cold vodka strike my bloodstream. We should consider of all this as partial of a work, incorporate it, make a plan of tracking a paintings as they disappear from a gallery complement into a civic grid, into Uber’s network and a regulations, into a Seventh Precinct, into whoever’s possession. (I swallowed some candied walnuts.) Systems that can’t communicate, can usually kiss. Let’s move all that into a show, a aged middle of portrayal dissolving, around a new, around a fifteen-second rule, into a networked though deeply atomistic world.
(I was always reading about what had been described as an “anthropological turn” in a art world, a spin to account and ethnography of several makeshift sorts. If Sonia had staged this whole thing in sequence to make an iPhone documentary or a block of invisible theatre, it would have been most some-more of a impulse than any tangible painting.)
“But we didn’t ask anything,” she said.
“I’m a writer,” we said. “Ekphrastic literature.”
“You already wrote a letter for a show.”
“And now I’ll undo a essay, over-paint it, and a story becomes partial of a show, a canvases themselves unprepared masterpieces, Madonnas of a future. Of a Uber. We’ve always wanted to do a collaboration.”
“You are sweet,” Sonia said, texting again. “Or sexist. But we wish a paintings.”
“I know, though we’re not removing them.” Surely she knew that? “Certainly not by tomorrow during six.”
“But we have a address,” she said, smiling, holding adult her phone. “Kashif sent it to me.”
When an Uber motorist accepts your ask within a allotted fifteen seconds, he never sees your phone number—the app distorts it so he can strike we or take your call though carrying entrance to a tangible digits. Which meant that Kashif, even if he’d wanted to, couldn’t have supposing us with a approach line to a passenger. What’s more, a motorist receives usually a building number, not an unit series (although Uber no doubt has entrance to it by a credit-card billing address). Rushing over from Sonia’s, we’d felt, giddily, that liberation of a paintings was, if not assured, within reach. That contingency have been a depletion and a vodka; there are seventy-one units, we reported, Googling a building on my phone as we stood before it. Five floors. Built in 1906. On average, forty-nine dollars per block foot. A gloomy sleet was falling.
Seventy-one apartments to buzz, in sequence to say, around a crackling intercom during 11 p.m. on a Wednesday night, some chronicle of: “Hi, did we take a paintings we left in an Uber and can we have them back?” (Why we felt assured a paintings were in a building we can’t unequivocally say—but we did, both of us.) We entered a foyer and looked during a high row of buzzers. we was about to advise to Sonia that we leave when she pulpy 1-A; instead of a voice on a intercom, we listened a interior doorway hum and we walked in. There was a confidence ensure behind a desk, a sign-in square on a clipboard, though a ensure didn’t demeanour adult from her phone. We stood for a notation perplexing to figure out if 1-A was to a easterly or west. There was a large, general Chinese landscape portrayal on a run wall—mist, mountain, pagoda—and underneath it there was a folding list on that some children’s toys and used books were stacked, presumably left there for a taking.
Two disorienting things happened in fast succession. First, we famous a landscape, or, rather, recognized, around a landscape, a building: this, we remembered, was where we had met, during an unapproved rooftop celebration on a Fourth of Jul several years ago (willows of sparks over a East River; over-emotional rum punch), a immature curator who had introduced me to a lady named Liz, with whom we became friends, and by whom we was introduced to Sonia—so this building into that her paintings had left was related to a start of a relationship. Then, before we could explain this fluke to Sonia, we saw that one of a books on a folding list was mine, or, some-more accurately, reduction dramatically, that there was an edited volume called “Late Art,” to that I’d contributed a chapter. But still: a semi-sane query to redeem Sonia’s work had not usually returned us to an critical place in a prehistory of a loyalty though had brought us into strike with my work, a bizarre synchronicity that unexpected lent a building a sinister feel, as if we’d been entrapped by a chairman we believed we’d been pursuing. (I suspicion of “The Shining,” a Overlook Hotel. Had “The Shining” been accessible in eighties Poland? When we was exhausted, we reverted not to a European denunciation but, rather, to Cold War TV and cinema.)
I picked adult a rather mangled duplicate of “Late Art” and flipped to my essay; a highlighting and marginalia (and fact that it had been discarded) suggested it had been a college textbook. we showed a initial page of my essay, showed my name, to Sonia, who usually nodded and forked to a pointer that indicated a instruction of 1-A.
I put a book behind on a precarious list beside a raise of Legos. we was angry that she didn’t feel a mystery, and so we didn’t even discuss a tie with Liz, but, given we was also commencement to write this in my head, we started to think, as we walked toward 1-A, where somebody was substantially awaiting smoothness sushi, about how conflicting it was to make work that values a strange object, like painting, and work that doesn’t, like literature, where any dual copies of a work are some-more or reduction deliberate a same.
I’d always been sceptical of painters and sculptors and other visible artists, fundamentally sceptical of any artist who worked with something other than words, with paint or froth or metal, sceptical of their stained clothes, a tiny cuts all over their hands—jealous given of my unassuming though unshakable clarity that a work of visible art is some-more real, some-more actual, than writing. But maybe a analogous pretence of essay is precisely a advantage, how it can be preoccupied from any sold element locus. Isn’t that what Shakespeare says in Sonnet 55? Not marble nor a gilded monuments are going to endure, though these rhymes—powerful in partial given they are so easy to reproduce, transmit—are indestructible. No pigeons are going to shit on them, or, rather, when a pigeons do shit on a sold duplicate it doesn’t matter; nobody is going to leave a usually Sonnet 55 in a car. (I know a list of mislaid books is long, that texts can humour something other than verbatim decay; we know many artists these days work with materials reduction element than text; we know continuation isn’t indispensably a goal; we know that I’m not Shakespeare, that this doesn’t rhyme. Still: we felt literature’s miss of actuality relations to a cosmetic humanities as a power, not a weakness, and that was new for me.)
We could hear a TV inside a apartment. Sonia knocked, and a doorway non-stop to exhibit a confused twenty-something male in Lycra sportswear who smelled of persperate and, vaguely, of marijuana, substantially vapor. “Hello,” he said, some-more kindly than I’d expected, while he waited for us to explain a presence. Sonia looked past him into a apartment, saw a hulk prosaic screen, pale now, a ready-to-assemble furniture, and lost, if not her nerve, her final haven of energy. “I’m sorry,” she said. “Wrong apartment,” we said. As we left a building, we took a duplicate of “Late Art.”
While Sonia showered, we review her content sell with Kashif:
“This is Sonia we need a residence greatfully Kashif greatfully we will not tell where we got it from.”
“I am contemptible they will heat me we have a family.”
“I have no family usually my paintings we will not tell.”
“How most income do your paintings cost people.”
“These paintings are substantially 20k sum together though it is some-more than a money.”
“Wow we contingency be a famous artist (smiley face).”
“I am not famous and we usually get half of a income a gallery takes half. Worked on these all year. we can give we income if a paintings are behind to me.”
“I am not seeking for your income that is not my thought. Sonia what did Uber contend then.”
“Nothing they tell me go to a police.”
“Kashif again did a military officers assistance you.”
“Police they can't assistance can we have a artists. Sorry we meant a address.”
“Sonia we know we are a good chairman so we will tell we it is 203 Rivington between Pitt/Ridge that’s all we have to give you.”
“Thank we appreciate we (smiley face) can we tell me if it a supplement was male lady white asian latino black.”
I have never stoical anything during a hire list before; to be on my feet creates me feel a tiny like a painter. we brewed some Bustelo in Sonia’s stovetop espresso machine. She is asleep. When she wakes up, she’s going to hit on a doorway of seventy apartments while we go on essay this—writing underneath a arrogance that she won’t get a paintings back. Surely their liberation is rarely improbable, if not impossible. This will be an wholly conflicting block of essay if it accompanies a returned paintings rather than holding their place, though we’ve resolved that, instead of a designed conversation, I’ll review it to we during a opening possibly way. And, if a paintings aren’t found, we’ll tell this, a story of their detriment and recuperation by literature—make a tiny book that includes a designation shots of a dual canvases before Sonia took them down to purify them up. Or maybe she’ll repaint them? Sonia has let me supplement one intent to a show: a duplicate of “Late Art,” a readymade. I’ll usually dump it on a gallery floor. “Late Art,” a kind of non-site, referring as it does to 203 Rivington, a building, a cathedral, into that Sonia’s diptych has disappeared. It will cost many times a cover price, usually one denote that this duplicate of “Late Art,” while possessing a same difference as all a other copies, is definitely distinct. Pierre Menard, Marcel Duchamp. One object, dual systems. Now it’s unequivocally raining out. It’s one-fifteen.
I contend cathedral given 203 Rivington is 0.6 miles from here though feels as if it were in another world, or dangling between worlds, a building hereafter charged with both a participation and deficiency of art, a tangible and a virtual. Really what we keep devising is a building in “Ghostbusters” (could Sonia have seen it before 1989?), where Zuul, a demigod, has determined a portal for Gozer, a Sumerian God of destruction. If she never recovers a paintings, that building will heat for her and for me and maybe for we as a church of art. we am usually half joking. Google tells me a tangible building in “Ghostbusters” is 55 Central Park West. Sonnet 55. The traces of a puzzling system. They lend a universe a certain handmade quality. As if someone has reached out.
I’m reading this to we in place of a review Sonia and we had about a sketch of dual politicians kissing, a sketch that was painted, a portrayal that was destroyed, repainted, afterwards repainted mixed times by Sonia in a operation of chronological styles. Honecker, tip papers would exhibit in a early nineties, had pushed in 1980 for Warsaw Pact countries to invade Poland in sequence to vanquish a arise of Solidarity, in that Sonia’s father was active. Brezhnev was “sympathetic” to Honecker’s request, but, for a accumulation of reasons, a advance never happened. Where and who would Sonia be if it had? (The tiny distance of a left canvases was ostensible to make a chronological and a personal kiss, or make a disaster of that strike felt.) Maybe Sonia would have been no different; her father was jailed in a crackdown anyway, absent from her first-birthday party, a year after Pope John Paul kissed a tarmac of a airfield in Warsaw. Has that kiss, or a photograph, been painted? A lick represents a grave extent to speech, lips “locked,” and so a embellished lick is anti-literary, anti-ekphrastic, says a coffee. It’s no longer raining. Rindy Sam, a French woman, kissed a Cy Twombly board in 2007 in Avignon, smudging it with lipstick. She pronounced that she was “overcome with passion” for a white canvas, a Madonna of a future. Damage to Gothic objects of Christian friendship from steady kissing is an critical problem in a margin of conservation. My initial lick was with Ashley Marker in Collins Park a year a Wall came down. She used to collect giveaway redolence samples from White Lakes Mall, dull a tiny vials onto her stonewashed jeans, strike a disposable lighter, and run, slicked with blue flame, by a dark. At a time, it was life; during a time of writing—art.
Now I’d like to ask everybody to suppose that 203 Rivington was built over a gas hire and garage where Louie De Palma ran a Sunshine Cab Company. This requires of march that we conflate West and East (Village), novella and reality, systems and times. But let’s suppose that Louie, instead of usually coördinating taxis driven by a village of loners—Eastern European newcomer with mixed celebrity disorder, pleasing singular mother, struggling actor, washed-up fighter (“Taxi” was about oneness among differently alienated workers)—can coördinate all a systems, private and public, aboveground and under: Uber, subway, gallery, representational, temporal, spatial, national, natural, supernatural, not that any of these things, by itself, exists. Louie De Palma or Henry James in his steel enclosure giving Judd Hirsch or my father a tough time. Louie De Kingdom declares martial law in Poland and Kashif is jailed though assign though afterwards a wide-eyed Andy Kaufman dies, or fakes his death, for us all.
And then, here it comes, a new chronicle of Bob James’s thesis song, an arrangement for recorder and flute, electric piano, drums, and cello, a duration impression from both a past and a future, a strain though difference that can be described though not played, records that tumble one after a other all during once, Romantic music, unheard melodies in F major, a portal or door, a news a coach roughly brings we in a dream, a vital record of your memory. That arrange of thing. ♦