Mr. Artaud, To Have Done with the Judgment of God


Here true competence belongs to the literality of the interpretation of words. Besides, in what is improperly called the “commentary” of the drawing entitled La Maladresse sexuelle de dieu (The Sexual Awkwardness of God). It is not in order to exploit the awkward outreach of his mind. He was skinned naked in a bath of electricity, as each electro-shock patient is exposed to an artificially-created death – at this stage in Artaud’s work [1946], all manifestations of death are states of black magic that have to be overturned. This drawing (a treason and translation of the sexual awkwardness of god) are the ghosts of words are suddenly taking up the space. They reveal the original skill of the drawing:

Artaud The Sexuality of God
La Maladresse sexuelle de dieu 1946

Throwing, throwing oneself: in words, as in painting, the intonation projects, it is dynamite content, the motion expelling it into a space that is nothing other than the elements of this tonal trajectory, the difference between the projectile and the subjectile, the latter sometimes becoming the target of the former. Artaud says it as early as 1931, in “La Mise en scène et la métaphysique” (Mise-en-Scène and Metaphysics), a lecture at the Sorbonne that deals first of all with painting: Words themselves have their own potential as sound, they have various ways of being projected into space, which are called intonations. And there is a great deal that could be said about the concrete value of intonation in the theater, about this quality that words have — apart from their concrete meaning — of creating their own music according to the way in which they are uttered, which can even go against that meaning — of creating beneath language an undercurrent of impressions, correspondences, analogies. . .

The following year, a letter to André Gide prescribes a bodily writing, a theatrical hieroglyphics: The movements, the attitudes, the bodies of the characters will be composed or decomposed like hieroglyphs. This language will pass from one sense organ to another, establishing analogies and unforeseen associations among series of objects, series of sounds, series of intonations.

The intonation that projects the words beyond their meaning, even into a counter-meaning: it is not only in the sounded work that it seems to have its place.

Like everything that is projected, it takes and in fact opens space, this “poetry in space” that “first takes on all the means of expression that can be used on the stage, like music, dance, paint, pantomime, mimicry, gesticulation, intonations, architecture, lighting, and decor . . . in our theater which has been living under the exclusive dictatorship of the word, this language of signs and mimicry, this silent pantomime, these attitudes, these gestures in the air, these objective intonations, in short everything I consider as specifically theatrical in the theater . . . carelessly called ‘art.’

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Mason’s Stoup 7 [turn up the gain]

Mason’s Stoup 7 [turn up the gain]

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Root of Twinkle 1993 Relics Interview

Dave, Alex, and Michael go under the knife of twinkle –

Root of Twinkle 1993 Relics Interview

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False Promises

© Kenneth C. Fish Jr.

So, that’s what it feels like to pretend, he thought, as he laid in bed staring at the water-stained ceiling, trying to fall asleep for what felt like the millionth time in his fifteen years of living. It had been a normal day. It had been a rough day. In Abel McIntyre Junior’s family, there was no difference. In his family, in the trailer park with the neighbors that surrounded him like ghouls from a house of horrors, the best days for him would likely kill any other kid, he always thought.

Abel knew how other kids lived, and it wasn’t like him. He could see their houses on the soft, rounded hills across the Mystic River through the loose glass slats of the crank-open windows in his tiny wood-paneled bedroom. They had yards with grass and swing sets in them where children played all summer, and mounds of colorful flowers that gleamed in the most carefree way from mid-spring to mid-autumn. Even in the winter when those same hills were just grey mounds spiked with the craggy skeletons of oaks and maples, the houses glowed golden and warmly, twinkling on the coldest of days when there was ice in the air and the river looked as if it was frozen solid.

They lived in actual houses, and those houses they lived in didn’t have wheels under them. This fact alone seemed to provide those kids with some sense of permanence and security that Abel never knew. This fact alone, Abel sometimes caught himself believing, raised them up above him and his ever-toiling Ma, Ethel, and drunkard Da, Abel Senior, and their house with the wheels underneath it just in case they needed to make a run for it again.

“Pretending,” his mother always said “is much better than reality.” For Abel, there was always a certain disconnect between that mantra of hers and how he thought he lived his life. He never thought what he was doing was pretend, it felt more like protection. It was what he did to make do as the poor kid who lived in the trailer park that was essentially used as a halfway-housing complex for the underfunded and understaffed loony bin on the edge of this otherwise rich white town. For Abel, it was survival.

* * * * * * * * * *
“Don’t you ever change your pants?” taunted Fred, the super-popular star of the soccer team at school. “I can smell those filthy things from here.” The reality of it was, Abel rarely did change his pants. In fact, he only owned three pairs; one for every day, one for Sunday, and one for the rare occasion when Ethel would sneak their dirty laundry into the laundry room of the loony bin where she and her sorry excuse for a husband, Abel Sr., worked.

Abel always loved laundry day. He relished the brief moment when the few clothes he had were stiff and crisp and smelled like the industrial detergent they used to kill off every biting, burrowing, stinging, blood-sucking creepy-crawly he imagined inhabiting the flesh of all those crazies where his parents worked. Every time he slipped into a clean pair of trousers or a fresh shirt he felt, if only for a second, reborn.

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