April 28, 2014
I know I’m being naive, but to see such horror in such a horrifying context is …. Horrible. As a meditation, there are those who turn away from horror thoughts, but I choose to go into the pool of such imagery, to attempt to make it not as worthy or to remove its importance to my life. Benito Mussollni’s death, at the hands of his fellow citizens is a series of images that are hard for me to erase in my mind. In 1945, him and his mistress Clara Petacci, were shot to death in Mezzegra, and then taken to Milan, where their bodies were hung upside down in front of a gas station. The crowd there vented their frustration and rage, and it is shocking to see Mussollni’s body like it was slaughtered meat at a butcher’s shop. The execution of Saddam Hussein now comes to mind as well. Is it justice, or is it the brutality of our times being expressed over and over again?
The dialogue between Saddam and his executioner is almost like a Noel Coward comedy, except within minutes we see the body of Saddam with a broken neck, dead, dangling far from the ground. The cell phone footage makes the death even more obscene. I’m so disgusted with images such as these, yet, I feel obliged to watch them, and watch them again. I feel if I watched them once, it will remain in my mind forever. The shocking aspect of seeing dead bodies, especially being placed in a historical context, makes it even more nauseating to me. The pornography of violence, whatever it is at a NRA convention or on YouTube is extremely disturbing. I think what I find depressing is the fact that we accept violence as an everyday occurrence, and in the sense it is part of our lives. Even though I’m quick to condemn it, I am drawn to the images of destruction, specifically the smashed-in face of Mussollni and Saddam’s image of death in the hands of a crowd that knew the narration and how it will take place in front of the cameras as well in their hearts. The only piece of art that comes to mind, that expresses the horror is Scott Walker’s song from “The Drift” called “Clara.” Here you can hear the aural sounds of the execution and the beatings of Mussollni and Clara. It’s a gorgeous piece of music. Jarring, yet a meditation on evil and the brutality that seem to be married forever in our way that we look at the world.
On the other hand, as like throwing dice against a wall, I appreciate the numbers in my favor coming up, and therefore I like to bath myself in the imagery of Yves Klein, who conveys a certain amount of magic or a blissful state for me. I can easily focus on that world as well. When I see his blue paintings or sculptures it is a perfect world to me. I don’t think of hate, anger, just the pure color of blue penetrating my soul into a euphoric state of consciousness. Klein also did a musical piece called “Monotone” Symphony. It is a symphony that consists of one note and it is performed by a 10 piece orchestra. The piece consists of two parts. The first 20 minutes is the one note being performed, and then the second part is exactly 20 minutes of silence.
If I can somehow take all the ugly obscene images that're inside my head and transform it into a world of Yves Klein, that would be my ideal life. That, and some Jacques Dutronc music, of course.