"For two years she dwindled by small strokes into a
mannequin—speechless almost, almost unmoving, eyes open and
blinking, fitful in perception—but a mannequin that suffered shame
when it stained the bedsheet. Slowly, shaking with purpose, he carried
her to the bathroom, undressed and washed her, dressed her in clean
clothes, and carried her back to CNN and bed. "All you need is love,"
sang John and Paul: He touched her shoulder; her eyes caressed him
like a bride’s bold eyes."
Donald Hall; The Old Life; Boston: Houghton Mifflin; 1996:101
I was asked earlier this year to create some art around a series of
essays, papers. One was about old age and what it does, not only to
the person concerned, but those around. I noticed the essay had images
from another exhibition-installation integrated into it. I was happy
about that, and that i did not feel it was necessary to create works
for that paper. Perhaps the authors when they papers are published,
will allow me to share that work with you.
The citation above happens to be from a paper about the artist, Joseph
Beuys. It reminded me of the time twenty odd years ago when,
encouraged by a local priest i visited diabled old ladies in my
locality, mainly for the warmth they gave to a cold young artist. Most
of the time they just liked to reminisce. It was like entering another
world. Beuys was very concerned about warmth and human well-becomings.
Beuys wrote reflectively that, "Most people feel that they are
helplessly at the mercy of the conditions which surround them. This
leads to the destruction of their inwardness. They are unable to
recognize any meaning of life in the destructive processes which they
are subjected to, in the impenetrable knot of governmental and
economic power, in the distracting and diverting maneuvers of a cheap
It would be possible to join up many dots now, creating lines and
planes and three dimensional figures- but i will knot do that - know,
You know, i wonder how much that passes it self (sic) off as a 'cure'
is actually just a 'palliative' in the great on-line and print
publishing and consulting world? If anyone wishes to explore Beuys's
visions i'd be happy to join them...one day.
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