Bolano's Literary Prophecies: Breton Shall Return Through Mirrors
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-22-11
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"Vladimir Mayakovksy shall come back into fashion around the year 2150. James Joyce shall be reincarnated as a Chinese boy in the year 2124. Thomas Mann shall become an Ecuadorian pharmacist in the year 2101.


For Marcel Proust, a desperate and prolonged period of oblivion shall begin in the year 2033. Ezra Pound shall disappear from certain libraries in the year 2089. Vachel Lindsay shall appeal to the masses in the year 2101.


César Vallejo shall be read underground in the year 2045. Jorge Luis Borges shall be read underground in the year 2045. Vicente Huidobro shall appeal to the masses in the year 2101.


Virginia Woolf shall be reincarnated as an Argentinean fiction writer in the year 2076. Louis-Ferdinand Celine shall enter Purgatory in the year 2094. Paul Eluard shall appeal to the masses in the year 2101.


Metempsychosis. Poetry shall not disappear. Its non-power shall manifest itself in a different form.


Cesare Pavese shall become the patron saint of Seers and Lookers in the year 2034. Pier Paolo Pasolini shall become the patron saint of Escapees in the year 2100. Giorgio Bassani shall emerge from his tomb in the year 2167.


Oliverio Girondo shall come into his own as a children's writer in the year 2099. The complete works of Roberto Arlt shall be adapted for the screen in 2102. The complete works of Adolfo Bioy Casares shall be adapted for the screen in 2105.


Arno Schmidt shall rise from his ashes in the year 2085. Franz Kafka shall once again be read underground throughout Latin America in the year 2101. Witold Gombrowicz shall enjoy great prestige in the environs of the Río de la Plata around the year 2098.


Paul Celan shall rise from his ashes in the year 2113. Andre Breton shall return through mirrors in the year 2071. Max Jacob shall cease to be read, that is to say his last reader shall die, in the year 2059.


Who shall read Jean-Pierre Duprey in the year 2059? Who shall read Gary Snyder? Who shall read Ilarie Voronca? These are the questions I ask myself.


Who shall read Gilberte Dallas? Who shall read Rodolfo Wilcock? Who shall read Alexandre Unik?


A statue of Nicanor Parra, however, shall stand in a Chilean square in the year 2059. A statue of Octavio Paz shall stand in a Mexican square in the year 2020. A rather small statue of Ernesto Cardenal shall stand in a Nicaraguan square in the year 2018.


But all statues tumble eventually, by divine intervention or the power of dynamite, like the statue of Heine. So let us not place too much trust in statues.


Carson McCullers, however, shall go on being read in the year 2100. Alejandra Pizarnik shall lose her last reader in the year 2100. Alfonsina Storni shall be reincarnated as a cat or a sea-lion, I can't tell which, in the year 2050.


The case of Anton Chekhov shall be slightly different: he shall be reincarnated in the year 2003, in the year 2010, and then in the year 2014. He shall appear once more in the year 2081. And never again after that.


Alice Sheldon shall appeal to the masses in the year 2017. Alfonso Reyes shall be killed once and for all in the year 2058, but in fact it shall be Reyes who kills his killers. Marguerite Duras shall live in the nervous system of thousands of women in the year 2035."


--Roberto Bolano, from Amulet




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Quay Brothers' New Film Opens
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-21-11
fine spine
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The Quay Brothers, the experimental animators (of Street of Crocodiles fame) who sinisterly blur the line between animation and animism, are coming out with an eagerly awaited new production. It's to be based on swoon-inducingly grotesque Mutter Museum exhibition of alternative anatomy (which includes ballooning esophagi, cadavers with horns, skeletons of conjoined twins, Jibaro shrunken heads, and a screaming woman, somehow, soapified) at the College of Physicians in Philadelphia. Oh yes, Quay Brothers material, definitely. Catch it in New York, Philly, or Los Angeles come September. See Morbid Anatomy for the details:

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Of Being Numerous, No. 12
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-20-11

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‘In these explanations it is presumed that an experiencing subject is one occasion of a sensitive reaction to an actual world.’


the rain falls
that had not been falling
and it is the same world


. . .


They made small objects
Of wood and the bones of fish
And of stone. They talked,
Families talked,
They gathered in council
And spoke, carrying objects.
They were credulous,
Their things shone in the forest.


They were patient
With the world.
This will never return, never,
Unless having reached their limits


They will begin over, that is,
Over and over
-George Oppen
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Duchamp and the Paradox of Art Spaces, Even
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-19-11
Gillian Wearing, Everything in life…, 1992-1993, from the series Signs that say what you want them to say and not signs that say what someone else wants you to say, color coupler prints.

In the vein of several recent posts of ours re: the relationship between the readymades and the power of institutions and centrality of art spaces:

"post-Duchampian art-beyond-labor reveals itself, in fact, as the triumph of alienated “abstract” labor over non-alienated “creative” work. It is this alienated labor of transporting objects combined with the labor invested in the construction and maintenance of art spaces that ultimately produces artistic value under the conditions of post-Duchampian art. The Duchampian revolution leads not to the liberation of the artist from work, but to his or her proletarization via alienated construction and transportation work. In fact, contemporary art institutions no longer need an artist as a traditional producer. Rather, today the artist is more often hired for a certain period of time as a worker to realize this or that institutional project."

-Boris Groys, "Marx after Duchamp, Or the Artist's Two Bodies," e-flux ...Source
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Romania and the Avant Garde
By Lucy Li
posted: 08-17-11

Romania is not exactly the first country that comes to mind when one thinks of modern art, but exhibitions in Bucharest and Amsterdam are shedding light on this often overlooked center of the avant-garde.


The Amsterdam exhibition, “From Dada to Surrealism: Jewish Avant-Garde Artists in Romania, 1910-1938” highlights works of many iconic Jewish Romanian artists. Curated by art historian rabbi Edward Van Voolen and collector Dr. Radu Stern, the exhibition features an impressive collection of pre-Dada, proto-surrealist and avant-avant-garde artists such as Marcel Janco and Victor Brauner that combines experimental modern approaches with Jewish sensibility and Romanian folklore. The Bucharest exhibition, “The Roots and Echoes of the Avant-garde Graphic Collection of the Library of Romanian Academy,” features the permanent collection at the library of the Romanian Academy. It features 72 works of art, 40 vintage books, and “micrographie” in a very academically designed exhibition, and is “probably the first of its kind after the fall of communism.” Some forgotten names like Lazar Zin, Losif Ross and Jean David are featured, along with many women artists such as Milita Petrascu, Margareta Sterian and Nina Arbore.


Bucharest was an important epicenter for the avant-garde. Marinetti came to Romania (then Craiova) in 1909 to launch Futurism and enact his famous manifesto, and a great number of literary and avant-garde books and magazines flourished in Bucharest during this pivotal period. However, Bucharest was much better at producing great young artists than keeping them, as most promising Jewish Romanian writers and artists quickly left this “Dada nursery” to establish themselves in Paris, Zurich, London, and Tel Aviv, not necessarily to escape anti-semitism, but simply to pursue life in a non-dictatorial society. This artistic “brain drain” still plagues Romania today, but it also resulted in a particularly eclectic array of inspiration for the pieces in the exhibition.

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