THE SWINGING MARY
Karl Evver moves his studio to Castel San Giovanni in April MMIX, seizing on new wider, lower rooms as a rousing way to go forward in his own cycle about Mary Surratt. By her death by hanging in 1865, no American formal mythology would touch her, but in Evver’s mind landscape she acts sanguinely for reminder that with so many seeds fruitfully exspansive and fruitfully future-holder, there were athrophy, in the American cohesion, as for the individual rush for setting itself asunder, for the ethnic discontentedness in front of big drums and unison of a cunning whole.
Mary Surratt’s broken-off carotid has steadily rekindle in Evver a desire to see, to peer into the enigma of the single-mindedness. It doesn’t matter to him that Mary has been immolated: his art enjoys instinctively the Ayn Rand’s alert that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master , which gets the spirit out of morbid siding with headsmen or victims, out of being shocked by hangmen and devoutly excited by the purple face over the noose.
Evver doesn’t feel pity for Mary. Any mourning ceremony about her choking one century and a half ago would become an instant after the true soothing in thought a substitute for fighting against the large number that claims to be the total, against the democratic jargon tightened to throttle the little single duct of individual feeling.
No breath more given to the trunk that must carry it, the trunk swings nevertheless, as if the air undertook playfully the engagement of laughing at the majority’s self-aggrandisement around the scapeshegoat. Do her swinging come straight from our shared resemblance with rag-dolls at the mercy of the history wind? Are all the outlivers dumbfounded by how oily a woman can slide into a noose because of a certain view on evil in politics?
America’s Declaration of Independence didn’t cast a total shadow over some morbid peculiarities of our species: Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed . Evver owes much Twombly for his being an unengaged and unengaging observer in front of these customs-to-shut-in, of the sufferings the history tale is tacked with, of the losers fallen prey to the helical, perennial descending of history into wherever there is scope to tack culprit appearances, however where each individual never can go beyond the prototype condition. Unlike Twombly, Evver yet goes deeply into the black guts of the American parricide and doesn’t withdraw from the rough spectacle in which the overcome half is on the receiving end of the process.
Both Lexington and Gaeta are towns overcome by the blind modernity – the former by a Marfanian lawyer obsessed by the dogma of unitedness, the latter by the Savoias’ realm widening without foundations – and not at random on the tangential axis of the Western underlayer on which Twombly swings with his creative little-more-than-standstill. Even when he talks about an emperor, he just stands at the canvas bringing out in it neither grand achievements nor psychological glares: Donald Judd saddens in seeing Commodus hinted by an occasional pencil line , whereas Evver doesn’t condemn such expressing dearth as effete and moves sooner closer to the bogus emperor of the Bound States, not so much because of the darkness he gives vent to, but because of the short light of a woman who assists in undoing that bogussy at the cost of her life.
Art doesn’t acknowledge linear time. Flowers forced by Brueghel The Elder to the same bouquet were unlikely to bloom at the same time: for projecting Nijinska into weirdier times ahead, Man Ray crouches down in ancient mimicries of idolatry: when the Woolworth brothers want to raise their Cathedral of Commerce in Manhattan, its appalling upwards propulsion is still wanting in conceptual newness, and sunlight screams from every angle from dawn to dusk that that neo in neo-gothic is the minuscule fig-leaf on the customary huge erection allowed by money, civil engineering and faith.
There aren’t supposed to be so many conducts inside this dancing, doodled time: either you mix up with its changing nows and their zealots, and concur in cramming the cathedral here and now honoured by the public bombast or you don’t. Mary Surratt didn’t.
Why bother worrying whether she was right in bringing her disgust to the uncovering of the empire? With the gentile Evver you get the sense that mind, ever-including, comes before any ethics query. A picture can only be a still, crampless moment, but here in his Surratt cycle an Evver at his to-a-degree-est defuses any onlookers’ grimace in retort from the death she has aided to give and she own has undergone, and his impatience towards the artfully cohering plays is uncannily close picture counterpart for Surratt’s own.
In choosing who should go to death, in keeping the words fighting fit, each extremism is fuel for the becoming of the world. Democracy – the tyranny of few number oracles and ethics bestowers over the universal people – has been absent from most societies known to history, and artists remained faithful to mankind core where there are no voting, no numbering, no worth list – are, as for arcane signs, full to cubing, as for fixed patterns, scattered like a conversation via a faulty intercom at a lampless door.
The species’ moving upwards by innate motion was a creed mocked not only by resented Mary: The progress of evolution from President Washington to President Grant, was alone evidence enough to upset Darwin Henry Adams made his time’s smart monotheism settle, leaving his marking of the ranking ape to anfrier viewers to sort the deference to the State from cowardice of not putting down the monkeys from the throne.
Why would you want to be the one to spoil it with blood, gunpowder and national dismay? The Swinging Mary [ pyrography, crayons, kajal, plumbago and lipliners on plank, 85 centimetres in height, 63,8 in width, 2,5 in thickness ] doesn’t escape the question: if in overwhelming most of cases the limpidity of the judgement doesn’t find in the individual the deed willing to brave the public shout, Surratt did, and it comes to wind itself around a thick beam.
The beam acts as
a latitude axis of the picture. When one individual is
kept no more in touch with the public beast’s rhythm of breathing, both in hibernation and in running, it can get cross and hang him or her from a beam. Frock-coat America boasts other murky women besides Mary Surratt: why does she, so haughtily unfathomable in her very slight biographical density, mean so much to Evver through so much time- and religious hiatus? Warlike and abusive in his new studio four-fold the size of his previous one, still often worrier about his own long slowness in learning to pull up from his portraiture the vetch of achieving the sitter’s likeness, and his oneness least at all, Evver enjoys at last not being in any position to know what she was, what she thought beneath her serious parting. The thick hempen rope around the beam holds the woman who doesn’t think any more and – frameworkly – the painting itself, which isn’t compelled any more to hunt for one thought behind one face.
Riven by civil strife, a State separates at long last that truth without salvation christians turn out of their house, fine painters at home with suitability are very good at hiding, mechanical politicians plug with crescendos and interiections. A great deal could be a more down-to-earth than this corpse: its feet, let them remember it, don’t touch earth, no careful-of-morgue pastel-painter gives it a palette, which is quite the reverse the paregoric surface Karl Evver comes out.
The gesture disquiet leaves corners undecorated and expanses amid inaccurate bodies untold. Is he mistrusting in the painter’s powers? Were it not for his lasting in his laying of signs, we could surmising it. Mary’s throaty rasp lasts in the signs that scarcely go down the oscillations of the dead shape: it is so long that an artist without wax bungs against tympana hardly carries his ears to the end of it.
Other men were bold and fervent in plotting is no reason for a today’s artist to plot too. If the madman of Assisi climbed the roof and prese a gittare in terra le lastre di che quella casa era coperta, intendendo disfarla insino alle fondamenta [ took to knock the slates down, meaning to take down that house, which was covered with those slates, to the foundation ], Evver doesn’t climb the roof to amaze the country folk of Castel San Giovanni. Both certainly laugh the house to scorn in its capacity as most evident token of wealth at death, but while the Speculum perfectionis relates the queernesses of a man who made somethingtub-trumperous of himself, this Itlish website refuses the artist any legend and provides for showing him unable to rest on some sort of floor, to rely on some unsplitted wall, to supply the capital with some sort of reassuring manufactured object.
The Cirque Calder gets easily a look-in with the champagne liberals: the swinging of its wire amuse them, whereas the Surratt’s one arouses them nuisancely from puerile ohoing and strikes into them the frightful perception that it can be sometimes pretty lonely. Since modernism has become the orthodoxy, any stye has been allowed to stand unhealed into the western eye; it is not worth while hunting for images unintended at the outset and revealed by the enslaved critics. Deciding what is worth looking at and what is not can come down to judgement outwittings or idiosyncrasies, ancient hurries in ovaries or rush of the moment, or even pique by the ludicrous oneself against the enormous whole. We apprehend a painting all at once, and the words we squander in widening that eye’s rebound can last three quarters of an hour, nevertheless the most polymathic and polyglot alongside these few strokes of crayons which go over the Mary Surratt’s last pangs can’t vie, although just eloquent, with her surpassing property of splitting the western formal tale. Although they have pockets in their naked person, like Defoe’s Crusoe, and they can slip in these all kinds of arguments, precooked takes on the world and chattering-elocution waffle, her hanged body shifts more waves in our thought.
They come to play manservants to connected words, she detaches herself by a fictitious unitedness, at the cost even of dying by this violent taking-off. Why Mary did have it in her to leave this unitedness, and so many didn’t? Why leftists love out of any proportion words and loathe the folk and its rooted feelings? Why Engels did peruse with huge enjoyment the 36 pages of dishes in the Frêres Provençeaux menu instead of mingling with the Parisian folk?
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