November 01, 2003

Good Morning Lancaster,

Happy Un-Halloween!

I’m Tired and Depressed

I’m 84, so I guess I shouldn’t complain. I’m lucky to be ambulatory. However, this is my blog, so I’ll complain if I want to.
Complain if I want to,
Complain if I want to. (reference to old 1950’s song)

I woke up feeling miserable this morning. Not physically, though I have various and assorted pains that I deal with constantly. These do bring me low from time to time. Especially when the arthritis kicks in and every joint hurts, the knees feel like they’re about to come unhinged, and the back feels like a Mac Truck just slammed into it. However, this morning it’ s mental pain. I miss the people who are gone; Peter, Rebecca, and so many friends. But, more than that, it’s nameless angst, almost dread. Am I anticipating some horrible event like my own death? If so, It’s going to happen anyway, and I must stop this.

Think of something beautiful Isaac!

I’m looking at the orange, gold, and scarlet foliage of the silver maple outside my bedroom window. It is sun-struck in places, so brilliant! Other spots in shadow still apple green with dull-gold fringe. Fall colors are wonderful, but they don’t help when I’m depressed because I think that all this is preamble to winter, and I HATE winter!

I’ve always felt this way about fall. So, now I’ve completed the obsessive circle, back to being depressed!

I will stop now!

That’s easier said than done. But, every time depression rears it’s red bug-eyed and scaly head, I’ll stop myself, and move on to something else. So...

Moving on...

Back to the art thread and Duchamp. Through Duchamp’s Fountain, its relationship to Duchamp’s other work, and the relationship of Duchamp’s oeuvre to my work, time and space are reduced to a primordial particle in motion, one that must include the instant before and after the universe begins and ends. Paz does not say that Duchamp’s work is nihilistic, that is, he is not discussing a state of nothingness (no thing), for this state is inclusive of all possibilities including that of absolute nothingness. In such a universe, dichotomies are not stable. They cannot exist, but must be subsumed within a broad sub-universe of shifting categories and possibilities. It is chaos understood. In that universe the heterosexual versus homosexual dichotomy exists among countless imagined and unimagined possible sexualities. Duchamp’s work embodies the hinge that allows sexual dichotomy of any type to turn upon itself, rotate, describe a diagonal line that rotates about itself in order to become a vertical line, to describe two opposed cones touching at a single point, to fold into that single point, and vanish.

Dalia Judovitz in Unpacking Duchamp: Art in Transit speaks to this “reduction,” though she calls it “displacement,” (Derrida uses the term “differance” [spoken and heard as difference, but including the meaning of defer- to delay]This is an over simplification of one of Derrida’s ideas. In Derrida’s terms, “differance” has no stable meaning, since it is always alternating between the two definitions, “to differ” and to “defer.”). Judovitz develops shows how Duchamp delays or defers understanding difference by postponing the viewer’s encounter with the object Fountain. She enumerates precisely the ways that Duchamp achieves that in Fountain.1

The set of displacements that this work actively stages includes: 1) an artisanal object replaced by a mass-produced object, 2) an object replaced by a photograph,” Steiglitz’s photograph of the urinal. “3) Duchamp’s signature replaced by the pseudonym “R. Mutt,” 4) the author (Duchamp) replaced by a photographer(Stieglitz),... ... and 5 ) the spectator (who attends the Independents’ Show, but does not see the work)...
(Judovitz 127)

Judovitz continues her explication of the intricate workings of each displacement, carefully demonstrating that the comprehension of Duchamp’s oeuvre is always just beyond our grasp. The work is so complex
and convoluted that it falls back upon itself and seemingly disappears into a space that includes any/all possibilities. The collected work of Isaac Stoltzfuts refers to all the displacements, convolutions, and interactions among these practices and demonstrates how power in language culture and its sexualities is extant in Duchamp’s work through its own convoluted contents. The point of intersection between the two convoluted bodies of work is like another hinge. The new hinge folds upon itself, and once again, we discover an infinity of possibilities.

This discussion is a continuation of Isaac Stolzfuts journal entries from October 24 and 26, 2003

The image of “Fountain” included here is from Mark Harden’s Artchive, There is a link to the site below.

E-mail me! My e-mail address is

Visit my homepage
AOL Hometown

Take a look at:

Mark Harden’s Artchive. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the best place to find excellent images of artist’s works on the WWW.

Gay Artist’s Galleries

John Giuffre’s blog Thoughts From A Collapsed Brain


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