Archive | May 2013

hawk’s avian creation myth

I’ve been asleep.  I dreamed of a desert.

My last scrapbook page was portraits of the birds in hats.  You may remember that  Hawk chose a white plumed hat with a blue ribbon.

hats for black swan & hawk

(click to see Hawk’s hat.)

I was surprised by Hawk’s preferred hat.  Hawk explained that it was not an aesthetic choice, but a metaphysical one.  This particular hat reminds Hawk of an avian creation myth which he relates thus:

White Bird laid an egg.

The egg was the world.

White Bird sits on the egg; it is night.

White Bird flies, up up up, away; egg is cold.

White Bird goes to her friend, Blue Snake.

Snake gives her a but-recently shed skin.

It, like Snake, is shimmery blue.

White Bird carries the blue strip of Blue Snake back to the egg.

Now, before she flies up, up, up, away,

she wraps the egg with blue skin.

It is the sky.

Sometimes a few downy feathers stick to the skin.

They are clouds.

Hawk is far too worldly to believe in this myth, but, does believe personal journeys constellate in mythological structures.

Hawk asked me to share this primitive bird story with you before I fall back asleep.

I don’t know why I’m so sleepy these days!  I am a worn-out Odalisque.  Maybe that will be my next scrapbook page:  “worn-out Odalisque”.   It must be the birds, with all their bitter questionings, exhausting me.

–The Odalisque

birds in hats

As I mentioned in my last post, the birds think I should hang out on the sea shore this summer.   To distract them from this discomforting vein of conversation, I indulge their penchant for FASHION.

The birds like trying on hats.

Black Swan likes hats more than anybody.  Black Swan would like me to do a whole series of portraits entitled “CROWNING THE INEFFABLE:  Hats O EPHEMERAL GARNISHING Across the Centuries as CLASSICALLY DISPLAYED Upon the TIMELESS HEAD of the Rare BLACK SWAN.”

I refused and made him share a portrait with Hawk:

hats for black swan & hawk

Hawk was deeply moved by the metaphysics of the plumed, dove-white hat, bound as it is by a ribbon of blue sky.  I don’t really understand Hawk’s line of thinking; it has something to do with avian creation myths.

Starlings swarm beneath a veil as if it were mist over the autumn brocade of the marsh grasses:

hat for starlings

Crow-as-parrot with a parrot in a hat so naïve, I think it is surreal:

hat for crow as parrot

The phoenix thinks this hat is bad-ass, especially with a ruched tunic:

hat for phoenix

I put on a hat, too.  The birds suddenly silenced themselves; their heads cocked to eye my every move with beady-black intensity.

They thought I might be going outside:

Odalisque in a hat for the shore

WHERE ARE YOU GOING!! squawked Parrot-that-was-crow.

I could go outside.  If I knew where to go.

–The Odalisque

performance art

Though I spent my formative years as an art object, I’ve always wanted to be an artist.

I like to be looked at so I decided that my first artistic project would be myself.

I have concluded, based on the information that Owl brings, that I must, therefore, be a PERFORMANCE ARTIST.    My performances are primarily observed by birds; you, fair readers, witness my documentation of the event, via my scrapbook.   The performance artist, Marina Abramovic, lived behind a glass wall for public viewing, and writes that the energy of the audience helped sustain her through the ascetic, ritualized ordeal.   I have to sustain myself through my life without an audience, drawing energy from other sources.

The record of my performance is, in the tradition of the odalisque (rather than the whore), not promoted.  It lies here, awaiting you, who might be interested in me.  Maybe I am a CONCEPTUAL performance artist since my scrapbook stimulates an idea of me, my life, in your mind.

The definition of  performance artist observes that we typically come from varied disciplinary backgrounds.  My background hasn’t varied much; it’s usually exotic and luxe, though I have been reduced to a line upon a flat field of color.  Usually, my background suggests an interior, like the obelisk.  Generally, the interior exists only to couch my nakedness, the hushed lustre of my body with its inviting apparency.

I might be a multi-disciplinary performance artist.  Like the movies I watch, my work exists in two dimensions + time.   My life doesn’t move as fast as movie film, but, then again, I have lasted for more than two hours.  I work with several types of imagery–visual and textual.   Plus, according to the birds, my dreams are all in sound.

The birds are not convinced by all this.  They feel they are important, independent aspects of my life, which means I might not be a performance artist, but a character in a play.

They are my existential dilemma.

They say there is no existential dilemma because this is not a play.  They are wildly interested in FOOD, FASHION and FUN.  They have asked me to post more on those topics, which were so popular last summer.  They want me to leave the obelisk and go hang out on the shore.    Ok, Ok, I say, but what does a work of art DO on the sea shore?  Every time I go out there, I’m assaulted by sirens and nereids, phantom ships shooting fireworks and giant seashells whose glossy interiors sigh sad circular themes, stuffing my heart full of feelings, padding the perfect punching bag.

Black Swan says, “Put on a bathing suit!”

Hawk says, “Take a sandwich!”

The starlings make a giant beach ball in the sky and spin like a celestial globe.

Phoenix found me on the shore (see my movie), and doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about.  Obelisk, sea shore, o’er the hills, any place has fuel to burn.  Crow-as-Parrot still says nothing but “Where are you going?”  (shut up Crow!).

If I put on a bathing suit and packed a sandwich, if I hung out on the beach and caught some rays, would the sirens go away?  Would the seashells consent to being silent souvenirs?  Would the ship sail back to shore with treasure to share?  Would the nereids turn out to just be bait, the sirens the wiry hang-overs of a half-starved, worn-out crew?

When I ran from my former life as a decadent odalisque, I imagined being anything, anything native to the shore…not cheap toxic trash or the phantasmagoria of some sailor’s mind…I wanted to be real.

REGARD ME:

multi-media odalisque

multi-disciplinary-conceptual-performance-artist Odalisque

%d bloggers like this: