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long night that was

That was it, the longest night of the year.  It’s over now.  I didn’t send out a solstice greeting yesterday or last night because I was otherwise engaged.  You might remember that last year on the winter solstice I hinted that we were involved in an obelisk improvement project:

figure_solstice_orion_ahome

Last night the birds and I were so anxious and excited you’d have thought we were landing a capsule on a comet!  Our engineering feats were stone-age in sophistication, but considering the primary workmen were birds who have not evolved opposable thumbs, we are justifiably proud.

I think this is the coolest present the birds have ever given me, if you except the time black swan helped me get up here.

my niche

A niche!  I’ve always wished I had a niche.  Of course I’ve self-sequestered myself in an obelisk and an odalisque who shuns the world and makes a random scrapbook of fragments and bizarre conversations about birds, flinging that scrapbook out into a world where everyone is obviously sharing everything they make/do/think everyday in their very actual, materially measurable lives for un-anonymous readers to “identify with”,  has no obvious niche.  Once there was a niche, but it was unsatisfactory.  It involved Moroccan tiles, a titillating fountain, perhaps a voluptuous urn, and a conspicuous absence of clothing around key body parts.  Later, our niche was behind the heavy european draperies of studios and salons.  Blessedly, we escaped those niches.

Where is the niche for an odalisque in an obelisk who converses with birds?

HERE IT IS.  I have a niche.  Right here in my obelisk.  And this niche…it is VERY SPECIAL which is why I did not send you any solstice greetings to get you through that long dark night (at least it wasn’t so cold this year).  I have been fixedly watching, with all birds, MY NICHE.

This is what happened when, from the longest long night,  the sun crept over the horizon, slipping the first frugal but encouraging slivers through my single window:

solstice_niche

Wait…what WAS that?

solstice_niche_full

Don’t find your niche, make one.  With the help of your friends.

Astronomically significant greetings to you and all your beloveds this winter season,

–The Odalisque

cosmic dream radio (hazel and the pony-tails)

Owl has recorded a dream which belongs to HAZEL.

As long-time readers know, I love to watch the lost films of Theda Bara because they no longer exist.  My favorite is called HER GREATEST LOVE in which Theda plays HAZEL.

The movie is very obscure and I’ve yet to figure out what really happens.  In fact, I don’t think  I’ve actually seen the entire film.

But I know that this song belongs to HAZEL.

Owl says this dream is not cosmic dream radio: it’s arcade fire on radio earth.

Great, I say.  More messages on fire.  !?!

Listen:

 

hazel_schoolsteps_ponytail

Owl records my dreams.  You can hear them all here.

minute by minute (autumnal equinox, 2014)

Did you feel it?  Just then.  We sat up straight and faced the sun.  One minute later and we’re already leaning back in our gravity chair.  Today tonight there was balance: dark and light. Tomorrow we begin accumulating minutes of dark, minutes like black commas erased from a worn-out page.

Owl found this.  It feels like dark minutes, in the months ahead, accumulating:

Flock Overhead from Lost Bird Project.

The near future I commit to crow.  I will scrapbook a phenomenology of crow morphology.

I’m also working on a piece of fan-fiction, a fiction by which I fan my fire for my favorite movie.

May your mind be electrified.  May many small lights turn on.

–The Odalisque

cosmic dream radio (deer crash)

Sleepy Odalisque.

Hello.

Here is her dream:

A deer crashed through the window.

 

owl radio static

 

Listen to her previous dream here.

 

cosmic dream radio (black black bulldog)

owl radio staticShhhh.  She’s dreaming.  Listen:

That is what she dreams.  Shhhh.

owl_signature

True love has not, as far as I know, been compared by the poets to a bulldog.  But it has the same sort of grip.  —Rebecca West

listen to all odalisque dreams here.

obelisk clock

As you know, I celebrate astronomical facts.

Today my side of the earth leans close to the sun.

Tomorrow, it begins to tilt away.

Here is a celebratory  [j]gif[t] for you.

obelisk clock

[If you don’t see this image animated, click to open it!]

(read last year’s summer solstice post: astronomical truths)

 

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

HOW I GOT INTO THE OBELISK

One of you, fair readers, wrote:  “Odalisque, your obelisk is very tall, and you say it is made of obsidian–a glass-like volcanic rock–with ‘no chinks for the intrepid to grip‘.  So how did you get into it?”

I rested my chin in my palm and got all misty-eyed, gazing towards an empty sea.

Why do I hate the ocean?  What good are bird friends?  Why does every odalisque need a fantastic coat?   I, The Odalisque, reveal all (even my head) in my first very low-budget movie (shot entirely on scrapbook paper):  everything I remember about HOW I GOT INTO THE OBELISK.

Rated X for cerebral exposure and unexpected violence.

Links to:

See the movie poster

See the publicity photos

Read about my heads

Read about my coat

My feelings about the ocean

How I avoid type-casting

BONUS FEATURE:  my SWIM-SUIT

Thank you for looking.  Thank you.

–The Odalisque

why does the phoenix want to garb me in fire?

I first asked this question in my post on fashion.

[click to enlarge]

[cued]

 


( Phoenix: no fear of darkness.  darkness/fathoms/fire.  journey/easy. it circles/home.  ODALISQUE ODALISQUE ODALISQUE/you’re afraid of fire.  I bring a light/a match/and strike it.  FORGET MYSELF AND WATCH YOU.  COLLAPSE/LIKE WAX/COLLAPSES.  AROUND AN INTERIOR FLAME.)

I write the word…

(Odalisque?   Tightens her robe, brushes a feather from her cheek, settles down to clean sheets and

a bottle of ink.   She writes the word Bird.)

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