‘curatorial dreams'


excerpts


(99) suffocating text

 I was buried alive in a dream that structures curatorial dreams and passages suck in fresh air. 


 I'm still alive and carrying on begins with a suffocating text and homeless video. Video is provisional and a timeline becomes a text. 


 You then have to see performances and a performing text.  




(98) symptomatic work of art

 The symptomatic work of art can be approached sideways on and the art world along particular trajectories. 


 I work all day and every day, ever since sex was less of a priority. Psychoanalysis is somehow sometimes work, but something else is a priority in my case. 




 I take the notion of working all day from psychoanalysis (and Le Courtil) in this instance and Lacan’s sinthome rests next to tireless work. The work of art in this sense limits jouissance (or sometimes an overwhelming jouissance), but there are structural problems in the art world. Trajectories broke down following critiques that first effected art schools fifty years ago, but these trajectories are ironically tied to universities and arts organisations. The work doesn't have to do with money or being liked and something else is at stake, but a deafening silence surrounds the symptomatic work of art.


 I work all day with long breaks... and long breaks sometimes last for years. 




 I don’t know and have never known what else I can do. The work of art as sinthome is one thing, but psychoanalysis falls short of trajectories and applied psychoanalysis have little application during a moment of crisis. Following a description of Joyce's work, the sinthome holds someone or something together, but can't account for ossified art world trajectories in a moment crisis. 


 These trajectories readily function as Lacan's non existant Other... a body of work is a swarm and discursive moments fifty years seems far away. Psychoanalysis and film were two inventions at the start of the twentieth century and psychoanalysis comes close to pathologising art with the sinthome and Lacan's concept is more than important clinically. 


 There are consequences when the art world (like the Other) doesn't exist and the artist is mad or when identifications force new norms.




(97) Samuel Beckett

 I sometimes remember going to bed moments and they has nothing to do with going to bed in another century. I say something or write something and something is expected. I'm driven and Samuel Beckett was driven carrying on. Once before, the author was involved in the run up to not going to bed moments.



(96) abandoned 

 Putting sentences together is hard work and pictures (whatever they are) seem part of a flurry. The work is retroactive and something else happens in the meantime. Extravagance permeates what I do. The work of art is an extravagant title and the latin route of comes close to Walter Benjamin's flaneur. I wander around with a camera and psychoanalysis prompts flaneurie. I feel abandoned in both instances... and the work of art prompts something smutty.




Christopher Sands, still, 2013




Christopher Sands, Ruth, 2013




(71) barricade

 A few things happen at the same time. I pack a bag late at night and come up again with a Robin Hood re-enactment group... putting on a performance that begins with texts. My father spent time turning off lights, pulling out sockets and making sure doors were locked last thing at night and packing a bag extends his routine.


 I put bags by the front door at the end of my time with Ruth and a small barricade is becoming something else. 




 I’m on my own with less of a story. I take clothes off in two 

dreams... packing a bag in slow motion. There are bags and baggage and Ruth sometimes mentioned baggage. I had baggage and houses fill up with inextricable moments.


 She was painstaking, turning disappearance into the time it takes.


 It took up time she didn't have.




 

(103) cold feet

 Phlebitis was DVT and sitting at a computer is now a problem. I can walk around with an iPad and will know more on Monday. I tell Angela feeling bad prompts writing but I’m still taking something in. And taking something in is a good expression. 


 My feet are so good but I’ve been going through the motions again with a camera.




 In the latest twist of the disconnect the work is either unknowable or unknown. Dreaming is one thing and reworking talking house(s) is another, but an impasse is impasse-able. I can’t talk my way out of a talking body.




(104) cultural autism

 It was too much to take in close up and at a distance and going on strike (after art school) was a strategy that involves staying put. Mark Fisher going back into the twentieth century is another version of staying put. It’s cultural autism. The work is belated acting out or performing text or video... based on what it can’t be. Two proposals from long ago suggest this and unworn clothes is another testifies to what was already becoming impossible.




(106) quietly

 It was a quietly subversive reenacted moment. It was all about Robin Hood, the art world and curatorial dreams got a mention or had been introduced somehow. A looping persists as I work my way backwards and forwards through the text. I have a word count, lose something and add a little more. I made a start with the text, talking house(s), and work my way into an impossible text. I curate making a start.




(109) grief

 Taking something off or putting something on is taking something in and grief is long lasting




Christopher Sands, Salamis, 2016




(112) contradictions

 A body of work persists as not very much at the end of introductions and explanations.



(115) some precedence

 I peer into Cocteau's painful glass. It's very cold and seeing anything is a problem. I see what I'm supposed to see and hear something. I made my case once before and slow motion work was given some precedence.


 Something happens later on... there's something like structure, then structure disappears. 


 I follow on after a bad dream and neuropathic pain. The structure that emerges disappears and I'm on my own with a trajectory that's not a trajectory.




(119) the end of a loop

 It wasn't like this that first time and I've forgotten that first time. Something shivels, talks.

 

 A barricade stops something. The work performs not being seen or heard and there are risks. It's acting out and acting out prompts a denouement. Boundaries are crossed, bodily fluids exchanged and logic defies telling a story. The story begins at the end of a loop.




(122) wrapped up 

 In a story that's not even half a story here, Francisco Goya is wrapped up in carpet and taken down to the sea and this happens day by day. He says, it's the scent and the smell of the sea or the sand and this short passage first continues with the line, I'm wrapped up in her (and it's his line)


 Is it therapy or some kind of script? 


 He insists not. Says, it's a wrap... a sandwich on the way to being seafood.

  


(124)

I struggle and waiver, holding on and letting go. This is no middle ground or it’s the middle ground of dreaming prior to curatorial dreams. I slip. Have slipped into a hole. Slip into a dream. Slip and slide feet through treacle and all the rest. Slip into new conversations hoping for the best, put something on, put anything on melting into snow... walled in at night.




(129) pursuit

 Nothing compares to hot pursuit. It happened while we were both having radiotherapy, then again when I took what Ruth couldn't carry to Jersey. She bought clothes on her last day in Southampton and I met her one Friday night in Jersey. I didn't let go for five years and she bought more and more clothes.




(133) little while longer

 Boxes were piled everywhere. I don’t know how it happened or if it happened at all, but you made your point. 


 Your storage boxes remained where they were for a little while longer. Boxes became unworn clothes and clothes spill out into that first curatorial dream. It's a new beginning or an old one, with a torn up copy of Grazia thrown in.


 And I don't know how that happened.





(153) nowhere to go

 I stop talking, feel pain and take medication. I shine a light on something and I’m in the dark with folding sentences or lines that have a life of their own.






Christopher Sands, Ruth, 2010



(157) glimmers

I lie in bed writing something... I don't move but go on all the same.




(166) crossing legs

 I shouldn’t cross my legs having come close to deep vein thrombosis recently, but sometimes can’t resist. I do it briefly and think it does me good. I have no reason to think this but do it all the same. I’m up and moving and have just looked at a text by two artists who have given up taking photos. I talk and listen and wandering around with a camera can be part of fluctuating subjectivity. I’m here one moment and gone the next and something is sometimes left behind.




 I spent five years with Ruth and stills and clips form an archive that precedes time writing. 


 There was little time at first and writing sometimes replaces using a camera during the pandemic. I sometimes take things in slowly and curatorial dreams includes stills and video. The work is constantly changing and time with Ruth is increasingly retroactive. A text follows video tracing a subjectivity that is always tenuous. I told Ruth I would write about her... and never know what this is.




(170) in some dreams

 In some dreams I take notes.




(172) rapprochement

 I'm making notes again, but not on the beach and not in Jersey. I see what I want to see sometimes with art world jouissance at odds with jouissance. There are many sides to a shocking rapprochement. I remember talking about something and quizzical looks. I had to explain something and it didn't work. It didn't work for fifty years. Words escape me.



(188) items

In Wim Wenders’ film, Kings of the Road, two men move in and out of histories that include references to film in the 1970s and Berlin is inhabited by ghosts in another Wenders’ film, Wings of Desire and both suppose living and not living in one place and time. Who we are changes when we move and places change when we move away. I remember Southampton, where I first met Ruth and there’s no going back... but windows change things a little. Hathern has an upstairs night corridor linked to a passing preoccupation with dreams.





(190) going from video to video 

 Notes and a mustard sofa came first, then an airing cupboard and two introductions. I walk up and down. My back is hurting and it probably did eleven years ago. It doesn’t seem that long, but we were still just getting to know each other five years later. We kept things going and spent some time apart. We came up with something and I would mention Lacan’s mirror much later. We would have made new problems one day and collaboration seemed possible.

An update changes things and there will be other times and places. There’s talking and listening and time in between, but I remember hot pursuit and feelings that went with it. I remember taking painkillers, sleeping heavily and aches and pains in the morning.


Coming up with a proposal replaces having to be with someone eleven years ago. 




 People disappear in a retroactive world and the word is surprising. 


 Radiation bothered me in formative years and retroactive is something else. They might or might not show up in the dark but Angela’s frogs can be part of ongoing late night stories. They listen, come up with bad poetry and already seem part of a retroactive world.  




 There are mustard sofas, airing cupboards and frogs in most stories but all stories precede getting dressed at the start of the day and putting something on is analogous and it is the start of one story. Frogs listen, doubt their humanity and can be something else in the blinking of an eye and this analogy isn’t perfect. Frogs told a different story eleven years ago when volcanic ash made comings and goings more difficult. I sat in Costa texting a story, back then, and Elflick could have been Alflick blinking, sipping coffee. I’m reconstructing a reconstruction.




 Collaboration, funding and support is needed to reconstruct a reconstruction with so many possible options. 


 The first part of a first text (talking house(s)) runs into curatorial dreams and the second part of the first text can be the start of a collaborative project. One that includes a mustard sofa, airing cupboard and frogs.




 I don't know what happens next but in Ruth's story there's a disused railway line and ways of getting to Jersey and Southampton, where we first met. The main part is played by someone who meets up with her mother next to an airing cupboard. Later, he becomes a bird who retires to a monastery. 


 And there are frogs in another story. The frogs, listen and write poetry and have next to nothing to do with a retiring bird. They listen and look out for birds, geckos, goldfish and a cat.




 Alflick chats someone up in Costa eleven years after his first visit and he's telling a story about frogs. Frogs it seems recite bad poetry most nights and listening to what they have to say comes after pausing. They listen and what they hear turns into poetry that includes a lot of punctuation. And punctuation is what makes frog poetry what it is.


 In a story that's also a poem, Afflick describes a meeting. By now, the bird in Ruth's story has flown, turning up next to a frog who recites a poem. Frogs spend a lot of time in in-between places and this one sat half submerged in a pond. The bird was happy to listen to the story or poem. He'd come a long way but had time to listen.


 There's a little conversation at first about stories, poems and curatorial dreams. This was or wasn't another curatorial dream. It was all possibly happening in Tarkovsky's zone... or in a once lost valley with neglected animals.


 




Christopher Sands, still, 2012


 Before the frog starts, the bird wants to know how a story or poem like this can possibly have to do with reconstructions, funding and an art world trajectory during a pandemic. The frog thought it a tricky question, but referred to a metaphor or allegory at the end of a long introduction. A body of work forms an introduction and a proposal or demand amounts to a performance and acting out, but it had to be brief... brief like bad frog poetry... falling short the work is unpacked, becoming something close to a children's story


 The tired bird was all ears.




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Christopher Sands, still, 2012



 Cape river frogs don't say a lot and what they have to say can be said in a few paragraphs, but Alflick saw the need to paraphrase what was going on. The frog had been listening and it was a testimony of sorts. Not a Cocteau style testimony, but a testimony all the same. Support was needed for a reconstruction that began with two texts. The work involves inevitable collaboration and a third project that would lead to trajectories beyond video and video-like texts. The work was interpretation and a third project could be based on two previous projects.


 The frog looked tired suddenly and the bird suggested taking a break. He heard an introduction and what came next might work as a frog poem.


 The work of a performance or performing text would be prioritised but performance began with not being heard. It began with being misunderstood and began with trajectories that take collaboration beyond video and video-like texts. It might involve work shown online but only when there was a live counterpart. 


 There were already two book size texts and a performance as acting out implies something else... form as an extended trajectory. 




 When the frog paused and the bluster seemed over, he told his first story. He remembered sitting on a counter in a department store in Jersey and he was somehow mistaken for an ornament, but what he saw tallied with what he knew of the first two texts. He’d seen us shopping and thought more could be done with the unrealised project title, unworn clothes. That said, he saw what he saw, They had to buy something and went about it like museum visitors going from video to video. The bird thought about shopping, museums and video, but was tired of talking and tired of punctuation. It was the first line of a poem and he would wait for the rest. There's no hurrying frogs and poetry.



(191) proposal

 A proposal is a fresh start and interpretation says something about what needs to be said. Interpretation can be a body of work and a proposal can be a lonely one off.


 A collaborative project musters unworn clothes. It's begins with passion and ends with a shot in the dark. Wanting to put something on begins with putting something on. I remember following Ruth around and getting into it. I was dressing her and she was dressing up and being dressed. Sex came into shopping and sex came into unworn clothes. A proposal supposes a reconstruction at this point and reconstruction begins with reconstructed feelings.




 Grief is impossible grief and texts, video-like texts and proposals turn up at that point of no return. An art world discourse is inferred and Lacan's mirror is put aside. 


 I propose a reconstruction that can take many forms with funded trajectories. 


 I want to look at affects and affects come close to being effects. I imagine lying in bed and a Lacanian anatomy and ambivalence at the start of the day. This ambivalence comes with arthritis, neuropathic pain and the long term effects of life and cancer treatment.




 Most of Ruth's clothes have gone and an ambivalence has little or nothing to do with boxes that were once here. But I remember passionate shopping and two versions of an innuendo. She looked and looked good and there were now two or three moments of hesitation. Ruth bought clothes, boxes piled up and she put off putting something on.


 Putting something on can be putting on a show and unworn clothes. A mixture of paracetamol and codeine are in keeping with hesitation. I put nothing on and take nothing off and go back to Polynices and Goya in the text. Goya is wrapped in a carpet and Polynices should have stayed in bed.NA collaborative project, trajectory or performance worries worrying affects.




 A proposal implies a different form (or trajectory) and putting something on forms hesitation and long texts. 


 There's a body of work and an introduction and a funded reconstruction begins with hesitation and bed covers. I put on a show at Goldsmiths some years before that entrepreneuring generation and I'm proposing something like the same show. The work was a snapshot and the snapshot made space for work to come and makes space for unworn clothes.




 The form work shown takes begins with collaboration (this time) and a hopeful move beyond video and video influenced texts. 


 In the second text (curatorial dreams), I look at trajectories that involve compromising and contradictory ideas. I introduce acting out and a performing text... and acting out out is a psychoanalytic notion that implies being unheard. In this scenario and proposal, unworn clothes prompt an art world performance or reconstruction that starts with not being heard. Shopping with Ruth and unworn clothes began with worrying affects... that one day suggest not being heard. And being the object or the object cause of desire (in a Lacanian sense) comes at a cost.



 

Christopher Sands, still, 2014



 Despite disconnects mentioned in the text, the work of art suggests a continuity or continuum. Ruth took one position buying clothes and another wearing them... and unworn clothes remains an unrealised project.


 With funded new work, I would look at a reconstruction surrounding worn and unworn clothes... and trajectories that somehow include curatorial dreams... the title could be detached from the text. 





(194) drive

 I make a start rewriting the first text and the words compulsive and compelling describe wanting to spend time with Ruth. There's an unrealised project called unworn clothes and the affect persists. It suggests acting out and a persistent trajectory in the second text. I hear a distant alarm some mornings, remember my mother’s tinnitus and perhaps this persistence has to do with the Freudian and Lacanian drive. There's alarm some way off.




(195) exhibition text

 There are two texts) and a third possibly and the work of an exhibition begins with the work of texts or a text. Something is laid out and there's another dimension. It must stand up and be in two places at the same time. Live and online and in and out of a text. Whatever is the case is the case and nachträglichkeit is sometimes something else.

© Christopher Sands 2017