CN/103

AugUST 13 2019


Difficulties that are banal, grand and elusive.






To know something is to transcend it. And you can’t transcend without busting through the edge of the container. Take the output of Catalog Press for an example. A book is simply a container of pages and words. But what happens when you supplant words and pages for slices of American cheese or napkins or dollar bills... Quite a lot actually (Q.E.D.).





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Emma Keppens
Nicole Miller-Wong
Office for Image and Space





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It’s hard to recommend something that hurts — though we’d never suggest an activity in which pain wasn’t matched with beauty. In this case the discomfort and subsequent grace, comes from clarity.

In his prose poem Three Poems John Ashbery transcribes our ever ongoing, primordial, primarily internal struggles — our moment to moment, day to day, year to year, life to life, era to era, conundrum(s). Difficulties that are banal, grand and elusive. One might say that (writ large) “The Struggle” is his poem.

The friction of his attempt seems to center around two warring (but but not binistic) human attributes: our automatism and our rear-guard striving to overcome this automatism — to reconcile our will, our disgust and our desire for beauty (our ongoing weird fight to be in the world).

Image: John Ashbery, The Pause That Refreshes, Collage on Paper, 2016






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