Friday, 10 June 2011

the bench that was

We remained in the station on a wooden bench. We spent the night, and I left before him. Even now I find it really astonishing and very moving. It was a kind of madness, idiocy, to travel from Munich to the Jura to pass a few hours of the night with me. It was utterly inhuman to sit next to a being whom you sense desires you so much and not even to have been touched. Above all, I thought, I must be very careful with everything I say to him because he understands things in quite an alarming way, in an absolute way.

Gabrielle Buffet-Picabia remembering Duchamp,
Calvin Tomkins's Duchamp: A Biography



  1. suddenly this has a whole new dimension.

  2. I am originally from Philadelphia, so I have a good knowledge of Duchamp. I have been watching a series called "The Universe" on Netflix (I don't know if you have that). With all the moving galaxies, spinning atoms, and traveling light, it reminded me of your artwork. This vibrantly alive bench and a reminder of the mathematics of Duchamp and Picabia are no exception! Time, space, particles, waves, vibrations, physics, as pensum says, new dimensions, and the nature of reality. I got a lot out of your bench!

  3. I was reminded of sitting on a bench with a woman outside her home atop a mountain overlooking Phoenix. She seemed to have everything, and let was very empty inside. She was staring down at the dizzying view, and said, (seemingly to herself) "I never thought I'd see birds flying under me."

  4. Gasp, but this is deep. You could not have created a more perfect image for this piece of writing. Unlike Stickup and you, I am not familiar with Duchamp and now I cannot wait to learn more. Many thanks for this.

  5. Un banc vide...l'attente...
    Un mirage qui flotte au-dessus du pont.
    Merci, merci pour ton délicat muguet.
    Je t'embrasse.

  6. Michael, you have a far better knowledge of Duchamp than i do and if you find this connection regarding unfulfilled desire, than i am sure it must be so...

    Stickup, thank you so much for the elaborate comment, i must confess i am not the greatest Duchamp-fan but i simply couldn't resist this quote - and i am glad you found so much to ponder in my little vibrant bench :-)

    Dan, suddenly i see this scene in my mind, in a film! ah, if only i had been a director to be able to shoot it, i am sure it would be something to remember...

  7. Lydia, don't worry about that, here i only wanted to mention this biographic detail which has struck me as an ideal example of burning and unfulfilled longing. if you do check on him, let me know what you think about his art...

    K'line, tes mots sont aussi comme un mirage flottant au-dessus du pont, toujours :-)

  8. haunted for the past couple of days by this quote ...

    i imagine these two ... everything is in this, all the mystery and joy and terror of being, all of it focused, brought to an almost unbearable reality in such an encounter as this, this slow approach across the face of the world, as if predestined, impossible but undeniable need ... that two can meet! that meeting happens! what else is there of wonder? ... imagine what trembling must be in their meeting, even if they smile and look shy on the outside, how the hands must tingle with the prospect of a mere touch at the fingertips ... his longing must be such that it hurts him even to breathe near her, at first, but then with words and looks their separate breathing finds each other’s pulse in the air between then, slowing, soothing to a rhythm together, their music, already theirs from such a distance, now both new and older than any of the ancient worlds ...

  9. WonderfulPicture

  10. I have returned after my first read of Duchamp's bio and online view of some of his art. Now I see why Stickup eluded to Philadelphia, and I have yet another reason to want to visit that city. A whole new world would open, I think, to see his work in person.

    This is silly, but his fountain looks like a urinal to me. :)
    I think he was a remarkable-looking woman as Selavy (he reminds me of someone else but I cannot think who right now).
    I am both repelled by and attracted to his final work and love that he kept it a secret.
    And, The Large Glass? Um. Again, I am attracted to it but I simply do not understand the bride/bachelors vision of it. It looks like there are partial clothes models standing together, but?
    I do love that he accepted the cracks.
    Thanks for introducing me to him. xo

  11. hello my beautiful friend Roxana,I love the dreamlike quality of the bench of dreams on the bridge and the words that express magically what the bench describes visually- a wave of art where the fusion is a passionate undying flame in the darkness

    and the words to describe the sexual tension the desire of nonfulfillemt and this happens more than we like to admit- the sexual attraction towards the darkfeathered forbiden lover and this brings to mind the human desire that paralyses and does not come from the spring of wellness of the spirit but forced upon us by the inhumanity of manipulation-the coercive driver of the human wheel of desire...

  12. James, you wrote a poem here, even without wanting to - i don't know whether my bench contains all this, but it should now, that you put all this into it...

  13. thank you, Skizo, for coming to the Bridge and leaving this kind message...

  14. Lydia, thank you for coming back and telling me about your first impressions, i am not a fan myself but it is impossible to remain indifferent to what he represents in the history of modern art. i think ...

  15. Madeleine, what a dark vision of human desire, almost Schopenhauerian in this condemnation of the dark wheel of the sexual instinct which holds us prisoners... but there where lies the danger, salvation also appears, to quote approximately another german soul, the poet Hoelderlin - we have the power to transform this instinct into something else, don't we? into Love as "the spring of wellness of the spirit", as you wonderfully say...

    je t'embrasse de tout coeur, chere amie...