Thursday, April 3, 2008

Momentary rewards for the battle of being.


Original version, Smith notebook 28 (c. 1940s) final version c. 1950



I would like to make sculpture that would rise from
water and tower in the air–
that carried conviction and vision that had not

existed before

that rose from a natural pool of clear water
to sandy shores with rocks and plants
that men could view as natural without reverence or awe
but to whom such things were natural because they were
statements of peaceful pursuit–and joined in the
phenomenon of life
Emerging from unpolluted water at which men could bathe
and animals drink–that
harboured fish and clams and all things natural to it
I don’t want to repeat the accepted fact,
moralize or praise the past or sell a product
I want sculpture to show the wonder of man, that flowing water,
rocks, clouds, vegetation, have for the man in peace who
glories in existence
this sculpture will not be the mystical abode
of power of wealth of religion
Its existence will be its statement
It will not be a scorned ornament on a money changer’s temple
or a house of fear
It will not be a tower of elevators and plumbing with every
room rented, deductions, taxes, allowing for depreciation
amortization yielding a percentage in dividends
It will say that in peace we have time
that a man has vision, has been fed, has worked
it will not incite greed or war
That hands and minds and tools and material made a symbol
to the elevation of vision
It will not be a pyramid to hide a royal corpse from pillage
It has no roof to be supported by burdened maidens
It has no bells to beat the heads of sinners
or clap the traps of hypocrites, no benediction
falls from its lights, no fears from its shadow
this vision cannot be of a single mind– a single concept,
it is a small tooth in the gear of man,
it was the wish incision in a cave,
the devotion of a stone hewer at Memphis
the hope of a Congo hunter
It may be a sculpture to hold in the hand
that will not seek to outdo by bulky grandeur
which to each man, one at a time, offers a marvel of
close communion, a symbol which answers to the holder’s vision,
correlates the forms of woman and nature, stimulates the
recall sense of pleasurable emotion, that momentarily
rewards for the battle of being

In 2006, every night for 14 days I made these images, and represented here are day 1 and day 14. Every night also, I read David Smith's "What is your hope," and Questions to Students. The two questions that always stick with me, of the whole three page list that I still occasionally lose myself in, are:

21. Why do you hesitate--why can you not draw objects as freely as you can write their names and speak words about them?

22. What has caused this mental block? If you can name, dream, recall vision and auras why can’t you draw them? In the conscious set of drawing, who is acting in our unconscious as censor?


If you're looking for something to do this morning, read the whole list here:

http://www.davidsmithestate.org/statements.html



2 comments:

richmondrant said...

I like #23. I'll have to give that a bunch of thought.

Anonymous said...

good to see these flowers again, it was a great project, i like this one a lot.

taylor