Kundalini Rising on the Lower East Side!!
“Integrity” : 1. The quality of possessing and steadfastly adhering to high moral principles or professional standards 2.) The state of being complete or undivided 3. The state of being sound or undamaged.
March 26, 2010. The crystalline structure of a new archetype has entered the American map. Not, as you may have guessed, through an art museum. But rather, in a “SPARK TO REVOLUTION” inside the funky Collective Hardware on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Yes, in the shadow of the New Museum with its patriarchal refuse on display, CHANGE has been taking place!
The MER-KA-BA meditation was so powerful! Influenced by my talk “Transportals to 2012” on the sacred structure of the Hieros Gamos 21st century archetype, presented in the East Village for our event on Vernal Equinox 2008, just after a powerful Pisces eclipse on February 20 challenged our integrity.
Harlan’s model of Nassim Haramein‘s Structure of the Vacuum was on view at Collective Hardware during the mind-blowing talk by the maverick physicist, who explained the Paradigm Leap in the most personal of terms: the deeper you go inside, the more connected you are to the world.
THE CRYSTALLINE SELF
How could I resist helping to light the match in a Ukranian style “SPARK TO REVOLUTION!” A fancy invitation from Fund Art Now enticed me back to the spot where a collective energy entered the six-fold geometry of the new archetype just one year ago. A prompt came in the form of a message from Linda Cacciatore BoltonI found on Facebook in response to my last post on James Maddock:
“Loved it! You’ve captured the sentiments of so many of his “disciples.” I just discovered him in December, and have seen him in concert once a month since–house concert, Jersey shore bar, the Turning Point. He’s magical, a Pied Piper, and, as you experienced, a real sweetheart.”
Yes, all that makes Maddock, not only the rock star for our times, but a rarity in New York City! So many people, many of them quite talented, pushing and shoving, and James who says so matter of factly, “they have options, don’t they,” seems perfectly content to be just where he is! This brought up the paradox. How could the Voice of Change arise from such stability?
I left for the Lower East Side with Maddock’s astrological data, interested to see if I could determine in the crystalline structure in his chart that I experience in his music. When I drew up his chart on the train, I realized I could. It was so beautiful, a multifaceted gem hardened by being compressed underground over the years! I showed up at his Bowery apartment with the structure of his natal horoscope.
“I am happy to play before 50 or 60 people,” he told me, proclaiming with utter sincerity: “I am just a regular guy.” His gorgeous partner, the photographer Mary Ellen Matthews, joined in on the discussion; I could see he was living his Truth in their gentle manner of relating. But I wanted to know how a man “standing still” can start a movement. This surely goes against what goes on in the culture at large: all that pushing and shoving to make something happen. It doesn’t make logical sense to move forward by simply standing still! Yet, isn’t this what the great buddha have done? In this confrontation with the Real, I forgot all the wisdom I have been taught by the great masters!
Now, I know James Maddock is a Gemini compendium of opposites. So, it makes sense that he could embrace this polarity of being stationary and movement at the same time. Not only that, but this is the highest form of Gemini, what the Native Americans refer to as the Heyoke, which alchemically combines the opposites into a new crystalline form. I learned all this before, but the evening was to incorporate this awareness to a deeper level of beingness.
Could an authentic experience at Collective Hardware point out the Truth about this archetype and its geometry, and therefore clear a path into the culture, a path big and bold enough to cleanse the American pop culture of its dis-ease? This was the urgent question.
And like any intellectual quandary, it begged for…
THE GOLDEN GRENADE!
- January 23, 2006: “Icons of the 21st Century” Dialectic launched at the Lab Gallery, NYC in the feast of Anton S. Kandinsky’s Social Eroticism
Seeing Anton’s SKY signature when I entered Collective Hardware on Thursday night was a coming full circle from our departure point: my Social Eroticism manifesto.
Nevertheless, Anton bid a hasty retreat from posing for the photographers when he saw me. But he was extremely conciliatory when I took out my taperecorder and asked him to defend his latest Gemism paintings.
He pointed out the architecture of the hand grenade as a tantric equation…
A NEW ISM!
But I was in flow, and it happened in two places the connection was made in my brain. First before his gemist American Flag painting
hanging over the couch. I found a gemologist examining it. He was convinced the artist was coming up with a new language spelled out by his gems. “That stone is the one of the hardest!” he declared. “Formed from thousands of years!”
“Nah,” I said. “I know Anton. He is something of a trickster. He just wants you to think it is an archaic code. It is really just a facsimile of a code, a tribute to the notion of code that can be cracked by a system. It is a metaphor for his intent to crack the code of the New York art world.”
Suddenly, the medulla between my brain hemispheres snapped. I started talking, rapid fire as the meaning that eluded me suddenly flowed into the crown of my head. “Yes,” I continued. “And his whole Gemism movement is just a play on the entire trajectory of 21st century isms. The crystalline structures you see have the Kandinsky language, his personal genetic coding, in them but that is also a joke because he is the illegitimate son who has no concrete proof, beyond his genius and his talent, that he is the genetic descendent of the modernist master. So, the language of geminism he has created a play on the whole notion of an original artistic language: the only language needed is embedded in his Golden Grenade which he is exploding in the comatose art world. This is the tantric language of the opposites: the masculine phallus, the female ovum and the egg. He even jested about his own compromise to his benefactors, the organizers of the event, who asked him, he said, to make the grenade thrower like a dancer.
The World Dancer!
Another icon – the signature trypdich of Anton S. Kandinsky’s “Golden Grenade” sparking F.A.N.’s “A Call to Revolution”!!!!
But the Pied Piper of the Bowery had his role cut out for him as delivering the creative spark. I texted him to come right over from the Bowery Poetry Club.
He and Mary Ellen brought one of his Merry women, an authentically awakened woman — the performer/songwriter Louisa Bradshaw. We had an immediate connection over a comparison of our Kundalini experience; hers — a few years ago — was heaven while mine was hell, back in the 1980’s. Then, like magick…she got down on the floor and… POW!
THE KUNDALINI EXPLODED!
But as the night continued, having another conversation with James and Mary Ellen at the bar about what the “sell out” means in a world where there is so little authenticity, when even the negation of the term is currently for sale in the official New York art world which casts a mighty large shadow ( Performa’s panel “Not for Sale” is a curtain over dropped the known fact that participants in the festival have to buy their way in through purchasing a space in the catalog; this explains the lack of authenticity in the over-hyped Performa that has sucked attention, money and resources away from the Real performance art in New York!) I remembered then the crystallize structure of his chart; we agreed that remaining faithful to your art in the face of overwhelming challenge of the marketplace is a matter of integrity — plain and simple. So goes the Call to Revolution!
But what I forgot was the tantric reality of the masculine force (so strong now with Mars in Leo making a trine to Mars in Aries) as Shiva, the stationary consort to Shakti as she rises through the chakras, giving birth to daughter Kundalini. I had completely forgotten the tantric reality of the New Paradigm, where the male energy, Shiva, stays stationary as the consort to the eternal spiral of the Shakti giving birth to her daughter, Kundalini.
Anton volunteered a curious fact: the sponsors requested that he make the grenade thrower in dancing tights. Imagine if all artists, trying so hard to make a sale, admitted in doing what their purchasers wanted! But Anton needs to be contrary, so he said this giving over to his audience, the commercial interests, was his means of throwing a hand grenade into the culture. So it could explode! I replied: “I call that having your cake and eating it too.” But through his good fortune, or possibly just good painting, Louisa was on hand to transform his explosion into a new cultural organization.
And so we did!
Genius appears in the most unexpected places…
- James Maddock in the band room of Danbury’s City Ale House
I made a St. Patrick’s Day sojourn through the backwoods of Connecticut to find the bard sitting all alone in the band room of an Irish bar on Danbury’s Main Street. I knew he was supposed to be there, on a billing with three other acts, because I found the engagement on his website. I just didn’t understand why he was there. In fact, when my friend Kria Brekkan, formerly married to David Porter (Avey Tare) of Animal Collective, called me on her way from Iceland to Austin the night before, I asked how it happened that I could expect to find a rock star in a Connecticut dive? She simply said: “It depends on the manager.” But I know, from my tracking of Kria’s 2008 rise as a mystico-feminine rocker artist (now performing in museums), how the Bloomberg regime has shut down the clubs, making it nearly impossible for any new scene to emerge. So, it was my good fortune to find Maddock here in my former reviewing ground of Connecticut.
“What are you doing here!!?” I asked.
He shook his head. “I don’t know. We fired our agent today.”
But I had a feeling we shared the same vision: as above, so below. I knew his story: he was tapped by a record company a decade ago — and afterwards a fated turn of events in his life prevented his star from rising. As I have previoussly written on this blog: the genius emerges when the times demand it.
He invited me to sit beside him for a chat. I told him that his voice stopped me in my tracks when I first heard it. Literally. I was in a parking lot, immobile because I was so riveted by interview on National Public Radio. Afterward, they played his music, which made me late for my appointment. I sat there, absorbing the greater importance of this phenomenon appearing with a readymade prophecy in an incredibly catchy tune, a.k.a When the Stars Align. From there, it was just a matter of flow to the convergence required by this present experiment in overcoming “Applying the Heisenberg Principle to 21st Century Art,” the topic of my paper delivered at the AICA conference last fall.
In fact, as conscious observer of my own experiment, I proceeded, somewhat unconsciously, to enact the lyrics of his song by asking for his number. Not his phone but his birthday. He gave me the date. And why not? He had the intuition, the courage, to construct his own destiny…I only wanted to play my part by confirming he was the unexpected phenomenon crystalizing under the alignment of stars of a very fated Spring Equinox. Before leaving him in the band room, I purchased two CD’s and he placed another in my hands. Only later did I notice the title: Strategy for Life.
In tune with the cosmos!
Engaging with the band’s remarkable performance a half hour later, I understood how every woman listening to his music for the first time could feel the way I did. That is his genius — to sing for the masses an intimate and sincere self-revelation that makes them feel they are the only one listening…
Yes, having seen his stars compared with the chart of the Spring Equinox 2010, I know that James Maddock is the voice of Change, ushering New York City into a Spring Awakening after the slumbering silence imposed by the Bloomberg regime.
Nearly a decade has passed since The Strokes enlivened the scene with their catchy 2001 release that seemed to leak out of every doorway: Is this It?
Now, there is Maddock’s Sunrise on Avenue C, as prophetic as it is memorable.
Configuring his new CD into a specific time and place — the edge of the East Village known as Alphabetland at the Paradigm Shift — establishes the universality of his lyrics within the context of a holistic grassroots movement. The poetic vision of his lyrics invites his listeners into the phenomenon of finding the ordinary in the extraordinary and the extraordinary in the ordinary: “…the Village is a symphony.”
“It’s a song. It’s a catchy song. It has a point to it,” exclaimed a newly converted Connecticut fan after hearing Maddock perform for the first time. He had no idea who he was and was mystified by the lack of billing; he explained that he just happened to be in the bar because his daughter opened the evening.
It seems that rock, at least in Bloomberg’s New York City, had to die a difficult death in order for it to be resurrected into a New Paradigm. What does the music of this pioneering singer, songwriter and musician consist of? Emotional vulnerability, for one. Lyrics clocking an evolution from the emotional projection of early rock (“She loves you, yeah, yeah” was really about “I love her, yeah, yeah”) for another. A vocal clarity underlining an active assertion — and relinquishing — of ego alchemically transmuting into the androgynous Self.
If you may doubt either Maddock’s sincerity or ability to declare a new momentum in rock, just listen to his words. They are chock full of psychological insights clothed in engaging, deceptively simple hooks. In one song, you hear I don’t change repeated so many times that you rhythmically follow when the words turn into their opposite, making change the engine of Maddock’s melodies. Again, one need only to examine the words — how they vary with repetition to make the paradigm leap across the abyss: Don’t get lost without me. Let’s get lost together.
It is a brilliant strategy of integrating consciousness with the unconscious, made all the more effective because of his articulate Gemini connections between the opposites. Light and Dark. Male and Female. Once publicly stated, a personal negation of feeling transforms into a universal quest for unity. A delicate balance flows through his lyrics. Inward examination is countered by an expression of concern for the public good. This is rock in the very process of evolving into a new paradigm of global interconnectedness imbedded in the integrity of emotional structure.
I just found out my wife is a man. Such audacious imagery sprinkled through the lyrics is the purifying salt to the hermetic transmutation of emotions. A potent brew of build and release embraces a Truth which is nearly shocking, simply because there is so little to be found in our culture of dis-ease. On one level, he sums up the patriarchal society through the gender archetypes; on another level, he transcends these limitations by inviting his audience to participate in his transmutation of these opposites.
I’ve got nothing. With you I’m something. I think you would call it a chance. Three brief sentences summing up the grail quest of our times. Words so simple, it takes genius to execute it into art! He might be singing about a relationship. But he is also speaking directly to his audience, inviting them on his journey.
A rocker’s authenticity cutting to the soul is beyond the tools of both the marketers and the “gatekeeper” media – what’s left of it anyway (disclosure: I was the art critic for Tribune Newspapers in CT until the papers were sold in 2006). My friend Gina–a country girl who grew up down the street from Bloomberg’s daughter’s horse farm in North Salem – has long been my radar for the authentic. She was so joyously delighted by Maddock’s performance that she spontaneously went right up to tell him how much she loved it afterwards! This reminded me of the warning that set me on my path: the new achetype – the hieros gamos –can only come from the people, representing the body, which means that, paradoxically, the intelligencia will be the last to experience it. Maddock performs the neat trick of defining in his simple lyrics a new hip reflecting extraordinary ordinary people like my friend Gina.
At what cost to the nurturing and growth of this universal archetype is the mainstream pursuit of fame and fortune in America? Maddock’s artistry exposes the folly at the foundation of our perverse culture of dis-ease: the outward pursuit of “success” causes us to lose a connection to the very spirit we feel entitled to embody as a product of this extremely futile pursuit!
How simple this Strategy for Life seems when etched right into the titles of his songs. Hollow Love is about the choice between the heedlessness pursuit of fame at the expense of a more considered, conscious existence. Maddock has obviously learned a great deal about life since his chance at fame was pulled out from under him a decade ago, and he is sharing it with this remarkable CD.
The extraordinary in the ordinary. Dionysius descended and I danced!
As the sky grew dark that night on my way to the Ale House, I saw Jupiter rising under the Crescent Moon. In two days, Venus will finally pull away from her alignment with the Sun that kept her from human sight. The brightest light in the heavens will appear in the west as the Evening Star…fulfilling the prophecy:
You see the world in a new light
Prove yourself right
When the stars align
St. Patrick’s Day was so stunning… a rebirth after plunging into the abyss of a truly Dark Moon — 48 hours without electrical power following the hurricane!
I packed the car for a spiritual odyssey through the back country…
Stopped at my sacred spot, a grove in Pound Ridge.
The sacred Marriage Tree
On the altar, I placed my offering, the Sun and Moon stone I received for my Alchemy of Love performance.
My reward when I departed by way of this marvelous tree…
A Yod pointing downwards, the Hand pointing to the crossroads.
Stopped at O2 Living for a yoga class and a pizza which was insanely delicious. I asked about the tortilla and Francis said it was Ezekiel. I asked who makes it, and he said the Essenes! Highly synchronistic as I was at that moment writing about the Annunakis, whom Hugo Payans insists are connected to the Templars through the priesthood at Solomon’s Temple!
This spot in Yellow Monkey Village, where I wrote so many piles of manuscripts in the past decade, has developed into a real spiritual hub! Frances and I reflected grassroots spiritual evolution that escapes the notice of the American media, even as it is enveloping even the wealthy antique shopping orchid purchasing patrons of the village. Francis, who made his trek up and down the west coast from one spiritual community to another, says that — despite the people being so much more closed than in the west — he has found more originality here! I declared that whatever is permitted to emerge here is simply more REAL! The Puritan soil wouldn’t otherwise stand for it…so this explains the many incarnations of the cafe, until the precise right one has been found.
And no wonder, for the owner entered and I immediately detected her Irish accent!
After observing so many women entering with beautiful auras, ordering a Green Drink and thanking Francis for making their day…I asked him about the secret ingredients.
And he gave me a sample to bolster my St. Patrick’s Day journey…
Onwards to Ridgefield where I visited my friend Suzanne Benton…
Suzanne is an amazing veteran feminist artist who launched me on my grassroots path of uncovering a new art theory after I confronted her Positive Power revolution in the grassroots of Connecticut in 2001.
Suzanne has performed her mask journeys all over the world. She will perform at the 200th birthday celebration of Margaret Fuller at the May 23 opening of “Woman of the Twenty-first Century: Margaret Fuller and the Sacred Marriage.”
I donned Psyche (left) when descending into the myth of Psyche and Eros chronicled in Kundalini’s Daughter. This conscious reworking of the myth with Suzanne was my life raft when drowning in the transit of Neptune on my Aquarian Sun!
“What mask shall we put in your show?” she asked. “Ariadne?”
Ariadne! I hadn’t considered it. Ariadne who helped Thesius through the labyrinth and was rewarded with a promise of marriage and a boat trip to his kingdom, only to be dumped on a desert island? “What did she do to attract Dionysius…” my friend said, as a form of mystical prompt.
“She went inward,” i replied. “A lesson for the woman of the 21st century. Let’s put that in the show.”
Yes, Ariadne! Margaret would like that! Didn’t she give the thread of her woman’s
intuition to Emerson only to be rejected in her quest for the sacred marriage after nearly dying from the exertion of her unpaid stint as editor of his transcendentalist journal?”
And as I left, she told me: “Remember, Dionysius comes unexpectedly, out of nowhere.”
The message of the shaman came back to me. “When he invites you to dance, just do it!”
She now strikes me as the Sun Goddess.
The inner light projected outward!
It was quite a synchronicity to open Orca Chantress Beluga Shaman by Leesa Sklover, a Jungian practitioner and enchanting chanteuse whom I heard speak at the Temenos Institute in Westport on Friday night. She played the Orca Chantress kundalini yoga chant at the close of her presentation,”A Jungian Look at Yoga Therapy, Meditation and Chant.” It was the most extraordinary blend of opposites (the spiritual and the sensual, the primal and the ecstatic) that I have ever heard! Leesa composes her world chants with her own exquisite voice blending into her collaborator Jim Nollman‘s interactions with dolphin and whales, along with wolves, bugs and birds! Check out Jim’s Interspecies Art Gallery!
The music hits at my highest and lowest chakras simultaneously. Leesa’s voice is just exquisite! She is a chantress of the highest order, a teacher of kundalini yoga, sound therapist and musical performer — truly an artist of the twenty-first century utilizing her gifts to connect people with the newly emerging icon of the hieros gamos.
She certainly has the sacred geometry down!
This afternoon, after nearly 48 hours of a power outage, which made the darkest moon last night I have had in a long while, I open the CD and discover a song, Beautiful All Around, containing the sacred geometry of the hieros gamos! To arrive at the hexagram, the chant combines Native American healing tradition (the four directions) with the Jewish shamanic tradition.
It is the New Moon, after all, and the discovery brings to mind an alchemical image depicting the geometry of the six directions:
In Hebrew it means “closed hand.”
In astrology, the Yod (highlighted above) means Finger of God.
Leesa’s marvelous chant, from the Sefer Yetzirah, is holistic in that it engages the six directions through the three letters that make up the name of God: YHWH (Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey) with a gematria of 10+5+6+5 = 26
sky: yod hey vav
earth: hey, yod, vav
east: vev, yod, hey
west: vav, hey, yod
south: yod, vav, hey
north: hey, vav, yod
The six directions form the hexagon…
…the totality of the hieros gamos, the divine marriage of opposites.
You see the dove descending from the six-pointed star, the Seal of Solomon, to the center, primordial point where the six directions meet:
“The priomordial point, while always remaining essentially “Unlocalized” (for it cannot be affected or modified by anything whatsoever), makes itself the centre….From this point start the six directions, which, as pairs of opposites, represent all contraries, and to it also they return, by the alternating movements of expansion and contraction, which constitute the two complementary phases of all manifestation.”
–Renee Guenon, Symbolism of the Cross
The holistic art at this absolute center is a sacred reality embodying the primordial point of the six directions of space. This art can be identified by:
ü Multiple levels of meaning
o incorporating past, present and future
ü Integrating time and space
ü Holistic microcosm of a macrocosmic process
ü Interconnected with life on the planet
May it be beautiful before me; May it be beautiful behind
May it be beautiful before me; May it be beautiful above, all round
This was a beautiful act of transformation of karma
–English lyrics by Leesa Sklover inspired by Navajo healing-ceremony night chant
And this totality of the six directions is where the search for “woman of the 21st century” was begun, and where she is now being formed!
“For the being who stands at the centre, all is unified, for he sees all in the unity of the Principle. All particular and analytical viewpoints, which are founded only on contingent distinctions and which give rise to all he divergence of individual opinions, have disappeared for him and are reabsorbed into the total synthesis of transcendent knowledge, which is the same as the one and changeless truth.”
–Renee Guenon, Symbolism of the Cross
“Changes and revolution always come from people outside the system.
It system wants to control and dominate you; the system wants you to fit in.”
February 28. If there was ever a moment of Uncertainty proceeding change, this is it. The world economy is perched on collapse, Congress seems to have lost its will, and the newspaper crisis has broken down the Third Estate in such a way that the collective voice of the American people has been lost to a sea of clashing interests.
Never has the problem of entrenched interests, namely corporate greed, been so transparent in America. It permeates after facet of American life. When a society can’t even look to its art or religion for salvation, we know the breakdown is complete.
Where can a cultural critic turn for a sign, or a symbol, to sum up this deplorable state of affairs? The last place I was expecting was right on my doorstep. But there it is in the newspaper of record.
The front page of the February 28 New York Times Arts & Leisure is worth preserving in a time capsule. In the left column, the Book Review editor Sam Tenaha’s article Violence That Art Didn’t See Coming condemning art for its failure to pick up “the signals in the air,” which I responded to by letter. The huge headline of the main article on the page revealed the failure, not in the art itself, but the media’s failure to write about the art picking up “the signals in the air” which I have been tracking for over a decade!
Randy Kennedy’s The Koons Collection, with its attendant photo capturing the so-called artist’s characteristic self-satisfied grin underlying the message of the story — the King of Schlock is actually a connoisseur of fine art. Could the writer not even realize in print the Heisenberg Principle at work here – the dealer in schlock transformed into curator by way of a new persona afforded by the newspaper of record? Since when did publicity and feature writing conflate into the same article?
This assault was the deadly shot after the stunning blow in the Times Weekend Arts section where we had the paper’s lead critic, Hilton Kramer, writing about the Whitney Biennial on the cover and ever so conveniently, on the jump age, “Who Needs the Whitney? They Have Their Own Show” about the collaborative group Bruce High Quality Foundation (BHQF) self-reflective The Brucennial 2010 exhibition organized by the son of art star Julian Schnabel, who is in the show! The two Cotter articles were connected by space as well as an object, the BHQF “We Love America, and America Loves Us,” a video penetrated ambulance hearse, which Hilton found “gripping.”
Talk about having your cake and eating it too! In the past, the outsiders would have waited a decade, or at least a year, for usurpation into the system. Now, news of coalescing appears in the same newspaper edition!
If this wasn’t enough to reveal how pervasive the corporate monopoly on art in Bloomberg’s New York, when I received the e-mail regarding the press preview of the Armory Show, I was surprised to see the director of MOMA Glen Lowry giving the opening speech. Does anyone even remember that the Armory Show was begun as collaboration between Pat Hearn, and Paul Morris and Matthew Marks as an alternative even to the art institutions?
And we know criticism is in a state of crisis and has been for some time. At my peak I wrote for five newspapers and now I can’t get an assignment. But the corporate run institutions that control the art that is being seen in the public trust is now overshadowing the commercial network made visible at the art fairs?
And fittingly, to end the week closes the exhibition of the bad boy from across the pond, Demian Hirst at the Gagosian Gallery aptly named “The End of an Era.” The title alone encapsulates the New York scene during an extraordinary full moon launching the authentic beginning of the second millennium.
Saturday, March 7. No, I didn’t rush to see the Demian Hirst show on the day of its closing. I’ve seen it all before. Just like I didn’t bother going to the press preview of the New Museum exhibition curated by Koons last Tuesday. I went to see Kate Millett at her apartment instead. There is this hunger in me to bypass the postmodern era and feed on real substance I find in artists born during the Great Depression. More on that later.
On Saturday, I went to the Center for Independent Publishing Book Fair at the Mechanics Building on 44th Street. I last visited the place when I followed Richard Kotstelanetz to an unforgettable meeting of the Libertarian Society which came to a standstill to pay excited homage to — who else but Ayn Rand! Such a historic building! I visited Susanna Cuyler at her booth, strategically placed at the entrance to the second floor room. She had offered the use of her table to present my books, so I strategically placed them for a photo:
A devout advocate of small press publishing, Susanna has been coming to the fair for years with her publishing house, Brugged, and in fact, that is how we know one another; she gave me a large format Jeanne Owens: A Pictorial Biography, thereby responding to my search before it even began: to uncover the prototype woman of the 21st century. For years, I have been awaiting the moment to write about this beautiful and talented woman; and here the opportunity has presented itself!
Laurie James, an actress who gave up the variety of the stage to focus her talents exclusively on Margaret Fuller, was present with her literature. Laurie persists in thinking that Margaret Fuller is forgotten, which is the name of one of her books, but the events being planned in Boston and Concord during her bicentennial year will prove her wrong! We joked about the inevitability of her subject being discovered by Hollywood when she is too old to play the role. Fuller died at the age of 40 in a shipwreck off Fire Island, along with her Italian husband and their son.
When I saw this haunting sculpture (above) by May Wilson at Pierre Menard‘s installation at Red Dot, I knew it had to be the exhibition we are putting together in the gallery: “Woman of the 21st Century: Margaret Fuller and the Sacred Marriage”.
That brings me to my big discovery made at the book fair, but I didn’t realize it until coming home on the train. I participated in a discussion group about the evolution of publishing, which was full of discouraging news about the state of the five corporate entities that now have a stranglehold on publishing in New York City. In an effort to be upbeat, I talked about my experiment in publishing with I-Universe and launching this blog as a dissemination vehicle.
Afterwards, Olga Ast came up to me with her book (left), and suggested that I start reviewing artist books as a means of dissemination. So, here I begin with her riveting book, Fleeing from Absence: four cross-disciplinary essays on time, its nature and its interpretations. It really puts its finger on the paradigm shift and the manner it is making humans go crazy. Do you ever hear people, particularly New Yorkers, exclaim they have no time, they are running out of time, etc. etc.? I mean, I don’t even both making plans with New Yorkers because it feels like a strategic attack!
The feeling of never being able to keep up with time is the byproduct of linear thinking – where time runs in a linear progression rather than the cycle represented by the Ouroboros, which has always been my manner of interpreting art — as a transformation cycle of life/death/rebirth.
This is how I experience time, as a cycle, whether I am tracking my emotions (the lunar cycle of 28 days), my art (the Venus cycle of 584 days) or Mars (a new sign every two months). I never see time as linear anymore. If I did, I would be extremely depressed about my manner of living — without a job, income or future prospects for some sort of viable career!
How incredible to be given a gift by Olga of this wondrous book, which explains time in a completely new and holistic manner! Every page is an illumination, with words and image creating a new form of poetry which bypasses the frontal brain and enters straight into the subconscious. Here is a sample.
Every shape in the universe is a unique record of its time. The form of a particular stone reflects its response to change; the form of the human body similarly reflecs first its change along our human evolutionary path and second, its change during its own existence and experienceTime is a form of information, information that comes into existence in the material world as material matter. It is the medium through which actualized matter comes into existence. Because of it, the physical world exists.
So, in reading this book after a long running dialogue with Dianne Bowen before and after seeing her complex installation at Foundation, I really made a huge leap into an understanding of how my body has imbedded cyclical time into its cellular structure.
In fact, at the book fair on late Sunday, just before closing, I made another terrific discovery, Terri Degler’s book The Divine Feminine Fire which immediately caught my eye on the Dreamriver Press table on the balcony. There was a beautiful young woman drawing a mandala.
I picked up the book, knowing of course it was about the kundalini, the first book to tackle the subject as a totality. Bravo! I ran downstairs and got one of my books from Susanna’s table and ran back upstairs and handed it to the woman. She opened it to the page of Pan, smiled with recognition and explained she is Greek. I told her that I rewrite the myth of Psyche and Eros in the book. “We have to rewrite the myths.” And she said something I haven’t heard since I left California. “It is a transformation in the DNA.”
These matters of DNA, replication, change, consciousness and time is what Bowen explores with her visceral art, harkening back to the Pattern and Design Movement and ahead to the human genone as a coding for galactic communication via sound which isn’t quite sound as we earthlings know it.
The evolution of the DNA is an absolute reflection of Olga’s theory about time being about consciousness. Clearly, a leap in consciousness is about change.
This perspective of time as change clues us into the current atmosphere of Uncertainty — the patriarchal structures inability to adapt to a new conception of time! We are, “fleeing from absence” rather than surrendering to the void, which is, like the yin and yang, an essential part of the whole! We need only look up to the heavens to see this process on a daily basis — in the lunar cycle: going from empty to being full to being empty.
The problem is one of balance between technology and nature. Even as we succumb to 24/7 demands on our time from the media and social networking, we have difficulty resonating to natural cycles. Even women whose bodies are biologically attuned to natural rhythms through their menstrual cycles! But we have lost our connection with nature through the dis-ease of our society.
For my taste, Greg Haberny brought home the point of the “end of an era” with considerably more wit and industry in his Pop Culture Wasteland at Fountain, NYC.
How do we get from here to there? Aldo reveals the passage — straight through the black abyss!
The contemporary New York art scene this week became a theater for commercialization to the point where the rarity of the authentic art-ti-fact has been obscured under the capitalist aim of commodity as a shared social experience.
Have we truly forgotten the original intent of art within a civilization — to transmit a truth that cannot otherwise be seen by the human collective? What of the Promethean spirit, who undergoes great personal risk to transmit this truth? Isn’t this the reason why, in times of confusion like today, the fissures in the social fabric create the openings for genius to deliver its gift? From where and how does such original creative spirit emerge?
Genius hides in plain sight. Why is this truth revealed again and again — even in this age of 24/7 media? The answer is simple; until tapped by the need of the collective, the individual carrying this original vision has no outward function. Rather, they are held underground, as if in a straightjacket, to prepare for the immensity of the task which awaits them. If they are artists shaping their material into a radical new vision, the work itself reveals the process of breakthrough and becomes the essential artifact of the crucial time of change.
The Guardians provide this gift of time…
From this perspective, fissures in the social fabric await a new structure…
…to a radical awakening. This is a physical, tangible reality in my beloved Chile — where I imbedded myself to about the quantum wave collapse last year. The nation formed between two seismic plates did so under the sign of Aquarius. Where Chile goes “Awakening” into the New Paradigm, so goes the world.
The period marking the close of a decade of transition — from the death of postmodernism to the rise of a holistic new movement — was crucial in separating the chaff from the wheat, the old paradigm from the New. Yet, with the rise of Venus last week, I have received earthly signs the change has entered the collective.
For example, on may way into the city to visit Aaron’s studio, I received a crucial sign from a fellow Aquarian whose art was a crucial launch pad for my search for the hieros gamos in art; Peter Gabriel, his latest public expression of the “sacred marriage” in a New York Times article “I’ll Sing Yours, You Sing Mine” unveiling a scheme: every full moon he plans to release a two-song digital download on iTunes. Talk about celebrating the cosmic cycles!
Chiefly, emergence is a factor of timing.
So, it is with Aaron Olshan, who I met almost precisely a decade ago at a screening of the film Pollock, Ed Harris’ film about a genius rising to meet the zeitgeist and subsequently falling because he couldn’t hold the energy of fame. Aaron was my guide — not only to the characters in the film, but the actors who were playing them. “I know everyone!” he declared and insisted on being my guide to the art world. For all the false irony being booted around the New York art world at the time, there was a telling authentic irony of at the root of our relationship: in the decade I have known him, I have never experienced Aaron in an exhibition. It seemed to me that his work had to be hidden until the voice that could interpret it was properly prepared to do so.
How to find a simple, comprehensible language for the complexity of a new archetype? This was a decade-long struggle that will be placed before the public in my next exhibition Woman of the Twenty-First Century: Margaret Fuller and the Sacred Marriage. In fact, the exhibition will have as a centerpiece the single image (below) I had been seeking since I met Aaron in 2000! The icon of the hieros gamos for the Age of Aquarius!
Genius hides in plain sight. It can’t be any other way. It has to be an outsider, but close enough to the inside to understand the change that is necessary to awaken society. I can’t think of any artist in the New York art world who better fits this description than Aaron Olshan.
He handed me a dog-eared clip from the New York Times Arts and Leisure, with a tender portrait of him and his father, the artist Bernard Olshan. Instead of a business card, he handed me something resembling a scroll images of his paintings that looked like Sumerian pictoral language: each piece with its own distinct character containing the holistic vision of the entirely.
This was an early indication of what was going on inside him, what immense energy was forming in unconscious that he was tapping into.
Even if I didn’t know this in his presence, it would be made clear when I viewed his astrology chart. Born under a Pisces New Moon rising in his 12th house. What better signature for an artist: tapping into “Ancient Dreams” and making them new for the millennial transition between the ages.
He was a self-identified pagan, about to go through a transformation, and our shared vision from the future informed the urban pagan journey chronicled in Kundalini’s Daughter, whose birth we celebrated on the Winter Solstice.
Eternal Return embedded into his horoscope, which, in turn, is coded into his paintings through a “sacred marriage” of color, form, light and narrative that puts the last nail in the coffin of the 20th century debate between objective/nonobjective painting because a past duality has become a seamless unity. Aaron’s entire life as an artist – indeed his many past lives, were spent preparing for the past two years birth: an all encompassing narrative of Eternal Return specific to our time — the transition to the Aquarian Age…
I began writing this post about Aaron on my ride back from his studio on March 2. That night I had a dream so real it served as a direct experience of change. I was lying in an empty parking lot trying to sleep. It was a feeling of profound alienation, being so close in proximity, yet shut out of the consumer culture that now defines America. Then a parade of powerful public personalities crashed through the night scene. Mick Jagger. Cindy Lauper. I had a vision of what they were like before their star rose — when they had to work the odd job to survive, just like the rest of us.
Everyone had to do something utterly ordinary while they were waiting for the zeitgeist to tap them as extraordinary, didn’t they? This paradox reveals what makes for genius: the structure (Saturn) capable of carrying the zeitgeist (Uranus) which comprises the dual planetary rulership of Aquarius.
Aaron and I made a full circle and shared a meal at the diner near his studio. It was the same spot where we discussed a decade ago what venue would be appropriate to write about his work. There was no instantaneous dissemination of ideas through blogs then, nor POD publishing.
This time, I asked him what he will do with his new fortune. He flashed me his Aaron smile, ear to ear, and said. “I will buy better materials.” And with that Aaron look of rapture, he added. “There is a tube of cobalt paint…”
Curious, I look up cobalt, not at all surprised to discover it is a “necessary nutrient for all life.” A fitting material for the genius whose time has come!
Yuliya Lanina sent me an image of her most recent painting, a very pregnant Queeny!
Margaret Fuller, “Woman in the Nineteenth Century”
The hexagram is formed from two interlocking triangles, representing the integration of
Feminine: LOWER triangle, symbol is the chalice
Masculine UPPER triangle, symbol is the blade
The masculine is POSITIVE (+), OUT TAKE
The feminine is NEGATIVE (-), IN TAKE
- 6. – THIRD EYE
- 5. + THROAT
- 4. – HEART
- 3. + SOLAR PLEXUS
- 2. – GENITALS
- 1. + ROOT/BASE OF THE SPINE
For Fuller, “masculine and feminine represent both sides of the great radical dualism,” each “perpetually passing into one another” so that there is no wholly masculine man and no purely feminine woman.” In Woman of the Nineteenth Century she identifies the characteristics of this “radical dualism” as “energy and Harmony, Power and Beauty, Intellect and Love,” the first of each pair being traditionally associated with the masculine, the second of each with the feminine.” (Hawthorne’s Fuller Mystery by Thomas R. Mitchell, p. 143)
I combine her “Sacred Marriage” pairings with my chakra interpretations:
ENERGY (FIRST CHAKRA-MASCULINE) + HARMONY (SECOND – FEMININE
POWER (THIRD- MASCULINE) + BEAUTY (FOURTH, HEART, TIPERETH)
INTELLECT (FIFTH – THROAT). + LOVE (THIRD EYE)
The Seventh Charka at the Crown of the Head is the Sacred Marriage of Masculine & Feminine. These pairings can also be made on the Cabala Tree of Life, with Malkuth as the (feminine) Kingdom and Kether as the (masculine) Heaven, and Tipereth as the Heart the lower Conjunctio of Masculine and Feminine, placed in the center of the Tree of Life and translated as Beauty.
I’m LOVING what’s emerging in the core of the hexagon. Each piece is a revelation.
Here’s the thing….For me women embody the potential for/of everything. Women give birth – as does the earth – to male and female. That’s why for me the literal manifestation of the penis feels unnecessary to me . A fully actualized woman attracts an actualized man who holds and brings his feminine – and creates a whole, sacred marriage – that has been my experience. And as I can only come from my experience this is what is real and authentic for me.
I understand the concept of the 6 pointed star – and want to make sure you know I’m inspired by everything I’m reading, but, what can I say… i don’t love sculpting penises…
March 1, 12:09 AM EST
But it comes from home. It comes from truly knowing your own beauty and strength and feminine and masculine … owning it…and embracing it all first.
…which falls smack on my Lunar Return (left). The line-up in Pisces falls in the Sixth House, the very place in the chart where the energy is most grounded — directly below the western horizon.
Venus rises in the West, headed towards her first conjunction with the Aries Moon as Evening Star, Queen of the Night. The wisdom of the Underworld during her 60 day dalliance with the Sun, the internal conjunctio, will be manifested on Earth!
This, I explained, would be the ultimate ritual, the ultimate manifestation of my search, arriving in perfect timing with the cosmic convergence in Pisces, the sign of the archetypes and the collective unconscious.
What better manifestation of the pattern revealed at left (the evolution (Uranus) of the feminine (Moon) archetype (Pisces) can there be, than being gifted with the sacred geometry in the material of Tanya Ragir’s female prototype for the 21st century!
March 3, 2010 8:44:16 PM EST. This morning, Tanya sent images. I can see she was too busy working to write…
February 28, 2010
When I put together the Black Madonna exhibition of artists that I had been collecting in my decade long search for the new millennial art forms as a newspaper critic, I contacted the head of performance curators at PS1 and invited him to come to a Salon with Martha Wilson and Richard Move. He replied that he couldn’t make it, though he said he admired Martha’s work . So, I asked if I could make an appointment to come and talk to him about my critical discoveries of the past decade. He replied that their schedule was full and he only took recommendations from the institution’s art advisors listed on the website.
Okay, now I have real proof — the three New York institutions founded by women (Armory Show, PsI and New Museum) as alternatives to the official male- dominated art world are now usurped into the system of corporate control that has been subsuming the New York art scene since the 1980s. The preponderance of art fairs is only a symptom of this state of affairs; the cause lies with the institutions themselves, which collude with the dealers on solo exhibitions and reveal a common lack of the two qualities it takes to do something altogther New — intellectual curiosity and courage.
This is the crux of the Paradigm Shift.
But then, astrologers have been looking at this moment for over a very long time. The T-Square line up which is playing out this winter and will hit with impact in just two weeks, the New Moon conjunction with Uranus in Pisces.
Typically, when the planets line up for a crucial shift in the collective consciousness, there is some person out there who lacks control over their impulses and commits a heinous act, which puts a human face on the thundering taking place in the heavens.
This time it was a woman, a professional woman who burst out of her professional veneer and the key to this unraveling can be seen in a configuration I have been tracking for years – the Yod.
With the Yod in the sky —
Professionalism is the scrooge to the development of Self, for the creative risk essential to self-development. In astrology it is Saturn, which is, both impulse control but also a restriction on creative freedom.
We see this clearly in the birth chart of Amy Bishop.
Born in 1965, under the influence of the Pluto Uranus on her Mars and opposing Saturn. Jupiter on her Saturn made her snap. The expectations of the recognition and security that would come with tenure and the inability for her control over the violent impulses that appeared in her literature resulting in the rampage.
She was born in 1965, under the influence of the Pluto Uranus on her Mars and opposing Saturn. If this wasn’t a volatile enough Mars, the inconjunct to the Aquarian Moon (the time is unknown, but whatever time she was born on this day she would still have the moon sextile to Mercury creating the base of the Yod)
Moreover, the chart for the February 12 murders reveal she was having a lunar return opposing transiting Mars retrograde, which triggered her natal yod. And crucially revealing the paradigm shift is the extremely tight transiting yod with Jupiter/Venus in Pisces at the apex.
Jupiter creating this tense yod configuration while hitting the natal position of Saturn made her snap. The expectations of the recognition and security that would come with tenure and the inability for her control over subsumed violent impulses, formerly channeled into her novels, led to the rampage.
What is the cultural message here? I repeat a quote from my father that I wrote in the introduction to Kundalini’s Daughter:
A point that Muktananda keeps making…is the necessity of having direct, personal experience with higher states of consciousness and spiritual energy. This may seem obvious but it is easy to forget this simple truth. Again and again, he exhorts the scientist to study himself, the healer to heal himself, the psychologist to witness his own mind. The pressures to achieve and perform in these fields before one has gone very far into one’s own Self are very great in America. Muktananda says that the journey into the Self can only make one into a better therapist, a better minister, a better researcher. Nothing will be lost; much will be gained. That is what he told me when I first met him. From direct personal experience I have found he was speaking the truth. 1
The natal chart of Amy Bishop reveals a tightly wound professionalism (the conjunction of Mars, Uranus and Pluto opposing Saturn) around an aggressive pursuit (Mars) of brilliant (Uranus) and penetrating (Pluto) scientific analysis (Virgo).
In stressful times, in Uncertainty, people’s true characters come out. I came to believe in astrology living in Buenos Aries under 1000 percent inflation after the 1984 return to democracy after an eleven-year military dictatorship. At the same time, I became a novelist. The two, astrology and autobiographical fiction and memoir, have been inextricably intertwined ever since. Because of the relative stability of the U.S. economic and political system, there hasn’t been such a need to resort to the heavens for explanations of the inexplicable, but now we have what seems to be an appeal for doing so from the front page of the newspaper of record. Unfortunately, the author did not ask astrologers for explanations
This astrological understanding prompted my letter, below, to the editor of the New York Times Arts & Leisure regarding the Sam Tanenhaus article, “Violence that Art Didn’t See Coming.”
I e-mailed my leter on March 1, 2010. Here’s to seeing if they print it:
Why does the New York Times insist on denying any art that does not appear on its pages? Even when you devote a front page article in Arts and Leisure to “Violence That Art Didn’t See Coming,” your writer overlooks the creative channel the killer Amy Bishop had for her violent impulses — novel writing — a curious omission given that the writer, Sam Tenaha’s, is the editor of the paper’s book review.
I have written about and crated women artists who are making performances about female violence which – unlike the two prominent female artists Tenaha’s wrote about as “out of touch” — is outward directed but haven’t been able to get them into the New York Times. This is because, as your article makes all too clear, a new understanding of the female body as a vehicle for transpersonal energies would be a threat to the very system that your newspaper upholds.
As proof of this fact, I held an exhibition entitled “Black Madonna” a block from your building for five months last year and not one of your critics or writers came to see it. The dark feminine/Kundalini energy is something the media doesn’t want to examine in any depth, simply because it is complicated, deep and a harbinger of the very change that Tenaha’s expects to see in art!
The message of Amy Bishop isn’t simply that women can be as violent as men, which is the weak conclusion of your writer. It is about the female body as the vehicle for the transpersonal energies ushering in a change to the collective consciousness. If the artists channeling these energies had been getting recognition by your newspaper, your writer would have a ready dialectic to refer to in his article.
Amy Bishop’s uncontrollable impulses have revealed a crucial moment of change not simply because she was so pre-meditatively violent. It was because this divided self which was covered by a professional veneer: the female scientist’s actual accomplishments, and disappointment, surrounding a lack of recognition (the failure to receive tenure) for these accomplishments, triggered a moment of desperation that now make this scientist a notorious figure in the media.
Despite all the scientific achievements of the contemporary world, the continued incapacity to penetrate into the mysteries of the female body reveals the failure of the institutions of power, including your newspaper of record, to penetrate the “signals in the air” that your writer expects to uncover in art.