Critical Trilogy

a critic's millennial journey


Close Up of installation by Dianne Bowen at Fountain NYC, March 6-7, 2010

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.

Now what?

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 —

Yod forming in March with the station of Mars

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.

Amy Bishop birthchart (time unknown)

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)

Amy Bishop shooting, february 12, 4:00 PM

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:

Dear Editor:

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.


March 4, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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