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In Memoriam 2017: Dianne Bowen, Anne Dufourmantelle and Kate Millett

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Three amazing women summing up the re-emergence of the feminine archetype passed away in 2017, leaving a crucial legacy of the 21st century journey — to internally embody the hieros gamos. Their collective contribution is lauded here as the essential crossing of boundaries between word/image for the collective goal of the physical embodiment of the Aquarian icon of gender equality.
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Dianne Bowen’s poem “REVOLUTION” with her spiral painting in a transitory New York studio space.  Photo by Dianne Bowen.

DIANNE BOWEN

Read Kofi Forson’s “Dianne Bowen: Remembering a New York Artist”

Dianne Bowen started a (R)evolution right in her tiny East Village apartment building, distinguished on Second Avenue with a plaque proclaiming a former poet resident: Alan Ginsburg.

The irrepressible spirit of Dianne Bowen was dedicated to the resurgence of the empowering feminine icon which she heralded in the creation of her spirals as a living art of embodiment of past/present/future in whatever venue was open to it…

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Dianne drawing her signature spiral, symbol of the continuity of the cycle of life/death/rebirth.  Photo by Nikki Johnson.

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Dianne Bowen concluding “(R)EVOLTUION: EROSion Flow at the Gershwin Hotel” on February 2, 2011 with the tearing of the spirals she made at the entrance ritual.  Photo by Nikki Johnson.

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Dianne Bowen “annoiting” Lisa Paul Streitfeld in the hieros gamos (heaven & earth) by drawing her footprint at the opening to “(R)EVOLUTION: EROSion Flow at the Gershwin Hotel” on February 2, 2011.  Photo by Nikki Johnson.

My dialogue with Dianne Bowen began the night we met at a Williamsburg performance party hosted by Heide Hatry and John Wronoski, who would introduce me to Kate Millett. Indeed, my conversation that began in Brooklyn with Dianne was about a new movement in feminism that I was to discover she was hard at work in the embodiment in her character, her art and her “sacred marriage” partner I captured in image.
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Dianne Bowen and her Sacred Marriage partner/husband Rein beside her “Cherry Blossom” at the opening of “Woman in the 21st Century: Margaret Fuller & the Sacred Marriage” at HP Garcia Gallery in Manhattan, 2010.  Photo by LPS.

KATE MILLETT

I was thrilled to discover Kate Millett’s erotic paintings and showed them in my “Woman of the 21st Century: Margaret Fuller and the Sacred Marriage”, developed at Wronoski’s Pierre Menard Gallery in connection with the Margaret Fuller Bicentennial in 20
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Presenting Kate Millett at Pierre Menard Gallery for a gallery talk about her word/image capturing the ancient Sky Goddess, the underlying theme of “Woman in the 21st Century: Margaret Fuller and the Sacred Marriage”.  Photo by LPS.

During our discussion, in which she aptly wore her “Flying” T-shirt, the title of her 1974 autobiography in which she attempted to throw off the projections resulting from her overnight fame, I asked her how she had conscious knowledge of Inanna, the Sky Goddess, which was barely known in the sixties, and a surprising discovery of an ancient bisexual icon for women today.
“We had libraries in Minnesota,” she replied her characteristic sardonic tone. And as I queried her about the influence of this archetype on “Flying” and in her life, she repeatedly said: “Read the texts.” So I did. I purchased every one of the texts she brought to sell in the gallery and read them in sequence. It was an astounding discovery: Kate Millett, in her early propulsion to global fame after being distinguished as the only woman to be awarded with a degree with first class honors at Oxford, was to live the descent by way of her commitment to putting out revolutionary images in her art that undermined her academic influence.
In all of her mediums of expression — writing, sculpture, painting — Kate Millett was committed to the life of the unconscious, and her devotion to the internal journey got her committed to a lunatic asylum in Ireland at one point and a descent during the academisation of feminism in the eighties.
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Kate Millett with the artist Aldo Tambellini at the “Woman in the 21st Century: Margaret Fuller and the Sacred Marriage” celebrating the passage of their “underground” art into the mainstream with the Cambridge celebration of the Margaret Full Bicentennial art. Margaret Fuller, the mother of American literature is Millett’s authentic predecessor as an American female intellectual grounded in the ever-present icon.  Photo by LPS.

My experience of spending a few intense days with Kate Millett stream of non sequitur from made sense as her manifestoMy , like a jigsaw puzzle for the simultaneity of the left/right brain marriage. I found her to be the living prototype of the artist as a Third space between opposites. Her resentment at being cast by the media as the lesbian feminist icon resulted in her refusal to sit for a portrait for the cover of TIME magazine, which resulted in an Alice Neel painted portrait instead. She was married to the Japanese sculptor Fumio Yoshimura at the time of the 1970 publication of Sexual Politics, that made her an icon in the Woman’s Movement.

ANNE DUFOURMANTELLE

In order to change, recognize your desire, and then something will happen. If you consent to where you are, then you begin to change. 

— Anne Dufourmantelle, 2012 EGS Seminar lecture

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Anne Dufourmantelle (left) with Avital Ronell and Kleist in a single utterance.  Photo by LPS

A new breed of philosopher could only emerge in France, where even the male philosophers attuned to the feminine, even if they don’t consciously acknowledge the polarity in their theories except to denigrate the overflow as “excess” (Lacan) . Dr. Anne Dufourmantelle immediately struck me as a new reality — a French woman thinker not bound by “think feel” and therefore in complete command of both her mind and emotions.
This could only take place through the inner marriage, a (R)evolution that I was devoted to instigating in France through my work with a French shaman trained by the son of Black Elk in the “underground” conversion through the native American church, the inipi, or sweat lodge. Steeped in Latin American literature, Ann Dufourmantelle had her emotions, chiefly her compassion, right on the surface.
A practicing psychoanalyst, as well as professor, novelist and theorist, Professor Dufourmantelle conceived of the name of a new Saas Fee collaborative philosophy arising out of the Schirmacher media in philosophy laboratory: the Conversion. She placed this new philosophy within a new continental apparatus, the Mobius strip, by way of a historical analysis regarding the integration of the subjective experience into philosophy:
You have a position of subjectivity, beginning with Nietzsche; his Ecco Homo text goes directly back to the Augustine moment. So, this is what I want to point out: how come the thinkers on these subjects towards this debt are those who explore what it is to lose oneself ––what is it to lose the hospitality of experience that drives you to the edge of what is no longer related to the subject? Nietzsche’s Ecco Homo is sharp-edged and provocative in the way he returns the possibility of knowing himself and the delusions – to obtain a moment where the opening to the REAL is possible.  (Dufourmantelle, classroom lecture, August 2014.)
The word/image connotation of “conversion” suits a new continental philosophy grounded in a transformation process. The word suggests the religious or the mystical, and yet is rooted in science, chemistry originating in the ancient art of alchemy. Conversion is the process by which the nigredo, or shadow, transforms through the four elemental stages, (Calcinatio, Solutio, Coagulatio and Sublimatio), into the quintessential, the hieros gamos. This final stage had many names, including: the holy wedding, infans solaris and the philosopher’s stone.
Dufourmantelle explained her choice of the word “conversion” was about sameness going into difference, an interpretation which echoed Deleuze’s interpretation of the “eternal return with difference” as a 21st century evolution from Nietzsche’s pre-psychological eternal return of the same. Haven’t we come far enough in self-knowledge techniques to be able to reverse our fate? Indeed, the psychoanalyst instructs us to look closely at the process, emphasising the paradox: it is from the place of sameness that conversion becomes a radical difference. This philosophical language for what physics is calling entanglement so intrigued me that I starting digging into lesser-known Greek myths for a story of conversion. There was indeed to be found a tension of sameness versus radical difference in the centaur Pholus;
Pholus was gifted in a way that made him, like the healer Chiron, stand out from the tribe of wildly unstable bodies fusing hunter with the beast hunted. One day he had a visitor, the son of Zeus. Heracles had just finished his fourth labor, the capture of the Erymanthian Boar, and entered the centaur’s cave with a wicked thirst. His host was keeper of a cask of wine given to him by Dionysius. This was, in fact, the holiday spirit passed down through three generations. The popping of the cork created chaos. The other centaurs became intoxicated by the smell and rushed up to the cave where Heracles shot them with poisoned arrows. Chiron got wounded in the foot. Pholus died in his attempt to save him.  (Streitfeld, Hermeneutics of New Modernism, Atropos, 2014)
The asteroid Pholus was transiting the Galactic Center at 27 degrees Sagittarius, the sign of the philosopher, in a conjunction to Saturn at Anne Dufourmantelle’s tragic death by drowning;  she was tragically swept into a current while trying to rescue two boys on July 27, 2017.
The Mayans viewed the Black Hole at the Galactic Center as the World Tree symbolizing Life/Death/Rebirth.  These three women will live on, and on, through their feminine wisdom in a time of transition out of the patriarchy.
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(R)EVOLUTION IN GREECE: Michael Mantas’ “Receta” for the Avant-Garde

It is a cinematic breakthrough that perhaps could only come from the monk.  Michael Manta’s Receta expands the vocabulary of film to fold the personal journey into the universal quest for transcendence.

lisaMike Mantas enacts his inner monk on a spiritual journey in his “Receta”.

While this is no small feat, the surprise is how it achieves this quantum leap into the timeless; in real time by way of interweaving the making of homemade cheese into political documentary about his ancestral Greece during the violent uprisings anticipating the Trump era of nationalist revolutions.

As writer, director and producer of his own mythology transforming his identity from queer monk to avant-garde Greek-Canadian filmmaker, Mike Mantas‘ layered interweaving of autobiographical…

family-archeologuy …the mythical…

mythical …documentary of the Greek uprising…

xarchia …and political narrative of ego repression…

docu …absorbing the the long-repressed Shadow

shadow …by means of a multicultural tapestry of Queer identity on a sea journey…

boat …to absorb the transgender Aquarian icon…

goddess …is coded with the newly arising icon of the hieros gamos via the extraordinary face of Mina Orfanou as the Goddess Eurynome.

Evoking the hero’s journey of our time of dislocation, Mantas, a trained actor, self-performs the marriage of polarities (masculine and feminine)…cheesw ….by means of mastering a Greek recipe for cheese created in real time…

Diametrically in opposition to the externalization of the “male gaze” …

manneqjuin …coded through the killer stare of the nude female store mannequins…

sea …melds symbol and gesture to herald a 360 perspective symbolized by the trangender figure holding a utility geometry of holism: an umbrella.

The outward projection of the psyche’s inner struggle for union takes place through the eye of Mantas’ vintage camera in which the analog camera serves as recurring motif…

camera …for the physicality of filmmaking in which the gesture with the camera is an apparatus of personal excavation…

mobious… a metaphor of Heideggerian Being in which interior is reflected in the exterior…

Such a richly multilayered narrative texture utilising the Shadow as container for the embrace of the iternal feminine is new to cinema.

box“Receta” has a metal lock box as metahpor of the Philosopher’s Stone storing the coded psyche.

Upsetting the hierarchical linear time measured in quantity, Mantas infuses kairos — the unexpected moment of the quantum leap– into film as a measure of the qualitative…

Melding analog and digital by means of the symbolic and performative, Receta constructs the organic source of film, celluloid, into the Mobius strip as it overcomes the binary dualism of the subjective/objective…

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Receta proclaims a bold new era of cinema marrying subjective/objective through the right and left hemispheres of the brain.  By challenging the viewer as participant in the quest for unity, the real/surreal seamlessly blend personal and universal narrative..

thirdeye The Third Eye is among the rich iconography in “Receta” for the paradigm leap into the Third.

Mantas’ Greek birthname is Chronopoulos.  Not surprisingly, this enterprising filmmaker has made his destiny in digging so deep as to establish the visual language of a new art for(u)m at the intersection of Chronos and Kairos…

door …by means of opening new Doors of Perception.

While making unconventional demands for a whole brain participation to absorb multidimensional narrative, the rewards of learning Mike Mantas’ Receta are well worth the effort.