Anne sent through this email, just minutes ago. Without further ado, I pass it along.
– – – – –
hey lucas. it’s sunday. the day after your opening. which offered a very meaty bit of bait to those of us who aren’t hooked yet. mind you, bit late to get hooked. but anyway, maybe the time for baiting is over and it’s the catch, we’re being shown now. hmmmm … that’s interesting. the ‘catch’. y’know, like ‘so, what’s the catch?’. which is an expression of suspicion isn’t it? that there will be something required or asked of us. in legalistic terms, it’s a ‘consideration’. which skirts the notion of exchange. but i’m getting ahead of myself now. which isnt surprising, because these last few sentences were written AFTER the ones to follow, if you know what i mean. because this email is getting so long that i’m writing my way back INTO it. yeah, so as i was leaving (with hard copy of blog tucked under me arm, and mixing with the experience of the mayoral tour to warm me heart) i told you it made me feel glad/sad. you seemed puzzled by the ‘sad’ bit. think i was too.
so i kept turning it over in my mind as i drove home. it bothered me that what i was feeling was probably just plain old inverted narcissism – ‘woe is me, i’m isolated, disconnected, disengaged and don’t belong anywhere’. my response just seemed so me, me, me, me, me reflective and not a good look. i was ashamed of it (& hopefully being SHAM(ed) out of it). i wanted my response to be something more noble and selfless, y’know? and then, i’m driving along, all the way back to lane cove, bloody miles away from your shire (your worship) and i’m thinking, thinking, thinking, and bingo, onto radio national comes an interview with an author by name of alain de botton. have you heard of him? take a look at: http://www.alaindebotton.com/
anyway, the ABC interview was about his latest book: ‘the architecture of happiness’. it was, literally, about architecture (the ordinary rather than the spectacular & monumental kind) and its role in making us feel happy. he talked about beauty, quoting stendahl who said that beauty offers us the promise of happiness. and that it’s the ‘promise’part that’s really where it’s at, rather than the ‘happiness’. it’s in the presence of beauty (in whatever form), that we feel the bitter/sweet of melancholy – a longing for something that we recognise as utterly evanescent and beyond our reach, since we are mostly anchored (weighed down?) by the not so sublime conditions of our corporeal existence.
and the thing is lucas, the thing IS … your work(or ‘the’ work) is beautiful. it is just SO beautiful. and in my search to prize open my glad/sad response to ‘bilateral petersham’ i’ve arrived at this odd coupling of longing and BElonging. or(e)… a longing for belonging. or(e) a bee longing, as the subject anne-ticipates (groan … which i’d rather bee a hum). and then, this morning i’ve been reading your very first entries, especially your reflections on the wider/deeper implications of the project. they help frame this bitter/sweet response i’m having, especially the stuff to come out of the reading group (that i missed, damn it!) on theories of value. it’s here that ideas about ‘happiness’ and ‘belonging’ get flagged. for all i know they might re-emerge later on, but i haven’t got there yet. so, it’s like you say, as early as day 2: “‘belonging’ seems to be a biggy”.
but wait, there’s (m)ore! and it goes to the heart … of the city? … and/or(e) of the matter. and it’s a big heart. YOUR heart. because like i wrote this morning to my new(ish) blind friend, bruce:
“i love lucas. or his particular take (which is more of a give) on the world. it is just SO refreshing. if there is a new spiritual (dis)order around the corner, then i’m convinced lucas is one of its humble servants. because he is all around and about community aka: ‘relational aesthetics’, which s a growing (un)discipline with a growing body of french theory to give it ballast. and his art form(formless rather) is in the service of this idea, or is it an ideal. i know you have more than enough to run your fingers over, but i urge you to scan his ‘petersham story’ blog (especially as he wants to know if its up to accessibility standards). it’s riddled with references to local people we’ll never meet and to profoundly banal events, but its attempt to make something beautiful and meaningful out of the quotidian makes me want to laugh and cry.”
yeah, so anyway, my final word is this: the present. oh, ok, so it’s two words. but does ‘the’ really count? i guess so. it’s the, or a, definite article. but i digress. from: the present. i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again. it’s the (or a) gift. but the present is a gift that requires a vehicle. you know, a ‘conveyance’. and i know it might sound like i’m going ’round in circles here, but maybe a bit of progress is being made. either that or i’m just re-stating the bleeding obvious. but anyway, a conveyance, apart from being a legal instrument for the alienation (note: the alienation!) of property, is ‘carrying’. also ‘transmission’ and ‘communication’. i think it’s in the form of ‘carrying’ that i find the most resonance with the work being carried out (make that: carried in) here. because it’s downright maternal or something. and implicating … wait .. wait … no ….. weight! yeah, that’s it. no wait and no weight. so that’s it’s now. and it’s not heavy lucas. not heavy at all. could even say it’s weightless. like: free of gravity. which is such a blessed … relief. in both senses of that word. a deliverance from pain and distress, as well as being a new form, carved out of the surface of such day to day (today!) things.
encore lucas. on: core.