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IMAGE:

Lois Dodd, Blue Sky Window, 1979, oil on linen, Alexandre Gallery, New York in Lois Dodd, Contemporary Painters Series, ed. Faye Hirsch (London: Lund Humphries, 2017), p. 44.

 

                                                                       

 

                                                                                                              

BLUE SKY WINDOW

 

Blue Sky Window what does it mean to name something? Your last name means opening. Do you belong to the person who gave you that name? Did it bring you closer together? Was it a point of departure? Blue Sky Window you are a monotonous idea. You - you who are eager to see. You who are what you do not see - you are an exaggeration. If ever there was a time to say and mean ‘limn’. But that’s too obvious - you are obtuse. Your hands were made for punching faces and playing the double bass. Is it possible to paint a window? Can I write one? Don’t be so sensitive - I’ve heard you call the dog ‘the dog’. You are so easily injured. What is inside you belongs to you but you contain nothing without it. You - the container of thunder. What is behind all this? This that is usually in front of that. This that shows the relationship between that and other things. Are you listening? You are saying too many things. You are closed and bordered by nothingness. Blue Sky Window we need to make this work - it needs to be the right size. Let me demonstrate. Inside this room on that wall is an opening. It is much like you except in that it is not. In the room next door a woman is sleeping. Which is why I am awake. I get up early to avoid her. I go outside. Outside the supermarket the sign says ‘Open 24 hours’. I try to go in - it is closed. A man comes over and asks if it is open. I say no. Another sign says that it opens at eleven. He says this world confuses him. I say that makes two of us. I go home. I open the door. I close it behind me. She is not here - she was never here. I keep expecting something to move. Which it does and does not. Blue Sky Window you are opaque. You are particular - you are an archetype. You are equal parts of black and white - you are grey. You are both here and elsewhere. You are here in a shrunken and unfaithful version of yourself - your colours are no doubt off. But as you are present only in this current form I do not know if this is correct although I have my suspicions. Behind you the light reflected off a watch - a small round gold thing - is moving up and down and across the wall. I roll my wrist and now it is in you - or on you - getting inside what it is that you are of. Blue Sky Window I would say you are stubborn but not unyielding like the painting that kept falling off the wall - no you are not that lofty - your attitude is not that bad. You have an oneiric quality, like Edward Hopper’s Rooms by the Sea with which, incidentally, you share certain qualities such as geometric areas shaded with pink that should not (or should?) be there. Rooms by the Sea is a room in which unreality wrests with reality. It is literal to the point of absurdity - the door opens on to the sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Sky Window I believe you are for sale. If I had the money which I do not I could buy you and we could live together. You could be in my room - I could never be in yours. You are too self-contained. There exists a border between you and I - a border that is painful on one side. Blue Sky Window you aggravate me. With your veneer of transparency - I hold you to account. Your rectangles - are they teeth? Blue Sky Window outside you is immeasurable. The way that you contain the uncontainable is horrible. Blue Sky Window I don’t see a future. I say my lines (uninterrupted) - you are naked. Is it incumbent upon me to dress you? I lie on the sofa under a ceiling made of glass which, like you, is invisible to bees. Well, that’s what you get when you frame the sky - a cage. Blue Sky Window if I were to throw myself against your ceiling where would that leave us? Is that what this is? The pain of division? I’ve been living with your copy for a while now, on display in a cookbook holder on a dining table that also serves as a desk. I never had any use for it before, the cookbook holder that is, and now you are always facing me. I eat my breakfast lunch and dinner in your company. Blue Sky Window I don’t like to tell people but I’m becoming superstitious. I make and gather talismans that I set aside certain times and actions for, to hold on to or do with, and this one - a golden sequin in the shape of a flower with a hole in its centre, made for sewing on to clothing - I picked up off the street. I made my wish and put it in my pocket, to keep until tomorrow, when this thing that I want very much will either come true or fail and, just now after dinner, I took it out and put it on my fingertip, where it fits perfectly and stays, allowing me to commit crimes with impunity, and I was moving it in arabesques when my eyes pulled focus and suddenly it was snowing outside your window - a single golden snowflake was dancing in your sky. Blue Sky Window your time is up - you have run me down. I have tried to live up to your level. I have tried to be a single unity - you do not complete me. Blue Sky Window you are a complete subject - I am not your indirect object - I am running out of words.