MARFA IS FOR LOVERS: MUSINGS + YOGA + ART
You run like a herd of luminous deer
And I am dark, I am forest.
You are a wheel at which I stand,
Whose dark spokes sometimes catch me up,
Revolve me nearer to the center.
-Rilke, The Book of Hours
Nine hawks and thirty ravens, lining my path down the Texas road. Sitting now in the humid night wind under a makeshift portico watching lightening dance, filling a 3/4 dome. The sound of water on corrugated steel. Horizontal and vertical strikes, pink, yellow, blue and coldest white. The 72,000 Nadis of the body spread into the sky and resonate to the beat of rain.
Prompted by a parting friend, I wanted to reintroduce myself to the relationship of the Lord and Bondsman vis a vis conversations about Hegel on the podcast the Partially Examined Life. Unpacking the Phenomenology of Spirit one small section at a time, one very small section at a time. This work is considered one of the most difficult and rewarding tombs in post-Kantian philosophy. The negative ramifications of the subject and object relationship reveal a deep surrender to something greater than oneself and thus the ability to take action to change. And in this power dynamic the master then loses the opportunity for growth, whereas the slave is pushed towards surrender through action ultimately leading to growth. This resonates with my experience of relationships both romantic and familial in addition to my relationship with the Divine through active recovery. How does one willingly submit themselves to something larger? How does devotion manifest in boundless surrender and ultimate growth? Is this relationship between two people or is it innately within us all?
At the Prada Marfa installation I run into a film crew of two from the UK. They are making a web film for the Guardian on why Texas lacks artistic culture. They are searching for meaning out in the desert plains. Toby, the star of the show and commentator wears a broad cowboy hat, black jodhpurs and a garish red hawaiian shirt. He takes pictures of me catching handstands in front of the exhibit and we talk about the Chianti foundation. His business card reveals him naked with a camera in front of his crotch. It is comforting to find European sensibilities and dialects in the midst of the great state of Texas.
I discovered that after a long day of driving nothing beats some pre-bed tent yoga. Here is the sequence.
Supta Padangustasana w/ both legs up
Bend one knee, wrap the hands behind the thigh and spread the sacrum on the ground by lengthening through the arms and drawing away from the belly
Twist with cactus arms
1/2 happy baby
Supta P again
Baby cradle pressing down on the opposite femur towards the earth
Reclined baddha konasana
I would have not have noticed Indra’s jewels if I had not done headstand
I jaunted over Friday morning to the Chianti Foundation, my main point of attraction in Marfa. Bucking up for the tour I got to experience the concrete and aluminum pieces by Donald Judd and the light works by Dan Flavin. It took me back to my old undergraduate days of sculpture with Steve Barry. I abhorred minimalism and believed it to be an absolute representation of nihilist patriarchy. But as with most things in life, my opinions have changed greatly with time. Experiencing these works of art proved to be no exception.
Walking into the huge mechanic silos on the Chianti Foundation property and seeing rows upon rows of Judd’s aluminum rectangles shattered my contempt for minimalism once and for all. The seemingly infinite patterns of configuration of rectangles married to the long buildings, the concrete exterior sculptures and the barracks to the north exterior create an incredible harmony of art, architecture and landscape. The repetition of almost near perfection in the construction of each piece is mesmerizing. The edges and angles butt up to each other without room for even a single hair to fit through. I found myself looking for any slight imperfections, anything remotely displaying the element of Wabi Sabi. I find it so interesting that it is in my nature to seek out the imperfection rather than relishing in the harmony of what is. Something to no doubt stay mindful of in my perceptions of art as well as life.
Moving through the six barack structures housing the Dan Flavin works was a particularly transcendental experience for me. I was with a group of ten people but I jettisoned ahead to have a more private experience. As I was walking down one long, white room I heard footsteps and thought that the group was approaching more quickly then I had anticipated. However when I stopped moving I noticed the sound also stopped. It was then that I opened my mouth and discovered the powerful echo that each of these spaces created. Have you ever chanted Aum or Mantra as you approach a mesmerizing work of art? I highly recommend it. Once I discovered this magical auditory element of these scintillating works I chanted in every single space making my experience a walking, visual and auditory meditation. Surprise treasure abounds!