Exhibition Essays

Number Nine

December 2002

Wayfarer Library Presents

Richard Whyte

James Retson wrote in The New York Times, July 7, 1957:

A health director... reported this week that a small mouse, which presumably had been watching television, attacked a little girl and her full-grown cat... Both mouse and cat survived, and the incident is recorded here as a reminder that things seem to be changing.

‘the public ask if the author is serious. I ask the public if they are serious.’

Alas! great works of genius demand a public of genius.

By the way, the opening last night here at enjoy was a lot of fun.., we drank a lot of wine that the gallery paid for and there were all these books on the tables that everyone did and people were looking through them (when they look at my scrap books I am almost a celebrity! which is creepy but kind of vicarious).

we are in a period of such individualism that one no longer speaks of disciples; one speaks of thieves

these objects are the culmination of this yearning, at once reclusive and public. I don’t know what time it is, only that I was woken at nine thirty by someone wondering if the beer bottles on the stairs were part of the exhibition?

sure, I said, but so is you asking me to take them away.

he said something about clients and them having to come past this. I said sure and we put them in the rubbish together.

after that I walked down to midnight, barefoot, and used their bathroom and water tap, then I got stoned and rolled a cigarette. a tape of me is playing in the background.

schon wieder am selben punkt. immer und immer wieder. warum? Ich scheint mich wirklich zu verstehen. aber: werversteht mich

versteht mich zu wirklich? viele? wenige? keiner? wer weisss das schon? schon wieder wissen...

Art should exhilarate, and throw down the walls of circumstance on every side, awakening in the beholder the same sense of universal relation and power which the work invinced in the artist, and its highest effect is to make new artists.

Michelle arrived just before twelve. it’s always when Michelle arrives I consider the gallery open. she’s always the first. it’s almost time for days of our lives.

These children have the type of relationship a mother and father have, not physically, but emotionally. They loved each other with an adults awareness and understanding but, miraculously, held their youthful innocence.

Without the complications of guilt, or mistrust they stumbled across an unconditional love of brother and sister. life never does more than imitate the book and the book itself is only a tissue of signs, an imitation that is lost, infinitely deferred

je suis le petit mot

a space filled with things becomes human. spaces emptied of objects become void, strangely unhuman storage units. a walled off space without human chaos becomes stale, you can smell it in the air, a damp scent of vacuity.

evacuation procedure? everything going, all spaces off. we are taking the circus back to the mountain and all germanic phrases fall to the way.

I got over the mountain sickness but my nose is still running, my heart yearning for change, for the ability to change one persons hand,
the state of language is in danger. it is up to us. we are all it has.
we are language’s last hope.

Thinking is not enough. nothing is. there is no ginal enough of wisdom, experience—any fucking thing. No holy grail, no final satori, no final solution. just conflict. only thing can resolve conflict is love.

Like how I felt for my cats, Fletch and Ruski, Spooner and Calico. Pure love. 

“The trouble is I have to go with still so much to say..”

Bella Bartok’s last words, Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, Raymond Radiguet and Jean Cocteau, Opium, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Complete Prose Work, Roland Barthes, Death of the Author, William S Burroughs Last Words and the Wayfarer Library Exhibition Journal all contributed to this By way of explanation.