February 14, 2017

Because the Night. About Love in Art, Etc.



Grace Jones talks in her memoirs about singing the song La Vie en Rose in Studio 54 in New York at the end of the 1970s while wearing almost nothing: “It was a song that belonged to Paris, and now it belonged to disco.”

When in 2014 Paul McCarthy installed his huge inflatable sex toy sculpture, the butt plug, in the color of green on a Paris square, the world was surprised to see that Paris, the city of love, didn’t like it. As soon as it was installed, somebody unplugged it and although it happened during the night it wasn’t done out of an act of love. 

Intermezzo: here I'd suggest you listen to Patti Smith’s “Because the night belongs to lovers / Because the night belongs to us”. [maybe the MTV unplugged version]

“Ganz schön doof!” [quite goofy!] so said gallerist J. while admiring the work of artist C. at the exhibition opening. Indeed, it’s refreshing when art doesn’t try so hard to be clever. 

To keep up a same level of bad taste over years is an achievement one could call success. 

“I personally don’t think I’m good or bad. I oscillate, I'd say.” So Erik Satie in his Memoires d’un amnesique

Satie, a known solitaire, fell in love only once and that happened from January 14 till June 20, 1893. He himself wrote those dates on a piece of cardboard together with a lock of hair that belonged to his object of love, the trapeze artist Suzanne Valadon. 

Art is essentially loving, ethical and humanistic. But the language of love is poetry.

In 1914 Satie writes Trois poèmes d’amour: “The poet, smitten with dizziness, seems mad with love. His heart thumps, his eyelids tremble like leaves.” 

"Making love is not modern," Francis Picabia writes in 1950, "and still it's the thing I love doing most." 

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