Casey Kaplan

Cut Nothing, Cut Parts, Cut The Whole, Cut The Order of Time

30 Oct - 20 Dec 2014

Exhibition view
30 October - 20 December 2014

Kathy Acker rang my head like a bell.

It happened sometime in the spring of 1990, while she was reading out loud, a passage to our class from Gertrude Stein’s 1914 book Tender Buttons.

I had just read it myself and thought little of it. In fact I clearly remember not liking it.

The book is comprised of three parts: Objects, Food and Rooms. I didn’t understand what any of the passages had to do with any of the subjects that they were listed under. When Kathy read, she did so simply, without sentiment and with a New York accent that delivered the words with matter-of-factness.

She was sitting at the end of a long conference table at the San Francisco Art Institute, and I was with half of the class, looking out through the window at Alcatraz, our backs facing the wall with the then entombed painting, The Rose (1958-1966) by Jay Defeo.

Kathy read:

“The care with which the rain is wrong and the green is wrong and the white is wrong, the care with which there is a chair and plenty of breathing. The care with which there is incredible justice and likeness, all this makes a magnificent asparagus, and also a fountain.”

Then the sound of a bell.

“The care with which the rain is wrong and the green is wrong and the white is wrong...”

I’m thinking about this now, in New York, while I look out at the rain from the circular window of my hotel room.

Geoffrey Farmer born 1967

Tags: Jay DeFeo, Geoffrey Farmer