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  • Writer's pictureThe Big Ship

Little Prayers Gallery - October 25, 2023

Welcome to Little Prayers, the self-destructing gallery. Here for a good time not a long time.


Past Lives/Le Otto Montagne - Inyeon and The Door

"Maybe we were just the bird and the branch it sat on one morning."

Though film is "sculpting time" our arts need not be so inhumane; it is more than enough to show us back to ourselves as light, and for one hour lift the burden of being: in baby chapels, little prayers.

I keep my window open all year, even in winter.

I know it reads like ascetics, but I promise you I am not trying to invite suffering into my house. A closed window feels more severe than the closing of all doors which will come without choice. Believe me I am scared, believe me I can hate with spit, but life is this consul: the sustained pain of holding versus the sharp break of letting go. Go figure, it's taken me one quarter of a century to realise how hard it is for me to let go.

Writing down your vision of heaven is a useful exercise. At 19, mine was a dinner party: Iberia, big jeans, Simone. Friends, a lover, some wine.

There will come a time when I will learn to barter my minor sufferings with yours but what I will gain in this peace I will also lose in pungency, and Rilke said to "live your questions" so forgive me whilst I indulge once more and sell you this impossibility, heaven at 25: A viola Georgic where my language is stuck. (Don't blame me, the word "field" looks so crisp in bloom I could eat its serif sway). Valleys of the unknown without barbarism. One breath's long bough. Something soft to do. Pages to pass the day, daughters, death by old age. I am in the hermitage, I never leave but the door is always open. Everybody is welcome, but I have relinquished invitation altogether.

I envy in you the adventure of many deaths in which there are many rebirths. You envy in me a riverbed, stead however far I move, born once. I wish you were more precious; you wish I held less tight. I wish I could feel your eruptions, but I wish you could see the beach from down here: long, lateral, done and begun. The land is a vale but it sounds like the waves. Quiet, at last. We are all already old, and there is not much left to be solved. Mainly dancing. Here, the words "one", and "deeply", and "forever" are welcome, as I am licensing "one" faced with the denial of "all".

"Around Sumeru there are eight mountains and eight seas. This is the world for us… We ask who has learned the most, the one who has been to all eight mountains, or the one who has reached the summit of Sumeru?"

- Written by Caleb Carter

Giacomo Balla - Etymology of a Manifesto


: : from Italian, from manifestare, from Latin, to make public, from manifestum for evident, palpable, or of offenders caught in the act, from manus hand and -festus, from infest to attack, hostile, developing into palpable, in hand as in to make tangible : :

[to manifest is in the future-tense to create something or turn something from an idea into a reality but the past-tense of the thing that is manifest is the thing that has already become manifest]

{either fester is to become more intense to the point of rupture or fest as in festival which comes from the Latin meaning feast, or a day or period of celebration, typically for religious reasons}

(taken either as manner either a social behaviour or performance, or more simply a way in which a thing is done or happens or magic coming from magh similar to manipulation, to influence or predict events)

: : the efficacy of fortune-telling seen in the shock corridors of Italian futurism's noisy faith in light,* speed** and force*** over the worm-eaten noctambulist concerns of classic art. Violent electric moons throb with the same aggressive rhythm as their prophetic-aphoristic catechisms. Its perfumed ur-doxa: Words-in-freedom. Manifesto-poster. Poster-politics. There is no longer any beauty except the struggle.

*Street Light (1909) by Giacomo Balla

**The Hand of the Violinist (1912) by Giacomo Balla

***Futurist Synthesis of the War (1914) by F.T. Marinetti and others

- Written by Bryson Edward Howe

Pierre Marcel-Béronneau - Paladins

серафими многоꙮчитїй

The angel is a long imagined monster. I imagine Pierre Marcel-Béronneau's to visit disciples only on the edges of the world, their mouths melting from an asphalt face thousands of feet from home, on salt flats and alpine promontories. Deep spaces, written wide by time, where the wind steals papyrus secrets. I can't imagine the prayers that would call them there: pilgrims lost, afraid, too far. Angels, as the bible described them (and Alighieri draughted/Milton hallucinated), existed in a hierarchy of nine concentric choirs, whose each inner gradient closer illuminated the almighty word. They could only sing from one strata to the next, and so the ones that humankind can hear are, foremostly, scribes and translators, taking on a form that might soothe us as they tell us terrible things. But even these perfect birds of supple skin and golden lock are furthermost from God. You cannot comprehend his nearest locutors - cast out even these approximations: wings, eyes, bands of fire - and in the 15th Century the Old Church invented a letter for it, a trypophobic abomination to encompass its blinking chime: ꙮ. One: One-Zillion. When angels press their ears, like dragonflies, up to the glass of the principle triad, all they hear is "Holy! Holy! Holy!" ad infinitum and flock down in tears. Marcel-Béronneau emphasises this distance from their creator. For his angels, it seems a long, long fall. Scabbed in the earth's crust their soft androgyny is a half-formed carbon. Torn from the sparkling firmament, or otherwise transmuting the rock's weird spin, it was a painful growth into non-eternity's jagged shape and something bottomless was amputated between the blue and Blue. It is disquieting to look into their blindness that hallows the never-to-be-known, never-to-be-touched. Perhaps they are of a stuff closer to light, but they are nevertheless wholly beneath its kingdom. If that is true, where are we moored? As Marcel-Béronneau walks his Orpheus through fields of hands and hanged men with a baldachin lyre he writes even these bards drunk on song, impelled by mystery as Oisin love-lost and, finally, in prayer to the geometric empire of chord whose spirit remains unknown. Daylight but bonemeal of a rotting god, carrion; we can pray only to be nicked by its talon of lightning, briefly laurelled into a satyr of Pan. As in change, which is life, we are crushed into the mineral apparition of the true wave and never permitted its utterance lest our ears be wrecked, yet without it wrecked too, so sing. ꙮ

- Written by Caleb Carter

Hiroshi Sugimoto - Time Machine

If you put all the colours together, the result is white. Malevich, in his annihilation of artistic tradition, once called it the "colour of infinity". It sits at one extreme end of the chromatic scale, a silent colour embodying some unexpressed potential. This lucent white, through Sugimoto's lens, is a flash of time, blinding you with the rutilent totality of all colours. Sugimoto might argue it is the totality of all life in front of you, a confirmation against what he calls the "thinness of existence". But within this composition is a contradiction: it is all colours together but no colours at all. It is suspended between presence and absence, colour and non-colour, and how do you reckon that within the cavern of an empty, abandoned space? Large and opulent, these movie palaces and opera houses now sit in radiant lament. "Only when the world is observed and documented does it truly exist," Sugimoto wrote, an aspect of the absence of images existing in the space and in the white. Like an echo of silence.

Strange how a dreary world can suddenly change

To a world as bright as the evening star

What a difference when your vision is clear

And you see things as they really are

- Written by Bryson Edward Howe

Trouble Every Day - Un lac d'étoiles

À qui est ce cauchemar: She bites, he lies; I want you to love me like a lake holds the stars, but once the water is engulfed by daybreak the bed is an iris of hunger. He needs you in the ways he has tricked you to need him. In bed at 5am but don't wake me. "Don't wake me to join the rest of them sangfroid it's not the dream that I die from it's that thought every day. Every day for two months the same thought. Now my rabidity is in cuffs. Let our eyes become two hounds wrenched to the word, two in one ceaseless skull. It turns me on - plainly - to know that you are alive; in your turgid veins run futures. Don't look at the bruise and forget how the capillaries moaned - erupt in me - matter of fact mercy me abattoir, marry my steaming flank. Matter of fact You are My old friend's older sister when I come inside You tell Me I've put on weight I smell of pine Your hand is on My cheek You pull My forehead to Yours and kiss it on tiptoes I tide my breath to Yours like a motherless child You whisper don't stay away so long this time I say okay the clippers are rough on My scalp but Your palms are soft You wash beneath My fingernails My hands My arms already we're flirting and nothing will come of it You say okay You wring the cloth into the bowl of water and it looks like a lake from long ago okay You can go in now the beating doesn't last long I crack a rib I lose a tooth I marble to the fists I keep the tooth as a souvenir somewhere inside Me the surgery begins. Roll deep into the mauve don't stop, don't stop until my veins are full of wind. Like I'm hung from my ankles. Until my skin has been searched through like linen. Hung out like aged blood in bronze wind. Leave your molar in my neck like a star. Pick words from my follicles, black teeth that you deem ugly. See they were mine. Then see how my insides were distinct and wretched in the shape that I had gripped them. Choked and rearranged. Say we fit together with words like "at last". Say too late to go limp on your shoulders tonight, slack like the stars in a lake."?

So messed up, I want you here

In my room, I want you here

Now we're going to be face to face

And I'll lay right down in my favourite place

And now I wanna be your dog.

- Written by Caleb Carter

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