22 sep. 2009

Blanco y negro: Jorge Palomo

Blanco y negro

Jorge Palomo

SAL, 1970


La distancia erótica entre el yo que desea y el yo que actúa, entre él que observa y él que se observa deseado, se encuentra omnipresente en la obra en fotografía digital de la exquisita y monumental serie de abstracciones geométricas de Jorge Palomo. El artista se apropia de imágenes publicadas en la web por sus mismos usuarios para – en sus propias palabras – “hacer obras de arte que provocan preguntas sobre la sexualidad y el deseo, el exhibicionismo y el voyeurismo, el espacio privado vs. el espacio público, y la representación gay.” Tras una repetición modular de imágenes seleccionadas exclusivamente por aspectos formales como el color y la textura crea abstracciones evocadoras de la geometría islámica, que sin embargo revelan un microcosmos cargado de significados yuxtapuestos y complejos.

Maestría en Bellas Artes en Nuevos Géneros del Otis College of Art & Design de Los Ángeles – 2001; Beca “Wild Canary” del Sr. Richard Marlis en la Escuela de Arte de Pont-Aven, Francia en 1998. La obra de Jorge Palomo ha sido presentada en numerosas exposiciones en la región. Destacan su participación en la IV Bienal de Artes Visuales del Istmo Centroamericano llevada acabo en el Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Panamá en el 2004; “Sensus Eroticus” en la Pinacoteca Roque Dalton de la Universidad Nacional de El Salvador en el 2006; así como la muestra curada por Lora McPhail titulada “Intimate Gesture” y presentada en Postartum en Long Beach, California en 1999. Su obra forma parte de la colección del Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo de Costa Rica. MB

Esperanto: David Foster-Wallace

David Foster-Wallace

USA, 1962-2008

From “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men”

We are supposed to revere David Foster Wallace for two reasons: 1) so-called intellectuals tell us that we should, 2) because he killed himself. I don't think Foster Wallace would first off want us to revere him at all because reverence is a disgusting sentimentalized emotion more akin to sheep than actual human beings. But if there is an insistence upon reverence by said sheep, then let it be for reasons other than what insulated critics tell us or that he got tired of battling depression in an ugly world. Now here's the fucking truth: I couldn't make it through Infinite Jest. I got bored after about a 100 pages. I read Consider the Lobster and could sense that the essay on Porn was really smart and clever - but didn't vibe with that either because for me jacking off and fucking isn't smart and clever - it's jacking off and fucking, as in monkey biological with minimal brain thrown in. So why am I writing about David Foster Wallace? Well, because he tried. Like really tried. Like tried like people don't try anymore. Like tried harder in one minute than most people do in a decade. Like suffered and died and shit, because he tried so hard, amidst a polluted ocean of people who weren't really trying. Jason Flores-Williams

B.I. #48 08-97


It is on the third date that I will invite them back to the apartment. It is important to understand that, for there even to be a third date, there must exist some sort of palpable affinity between us, something by which I can sense that they will go along. Perhaps go along (flexion of upraised fingers to signify tone quotes) is not a fortuitous phrase for it. I mean, perhaps, (flexion of upraised fingers to signify tone quotes) play. Meaning to join me in the contract an subsequent activity.’


?Nor can I explain how I sense this mysterious affinity. This sense that a willingness to go along would not be out of the question. Someone once told me of an Australian profession known as (flexion of upraised fingers) chicken-sexing, in ---’


‘Bear with me a moment, now. Chicken-sexing. Since hens have a far greater commercial value than males, cocks, roosters, it is apparently vital to determine the sex of a newly hatched chick. In order to know whether to expend capital on raising it or not, you see. A cock is nearly worthless, apparently, on the open market. The sex characteristics of newly hatched chicks, however, are entirely internal, and it is impossible with the naked eye to tell whether a given chick is a hen or a cock. This is what I have been told, at any rate. A professional chicken-sexer, however, can nevertheless tell. The sex. He can go through a brood of freshly hatched chicks, examining each one entirely by eye, and tell the poultry farmer which chicks to keep and which are cocks. The cocks are to be allowed to perish. “Hen, hen, cock, cock, hen,” and so on and so forth. This is apparently in Australia. The profession. And they are nearly always right. Correct. The fowl determined to be hens do in fact grow up to be hens and return the poultry farmer’s investment. What the chicken-sexer cannot do, however, is explain how he knows. The sex. It’s apparently often a patrilineal profession, handed down from father to son. Australia, New Zealand. Have him hold up a new-hatched chick, a young cock shall we say, and ask him how he can tell that it is a cock, and the professional chicken-sexer will apparently shrug his shoulders and say “Looks like a cock to me.” Doubtless adding “mate”, much the way you or I would add “my friend” or “sir”. ’


‘This is the aptest analogy I can adduce to explain it. Some mysterious sixth sense, perhaps. Not that I’m right one hundred percent of the time. But you would be surprised. We will be on the ottoman, having a drink, enjoying some music, light conversation. This is now on the third date together, late in the evening, after dinner and perhaps a film or a bit of dancing. I do very much like to dance. We are not seated close together on the ottoman. Usually I am at one end and she at the other. Though it is only a four-and-a-half-foot ottoman. It’s not a terribly long piece of furniture. However, the point is that we are not in a posture of particular intimacy. Very casual and so on. A great deal of complex body language is involved and has taken place over all the prior time spent in one another’s company, which I will not bore you by attempting to go into. So then. When I sense the moment is right --- on the ottoman, comfortable, with drinks, perhaps some Ligeti on the audio system --- I will say, without any discernible context or lead-in that you could point to as such, “How would you feel about my tying you up?” Those nine words. Just so. Some rebuff me on the spot. But it is a small percentage. Very small. Perhaps shockingly small. I will know whether it’s going to happen the moment I ask. I can nearly always tell. Again, I cannot fully explain how. There will always be a moment of complete silence, heavy. You are, of course, aware that social silences have varied textures, and these textures communicate a great deal. This silence will occur whether I’m to be rebuffed or not, whether I have been incorrect about the (flexion of upraised fingers to signify tone quotes) hen or not. Her silence, and the weight of it --- a perfectly natural reaction to such a shift in the texture of a hitherto casual conversation. And it brings to a sudden head all the romantic tensions and cues and body language of the first three dates. Initial or early-stage dates are fantastically rich from a psychological standpoint. Doubtless you are aware of this. Any sort of courtship ritual, game of sizing one another up, gauging. There is, afterward, always that eight-beat silence. They must allow the question to (finger flexion) sink in. This was an expression of my mother’s, by the way. To let such-and-such (finger flexion) sink in, and as it happens it is nearly perfect as a descriptor of what occurs.’


‘Alive and kicking. She lives with my sister and her husband and their two small children. Very much alive. Nor do --- rest assured that I do not delude myself that the low percentage of rebuffs is due to any overwhelming allure on my part. This is not how an activity like this works. In fact, it is one reason why I propose the possibility in such a bold and apparently graceless way. I withhold any attempt at charm or assuasion. Because I know, full well, that their response to the proposal depends on factors internal to them. Some will wish to play. A few will not. That is all there is to it. The only real (finger flexion) talent I profess is the ability to gauge them, screen them, so that by the --- such that a preponderance of the third dates are, if you will, (finger flexion) hens rather than (finger flexion) cocks. I use these avian tropes as metaphors, not in any way to characterize the subjects but rather to emphasize my own un-analyzable ability to know, intuitively, as early as the first date, whether they are, if you will (f. f.) ripe for the proposal. To tie them up. And that is just how I put it. I do not dress it up or attempt to make it seem any more (sustained f. f.) romantic or exotic than that. Now, as to the rebuffs. The rebuffs are very rarely hostile, very rarely, and then only if the subject in question really in fact does wish to play but is conflicted or emotionally inequipped to accept this wish to play and so must use hostility to the proposal as a means of assuring herself that no such wish or affinity exists. This is sometimes knows as (f. f.) aversion coding. It is very easy to discern and decipher, and as such it is nearly impossible to take the hostility personally. The rare subjects about whom I’ve simply been incorrect, on the other hand, are often amused, or sometimes curious and thus interrogative, but in all events in the end they simply decline the proposal in clear and forthright terms. These are the cocks I have mistaken for hens. It happens. As of my last reckoning, I have been rebuffed just over fifteen percent of the time. On the third date. This figure is actually a bit high, because it includes the hostile, hysterical, or affronted rebuffs, which do not result --- at least in my opinion --- which do not result from my misjudging a (f. f.) cock.’


‘Again, please note that I do not possess or pretend to possess specialized knowledge about poultry or professional brood-management. I use the metaphors only to convey the apparent ineffability of my intuition about prospective players in the (f. f.) game I propose. Nor, please also note, do I so much as touch them or in any way flirt with them before the third date. Nor, on that third date, do I launch myself at them or move toward them in any way as I hit them with the proposal. I propose it bluntly but unthreateningly from my end of a four-and-a-half-foot ottoman. I do not force myself on them in any way. I am not a Lothario. I know what the contract is about, and it is not about seduction, conquest, intercourse, or algolagnia. What it is about is my desire symbolically to work out certain internal complexes consequent to my rather irregular childhood relations with my mother and twin sister. It is not (f. f.) S and M, and I am not a (f. f.) sadist, and I am not interested in subjects who wish to be (f. f.) hurt. My sister and I are fraternal twins, by the way, and in adulthood look scarcely anything alike. What I am about, when I suddenly inquire, à propos nothing, whether I might take them into the other room and tie them up, is describable, at least in part, in the phrase of Marchesani and van Slyke’s theory of masochistic symbolism, as proposing a contractual scenario (no f. f.). The crucial factor here is that I am every bit as interested in the contract as in the scenario. Hence the blunt formality, the mix of aggression and decorum in my proposal. They took her in after she suffered a series of small but not life-threatening strokes, cerebral events, and simply could no longer get around well enough to live on her own. She refused to even consider institutional care. This was not even a possibility so far as she was concerned. My sister, of course, came immediately to the rescue. Mummy has her own room while my sister’s two children must now share one. The room is on the first floor to prevent her having to negotiate the staircase, which is steep and uncarpeted. I have to tell you, I know precisely what the whole thing is about.’


‘It is easy to know, there on the ottoman, that it is going to happen. That I have gauged the affinity correctly. Ligeti, whose work, you are doubtless aware, is abstract nearly to the point of atonality, provides the ideal atmosphere in which to propose the contractual scenario. Over eighty-five percent of the time the subject accepts. There is no (f. f.) predatory thrill at the subject’s (f. f.) acquiescence, because it is not a matter of acquiescence at all. Not at all. I will ask how they feel about the idea of my tying them up. There will be a dense and heavily charged silence, a gathering voltage in the air above the ottoman. In that voltage the question dwells until it has, comme on dit (f. f.) sunk in. They will, in most cases, abruptly change their position on the ottoman so as suddenly to straighten their posture, (f. f.) sit up straight and so on --- this is an unconscious gesture designed to communicate strength and autonomy, to assert that they alone have the power to decide how to respond to the proposal. It stems from an insecure fear that something ostensibly weak or pliable in their character might have led me to view them as candidates for (sustained f. f.) domination or bondage. People’s psychological dynamics are fascinating --- that a subject’s first, unconscious concern is what it might be about her that might prompt such a proposal, might lead a man to think such a thing might be possible. Reflexively concerned, in other words, about their self-presentation. You would almost have to be there in the room with us to appreciate the very, very complex and fascinating dynamics that accompany this charged silence. In point of fact, in its naked assertion of personal power, the sudden improvement in posture in fact communicates a clear desire to submit. To accept. To play. In other words, any assertion of (f. f.) power signifies, in this charged context, a hen. In the heavily stylized formalism of (f. f.) masochistic play, you see, the ritual is contracted and organized in such a way that the apparent inequality in power is, in fact, fully empowered and autonomous.’


‘Thank you. This shows me you really are attending. That you are an acute and assertive auditor. Nor have I put it very gracefully. What would render you and I, for example, going to my apartment and entering into some contractual activity that included my tying you up true (f. f.) play is that it would be entirely different from my somehow luring you to my home and once there launching myself at you and overpowering you and tying you up. There would be no play in that. The play is in your freely and autonomously submitting to being tied up. The purpose of the contractual nature of masochistic or (f. f.) bonded play --- I propose, she accepts, I propose something further, she accepts --- is to formalize the power structure. Ritualize it. The (f. f.) play is the submission to bondage, the giving up of power to another, but the (f. f.) contract --- the (f. f.) rules, as it were, of the game --- the contract ensures that all abdications of power are freely chosen. In other words, an assertion that one is secure enough in one’s concept of one’s own personal power to ritualistically give up that power to another person --- in this example, me --- who will then proceed to take off your slacks and sweater and underthings and tie your wrists and ankles to my antique bedposts with satin thongs. I am, of course, for the purposes of this conversation, merely using you as an example. Do not think that I am actually proposing any contractual possibility with you. I scarcely know you. Not to mention the amount of context and explanation I am granting you here --- this is not how I operate. (Laughter.) No, my dear, you have nothing to fear from me.’


‘But of course you are. My own mother was, by all accounts, a magnificent individual, but of somewhat shall we say uneven temperament. Erratic and uneven in her domestic and day-to-day affairs. Erratic in her dealings with, of her two twin children, most specifically me. This has bequeathed me certain psychological complexes having to do with power and, perhaps, trust. The regularity of the acquiescence is nearly astounding. As the shoulders come up and her overall posture becomes more erect, the head is thrown back as well, such that she is now sitting up very straight and appears almost to be withdrawing from the conversational space, still on the ottoman but withdrawing as far as she possibly can within the strictures of that space. This apparent withdrawal, while intended to communicate shock and surprise and thus that she is most decidedly not the sort of person to whom the possibility ever of being invited to permit someone to tie her up would ever even occur, actually signifies a profound ambivalence. A (finger flexion) conflict. By which I mean that a possibility which had hitherto existed only internally, potentially, abstractly, as a part of the subject’s unconscious fantasies or repressed wishes, has now suddenly been externalized and given conscious weight, made (f.f.) real as an actual possibility. Hence the fascinating irony that body language intended to convey shock does indeed convey shock but a very different sort of shock indeed. Namely the abreactive shock of repressed wishes bursting their strictures and penetrating consciousness, but from an external source, from a concrete other who is also male and a partner in the mating ritual and thus always ripe for transference. The phrase (no f.f.) sink in is thus far more appropriate than you might originally have imagined. Such penetration, of course, requires time only when there is (f.f.) resistance. Or for example doubtless you know the hoary cliché (f.f.) I can´t believe my ears. Consider its import.’


‘My own experience indicates that the cliché does not mean (sustained f.f.) I can’t believe this possibility now exists in my consciousness but rather something more along the lines of (sustained and increasingly annoyin f.f.) I cannot believe that this possibility is now originating from a point external to my consciousness. It is the same sort of shock, the several-second delay in internalizing or processing, which accompanies sudden bad news or a sudden, inexplicable betrayal by a hitherto trusted authority figure and so on and so forth. This interval of shocked silence is one during which entire psychological maps are being redrawn, and during this interval any gesture or effect on the subject’s part will reveal a great deal more about her that any amount of banal conversation or even clinical experimentation ever would. Reveal.’


‘I meant woman or young woman, not (f.f.) subject per se.’


‘The true cocks, the rare ones I have misjudged, will yield the briefest of these shocked pauses. They will smile politely, or even laugh, and then will decline the proposal in very direct and forthright terms. No harm, no foul. (Laughter.) No pun intented --- (f.f.) cock, foul. These subjects’ internal psychological maps have ample room for the possibility of being tied up, and they freely consider it, and freely reject it. They are simply not interested. I have no problem with this, with discovering I’ve mistaken a cock for a hen. Again, I am not interested in forcing or cajoling or persuading anyone against her will. I am certainly not going to beg her. That is not what this is about. The others --- the long, weighted, high-voltage pause, the postural and affective shock --- whether they acquiesce or become offended, outraged, these are the true hens, players, these are the ones whom I have not at all misjudged. As their heads are thrown back --- but their eyes are on me, fixed, looking at me (f.f.) gazing and so on, with all the intensity one associates with someone trying to decide whether or not they can (f.f.) trust you. With (f.f.) trust now connoting a great many different possible things --- whether you are having them on, whether you are serious but are pretending to have them on in order to forestall embarrassment should they be outraged or disgusted, or whether you are in earnest but mean the proposal abstractly, as a hypothetical question such as (f.f.) What would you do with a million dollars? meant to elicit information about their personality in possible deliberation as to a fourth date. And so on and so forth. Or rather whether it is in fact a serious proposal. Even as --- they are looking at you because they are trying to read you. To size you up, as you have apparently sized them up, as the proposal appears to imply. This is why I always propose it in a blunt, undisguised way, abjuring wit or segue or preparation or coloratura in the pronunciation of the contractual possibility. I want to communicate to them as best I can that the proposal is serious and concrete. That I am opening my own consciousness up to them and to the possibility of rejection and even disgust. This is why I answer their intense gaze with a rather bland gaze of my own and say nothing to embellish or complicate or color or interrupt the processing of their own internal psychic reaction. I force them to acknowledge to themselves that both I and the proposal are in deadly earnest.’


‘But again please note I am in no way aggressive or threatening about it. This is what I meant by (f.f.) bland gaze. I do not propose it in a creepy or lascivious way, and I do not appear in any way eager or hesitant or conflicted. Nor aggressive or threatening. This is crucial. You’re doubtless aware, from your own experience, that one’s natural unconscious reaction, when someone’s body language suggests a withdrawal or leaning-away from him, is automatically to lean forward, or in, as a way to compensate and preserve the original spatial relation. I consciously avoid this reflex. This is extremely important. One does not nervously shift of lean or lick one’s lips or straighten one’s tie while a proposal like this is sinking in. I once, on a third date, found myself with one of those annoying isolated jumping muscles or twitches in my scalp which seized on and off throughout the evening and, on the ottoman, made it appear that I was raising and lowering one eyebrow in a rapid and lascivious way, which in the psychically charged aftermath of the sudden proposal simply torpedoed the whole thing. And this subject was by no stretch of the imagination a cock --- this was a hen or I’ve never inspected a hen --- yet one involuntary twitch in one eye-brow decapitated the whole possibility, such that the subject not only left in such a frenzy of conflicted disgust that she forgot her purse and not only never returned for the purse but refused even to return telephone messages in which I phoned several times and offered simply to return the purse to her at some neutral public location. The disappointment nevertheless drove home a valuable lesson as to just how delicate a period of internal processing and cartography this post-proposal moment can be. My mother’s problem was that toward me --- her eldest child, the elder of the twins, significantly --- her nurturing instincts ran to rather erratic extremes or as it were (f.f.) hot and cold. She could not at one moment be very, very, very warm and maternal, and then in the flash of an instant would become angry with me over some real or imagined trifle and would completely withdraw her affection. She became cold and rejecting, rebuffing any attempts as a small child on my part to receive reassurance and affection, sometimes sending me alone to my bedroom and refusing to let me out for some rigidly specified period while my twin sister continued to enjoy unconfined freedom of movement about the house and also continued to receive warmth and maternal affection. Then, after the rigid period of confinement was over --- I mean to say the precise instant my (f.f.) time-out was completed --- Mummy would open the door and embrace me warmly and blot my tears away with her sleeve and would claim that all was forgiven, all was well again. This flood of reassurance and nurture would once again seduce me into (f.f.) trusting her and revering her and ceding emotional power to her, rendering me vulnerable to devastation all over again whenever she might choose again to turn cold and look at me as if I were some sort of laboratory specimen she’d never inspected before. This cycle played itself out repeatedly throughout our childhood relation, I am afraid.’


‘Yes, accentuated by the fact that she was by vocation a professional clinician, a psychiatric case-worker who administered tests and diagnostic exercises at a sanitarium in the neighboring town. A career she recommenced the moment my sister and I entered the school system as barely toddlers. My mother’s imago all but rules my adult psychological life, I am aware, forcing me again and again to propose and negotiate contracted rituals where power is freely given and taken and submission ritualized and control ceded and then returned of my own free will. (Laughter.) Of the subject’s, rather. Will. It is also my mother’s legacy that I know precisely what my interest in carefully gauging a subject and on the third evening suddenly proposing that she allow me to immobilize her with satin restraints is, derives, comes from. Much of the annoying, pedantic jargon I use to describe the rituals also derives from my mother, who, far more than did our kindly but repressed and somewhat castrated father, modeled speech and behaviour for us as children. My sister and I. My mother possessed a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work (sustained f.f.), on of the first conferred upon a female diagnostician in the upper Midwest. My sister is a housewife and mother and aspires to be nothing more, at least nor consciously. For example, (f.f.) ottoman was Mummy’s term for both the sofa and the twin love seats in our living room. My own apartment’s sofa has a back and arms and is, of course, technically a sofa or couch, but I seem unconsciously to insist on referring to it as an ottoman. This is an unconscious habit I seem unable to modify. In fact I have ceased trying. Some complexes are better accepted and simply yielded to rather than struggling against the imago by sheer force of will. Mummy --- who was, of course, after all, you are aware, someone whose profession involved keeping persons confined and probing and testing them and breaking them and bending them to the will of what stare authorities deemed mental health --- quite hopelessly broke my own will early on. I have accepted this and reached an accord with it and have erected complex structures in which to come symbolically to terms with it and redeem it. That is what this is about. Neither my sister’s husband nor my father were ever involved in poultry in any way. My father, until his stroke, was a low-level executive in the insurance industry. Though of course the term (f.f.) chicken was often used in our subdivision --- by the children with whom I played and acted out various primitive rituals of socialization --- to describe a weak, cowardly individual, an individual whose will could easily be bent to the purposes of others. Unconsciously, I may perhaps employ poultry metaphors in describing the contractual rituals as a symbolic way of asserting my own power over those who, paradoxically, autonomously agree to submit. With little other fanfare we will proceed into the other room, to the bed. I am very excited. My manner has now changed, somewhat, to a more commanding, authoritative demeanor. But not creepy and not threatening. Some subjects have to professed to see it as (f.f.) menacing, but I can assure you no menace is intended. What is being communicated now is a certain authoritative command based solely on contractual experience as I inform the subject that I am going to (no f.f.) instruct her. I radiate an expertise that may, I admit, to someone of a particular psychological makeup, appear menacing. All but the most hardened fowl begin asking me what it is I want them to do. I, on the other hand, very deliberately exclude the word (f.f.) want and its analogues from my instructions. I am not about expressing wishes or asking or pleading or persuading here, I inform them. That is not what this is about. We are now in my bedroom, which is small and dominated by a king-sized Edwardian style four-poster bed. The bed itself, which appears enormous and deceptively sturdy, might communicate a certain menace, conceivably, in view of the contract we have entered into. I always phrase it as (no f.f.) This is what you are to do, You are to do such-and-such, and so on and so forth. I tell them how to stand and when to turn and how to look at me. Articles of clothing are to be removed in a certain very particular order.’


Yes but the order is less important than that there is an order, and that they comply. Underthings are always last. I am intensely but unconventionally excited. My manner is brusque and commanding but not menacing. It is no-nonsense. Some appear nervous, some affect to appear nervous. A few roll their eyes or make small dry jokes to reassure themselves that they are merely (f.f.) playing along. They are to fold their clothes and place them at the foot of the bed and to recline and lie supine and to erase all vestige of affect or expression from their face as I remove my own clothing.’


Sometimes, sometimes not. The excitement is intense but not specifically genital. My own undressing has been matter-of-fact. Neither ceremonial nor hurried. I radiate command. A few chicken out part of the way through, but very, very few. Those who wish to go, go. The confinement is very abstract. The thongs are black satin, mail-order. You would be surprised. As they comply with each request, command, I utter little phrases of positive reinforcement, such as, for instance, Good and That’s a good girl. I tell them that the knots are double-slips and will tighten automatically if they struggle or resist. In fact they are not. In fact there is no such thing as a double-strip knot. The crucial moment occurs when they lie nude before me, bound tightly at wrists and ankles to the bed’s four posts. Unknown to them, the bed posts are decorative and not at all sturdy and could no doubt be snapped by a determined effort to free themselves. I say, You are now entirely in my power. Recall that she is nude and bound to the bedposts, spread-eagled. I am standing unclothed at the foot of the bed. I then consciously alter the expression on my face and ask, Are you frightened? Depending on their own demeanor here, I sometimes alter this to, Aren’t you frightened? This is the crucial moment. This is the moment of truth. The entire ritual --- perhaps ceremony would be better, more evocative, because we --- of course the whole thing from proposal onward is about ceremony --- and the climax is the subject’s response to this prompt. To Are you frightened? What is required is a twin acknowledgement. She is to acknowledge that she is wholly in my power at this moment. And she must also say she trusts me. She must acknowledge that she is not afraid I will betray or abuse the power I’ve been ceded. The excitement is at its absolute peak during his interchange, reaching a sustained climax which persists for exactly as long as it takes me to extract these assurance from her.’


‘Pardon me?’


‘I’ve already told you. I weep. It is then that I weep. Have you been paying even the slightest attention, slouched over there? I lie down beside them and weep and explain to them the psychological origins of the game and the needs it serves in me. I open my innermost psyche to them and beg compassion. Rare is the subject who is not deeply, deeply moved. They comfort me as best they can, restricted as they are by the bonds I’ve made.’


‘Whether it ends in actual intercourse depends. It’s unpredictable. There’s simply no way to tell.’


‘Sometimes one just has to go with the mood.’

Esperanto: Julia Díaz

Julia Díaz

SAL, 1917-1999

Julia Díaz nos pinta iluminados como en sueños, como somos cuando niños, como somos cuando nadie nos ve. De la niñez que pintó quizás añoraba un tiempo sin imposturas, donde los deseos se mezclan con el juego de manera pura e inocente. De las mujeres que retrató, pudorosamente cubiertas en ropa interior, quizás añoraba la ternura que no encontró en el mundo de poder -cruelmente implacable- en que se deslizaba. Sus retratos femeninos hablan elocuentemente de la sexualidad velada, que aun en plena década de la love generation, imperaba en la región.

Nacida en Cojutepeque y becada en la Europa de la post guerra, a su regreso en 1958 funda la Galería Forma, uno de los proyectos culturales más importantes del país al que dedicó –tristemente- sus mejores esfuerzos. Y tristemente, porque pudo haber sido una gran pintora si no hubiera sucumbido a la seducción del poder. Triste sociedad esta que condena la genialidad a una jaula burocrática que alimenta con fervor el monstruo de la mediocridad. Murió en San Salvador, en 1999. Su legado forma parte de dicha galería que hoy se alberga en la antigua casa del Patronato Pro-Patrimonio Cultural y que en el hervor de la tarde abre sus puertas a pequeños bazares de artesanías. CM

Terraemotus: Jurgen Ureña Arroyo

Quizás, quizás, quizás: Wong Kar-wai

Jurgen Ureña Arroyo


Suspendida en la cuerda floja entre el apreciar y el hacer, la producción del costarricense Jurgen Ureña comprende artículos sobre cine y una serie de curiosos cortometrajes, mitad documental, mitad ficción. Sus audiovisuales se han proyectado en los festivales cinematográficos de Cannes, La Habana, Washington y Cartagena entre otros. Ureña los ha llamado en alguna ocasión -parafraseando a Cabrera Infante- “generosos exorcismos de estilo”. Su más reciente cortometraje, “La piel cansada” (2008) fue proyectado en el Short Film Corner del Festival de Cannes 2009. Actualmente trabaja en el guión de su primer largometraje de ficción, titulado “Días rotos”. Ureña nos hace un destellante recuento impresionista de la filmografía de uno de los grandes de este siglo: Wong Kar-wai, para quien el cine “es siempre recuerdo amoroso”.

Wong Kar-wai supera ya los cincuenta años, aunque sus infaltables anteojos oscuros y su estudiada informalidad sugieren que roza apenas los treinta. Esta apariencia a prueba de prisa y de polvo –este look cool, dirían algunos– coincide con su vistosa filmografía, heredera de los lenguajes del videoclip y la publicidad. No es casual que sus elencos incluyan estrellas de la música pop oriental como Leslie Cheung o Faye Wang, y que su nombre aparezca publicado a menudo bajo las siglas WKW, a la manera mínima y efectiva de MTV o BMW.

Tras la sencillez de las siglas WKW surge la complejidad de la ciudad de Hong Kong, el colorido de los años sesenta y la cadencia del bolero latinoamericano. ¿Cómo confluye todo esto en la obra de un solo director? Wong Kar-wai responde conforme recuerda: “Cuando llegué a Hong Kong tenía cinco años, y lo primero que me impresionó fue la música y los sonidos de la ciudad. En los años sesenta, en los bares y night clubs, actuaban las bandas filipinas que introdujeron la música latina en Oriente. Me fascinaban los boleros; los encontraba divertidos”.

El cine según Wong Kar-wai es siempre recuerdo amoroso: de una melodía, de un instante, de una noche, de una película o incluso de un fotograma. El director confirma esta idea cuando habla de su particular proceso creativo: “Algunas veces, las situaciones, los personajes o las localizaciones me recuerdan algo. De repente me doy cuenta de que todo lo que elegí me lleva, por ejemplo, al cine de Antonioni”.

Jazz y nostalgia

Cuando las lágrimas pasen (1989), primera película dirigida por Wong Kar-wai, es una pieza refinada del cine gangsteril asiático. El intercambio de venganzas por parte de las bandas rivales, tal como dictan las leyes del género, y el propio ejercicio de escritura de un guión “normal”, representan, para el joven cineasta, una carga que abandona decididamente a partir de su segundo largometraje.

Con Días salvajes (1991), Wong Kar-wai desarrolla una serie de claves estilísticas que desde entonces caracterizan su filmografía: el delicado trazo fotográfico del australiano Christopher Doyle, la voz en off que confiere a las acciones una dimensión evasiva, los boleros cantados en castellano y la construcción de atmósferas sugerentes, por encima de la continuidad del relato.

Cenizas del tiempo (1994) es una costosa película de artes marciales que ha intercambiado las peleas acrobáticas por los laberintos cronológicos y emocionales. Es también la confirmación de la añoranza y el amor imposible como temas esenciales en el cine de Wong Kar-wai: “Mis personajes están terriblemente solos, pero quieren dejar de estarlo. Buscan desesperadamente algo; lo malo es que aquello que buscan ya ha pasado. Entonces surgen la nostalgia, la culpa y el dolor”, añade el cineasta.

Principio de incertidumbre

Chungking Express (1994) es un filme caprichoso, fresco e impredecible, que Wong Kar-wai rueda durante una pausa de dos semanas en el montaje de Cenizas del tiempo. El desprecio por los métodos establecidos alcanza sus notas más agudas en esta inspirada obra. Tras el rodaje de Ángeles caídos (1995), película de trámite y gimnasia narrativa, el cineasta busca en el planisferio las antípodas de la ciudad de Hong Kong y encuentra en Buenos Aires el escenario de su próxima hazaña.

Con Happy together (1997), Wong Kar-wai se acerca al universo homosexual y a los bajos fondos de la capital argentina. Además, sigue el rastro del escritor Manuel Puig, una de sus influencias más significativas: “Leí a Puig cuando estaba en el colegio, y me inspiró esa manera de contar las historias, ese algo indefinible que me gustaría transmitir con mi cine”, explica el director.

Deseando amar (2000) es otra vuelta de tuerca al tema de la añoranza y el deseo, tal vez la última posible: “Resultaría aburrida una película sobre un hombre y una mujer que se aman y se conocen en el momento preciso y son felices. ¿A quién le importa eso? Me interesa más saber qué les ocurre a estas personas que no se encuentran nunca”, concluye Wong Kar-wai.

2046, estrenada en el 2004, es un aporte coherente con ese gran lienzo que el cineasta ha pintado a lo largo de su carrera. Es también el número de habitación desde la que escribe el lacónico protagonista, y el año en que transcurre el relato literario que habita este modelo para armar que –para efectos prácticos– llamamos película. 2046 es la historia de un hombre que se engaña al creer que escribe sobre el futuro cuando en realidad escribe sobre su pasado; es un filme intimista que seduce mediante la simetría y el ritmo; es una película de ciencia ficción y una variante cinematográfica del bolero latinoamericano.

Los criterios tradicionales no funcionan demasiado bien ante este colorido y amplio trazado. Quizá convenga relajarse un poco y cambiar de postura dos o tres veces, como sugiere la voz resignada de Nat King Cole, en la película Deseando amar: “Siempre que te pregunto que ¿cuándo?, ¿cómo? y ¿dónde?, tú siempre me respondes: ‘Quizás, quizás, quizás’”.

Pienso, luego existo: Carla López Méndez

Introducción al vacío
Carla López Méndez


Una ley alquímica muy antigua sostiene que la materia teme al vacío. La materia huye se contrae, reniega de la creación ante la presencia del vacío. El vacío, esa nada que es complemento del todo. Otra ley igualmente antigua y de indudable solera alquímica quiere que a la poesía le pase lo contrario que a la materia. La poesía se ve atraída por el vacío, por el vértigo irresistible que nos ofrecen las cosas leves. Y a veces se contagia de ellas. La voz del verso entonces se complace en susurrar sus cadencias internas. De ese contagio y de esa atracción nos habla Carla López Méndez en esta selección de diez poetas salvadoreños. RER

¿Cómo hacer una introducción a esta poesía que parece flotar?

La poesía de pronto se convierte, se vuelve el disfraz ideal (la substancia) del escritor, quien deja caer prenda por prenda hasta dejar por fin desnuda la idea. Aquí el autor se detiene y la poesía se concentra en el poema, se vuelve el personaje que nos habla con su lenguaje propio: la palabra.

Diez poetas salvadoreños con estilos particulares y algunas temáticas en común nos muestran la levedad que habita en cada uno. La sencillez con la que el poema se vuelve tan ligero aún llevando sobre sí significados profundos y con fuerza como son el paisaje interior de la infancia, el discurso del pasado real o imaginado, la ciudad en mutación constante, los lugares vistos casi gastados de tan vistos y sin embargo nuevos al poeta, el tema de la muerte con voz de soledad, etc.

La levedad comienza con una poesía lejana, casi intocable, que persigue lo abstracto dond el tiempo parece detenerse: Cada vez que el nimbo te besa –inicia Nathaly Castillo Menjivar- para continuar con la caída sutil huyendo de la descripción concreta.

Opuesto a este juego de lo efímero, Paola Lorenzana en “Cueva alegre y trono/letrina/rupestre” comienza llenándonos de objetos que reconocemos al momento, que podemos detallar en nuestra mente al ser nombrados: Carretera de vaquitas / caballos sin cola / y conejitos sin orejas, lo cuenta con una musicalidad agradable, alegre, casi infantil: el trono/letrina de cucarachas que saludan y no dan miedo.

Tania Pleitez Vela amarra también con aparente simpleza el significado exacto y puro de la poesía, en una brevedad por demás sorprendente; como una flecha certera dice: tengo todo, hasta el vacío.

Pero dentro del vacío también flota la sombra. Cómo no notar ese lenguaje agresivamente sonoro en “La desmemoria” de Eleazar Rivera: las montañas rugen // El viento golpea en un pasado sin rostro.

Mario Zetino confunde las palabras con relámpagos negros / que germinan y escapan y no dicen y queman que surgen como huracanes de los dedos.

Herbert Cea muestra la imagen de la sangre ya no como parte vital de nuestro cuerpo sino como un fluir doloroso del alma: si es mi sangre / un viento seco y pardo / un grito, / un final, poema que exige un Dios presenciando el dolor: quemaré mis manos, señor, / para que de esta sombra no nazca otra sombra. Nos lleva aún más allá de la visión.

Unido a este grito, lamento poético, se encuentra Ana Escoto: Los amuletos ya no retiene la suerte (…) y hoy ruedan gritando las cabezas, de nuevo la desesperanza pues encontrarnos ya no es cosa de este mundo donde la muerte alcanza a sentarse en el poema.

Dejando a un lado ese tono oscuro un tanto pesimista, sin embargo descrito en un lenguaje sin obstáculos ni rupturas semánticas, está la otra arte también real, también imaginada: La ciudad. Atreverte a hablar como Paola de esta Venezuela (América Latina) en un rostro estirado con tristeza anoréxica y globalizada es retar a la modernidad y al supuesto progreso.

Este lenguaje citadino presente también en los versos de Susana Reyes: desde la ventana / la ciudad ha entrado a esta habitación, se impone a escala de grises. Reyes nos atrae con la cotidianidad de su fotografía poética-urbana: un perro negro cruza la calle / La ciudad y sus sonidos / se cuelan bajo mi pecho, en su poema esconde un lugar trágico entre palabras conicidad e identificables.

Partícipe de estos movimientos donde la profundidad toma dimensiones arriesgadas, se encuentran las palabras de Krisma Mancía; su texto comienza con una amargura más allá de la tristeza: Muero, pero sólo a veces, / cuando mis pies tocan la tierra del sur (…) en un espacio vaporoso donde la luz no calienta los rostros. Poco a poco nos conduce a lo fantástico, al circo de las calles llenas de perros con sombrillas y abrigos de domingo, agarrados de la mano de sus amos / como una ilusión óptica de un amor bestial (…) atrapando todo lo verde del jardín hasta que de repente todo se sumerge.

Retornando al poeta Eleazar que en Argonauta mimetiza su mundo con el agua, utiliza u coherente mar semántico (puesto que deja de ser campo para volverse acuático) crea una ciudad y escribe: Son diez mil las sirenas de mi cuarto, fantasía que termina como la realidad, a la expectativa de lo peor, ser devorado por el propio mundo Víspera de mi infierno.

Antes de dejarse guiar por esta metáfora caníbal, donde el derredor nos consume y viceversa aparece Carlos Clará con su Quinta revelación del no retorno que hace del sitio habitado un territorio encendido con personajes como la tarde, Charly Parker y Alejandra, quien más bien es una pequeña Alicia enamorada, la historia con jazz de fondo, ciudad donde se es extranjera en las noches donde eras viajera / y tu cama se partía en dos como las sagradas escrituras huyendo con la mujer venida del mar.

La ciudad con sus ciclos cerrados, el retorno lo que llamamos origen, casa, me hacen recordar a Paola Lorenzana: Tengo viaje y avión / con sensación de un país cercano / de un regresar a casa / y no saber cómo regresar.

En este recorrido interno por los versos de cada uno de estos poetas del vacío, le deseo, lector, un buen viaje.

Publicado originalmente en la revista "La línea del cosmonauta"

y reproducido aquí gracias a la autorización de su autora.