Bailin Studio




David Bailin

Washington’s Profile contained 100 endnotes that intimated but did not state out right the main narrative of the text but suggested an American travelogue.

The work was an attempt to create a subject through correspondence, allusion and fragmentation. It is a form of creating art that I follow to this day, albeit for a different medium: a search for meaningful relationships between disparate images and text by excavating old newspapers, magazines and books. Having found myself with the opportunity to show my work in my hometown, I thought it fitting and appropriate to revisit that manuscript and develop an exhibition of drawings that reflects the intention of the original manuscript – art from reconstruction.
Washington's Profile Book Jacket
I. The city is not easily embraced. Intimacy can be experienced without risk. Changes of tense are intended partly to give variety, partly to Indicate that (the) various events follow each other in time. Photographs emerge, suggesting found plans, and illustrating notable details. Witness how much was still unexcavated. Gone but not forgotten. The fantasies of a public mind: anything once worn retain some connection with the wearer and could be used to obtain magic influence. We need here call to mind the continuity of our presentation. Several projections of facades (tales of Facades and races, copies of several kinds of language and handwriting, recordings of several sounds and voices. All of these make up one picture. A single pose remains. Bound to have a point of view (i.e., above the ceiling; below the floor; behind at the door). Where’s are discovered. Not that the places are similar but that the shadows remind one of other spaces: a bridge, a street, an alley, a closet. It has received this Interpretation: the private lives and accessories all undated, at hand or nearby, have lost their personal reference. From this very spot, some well-known landmark, she means to be seen before she reaches the monument. "Could I make her fit the picture I had of her?"
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III. The place Itself is low ceiled. Located near the wide river edged with sand and grass, the road, whenever it came Into sight, studded with historic buildings, delightful curiosities and elegant architectural details, cleaves to the river and its oldest bridges, embraces park trees, vines and flowers, Incessantly points out lace curtains, rose bushes, potted geraniums … departs in a hurry, stopping occasionally to speak only for effect or to persons at a distance, to talk for Buncombe balderdash Indeed, to see (by imminent analysis) what ‘Nature’ has become and consequently life, and consequently man. Did like the scene appear, serenely pleasant, calmly fair? Or find signs of being in their world by Imagery or references drawn from 'tracks in the snow' so to speak (was it worth all the trouble to bring back a little dirt)? To sneak a peek at price tags and gale tags? Was all of this of less value than the transfiguration of Raphael, the Apollo of the Vatican, or the massy greatness of the coliseum? There is no shortage of such places or things between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. "I saw them myself; I heard then speak." Stepping nearer to her: "What is the truth of all this?"
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VII. Specifically Budget of Paradoxes, 1823-27, page 305. The passage concerned is copiously underlined in the copy the author owned. "On" the indefinite pronoun In French in the text. It is 'that about which' under the parenthesis between the lines according to the author's habit, these words appear: "against Newton's first section, Lagrange's derived finities, and Locke on Innate principles read between the lines, between eulogy and apology the resemblance is not phonetically close and is accidentals." Example: As if to capture some mystical link between word and image, compulsively outlines newspapers and advertisements, lifting to the ceremonious packaged graffiti, making art by casting a glance. In the supermarket, the apple is the model for Illustrating the dialectic of sense experience. "Under ordinary conditions my consciousness does not penetrate to my hands. “Gathering an accumulation of details, outfits, cash, carries, and wears, coupons and catalogue pictures, a whole frame of reference is developed embellished with trees, and allegorical statutes. The explanation and the word, the caption and the diagram, should always be reciprocal.Some portions underlined or circled have a note attached, others none; sometimes the difficulty of interpretation still remains. "I want to use the metaphor correctly", he says pointing to a sentence, "a course of life, a comma. And death, the period or point.” In light of this, the catalogue produces a separate reality from his and feeling subjectively threatened, creates the probably for unimagined pornography. The effect of nature before unknown, learned but never brought to light, already caught long ago reading his father's books…the greatest pleasures are ones that are hidden. At midnight, he turns the car off the road, off the soft shoulder into the park. He runs from the car, stops. “Switch on the brights!" The air, free of haze, forces hard outlines mercilessly close: gargoyle atop a high gate, faded fresco on a stucco wall, whimsical sculptured fountain. Only then did she see the backing that secured his wig, mustache, and beard to his head. In his many disguises lucidity do the ultimate crisis. She turns and looks into the backseat: books on Etruscan art, and historical villas, illuminated manuscripts, spoiled groceries, torn newspapers. It seemed as if he could interrogate a touching beauty. He dot dot dot paced along dot dot dot gravely and despondently. These ruins or fragments of historical identity, disfigured by restorations, rewrites, and translations, even with special attention, altered the appearance of and made recognition difficult.
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XII. How words fall cannot be confused with poetic license. “I see things in pictures.” Not content to skim the surface of things, compiles a reality out of conventional poses, notes to pages, postscripts to letters. Cross references become more valuable than text. Through the binoculars all that is seen is a right shoulder and arm, a section of wall, fragments of furniture, a crumpled tablecloth, half-emptied glasses, and inverted dishes. In an atmosphere where one can become speechless, there are advantages to securing an assemblage. Lost is that sense that handles dally life. “I know English. I know the words. I know the words in French and In Italian I know all the words.” No anecdotes Just discourse. So thought then, found afterwards. War, politics, friends, love, family with every window and roof filled with spectators, individually and in corners not expected, Inspires human Invention and displacement. Along the wide clean aisles, a tactic of stimulation creates a subtle form of entrapment. Even without thought, every object rightly seemed rediscovered in glance and smile and clasp and kiss Intruding on private lives and guarded emotions and persuading this man, this woman, to reveal themselves and their holdings. “This is the face I shave.” Desires, fears, and conversations approach this, approach that. get anywhere you have to step over dead bodies. Bronze is for heroes. Thinking vanishes, leaving the props behind. A pamphlet entitled 'From Your Window', 1950, concerned with the hinges of history “which are not here, not now” but occur when entering “some arched temple door or dusty colonnade or flashing suburban mall and centuries close, throwing everything against the door.”
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XIV. In the foreground is a framing of trees which stands out in silhouette as George Washington’s profile. The picture is In silhouette as George Washington' profile. The picture is signified on the map. Excavations brought to light scenes which are not unrelated to the present. There are poses. Other poses. A glossary through which the nature of convention reaches truth. Illustrating, one, the archaic smile and incorrect placing of the eye in profile; illustrating, two, the careful but angular and fluted treatment of garments; illustrating, too, the meticulous care of hair, a series of styles, pullbacks, flips, mini bobs, pontes, pageboys, and pigtails. Similarity is partial Identity. Running fingers along the edges of objects set in a line create images not dissimilar to advertisements. Relics of invention lie concealed in certain forms, points of inflection or cusp. He empties the contents of his pockets. Recall Dr. H. More (1614-1687) in Antitodes [sic] Against Atheism: “As for the many pretended intricacies in the Instance of the efformation of wasps out of the carcass of a horse. This was not by chance.”
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XVI. The museum is there to be visited. What expressions do we wear to approach It? What attitudes do we take in discussing it? The mere smell evokes whole civilizations. There are tables of figures and figures few and far between. Raising questions in other contexts as having yet another breakfast … as more is involved than a change of fashion. The uniform fascinates us (that, which in Its very nature, is by definition …). Nothing justifies a suspicion more than models after an ideal pattern. Distance is in some sense a function: from couch to dining room to porch to deathbed. Classification has superseded censorship. There is an impulse to facsimile. “You can take pictures with a dictionary. It's there in black and white. You can read it.” Gestures to her to unbutton her coat, looks at the bruises on her leg, opens the book to another page and pressed flowers fall out a psychic equivalent. “Is it the Image you find so striking or a sort of repulsion, a kind of pain associated with music?” A sensitive young man slides up to a lone and lovely older woman during an Intermission. “Aimez-vous Brahms?” One sentence makes clear understanding another. Conversation is good enough for most things said. (At least this could be said “a chilling frost beneath the silver beam.” Which Image seemed to be secured by pins.)
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XIX. Receiving a blow that staggered him, he … brushed his hand against the fence and walked to a point fifty yards from the building. A terrific bombardment of smoke imbues the air with sulfur yellows, rolling rusts and reds, so dense his flashlight barely finds the edge of the path. “My thoughts are in suspense.” Absent a greater vision. (Concerning ‘The Big Picture’, the cost is greater than its price; the slight contradiction between ‘Laws’ and ‘Facts’ is important to the theorists but not to engineers.) (Further concerning: the epic modernized by dropping ‘ands’ and inserting causality. For example, ‘The Miraculous Draft of Fishes’, after a cartoon by Raphael, completed in 1519, is reproduced as a jigsaw puzzle with 551 pieces in 1983.) We are at home among these patterns. In the wake of the light, images surface behind, exit side by side, rearrange with other images, vanish. Whole bodies, accessories, single utterances. The background of all these figures has been scraped off leaving a light, murky color as in the layout of the Spiegel Catalogue. We can recall the description by the English traveler, Richard Pococke (1704-65), concerning the practice of Roman portraiture in his “Description of the East”, “The head(s) of the sculpture(s) seem to be of another piece and of a more costly material (than that of the bodies and garments).” As then, now. The catalogue, one season ahead, does not question the usefulness of historic genres. Here the final days are missing. (“Well all. Well that!”) Style refines reality.
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XXI. In a short, enigmatic essay entitled “Preface on Landscape”: a physiognomy in tones of death, arid deserts, and solitude. Through the gaps glimpses of bare, sunlit flats; the view of a serrated ridge whose outline suggests a profile of a face gazing serenely towards the sky. Distances are greater than they seem. “Hovers in a trance above astronomical maps, postage stamps, erotic prints and first editions.” Much more than a chronicle of events. It requires strength or will to stand motionless against a geological counterpoint of Inkblots. He embraced a portrait of his parents. Further along the horizon a vision of a major motion picture. On the margins were critical marks.
XXII. Concerning the lines: “… a swelling whiteness of the sky and much pain floats in on a southern breeze.” THIS IS WHAT SHE SEES: Adorned with ribbons, garlands, putti, and game, carved, and chased with whimsy. Turrets, candles, and platters. No longer the vast open spaces. The scale is smaller. Miniature valleys follow one another in rapid succession. Strange captions pass the images. Whispers Into the ear ancient, mysterious legends. Perpetrates outrages at night by professing to hold intercourse with the departed. We have not located it in the sum of things that could fall under our eyes but are present only in the palm of her hand no cloth of silver, gold, or tissue, here. An appearance of something that was absent. It Includes consciousness. Things that have long since disappeared (recall the drunken expressions of the apostles; the several looks that cross the room … and then there are halos). “Her face up against a great pane of glass that shatters.” No last word and here there is one with no hands the feet and legs now need a champion. She looked up (her eyes thick with tears). “Show us your baby pictures.” We have no call to be thinking of private parts by uncovering a token of Eden regained. (That later.) Remember the submerged monuments on the island of Philae; sleepless nights tormented by the fear of not succeeding in putting centuries back together. Say rather that an ostensibly functional gesture is now re-enacted symbolically, as in the tied kerchiefs of the Bordelaise women. Still, drape the sheets over the naked statues, but show the seams and printed matter with wide spaces between the lines. Draw attention to the place, measure twice, cut once and dried. Later, steps like quotation marks, shadows, whirlwinds, pillars, and alt. At the Interstices fancies hearing a dissenting voice. One might apologize or it may be boldly said: “He may be left with some homeless monosyllables still on his hands.” (But) Silence speaks the scene.
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