Friday, August 17, 2007

the grain of sand which will be my world...


"my ear - whose ear? - harks to the rustle, the grating shriek and whistle of the moving sea - the solid liquid sea of the numberless grains of sand. but i - i am under the sand; seeded way in some still cell of my body, like the grain of the desert, biding my time. i am still and wait to enter the drop of water, the grain of sand which will be my world, my universe. from the center of me within the grain, i shall shoot up one bursting letter written in that air which is nothing until i write it."

brion gysin, unpublished text, 1960 - 63.

brion gysin comes from a long line of writers, who also spent a serious amount of time exploring drawing and painting (his doppelganger is probably henri michaux - both explored painting as writing under the influence of some serious hallucinogenics).

like most of the writers (and composers) who explored the visual arts, gysin's visual works are vastly underrated, and are generally mistakenly viewed as secondary to his writing. if you look at the things he made and the ideas he worked with, it wouldn't do his oeuvre justice to simply call him a writer. gysin was working within his own complex universe, where he continually experimented with writing, recording, painting, drawing, and light (with the dream machine). in some ways, the visual works developed more depth over time, than any other aspect of his work.

the small ink drawing above (which i managed to snare from a used book dealer ages ago), seems to encompass so many of gysin's ideas and approaches; but mainly i love how it connects with the short text above. the little rows of fragmented brush strokes are so evocative as fragments of other worlds, and seem to suggest that if one looks at them, and listens to them, long enough - they might contain an entire universe.

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Blogger the art of memory said...


11:08 AM  
Blogger woolgathersome said...

Yeah, this is just a stunning image and post. What a wonderful fragment to trap!!! In some ways it has the sensibility of the type of image you might see while looking at the Dream Machine and then, for whatever reason, it also reminds of the Borealis curtains of northern climates... Thank you for posting this!

2:19 PM  

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