reading OSHA's Up Against the Wall Motherf**ker: A Memoir of the Sixties with Notes for Next Time



From: "lynn phillips"
To: "'john douglas'"
Subject: RE:
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2009

Just read your comments on the show..

I'm upset that you see your work as being restricted in meaning to the reign of Bush, and that you think you are "fini."

Your line of inquiry will continue to have relevance in the Age o'Bama, I promise.

The new stuff is particularly beautiful. Gericault and the fog of war in the naked mind and body of us all. I like the way the images are evolving from "Americana" framing into a kind of biology, something that emerges from the intelligence of the cells, and of the swarm. I think that's accurate and important.

There is still plenty of slaughtering going on, and, as usual, we Americans are far from the only ones doing it. It's in the meat of the species. Sure war is social and political -- but it is not only that, which is important when trying to understand our mad affection for it.

If you really are done exploring these images of the self and nakedness, prosthetic power and intent to kill, I am sorry, because you are moving further into art with them, and there is further and deeper you can still go.

Hating Bush, like hating anything, is a response whose value has strict limits. If you're reached them, good, but don't make the limits of hatred your own as an artist. Politics, important as it is, is by itself an impoverished view of the world, half-blind by necessity and incapable of curiosity about humanity -- as distinct from a preference for certain interest groups.

Carry on, old boy.  



getting the show together