malcolm de chazal

 

from SENS PLASTIQUE

A bicycle rolls on the road.
The road is the third wheel
Rolling the other two.

The water says to the wave,
“You are swallowing me.”
“How could I?”
Replied the wave,
“I am your mouth.”

The dew
Said to the sun,
“Do you see me?”
“No,” said the sun.
“I am your eyes.”

With their peaks
Two mountains
Were touching a cloud.
For an instant
The cloud felt
Topsyturvy
Unable to find
Its head.

When the fine
Seized the branch
The branch gave way
And the flower
Stuck its head out
To see what was going on.

Fanning yourself?
Not so.
The fan’s in the wind’s hand
That’s why
You feel cool.

“I’ve gone all the way around
The Earth,”
One man said.
“Poor fellow
And all that time
You haven’t progressed
Half an inch
In your body.”

The pupil
Turned the eyes
The iris followed
The white of the eye
Delayed
Just long enough
Friend
for you
To slip into the face
Of the one you love.

“I love you,”
The woman said.
“Be careful,”
Said her lover,
“Don’t love me
Too much
Or you’ll come back
To yourself
Love is round.”

“One and one
Make two”
Said the mathematician.
What’s that
To God and the zero?

Cut water
As much as you like
Never
Will you find
The skeleton.
The skeleton of wind
In life itself.

The eye
Is a oneactor
Theater.

Absolute
Mastery
Of the body
Comes only in death.

“I’ll never
Be
Old”
Said the man
“I have hope.”

Emptiness
Has no
Way
Out.

If light unfurled
Its peacock tail
There would be
No room
For life.

Sugar
Doesn’t know
What it tastes like.
Someone
Tasting it
Gives sugar
A taste of sugar.

A stone
Hears its heart beat
Only
In the rain.

The circle
Is an alibi
For the center
And the center
Is a pretext
For the circle.

The quickest route
From ourselves
To ourselves
Is the Universe.

Blue
Always has
An idea
Up its sleeve.

Night
Is a rimless
Hole.

The road
Runs
In both directions
That’s why
It stands still.

“Take me
Naked”
The flower said
To the sun,
“Before
Night
Closes
My thighs”

The noise,
bit off bits of itself
And left
Its teeth
Among
The keys
Of the piano.

She wore
Her smile
Pinned
To her teeth.

Light
Dressed
For the afternoon
Went
To play golf
With the holes.

The lake
This morning
After
A bad
Night
Got into
Its tub
To relax.

The wave
Out of its depth
On the shore
Went down.

He was
In such a hurry
To get to life
That it
Let him go.

She anchored
Her hips
In his eyes
And brought him
To port.

The car
Will never
Attain
The speed
Of the road.

haidt on morality

“Morality binds and blinds. It binds us into ideological teams that fight each other as though the fate of the world depended on our side winning each battle. It blinds us to the fact that each team is composed of good people who have something important to say.”

– Jonathan Haidt,    The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion

the righteous mind by jonathan haidt

Andres Serrano´s Piss Christ is a photograph is of a small plastic crucifix submerged in what appears to be a yellow liquid. The artist has described the substance as being his own urine in a glass. The photograph was one of a series of photographs that Serrano had made that involved classical statuettes submerged in various fluids—milk, blood, and urine.The full title of the work is “Immersion (Piss Christ)”.The photograph is a 60×40 inch Cibachrome print. It is glossy and its colors are deeply saturated. The presentation is that of a golden, rosy medium including a constellation of tiny bubbles. Without Serrano specifying the substance to be urine and without the title referring to urine by another name, the viewer would not necessarily be able to differentiate between the stated medium of urine and a medium of similar appearance, such as amber or polyurethane.

Serrano has not ascribed overtly political content to Piss Christ and related artworks, on the contrary stressing their ambiguity. He has also said that while this work is not intended to denounce religion, it alludes to a perceived commercializing or cheapening of Christian icons in contemporary culture.

” Here’s a thought experiment. Are you deeply offended by works of art such as Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ, which depicts Jesus as seen through a jar of urine, or Chris Ofili’s The Holy Virgin Mary, which shows Mary smeared with elephant dung? So offended that you think they ought to be banned and the galleries that display them prosecuted? No? OK, then try replacing the religious figures in these pictures with the sacred icons of progressive politics, people such as Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. How would you feel if you walked into an art gallery and saw an image of King submerged in urine or Mandela smeared with excrement?

Many people are likely to feel torn. Liberals know the reasoned arguments for freedom of expression and the importance of being consistent on matters of principle. On the other hand, it would be surprising if they did not also feel disgusted and affronted. How dare anyone pass off such gratuitously offensive images as works of art?  Shouldn’t they be stopped? Jonathan Haidt, who gives a version of this thought experiment in his provocative new book, wants us to know that reason and instinctive outrage are always going to co-exist in cases like this. What’s more, in most instances, it’s the outrage that will be setting the agenda.

The arresting image Haidt gives for our sense of morality is that it’s like a rational rider on top of an intuitive elephant. The rider can sometimes nudge the elephant one way or the other, but no one should be in any doubt that the elephant is making the important moves. In fact, the main job of the rider is to come up with post-hoc justifications for where the elephant winds up. We rationalise what our gut tells us. This is true no matter how intelligent we are. Haidt shows that people with high IQs are no better than anyone else at understanding the other side in a moral dispute. What they are better at is coming up with what he calls “side-arguments” for their own instinctive position. Intelligent people make good lawyers. They do not make more sensitive moralists.

Where do these moral instincts come from? Haidt is an evolutionary psychologist, so the account he gives is essentially Darwinian. Morality is not something we learn from our parents or at school, and it’s certainly not something we work out for ourselves. We inherit it. It comes to us from our ancestors, ie from the people whose instinctive behaviour gave them a better chance to survive and reproduce. These were the people who belonged to groups in which individuals looked out for each other, rewarded co-operation and punished shirkers and outsiders. That’s why our moral instincts are what Haidt calls “groupish”. We approve of what is good for the group – our group.”

Read the rest of Runciman´s text here