«Space, contexts, score»
Vladimir Martynov: "In anticipation of the Touch"
Michel Foucault's book "Words and Things" that was published in 1966 ended in a famous passage of the imminent disappearance of humankind that is fated to disappear "This is the way a face drawn in the coastal sand fades". Then, in the 1960s, that seemed, perhaps, not so remote , still future fact. Now we can all see the wave of time washing away the residual features of humanity.
In Miskonte’s mythologies it washes away two girls playing on the beach, as well as the paint flowing down Dick Bobert’s face, and Tadio going off to the sea. The sea returns all the washed away. It comes back to us in shapes of strange characters, archaic patterns, and mysterious letters in an unknown language - emerging among the waves and clouds smoking at the horizon. Is this a form of separation and death, or anticipation of a new life? We have no answer to this question. We can only stand and watch, just like the speechless court stared at Ludwig lifted from the water deep. Ludwig - like Vermeer’s Christ lying on the beach – that is all what has been left of the Western Culture and the Western Man. But who are the we watching it all. Who are the we in our readiness to proclaim:
- "The man is dead"
- "Long live the man!"?
To try to answer this question let me recall a fairly well-known story that happened on a remote island lost in the endless expanse of the Pacific Ocean. During the Second World War, Americans began to use the island as a military base. American planes used to land there. American pilots gave the local savages chewing gum, canned food and other attributes of civilization. So the local savages revered American pilots for the gods descending from the sky and presenting them with gifts. But the war ended, and the American planes no longer visited the island. Then the savages built a plane out of the grass, flowers and bush branches so that the gods could see the aircraft image from the sky, recall of the savages, and come to them with heavenly gifts again.
In this regard, I will talk not about us, but about myself only. I am just a miserable savage, trying to remind about myself to the Great Spirit of Western Culture and the inhabitants of heaven that have left us. My things are just grass planes simulating the real aircrafts. The thing is an image of Haydn, Schubert, Mahler and Schoenberg. They are not intended for flying, they are intended for attracting the attention of the gods, they are designed for reminding of us to the God of Western European music that has left us. Photos of seascapes are just lined music paper awaiting unknown hands to touch it, or grass and signs occurring accidently among the waves, or clouds, and they are just an anticipation of that touch.