Frank Moore. Yes I remember stumbling around the interweb one slightly tipsy night a few years ago, elbowing my way into websites and back out again until I fell into Franks. It was like a big top experience with sideshows and messages. Intrigued I followed some links ("ooh I like the name 'shamans den'") and watched some footage of Frank sitting in his wheelchair directing some sex play in front of him. I was unsure what to make of it to be honest, it felt a bit like I had popped into the secret location of a off grid cult (have you ever watched Martha, Marcy May, Marlene?). I clearly did not 'get' it. I was, to be honest, slightly creeped out. I made my silent apologies and edged out backwards. It was not Frank's disability that put me off, I have known plenty of disabled people. I guess I perhaps just cannot make the mental leap into eroticism from that standpoint; it felt too 'clicky', too abstract, for my pre-conditioned expectations of what I perceive to be erotic.
When I started following your journey it was because I had started using Vimeo and had been warmed (if that is the word) up by '030' by The Good The Bad (Uncut) and wanted more so started nosing around the site. I found you and because the music was edgy and well mixed, and there you were strutting your sunkissed, frankly gorgeous bod to a narrative (and who doesn't like a good story) I was hooked. so started a journey that has turned more cerebral than I initially expected, but one of which I am very grateful for. (as an aside have you seen Calvato's 'Lucid Dreams' on Vimeo?...omg). Anyway, I want to be more open minded, and this is your lesson to me at the moment; Stop, look, learn, accept, roll with it.
On your website I noticed a link to Frank Moore's site and it rang a bell so I went with it with new (and hopefully more 'open') eyes. There was the website as I remembered it, but with a sad message saying Frank had passed. I remember writing to you at the time saying that it was sad we had lost both Reed and Moore as clearly they were both influences on you, and therefore are secondary influences on me. But I confess Frank was not on my radar like he was yours. I also said something along the lines of you are entering stage right as they exit stage left. Though, If I am honest, I prefer your work to both.
I think the narrative is the element missing in Frank's work to me. They stand as concepts and performances, but I do not get the full interplay of the characters. By the time I had first seen Frank (on that wine fuelled quest around the interweb many nights ago) he was struggling to make himself understood. Looking at his Vimeo channel today; the last few videos he seemed more of a prop (albeit a very willing one) to performances being carried out around him. What creative input he has given to these performances is missing to me, although I suspect if you know his work and are influenced by it then you would tell me it is all his work and that the performances are his ideas being put into practice?
Anyways, as always girl you have created a beautiful tribute in words that vibrate in their honesty.
"Basquiat Pretentions: - leapt out at me. I had never heard of him. Looked him up now of course, pretentious? moi? I guess New York had Reed, London has Bowie. New York had Basquiat, London has Banksy. There are always two sith' a master and an apprentice'.
Bukowski is a fine poet indeed; however I like my poetry to be more lyrical, and here is one I love on the current subject of 'warm impermanence':
Never hides your broken bones
And I don't know why
You want to try
It's plain to see you're on your own
Oh, I ain't blind, no
Some folks are crazy
Others walk that borderline
Watch what you're doing
Taking downs to get off to sleep
And ups to start you on your way
After a while they'll change your style
I see it happening every day
Oh spare your heart
Everything put together
Sooner or later falls apart
There's nothing to it, nothing to it
And you can cry
You can lie
For all the good it'll do you
You can die
But when It's done
And the police come, and they lay you down for dead
Just remember what I said
Paul Simon 1972
Of course Bukowski is more Dylan than Simon, but I seem to gravitate towards the warm crocheted duvet of Simon's work than the hard rain soaked pavement of Dylans even though I love them both. Lay Lady Lay moves me to tears in its simplistic honesty.
"And Sex Certainly Isn't Neat - Well Mine Isn't" - Sex suffers linguistically. It is used as a noun and a verb. You mean verb; and I agree. If it is not messy, awkward, and at times uncomfortable, you are not doing it properly. Or enough.
"Like an idea in a straight jacket" - This is a great analogy that invokes Moores physical condition whilst carrying the narrative into the psychological, then political.
"And this is what mainstream society does, all day long, every day, blink, a lot, while saying what the fuck?" - Think me a couple of years ago. Yes that was me. Maybe still is me. But Socrates said 'the unexamined life is not worth living': I have to challenge even the alternative viewpoint, even if it is so off the chart 'out there' that only 5 people in the world understand it.
"You got the look and smell of a Houdini about you - I couldn't restrain that homeboy either" - Genius. You wrap the tale of affliction that Moore endured and note the canon of his work outstrips a perceived expectation...
The bit about you hiding your face is interesting. I noted the fact in the early days. We are animals that look first for the eyes (before surreptitiously checking out other parts of the body).
I draw a bit. My life would have turned out very different if we had had money, but I had to go to work at 16. Not art college which I yearned to do. Recently I decided to go to adult art class with my sister, and the first night we had a life model; a lovely girl of about 19 or 20, who the lecturer made stand right in front of my desk. As it was my first day, I was told to only sketch her face in pencil. My eyes had to travel up and down that body from paper to face without stopping at her large breasts, flat tummy, lightly furred pussy or shapely legs at all. It was very hard. I managed it, I think. I was left with a quite intense looking drawing of her face. She was looking into my eyes the whole time. I tell this story to emphasise the fact I know that you know that I know that you know that society has preconditioned most of us to find it hard not to stare at nakedness. The face is king until the clothes come off, then you need a sign saying 'hey! the face is up here!' round your neck.
But nakedness is not porn. Not even close. Showing your face was a brave move though and I understand your misgivings. The anonymity must have been comforting. You do not have a silly face. It is a rather beautiful one. Look after it. Wear sunscreen.
I chatted to the model at break time and she told me that she used to model for a photography class too but stopped after the lecturer had told her to put her hands on her head then jump around like a lunatic whilst they took photographs of her bouncing breasts. She refused saying that she was there to model not to pander to some perceived male fantasy. Bingo. She wasn't. She was prepared to shed her clothes. Be posed in an all male testerone fuelled room, but was not prepared to pander to any freakiness. She wasn't adventurous or enlightened, but I fully understand her decision. It is one that you have pointed out before; society has drilled into her, but It is also her right to set her own limits.
My Art class was more like a doctors waiting room than the erotic shutter snap of a life photography class, mostly ladies and gay men painting fruit. But I loved the life classes as a glimpse into that 'forbidden journey' of the free and expected ogle at the body. What a pervert I am. Or is it pervart?
Your conversation with God (Freeman is God, whoever cast him in Bruce Almighty was Genius) made me smile.
As a thought provoking tribute you are bang on girl. This is a statement. A reference in your chapter to the bibliography of experience.
I have asked you to forgive my naivety before. I have led a happy sheltered life with the love of my life. I have just turned 50 in December and can reflect back with some honesty. In my mind though I am a pure rock and roll twentysomething and sleeping in the gutter with Dylan, Kerouac, Liz Phair and Marilyn. Imagination is something I have too much of. Experience, not enough of.
Which is why I thirst for your shared knowledge.
With Kindest Wishes,