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Saturday, 23 January 2010



File:Máscara de Xiuhtecuhtli Cultura Azteza-Mixteca Ars Summum.JPG

The money




will keep


because the




will keep



Máscara de Xiuhtecuhtli. Representation of Xiuhtecuhtli (Lord Turquoise), Central Mexican god of fire. Mosaic of turquoise inlay and other materials. Mixtec-Aztec, c. 1400-1521: photo by Manuel Parada López de Corselas, 2007 (British Museum, London)

For the Love of God
: sculpture by Damien Hirst, 2007. Platinum cast of a human skull covered with 8,601 diamonds. Displayed at White Cube Gallery, London, asking price 50 million pounds. Copyright Damien Hirst, 2007 (photo via Daily Telegraph)

"... the desire incarnate in money offered a reward to the imagination, as between two lovers; and that reward seemed at first to be guaranteed by rare and beautiful metals, of whose inner nature and capacity men could only dream. In time, that guarantee was unveiled as only the projected authority of a community... It was the community that authorised the wishes expressed in money or frustrated them. To use money was to submit to the state, and when states disintegrated their moneys vanished as completely as their laws..." James Buchan, Frozen Desire: Macmillan, London, 1997


u.v.ray. said...

In view of the human skull encrusted with diamonds, one could also say the value of art will keep rising because the value of human life keeps falling.

TC said...


Yes, this would seem an inescapable conclusion.

TC said...

Still, given the work is so very precious, one would not wish to fail to handle it with care.


Ah, "good stone/ each block cut smooth and well fitting/ that design might cover their face" . . . . "pull down thy vanity, Paquin, pull down"


white cloud in pale blue sky above still
black ridge, silver of drops on branches
in foreground, sound of waves in channel

and even more of perception,
‘project of memories’

in this respect, apart from
it, this fact remains

grey rain cloud on horizon next to point,
tree-lined green of ridge across channel

TC said...

In view of the human skull encrusted with

‘project of memories’, that design

might cover their face, this fact remains:

vanity will keep rising;

the work is very precious

in this respect, apart from

the value of art, because the value

of human life, and even more of perception,

would seem an inescapable conclusion;

still, handle it with care, each

block cut smooth, given one would not wish

to pull down, keep falling

~otto~ said...

Tom, I love this. Great to be reminded.

TC said...

Thanks Otto.

Lately I'm being reminded all the time. Any bit of plate glass on the rainy night street will do it.

aditya said...

"Any bit of plate glass on the rainy night street will do it."

This must a strange feeling. To know all of a sudden that you've been a witness to such enormous acts of the God and Humans alike. To know you have felt and forgotten. It is good to be reminded once in a while. Innit??

I was watching this video. The end reminded of u.v. ray's comment and I dropped here straightway. Pretty creepy.

A very intriguing thought you have captured in the poem.

TC said...


"You feel so good's awesome".

Indeed, is it not amazing the things men will do for the love of their gods?

aditya said...

You reminded me of a lot of things Tom. The 1/22 post came as a slow reaction to your recent posts.

Amalgam of tears, sorrow, clocks, winds of inescapable human desires and what not !!

Very nice to read your words. Always.

Do you believe there is a God up there??

TC said...

"Imagine now, if you can, the state of nerves, the excitement with which Senhor José opened the forbidden door for the first time, the shiver that made him pause before going in, as if he had placed his foot on the threshold of a room in which was buried a god whose power, contrary to tradition, came not from his resurrection, but from his having refused to be resurrected. Only dead gods are forever."

--José Saramago, "All the Names"


I don't believe there is a God "up there", no.

But I do believe in all the buried gods.

Mariana Soffer said...

Very Interesting point. You know that nowadays I feel I dont understand anything about money, I am lost. I think I do not even wanna know.
Take care TC,

TC said...


I echo your sentiments. On this subject nescience will probably take us as far as science.

aditya said...

Yea it is better the gods do not resurrect. Lest another realm of morality, immorality, good and evil shall dawn upon us. And more men are condemned. Judged. And killed.

TC said...

Yes, and all in their name.

Without the gods men will have to come up with someone/something else to blame for the residual upwelling of their irrational aggressions.

Perhaps any mirror would do the trick.

TC said...

Comment latterly and gratefully received from non-blogger poet Bill Berkson:


Dear Tom,

A little garnish to go with yours above?

Critics should wear
white jackets like
lab technicians;
curators, zoo
keepers caps;
and art historians,
lead aprons
to protect them from
radiant fact.



(Apologies, Bill, for losing the original serpentine linear "curve" of this quite pertinent poem. Blogger categorically refuses indentations. Evidently sinuousness is one of those several organic qualities for which they have not yet duplicated the code. Still I am able to slide through the night with it... and you. For which, many humble thanks.)

human being said...

this is the sad formula of balancing the business...