An Elegiac Response to the Ghost of Surrealist Decadence in the Work of Paul Kooiker

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This is where our shared habits meet concrete. All the possessions accumulated, obsessions sought and tendered in the infernal light of my psychic affairs have led me into the unforeseen garden of these earthly delights.

 

By Brad Feuerhelm, ASX, February 2015

August, 1935

This is where our shared habits meet concrete. All the possessions accumulated, obsessions sought and tendered in the infernal light of my psychic affairs have led me into the unforeseen garden of these earthly delights. I sit with primordial kith and kin between alabaster pillars of flesh, inscribing my DNA in the reckless ash gathering on my trousers or ground under my heel. A soft haze fills the room and in the background I count the clucking sounds from various aviary offspring and also that of obtuse primate shrieking in the menagerie of my mind.

I exist in these drawn quarters with only a faint smell of my cigar,the hint of grass and the odor of a feminine body. I remember a discourse I had with M. Lotar in Paris last week, we spoke of our shared interests in the taxonomy of animalerie and the discorporate mounds of budding breasts in the work of Bellmer. We ruminated over the coffee and nicotine stained teeth of our father’s and poked fun at the various war veterans as they ambled past our table at the café. We only poked fun in so much as we could hear their false teeth chattering out the side of their tube exposed face…faces torn apart by constant shelling in the trenches, nasal passages eaten away by the mustard gas. A slow tap tap of their crutches on the cobblestone in advance of a petition for God to give their faces back or for us to fill their hat with some amount of change.

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Sometimes they would take out a false eye or outwardly blow the spit and pus out from the tubes in their faces into their hands for the delight of our table and for that of the schoolchildren passing by. A roar of limbless hands clapping in disabled minds.

 

_DSC0367 (Custom)

@ Paul Kooiker

 

foto (Custom)

@ Paul Kooiker

 

A slow tap tap of their crutches on the cobblestone in advance of a petition for God to give their faces back or for us to fill their hat with some amount of change. Sometimes they would take out a false eye or outwardly blow the spit and pus out from the tubes in their faces into their hands for the delight of our table and for that of the schoolchildren passing by. A roar of limbless hands clapping in disabled minds.

 

We would carry on our days half-numbed by too many cigars, wine and the idiot mimicry about in the streets of Paris on to the Bois du Boulogne from where I had memories scratched into my mind like the stick figures children would engrave into the blood damp earth of the slaughterhouse… All day playing in the viscera of disinterred noble bestiary. The Bois du Boulogne had a special place in my mind. It was the first environment where I had physical encounters of what I consider otherness. Tribes from the world over would be encamped in the Bois. Fierce shamanistic tribes, tribes whose genesis I could only imagine in the centime novels I had read as a feral urban child. Pierced noses, human skulls on a stick all but vanished from the frontal lobe of my processing unit. I recall understanding that the defense against this savage inquiry held no direct proximity to what I shared with this human collection and it could not truly be differentiated from the self I inhabit presently, begging the question as to whether or not this human zoo could spare the justification when all I had to offer as a spectator was the slight discomfort of fear and the cackling dissonance of the ward wounded and the war dead.

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September, 1935

We continued on our way to Amsterdam today. The overnight train journey fortuitous and the sublimity of our modern times exalted even the most lugubrious of rhythms in my heart. I dared fear for tomorrow and the latent shades of amber memory I will have left behind today.

Nude Animal Cigar is a an exemplary tome of Paul Kooiker’s obsession and work, feverishly imprinted by Art Paper Editions for our ritual consumption.

 

 

 

NUDE ANIMAL CIGAR
Paul Kooiker
Art Paper Editions

 

(All rights reserved. Text @ Brad Feuerhelm. Images @ Paul Kooiker.)

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