Jung, C.G. ‘Memories, Dreams and Reflections’

“Clinical diagnoses are important, since they give the doctor a
certain orientation; but they do not help the patient. The crucial
thing is the story. For it alone shows the human background and
the human suffering, and only at that point can the doctors
therapy begin to operate. A case demonstrated this to me most

The case concerned an old patient in the women’s ward. She
was about seventy-five, and had been bedridden for forty years.
Almost fifty years ago she had entered the institution, but there
was no one left who could recall her admittance; everyone who
had been there had since died. Only one head nurse, who had
been working at the institution for thirty-five years, still remembered
something of the patient’s story. The old woman
could not speak, and could only take fluid or semifluid nourishment.
She ate with her fingers, letting the food drip off them into
her mouth. Sometimes it would take her almost two hours to
consume a cup of milk. When not eating, she made curious
rhythmic motions with her hands and arms. I did not understand
what they meant. I was profoundly impressed by the degree
of destruction that can be wrought by mental disease, but
saw no possible explanation. At the clinical lectures she used to
be presented as a catatonic form of dementia praecox, but that
meant nothing to me, for these words did not contribute in the
slightest to an understanding of the significance and origin of
those curious gestures.

Late one evening, as I was walking through the ward, I saw
the old woman still making her mysterious movements, and
Psychiatric Activities again asked myself, ‘Why must this be?”
Thereupon I went toour old head nurse and asked whether the
patient had always been that way. “Yes,” she replied. “But my
predecessor told me
she used to make shoes.” I then checked through her yellowing
case history once more, and sure enough, there was a note to the
effect that she was in the habit of making cobbler’s motions. In
the past shoemakers used to hold shoes between their knees and
draw the threads through the leather with precisely such movements.
(Village cobblers can still be seen doing this today.)
When the patient died shortly afterward, her elder brother came
to the funeral. “Why did your sister lose her sanity?T I asked
him. He told me that she had been in love with a shoemaker
who for some reason had not wanted to marry her, land that
when he finally rejected her she had “gone off/’ The shoemaker
movements indicated an identification with her sweetheart
which had lasted until her death. That case gave me my first
inkling of the psychic origins of dementia praecox. ”


Location as catalyst  ( not me! )

Westcliffe clay pit –

Cross O’Cliff Orchard

Lincolnshire is not renowned for its orchards but Lincolnshire County Council’s Cross O’Cliff Orchard, at a little under 2 hectares and at least one hundred and fifty years old is one of the largest that now remain. There are many old varieties of pear with wonderful names such as Louise Bonne de Jersey, Hessle and Pitman Duchess and many Lincolnshire apple varieties including Allington Pippin and Peasgood’s Nonesuch.

To research – the orchard, Eve, pips, Apple types, Wassailing, Apple bobbing, Cider makers etc

adam and eve carving on cathedral etc.




apples as the sun carried by children on new Years Day

winter solstice


Tacita Dean – Michael Hamburger



I suspect the answer to everything is in the Pitt Rivers.

Nature creates superstition – fear of death

scarcity = value

time = value

decoration draws attention to what is being conveyed – social regulation



Proto-Aesthetic Operations and Artification


The process of ritualization makes specific signals salient. Its operations are all ways of attracting and sustaining attention. Salience—prominence or emphasis of any sort—is potentially emotional.


Normally our daily lives are spent in a generalized, unremarkable state of ordinary consciousness in which we do not experience “emotion” so much as what might be described as mood fluctuations, whose eddies are more or less good (positive), bad (negative), or

indifferent. Emotion enters (or potentially enters) the scene when there is some discrepancy or change, provoking an interest. We appraise a salient or novel cue, anticipating what it means for our vital interests (Watson and Clark 1994).

I suggest that artists in all media deliberately perform the operations described by ethologists as they occur instinctively during a ritualized behavior: they simplify or formalize, repeat (sometimes with variation), exaggerate, and elaborate ordinary materials, bodies, surroundings, tones, beats, body movements, semantics and syntax, motifs, ideas—thereby making these things more than ordinary (Hogan 2003; Jakobson 1971; Mukařovský 1964/1932; Shklovsky156

1965/1917).8 By doing so, artists attract attention, sustain interest, and create and mold emotion in their audience (which is what mothers also achieve with babies.)9

“The artification hypothesis conceptualizes art differently from most other schemes – as a behavior (“artifying”), not as the results(painting, carvings, dances, songs, or poems) or their putative qualities ( beauty, harmony, complexity, skill). By considering human art as something that people do, it is possible to ask what its adaptiveness might be”

Ellen Dissanayake – The Artification Hypothesis and its relevance to Cognitive Science, Evlutionary Aesthetics, and Neuroaesthetics. 2009, 148-173



ONWARDS – flag


“For what you really collect is always yourself.”[1] In Baudrillard’s understanding,

Objects undoubtedly serve in a regulatory capacity with regard to everyday life, dissipating many neuroses and providing an outlet for all kinds of tensions and for energies that are in mourning. This is what gives them their ‘soul’, what makes them ‘’ours’- but it is also what turns them into décor of a tenacious mythology, the ideal décor for an equilibrium that is itself neurotic.[2]


[1] Baudrillard, The System of Objects. 97.

[2] Ibid. 96.




mourning ‘weeds’


adjective1.  (of a person) looking strained from illness, exhaustion, anxiety, or pain.



verb1.  produce (a picture or diagram) by making lines and marks on paper with a pencil, pen, etc.2.  pull or drag (something such as a vehicle) so as to make it follow behind.3.  extract (an object) from a container or receptacle.4.  take or obtain (liquid) from a container or receptacle.5.  be the cause of (a specified response).6.  finish (a contest or game) with an even score.7.  cause (a bowl) to travel in a curve determined by its bias to the desired point.8.  (of a ship) require (a specified depth of water) to float in.9.  (of a sail) be filled with wind.

andre cadereAndré Cadere was the stick man, the artist known for carrying a stick. He took one wherever he went. This stick – or sticks, for there seem to have been a hundred or more during the course of his painfully short life – was not just a length of wood but a collection of smaller wooden cylinders painted in bright colours and threaded on a rod. The colours varied, and so did the sizes and permutations. But Cadere was essentially a one-work artist.

What an innocent object the striped stick sounds – and looks. There is one on display at Modern Art Oxford painted in a particular combination of yellows, purples and blues that somehow seems to evoke the 1970s, when it was made. It’s irregular, the 20 tubes slightly ill-matched like a child’s dried pasta necklace, and one notices the pleasing carpentry of each piece. It might look as if it has something to do with other sculptures of that era that had numbers in mind – Carl Andre’s bricks, say – but is much more crafted and charming.

So much so that it’s impossible to imagine these Barres de Bois Rond (as Cadere called them) as mischievous, still less subversive in any way. But of course it is what the artist did with them that became the story.

Cadere was a nomad. Born in Poland in 1934, he grew up in Romania but emigrated to Paris in 1968. He had scraped a living behind the Iron Curtain as a studio assistant to various painters, and in Paris he had a short stint painting abstract works. I suppose it could be said that his Barres are a combination of painting and sculpture – which is pretty much the claim at Tate Modern, where they have a 1973 Barre – yet this seems beside the point.

The Barre was an artwork that needed no gallery. Anyone could view it, and they could view it anywhere. Cadere carried it on the underground, to the shops, on the boulevards of Paris and the avenues of New York, through museums and parks and other people’s exhibitions. He was like a pilgrim traveller with a staff. Hundreds of thousands of people may have seen his art inadvertently, many more than would ever have looked at it in a gallery, and indeed this was entirely the point.

barreCadere’s Round Bar of Wood, violet, white, yellow, blue, 1975. Photograph: from the collection of Anton & Annick Herbert Public Domain

The work, such as it was, had no back, no front, couldn’t be mounted on the wall like a painting, or stationed on the floor like a sculpture. It had no stability and not much value (although Cadere did offer to sell his Barres at 30 French francs per centimetre in 1972). Thus they escaped the tyranny of the gallery system, for Cadere, as well as the forces of the market. The Barres could be shown only wherever the artist was. The means of distribution were in his hands, quite literally, with the predictable irony that fashionable galleries rapidly had Cadere in their sights.

What he was doing seems so remote now that it isn’t easy to imagine its effects in the 70s art scene, which is where the Oxford show comes in. The curators (one of whom, Lynda Morris, knew him well) have somehow managed to assemble all sorts of traces of Cadere’s progress through the world in the form of spectral photographs, where he crosses the scene like a handsome ghost, as well as press cuttings, diaries, telegrams, private letters and preview cards (several for pubs in Oxford where he presented the Barres, presumably at the bar), which are among the last traces of his work.

It wasn’t a performance, exactly (he had nothing in common with contemporaries, such as Gilbert and George). It wasn’t an intervention exactly, although he did beard museums directors in their dens, and regularly turned up uninvited at art-world parties. Documents reveal his sharp dealings with powerful figures at biennales and group shows, skewering their pomposity. Photos show him mingling with the Manhattan glitterati to their half-excited discomfort.

I especially liked his response to a hoo-ha over an international exhibition, where Cadere had leaned one of his poles against a wall to the wrath of the infinitely more famous stripe-man, the French conceptual artist Daniel Buren. Buren withdrew from the show in a huff. Cadere wrote in mock sorrow to the organisers that he was sorry that the presence of one of his sticks apparently meant nobody could see the immense work of Daniel Buren.

One realises, after a while, how important it was that the Barre should be inoffensive, not much more than a cheery striped pole. Modern Art Oxford has the record of a lecture – and even some sound – that Cadere gave, in which he criticises artists who merely decorate galleries (think Buren again), though his own work was decorative in its way, the striped poles matching the striped Breton shirts he wore. It was simply that nobody needed to pay to see it, or go to a sacred gallery. He was against the ridiculous reverence and self-love of the art world.

The MAO show is lacking in several respects. It has no film of Cadere in action, and it has none of his Barres presented, as they often were, in skewed and piquant ways around a gallery to make the visitor think twice about where they were (and why). And the deeper nuances of his ideas are not easily gleaned without hours fine-combing the documents.

But a portrait emerges not just of Cadere’s life – the girl he meets in America, the cancer that kills him at 44 – but also of his times. The Barre becomes a barometer to national temperament. The Italians don’t like it, whereas the French are quite insouciant and the New Yorkers very relaxed about the whole idea. It went down very well at our own ICA.

But Cadere’s work was dependent on his presence, and each Barre is a mark of his absence. The meaning of his work has inevitably changed. Before his death these sticks belonged to a new form of promenade art; afterwards they became the measure of his life and fate.

An Inuit custom offers an angry person release by walking the emotion out of his or her system in a straight line across the landscape; the point at which the anger is conquered is marked with a stick, bearing witness to the strength or length of the rage.”

― Lucy R. LippardOverlay: Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory



Franz West

Belonging to the generation of artists exposed to Actionist and Performance Art of the 1960s and 70s, West instinctively rejected the traditionally passive nature of the relationship between artwork and viewer. Being equally opposed to the physical ordeal and existential intensity insisted upon by his performative forbears (such as Actionism), he made work that was vigorous and imposing yet free and light-hearted, where form and function were roughly compatible rather than mutually exclusive. In the seventies, he produced the first of the small, portable, mixed media sculptures called “Adaptives” (“Passstücke”). These “ergonomically inclined” objects become complete as artworks only when the viewer holds, wears, carries or performs with them. Transposing the knowledge gained with these formative works, he explored sculpture increasingly in terms of an ongoing dialogue of actions and reactions between viewers and objects in any given exhibition space, while probing the internal aesthetic relations between sculpture and painting.

26WESTalt-blog480-v2 4f76e06b 814db56f artwork_images_414_79597_franz-west

Object Lessons

Into feeling -einfuhlung    

Chimpanzee ‘dolls’


Exhaust   ig-zawst

  • To drain the strength
  • Wear out
  • To use up or consume completely
  • To draw out all that is essential
  • To empty by drawing out the contents
  • To deprive wholly of useful properties

my second, best self


Standstill repetition

All that life contains contained


Painful unpleasure


Construction of remainders     Reminders

Foretaste of mourning – desolation devastation void

Return journey

Stay going nowhere   Stay going still

For us alone

plural subject

conversations in your care

Conversations in task

Resting place


Contained conversations

All that life contains conversations with the 5 who engaged in the task

Task together


Wedge..look up tensions thesaurus

Resting place

Dissipation of loss

Return walk long walk back.

return journey

Passing the time, passing the meantime.


An ossuary is a chest, box, building, well, or site made to serve as the final resting place of human skeletal remains. They are frequently used where burial space is scarce. A body is first buried in a temporary grave, then after some years the skeletal remains are removed and placed in an ossuary. The greatly reduced space taken up by an ossuary means that it is possible to store the remains of many more people in a single tomb than if the original coffins were left as is.


Dumb ossuary


One thought on “Thinking out loud

  1. Mat and I visited The crypt of St Leonard’s Church in Hythe last summer; documented to be one of only two ossuary’s in the UK (the other is in Rothwell, Northants). Said to hold over 2,000 skulls and 8,000 bones stacked in a huge pile

    I asked the guide if the bones had been exhumed due to overcrowding in the graveyard; images from reading Andrew Miller’s novel ‘Pure’. It is not known why exactly, but ‘thought to be likely that an existing burial ground was disturbed while building a new church in the 13th Century’.

    Only the skulls and femurs (thigh bones) were kept in an ossuary as they were thought to be ‘the two strongest bones and it was thought that their preservation was enough to guarantee passage into the afterlife. This might seem horribly disrespectful by today’s standards but it was a sign that the physical body wasn’t important. The soul had already ascended to heaven and so the body returned to dust.’

    ‘The arrangement of the bones and the design of the crypt indicate that the bone house was an ‘ambulatory’ where priests would parade a holy relic of St Leonard and pilgrims could walk round to pay their respects.’


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