Debashish Banerji

Consciousness • Art History • Writing




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nature and culture
mind and body
warp and woof
in the weave of the visible

slide smoothly apart
then splinter into fragments
on one side pythagoras
ptolemy euclid decartes
arrange dimensions and perspectives
like planks or piano keys
collect atomic triangles
oblongs rhomboids tetrahedrons
and curls which curl back into curls
each time they're straightened

these they assemble into man
then reaching into the other side
they conjure a violin a mandolin a vase
and give these to the man
things with seed boxes membranes
rounded and pulpy
picasso likes what he sees
or better what he feels
he is attarcted by the other side

so putting away his carpentry
his metallurgy his aeronautics
he turns to archeology
turns to alchemy
distillation sediments
stone plant animal machine
and unnameable residues
these cry out for consumption exploitation pleasure
each its own automatism
cry out in pain for pleasure
such is the nature of automatism

colonial picasso complies
he is their knight in shining armour
his phallic spear ready to impale
his sword to decapitate and release
to release and please to please by release
his mechanical hands to twist grind distort deform
with technological exteriorization of motor organs
telescopes for eyes memory chips for brain
cyberspatial nervous system thrilling with eros
of mutilated and mangled but still alive
whether inertial in torpor or writhing still alive
woman stone woman plant woman animal woman nation
woman picasso digs woman
distilled down to residual nature
incomprehensible totem and taboo
impregnated by stainless steel blades of post-cubism

stone is what she first appears in
or disppears in in the little death
and the big one
stone as mineral boulder shit clay
weathered by erosion or  moulded lovingly
and propped precariously piece by piece
compositional elements uncomplaining
because the white man's burden knows
that stones never complain
they exist for tourism
ecotourism whether economic or ecologic
who cares it's only semantics anyway
propped precariously wondrously one atop another
limb over limb breast over breast
or breast over limb head over buttock
in a desolate landscape
picasso beheld what he had wrought
and he was happy
on the seventh day picasso rested

on the eighth he got up again
this time he wanted the vegetal
the vestigal the virginal the vaginal
no longer rolled round in earth's diurnal course
but full of pain and pleasure yet unmoving
pure subject dreaming without moving
he now invoked manet matisse
the marvellous canonical painters of odalisques
vases lampstands mandolins seed boxes langrous slaves
somnophilia sister of necrophilia
the pleasure of sleeping plant parts
of equatorial forests rainforests ready for plundering
for butchering bulldozing chainsaw massacrering
without demure without a resisting sound
then again picasso beheld what he had wrought
and he was happy
on the seventh day picasso rested

on the eighth he woke again
this time he was sick of the meek
the timid obedient unresisting made him want to puke
he had dreamt the cannibal
of millipedal hands and legs that moved clawed tore
of mouths with teeth that spat bit chewed tore to pieces
of parts that agonized with pleasure and burst with pain
that knew entanglement beyond identity
and fratricide an alias for suicide
all wars after all are civil wars
of the family of the human and posthuman destiny
picasso invented the aesthetics and the decorative arts of painful ambiguity
the pleasure and pain of eros and thanatos
and this time he could not rest

his dreams now were nightmares
with minotaurs and writhing horses
and riders stone dead on the ground
women like felled trees full of fruit
and machine gun monster men
fascism and racism and huge burning haytstacks
unmanned machines that plundered and raped
and doves that flew alongside nuclear bombers
perhaps the serenity he sought for refuge
like w. b. yeats now was only artifice
a mechanical assemblage in which the blood guts teeth
torn panises vaginas breasts buttholes buttocks
seedboxes with seeds spilled and trampled
broken guitars mandolins lampstands vases
flowers shredded fruits mutilated were forgotten
reduced to geometry once again
carefully arranged minimalism of wires
sticks and a few screws returned
culture and nature to the man with his guitar
wiping the tear from dora marr's lacrymose nostril
picasso before resting for the final time
inscribed his name in a simple austere alphabet
nature vanished into technology itself reduced
to an impersonalism of beauty beyond need.


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