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LEWIS GESNER: Truthful Lies

The Paper Scraps of Aldaz Nattle ; Open to Speculation – a few words

Some notes on imaginary Performance of oneye, as a Performance score

Language: English; 中文


I think the mathematician knows the scrap (of paper) just as he knows the random shape of a liquid spill. The piece of torn paper, as the splash or puddle of liquid is the most easily produced shape, while the most complex to describe accurately. I have seen street artists who will use scissors to cut the profile of a customer while they wait, as I have seen one who tore a good rendering with his fingers. It is an impressive skill to be sure, but itself as with much artisan skill it is a learned thing which is repeated over and over with some variation, and in its base form is little more than a learned trick. Even Matisse suffered in this work with recognized limits. The truly impressive torn shaping in one take defies image duplication, that resists resemblance and is simply a tear as the finger want to rip, turning, expressing as the order of things wish-. Ripping, the fingers find give and resistance, they find direction and change, and to be lost, and they find number, and division, and reducing and individuation through a kind of lessoning and amplification of number.

This for the fingers and hands and maybe the implicated mind of Aldaz Nattle, who spent most of his life tearing pieces of paper, sometimes saving them, sometimes hiding them, often throwing aside, but in quantity great enough that it has lasted and we are still discovering …. Nattle produced millions of little pieces of torn paper. Most were scraps about the size of the tip of your finger. Some were left or contained in isolation from other paper, some were grouped, in sets, or in close communities, across a small selection of items that distinguished the scraps as belonging somewhere slightly different from each other. If you see these scraps you will not immediately see them as distinct – they are of course very different from each other. After you have seen them for a while, or left them and gone back to look at the, you will only see their difference. That effect will i assume take such hold of you that you will see little else. You may have to turn away. You may find yourself confused at a later time, in remembering of them all – if you have seen them….. their purpose is not at all clear.

The arrangements, sets, and isolations, as well as the torn scrap shapes is so very complicated in that they are almost without repetition – and, it is not the random aspect that overwhelms, rather, it is – an individual essence that one sees, like an identity – not a tear of unconcern or indifference, it is a tear of greater awareness of the very distinction possible by use of the body and relation to something it can alter – my perspective of course, and no one is yet arguing very much about this, only talking speculatively, is it score, is it music, is it sculpture, is it a kind of flat art, is it math, or philosophy? As with “Oneye” generations, it is being studied with the background or setting.

Some amount is known of Nattle, that he always did this, tore paper all the time at every free moment, and organized it all, putting things in bags and envelops or sorting them with a few other materials we assume are suggestions of where in the outer world setting these scraps might go – Nattle had a wife and five children and worked as a guard in various government buildings throughout his life and never seems to have attracted attention or distinguished himself at all. These scraps came to light in a typical accidental way, the discovering at multiple locations at once, in some old file cabinets in the same buildings where he worked for years, under the floorboards of the rooms he rented.

I think, his story particularly is unimportant. The paper represents maybe passage of time in his life, and the paper is important, and not him.

More than others of the “Oneye”s maybe his is a more clear example of the vessel theory of how these appearances manifest through human bodies – and over the time they have been present in the world. It is always good to speculate regarding these people. I think it is the only way in the end that the phenomenon will be understood.

Study the works in this exhibition. While it is a sizable collection, keep in mind it is nothing to the volume that remains, and likely also less to the volume produced and no longer surviving. i think than, survival is not so much what this is about, or volume, as much “Oneye” work has survived, dare I say, when the work desired to remain.

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