“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

In St. Louis

I LOVED talking at Washington University in St. Louis. The event was at the art museum, depicted below, inside and out. 

The book is incredible. It's SO beautiful. I held it for the first time. Others have received uncorrected proofs but this was the first time anyone held a real copy of the thing. It's SO heavy. Like, dense. The paper is beautiful, glossy full color paper all the way through. Some pages are bright orange melting into yellow. Titles are flaming red-orange. Blake and Goya and everyone is in full color facing the page I'm exploring them on. It's weighty, like a book of art...well it is a book of art. 

I renewed my deep love of Matisse, which I've had since age 7, by going to see the Matisse exhibition at the St. Louis Art Museum. If you're anyway near go. It's just wonderful. I had all kinds of thoughts about his being influenced by African art, different from the "primitivism" argument. And different from theft. 

I'm writing a theology that is indebted to my abiding love of Matisse. I'll try to bottle what I thought along with Lara Schaberg, the artist, in later posts. 

I visited a military bunker with Anya, a visiting artist, and Chris--I've been to a lot of military sites (including, I think, Stonehenge) over the years, as part of my dark-ecological artistic inspiration. I got really bad asthma from the mould! It was without a doubt the mysterium tremendum. The subsequent Matisse was the mysterium fascinans. 

I talked for about 45 minutes and there was a long Q&A. It was recorded--I will link to it just as soon as I can. 

Thank you Meredith and Liz and everyone involved in making this project work. It was so good in every way.  


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