Drawing (180) from THE BASIS OF MAKE-UP

"A theater of gazes with two naked German spies on a boat in the Mediterranean at the time of World War II. We see one gaze that is rapacious, one mediated by technology, one curiously contemplative, and one that negates its very self. The men are being observed by a woman who has pushed her sunglasses up on to her bald head. Way back, she herself used to stand naked on the deck, her long dark hair obscuring her view of the peaks of the waves. Now her gaze carries a quiet sadness that may well arise from her exclusion from the world of man and their useless projections. The spy in the flat cap is filming a distant scenery that lies beyond the frame. The spy with the wet hair is at peace with himself and is squinting at the sun. He is in the grip of an animal interest that is attempting to grasp the respective representations of the two female figures according to a before and after schema. He then broods over his failure." (From: arsenal, july august 15)


Lynne Tillman: "The woman, who was naked, looked like a figure from a seventeenth century Japanese drawing. That she was naked made me think she might be from the north of Germany or further, perhaps Sweden. She stopped looking naked after I thought that. A thought something like 'Nudity is permissible in northern countries.' I didn't wonder why but turned instead to look at a man I thought of as the tourist. He was so well-prepared for travel that, even though he too was naked, he wore a cap. He might play golf, I imagined. My friend was looking angrily at the tourist who, in his effort to capture the ocean, which is how I figured he might put it to the folks back home, was taking his picture too. He always said what everyone who doesn't like having their picture taken says - primitive people think their images being stolen - implying that he too felt like that. He was not like that - primitive - about anything but photography, although the only movies he liked were Westerns, which he said were Wittgenstein's favorites, an odd position for a primitive, I told him."


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