Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Kleenex and the New York School

People take Kleenex for granted. You don’t even think when you grab one in your bathroom or in a doctor’s office, but this common household product is really loaded with significance. It’s a witness to your life passages. You pull out Kleenex at births, weddings and funerals. And you grab for them on the couch when you’re recalling the remembrance of things past. It’s actually odd that Proust doesn’t meditate on some l9th century form of them since their discharges—whether tears or snot—are the materialized detritus of emotion. The critic Harold Rosenberg once described action painting in an evidentiary way, as a kind of remnant from an artistic activity that had occurred like one in which Pollock is dancing around the canvas in the famous movie by Hans Namuth. "What was to go on the canvas was not a picture, but an event," he said.Tissues should be saved and preserved since they are mementos of passion. Further many tissues with their splattering could be exhibited as art works in and of themselves. I can either write a novel with the title The End of the Affair as Graham Greene did or exhibit the crumpled tissues that were the repository of grief. The vessel in which soft tissue acts as a solace is really a kind of Pandora’s Box when you think of it since after the tears come anger and after the anger an evacuation of the spirit which makes room for new loves. So blow your nose!

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