by Lonwabo Kilani
Where beauty lay on the collective arrangement that establishes the scene on view, where the horizon’s dilemma either splits or mends sky and earth, complement and contrasts with warms and cools, in warms and cools that arranges and unarranges our perceptive depth-of-field, a moment cut, framed and frozen in time is the lens with which we view landscapes. Swallowed or tearing through, such infinite sunset are the unknown romantics imagine disappearing unto. Infinite, one sees not the end of the world but its edge, an abrupt halt to a sudden dangle before the disappearance.
This disappearance, not unto the void, but only as reappearance, not a fall but a jump into a new beginning, from entrepreneur straight into the arts.
In this life after, this new beginning, one is compelled to ask what SaySay is searching for? What is this that starred at him in his Mystery Road, refreshing his soul and revitalising his senses leading to his ponder, what are you? We see love, the explicit expression in his pseudonym. Pseudonym, the implication that one is using, according to the pocket Oxford dictionary; ‘Fictitious name, esp assumed by the author’. Meaning, the old name is not discarded to make way for the new, therefore, this neither signals a new beginning nor a discard of the old. It seems, love, the addition, not to the old, but an other within.
Anew, armed with an IPhone in hand, paths are cleared and carved. Every swipe and click becomes a new discovery, the effervescence. Cool blues in dotted lines that string together what seems to be life forming particles. We are told that this is the labyrinth of our life code that give(s) meaning to our being. This new formation, the birth of an artist, is unlike that of the new born devoid of memories. Instead, new memories are created. It is an after life of a journey travelled to its peak.
Comic characters tend to posses such qualities where one discovers, at a certain point in their lives, extraordinary powers that exceeds those of mere mortals. Hidden within, such discoveries cannot be shared with the general public that will, as the norm presupposes, turn one into a freak show. Their overreaching superpowers becomes the source of social inadequacy that renders them incapable social beings. Only with time, when one has assumed the carriage as the self other, the pseudo, does he feel compelled to reach out and express these powers.
The expression itself is meant to be an affection for others, the broader community, his ‘radiance 1‘. Such affection tends to come with a baggage, from the other that is the real. Since the powers are beyond human reach, the function of the baggage is meant to humanise and tone down the power to get the audience to feel for and be affectionate towards the superhero, our ‘radiance 2‘.
Think Clark Kent, and Bruce Wayne, two white males with troubled past trying to find love. Despite their immediate comfortable backgrounds, their alter ego’s seems the only attraction to the love of their lives. Here it seems, without the jeopardy of unmasking, love cannot be expressed. As we see, expression demands one to adopt an other within. But there is a disjunction between the two; Bruce Wayne, a billionaire weapons manufacturer assumes some sort of a military industrial complex crime fighting hero. Now as an enabling device, this could also be said about Iphone’s cobalt relationship in the Congo. Here, Bruce Wayne transforms into batman as the self other. On the other hand, Bill’s monologue on Superman analogy assumes the inverse. Superman is the real steel who assumes the neutralised role of journalist Clarke Kent as a socialising strategy. Bruce Wayne is born into power whilst Clark Kent’s power genetic. The paradox here is whether one is born into or with makes little difference where structural domination is concerned. This position tends to occupy the notion of whether one becomes or born an artist. Such a disjunction compels us to rephrase SaySay’s question ‘what are you‘?
This question of being and artist occupies a position similar to what Jaques Ranciere, discussing the relationship between inside and outside, as a politic of how social space is distributed. He notions that art is politics in the way it ‘configures a spatiotemporal sensorium through determining the different ways of being together or apart, inside and outside…of dividing up a certain space’. Self directed, one reads the ‘gift of water’ as that which quenches the being. Here, art seems to be the love, the quench, the temporality that must be constantly revived. It revives. It is the resource, the code giving meaning to the being. The aesthetic is self directed. A reinvention.