Desert Dream by Cindy Leaney

By Cindy Leaney

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At such a moment art might seem an unlikely resource to guide reflection and shape action. If, however, God and the imagination are, as Wallace Stevens insists, one, then perhaps art can create an opening that is the space of hope. The wager of this book is that by refiguring the spiritual, art might redeem the world. 2 FAT LIVING ART REBIRTH Beuys do not forget Rudi, do not forget Dutschke, many times crucified by Germans He is standing there in the corner freezing hungry smiling forgotten. Place your hat on his head Clothe him in your waistcoat Give him the honey Buy yourself a scarf coat cap at the corner Bring along the coyote Warm yourselves at the pastoral fire of the inglorious.

As Beuys struggles to fathom what had occurred, he becomes convinced that his own rebirth harbors lessons for the renewal of Germany, as well as the regeneration of humankind. The mediator between the personal and the political is the spiritual as it comes to full expression in the life of the artist and the work of art. CONCERNING THE SPIRITUAL IN ART Late in 1911, Wassily Kandinsky published a small but influential book entitled Concerning the Spiritual in Art (Über das Geistige in der Kunst).

Indeed, this work is designed not to be marketable. 18 In a world where reality is increasingly virtual, these artists are committed to media that are insistently material: fat, honey, beeswax, Vaseline, ice, leaves, trees, dirt, stone, and volcanic ash. In this matter they find stirrings of the elemental—earth, air, fire, and water—whose rhythms cannot be absorbed in clouds of data. As they elaborate their visions, these artists draw on different spiritual traditions: Beuys, anthroposophy; Barney and Goldsworthy, Celtic mythology; and Turrell, Quakerism and Hopi mythology.

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