Thursday, 2 February 2012

Mike Kelley quotes Dorothea Tanning

There in the red world of jagged souvenirs signed by the great glacier, pioneers named their scenic views to bring them down to size. Cathedral Rock was a ruddy mass imitating for those childlike settlers a cathedral. Courthouse Rock, noble giant reduced in name to a reminder of fiefs and files. Just west of Sedona was Cleopatra’s Nipple. It isn’t known of course who named it so, or why anyone as remote as Cleopatra should occupy the imagination of the American cowboy – for it must have been a cowboy – but it was often thus pointed out to us, just as naturally as the other poverty stricken titles. Coming back years later and encountering an entirely different population; retirees hoping to live ten minutes longer than they would elsewhere, failed doctors with cloudy pasts, wistful but determined unpublished writers, painters with camera eyes and a penchant for scenery, old adepts at new religions or, in general, people who didn’t get along with their relatives back home; coming back then, we found Cleopatra’s Nipple no longer existed; its name had been cleaned up by less fevered imaginations, that it was now known as Chimney Rock and had never, in anyone’s memory, been called anything else.

Foul Perfection

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