STILL/QUIETO

 
Perfume began in Mesopotamia as incense offered to the gods to sweeten the smell of animal flesh burned as offerings, and it was used in exorcisms, to heal the sick, and after sexual intercourse. The word’s Latin etymology tells us how it worked: per = through + fumar to smoke. Tossed onto a fire, incense would fill the sky with a smoke otherworldly and magical, which stung the nostrils as if clamorous spirits were clawing their way into the body. Perfumed smoke began with the things of this earth but climbed quickly into the realm of the gods. Atop the famous ziggurat-shaped Tower of Babel, which stretched closer to the gods than mortals could reach, priests lit pyres of incense.
— Diane Ackerman, ‘Smell: An Offering to the Gods’ A Natural History of the Senses
Alberto Cristini

Alberto Cristini

We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.
— Toni Morrison, from her 1993 Nobel Lecture
Myths are stories about people who become too big for their lives temporarily so that they crash into other lives or brush against the gods. In crisis, their souls are visible.
— Anne Carson, Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides
Benedicte from Modern Lovers series by Bettina Rheims

Benedicte from Modern Lovers series by Bettina Rheims

You must allow yourself to outgrow and depart from certain eras of your life with a gentle sort of ruthlessness.
— Katy Maxwell; girl of the earth
unknown

unknown

These male and female sets are defined as archetypes, embedded in a collective unconscious, the given structure of reality. They are polar opposites; their mode of interaction is conflict. They cannot possibly understand each other because they are absolutely different: and of course, it is always easier to do violence to something Other, something whose “nature and values” are other. (Women have never understood that they are, by definition, Other, not male, therefore not human. But men do experience women as being totally opposite, other. How easy violence is. )
— Andrea Dworkin, Woman Hating
Suspiria (2018) dir. Luca Guadagnino

Suspiria (2018) dir. Luca Guadagnino

Art invites us to take the journey beyond price, beyond costs into bearing witness to the world as it is and as it should be. Art invites us to know beauty and to solicit it even from the most tragic of circumstances. Art reminds us that we belong here. And if we serve, we last. [It is] critical to the understanding of what it means to care deeply and to be human completely.
— Toni Morrison from, 'The Price of Wealth, the Cost of Care'
Wally Cassidy -  Dublin, 1992

Wally Cassidy - Dublin, 1992

Loneliness does not come from being alone, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important.
— anon
It’s a marvelous thing, the ocean. For some reason when two people sit together looking out at it, they stop caring whether they talk or stay silent. You never get tired of watching it. And no matter how rough the waves get, you’re never bothered by the noise the water makes by the commotion of the surface - it never seems too loud, or too wild.
— Banana Yoshimoto
A Wild Woman Is Not A Girlfriend.

A Wild Woman Is Not A Girlfriend.

“Childless” women have been burned as witches, persecuted as lesbians, have been refused the right to adopt children because they were unmarried. They have been seen as embodiments of the great threat to male hegemony: the woman who is not tied to the family, who is disloyal to the law of heterosexual pairing and bearing. These women have nonetheless been expected to serve their term for society as missionaries, nuns, teachers, nurses, maiden aunts; to give, rather than sell their labour if they were middle-class; to speak softly, if at all, of women’s condition.
— Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution, Tenth Anniversary Edition (Virago Press, 1992, first published 1976)
Carlos Amorales

Carlos Amorales

Don’t wait for it. Create a world, your world. Alone. Stand alone. Create. And then the love will come to you, then it comes to you.
— Anaïs Nin
Tits from the past

Tits from the past

I have done nothing all summer but wait for myself to be myself again
— Georgia O’Keeffe, in a letter to Russel Vernon Hunter
Martine Light Blue

Martine Light Blue

The modern obsession with self-discovery, self-expression, knowledge about self and being authentic, is a kind of prison.
— Foucault
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We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.
— Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin Vol. 4.
sylvie blum

sylvie blum

Breasts play a big role here as men have become accustomed to getting aroused to large, silicone-enhanced ones, and their girlfriends’ seem small and uninviting by comparison. Pubic hair has become a big turnoff, especially today when many young women in the real world are removing it, so a woman who has “ungroomed” hair is less desirable. Josh told me how over the years the type of woman’s body he likes has come to resemble porn performers in that he likes them “shaved, oiled, and well-toned.” I asked him how he would feel if his girlfriend didn’t match up, to which he replied, “I would think that she didn’t take care of herself… that she needed to make herself look good, not just for me, but for herself also.” Also disappointing is that these women do not behave like the women in porn - they are not begging for rough sex, nor do they respond orgasmically to every touch. Many of these men don’t want to think of their girlfriends in the same way they think of porn women, but they find it increasingly difficult to separate the two.
— Gail Dines, Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality
Sir John Everet

Sir John Everet

I am in a good mood. I have washed my seashells to their pristine whiteness. I have started to dream profusely day and night. The blood is circulating again. I write in my head.
— Anaïs Nin
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Nook people are those of us who need solitude, but also the sound of someone puttering in the next room.
— Durga Chew-Bose
Hugo Simberg,  The Garden of Death , 1896

Hugo Simberg, The Garden of Death, 1896

To live without self-respect is to lie awake some night, beyond the reach of warm milk, phenobarbital, and the sleeping hand on the coverlet, counting up the sins of commission and omission, the trusts betrayed, the promises subtly broken, the gifts irrevocably wasted through sloth or cowardice or carelessness.
— Joan Didion
Wilfrid Wood

Wilfrid Wood

I’m a writer, and everything I write is both a confession and a struggle to understand things about myself and this world in which I live. This is what everyone’s work should be...whether you dance or paint or sing. It is a confession, a baring of your soul, your faults, those things you simply cannot or will not understand or accept. You stumble forward, confused, and you share. If you’re lucky, you learn something.
— Arthur Miller
Sara Hagale

Sara Hagale

What you need to do is start living in the moment. You’ve got to live moment to moment... You’ve got to learn how to smoke the cigarette, not act smoking the cigarette. You need to drink the drink, not act drinking the drink. You’ve got to do things and not show them.
— Dennis Hopper
Maryam Keyhani

Maryam Keyhani

You must be prepared to work always without applause.
— Ernest Hemingway
Liana Finck

Liana Finck

In order to have a conversation with someone, you must reveal yourself.
— James Baldwin (& Nina Simone)
As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty , Jonas Mekas (2000)

As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty, Jonas Mekas (2000)

I got some coffee and stood looking at the sky.
— Patti Smith
from Hussein Chalayan's 'Burka' show in 1996

from Hussein Chalayan's 'Burka' show in 1996

There must be a Russian word to describe what has happened between us, like ostyt, which can be used for a cup of  tea that is too hot, but after you walk to the next room, and return, it is too cool; or perekhotet, which is to want something so much over months and even years that when you get it, you have lost the desire.
— Barbara Hamby, from “Letter to a Lost Friend,” Poetry (January 2013)
Tateishi Harumi. Clover. (1934).

Tateishi Harumi. Clover. (1934).

Art is an interplay, an equation of three factors–the artist, the world, and the means of figuration.
— Max Raphael
Robert Gligorov

Robert Gligorov

But in the end, stories are about one person saying to another: This is the way it feels to me. Can you understand what I’m saying? Does it feel this way to you?
— Kazuo Ishiguro
Bat Before the Moon, 1910, Biho Takashi

Bat Before the Moon, 1910, Biho Takashi

Even when you think you’re writing on your own, you’re always doing it with someone else you can’t always name.
— Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995), from “On Philosophy” (Conversation with Raymond Bellour and Francois Ewald, “Magazine Litteraire 257″, September 1988)
Carmen Winant

Carmen Winant

But no single map of the emotions is available here. Desire is not simple. In Greek the act of love is a mingling (mignumi) and desire melts the limbs (lusimeles, cf. Sappho fr. 130). Boundaries of body, categories of thought, are confounded. The god who melts limbs proceeds to break the lover as would a foe on the epic battlefield.
— — Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet
Ivy covered house in Hammelburg, Germany by Wolf-Dietrich Weissbach

Ivy covered house in Hammelburg, Germany by Wolf-Dietrich Weissbach

Identity is a dream that is pathetically absurd. You dream of being yourself when you have nothing better to do. You dream of yourself and gaining recognition when you have lost all singularity. Today we no longer fight for sovereignty or for glory, but for identity. Sovereignty was a mastery; identity is merely a reference. Sovereignty was adventurous; identity is linked to security (and also to the systems of verification which identify you). Identity is this obsession with appropriation of the liberated being, but a being liberated in sterile conditions, no longer knowing what he is. It is a label of existence without qualities. Now, all energies - the energies of minorities and entire peoples, the energies of individuals - are concentrated today on that derisory affirmation, that prideless assertion: I am! I exist! I’m alive, I’m called so-and-so, I’m European! A hopeless affirmation, in fact, since when you need to prove the obvious, it is by no means obvious.
— — Jean Baudrillard - Impossible Exchange
Pieter Boersma, continuous drawing over Saar Stolk, starting from a glass of ink 1966

Pieter Boersma, continuous drawing over Saar Stolk, starting from a glass of ink 1966

Art, all art, is the communication cord that cannot be snapped by indifference or disaster. Against the daily death it does not die.
— - ‘Art Objects,’ Jeanette Winterson
Caron advertisement (edited) from Vogue (Paris) - June 1939 (domaine public)

Caron advertisement (edited) from Vogue (Paris) - June 1939 (domaine public)

“I was looked at, but I wasn’t seen.”
— - Albert Camus, The Misunderstanding
jo diggs, mother earth father sky (detail), 1986

jo diggs, mother earth father sky (detail), 1986

“I will touch you with my mind. Touch you and touch and touch until you give me suddenly a smile, shyly obscene; I will touch you with my mind.”
— — e. e. cummings, from The Collected Poems; “Lady,” written c. March 1931
Heartsick, loveless

Heartsick, loveless

“As an ancient proverb says, three fingers hold the pen, but the whole body works. And aches.”
— — Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose
ana takahashi

ana takahashi

“To dress up is to get ready to play a part.”
— —Yves Saint Laurent
Sisterhood. Palestine. Anja Niedringhaus.

Sisterhood. Palestine. Anja Niedringhaus.

 
“The villa is on the edge of the lake, we bathe and boat and go excursions into the mountains. And yet, I feel I can’t breathe. Everything is free and perfectly easy. And yet I can’t breathe. Perhaps it is one can’t live with people any more –”
— — D. H. Lawrence, from a letter to Catherine Carswell wr. c. August 1921
Trashy ikebana by Sabine Timm

Trashy ikebana by Sabine Timm

“I have been very lazy this last month and put everything off. The whole experience of being broken and mended has exhausted me both mentally and psychologically. I need empty days and barren landscapes.”
— — Sylvia Plath, from a letter to Dorothy Benotti written c. March 1961
Senju Shunga

Senju Shunga

“I am in a good mood. I have washed my seashells to their pristine whiteness. I have started to dream profusely day and night. The blood is circulating again. I write in my head.”
— — Anaïs Nin, from a diary entry featured in Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary; 1939-1947
Annie Sprinkle, Bosom Ballet, 1991

Annie Sprinkle, Bosom Ballet, 1991

Frank Horvat, “New York Up & Down”, 1980s

Frank Horvat, “New York Up & Down”, 1980s

“We should meet in another life, we should meet in the air, me and you.”
— — Sylvia Plath / Lesbos
The Row

The Row

“I can’t really stand human beings sometimes – I know they all have their problems as I have mine - but I’m really too tired for it. Trying to understand, making allowances, seeing certain things that just weary me. (…) I guess I have always been deeply terrified to really be someone’s wife since I know from life one cannot love another, ever, really… starting tomorrow I will take care of myself for that’s all I really have and as I see it now have ever had.”
— – Marilyn Monroe; written on an undated scrap from a notebook
Clear sky’s against polluted Air at Tiananmen Square (China) by Feng Li

Clear sky’s against polluted Air at Tiananmen Square (China) by Feng Li

“And when she thought of him her eyes were kind.”
— — Amy Lowell, from Men, Women & Ghosts; “Figurines in Old Saxe,” c. 1929
Michael Seif

Michael Seif

“Will I finally be alone with the sea? Will I finally be alone with my heart?”
— — Émile Verhaeren, from The Black Torches: Poems; “The Rock,” c. 1891
To Night, Percy Bysshe Shelley  "Death will come when thou art dead, Soon, too soon— Sleep will come when thou art fled; Of neither would I ask the boon I ask of thee, belovèd Night— Swift be thine approaching flight, Come soon, soon!“

To Night, Percy Bysshe Shelley

"Death will come when thou art dead, Soon, too soon— Sleep will come when thou art fled; Of neither would I ask the boon I ask of thee, belovèd Night— Swift be thine approaching flight, Come soon, soon!“

“Change is inevitable. No matter if it’s good or bad, change is one of the few things in life you can always rely on. Don’t fear it, but feel reassured - you won’t live the same life all along.”
— — t.k
SERRA PELADA

SERRA PELADA

“I am getting so strong again that I hardly know myself. It is as if I had passed through some long nightmare, and had just awakened to see the beautiful sunshine and feel the fresh air of the morning around me.”
— — Bram Stoker, from The Collected Prose Works; “Dracula,” wr. c. 1897
Emilio Villalba

Emilio Villalba

“I held you in my embrace warm and gleaming, my complete grief.”
— — Maria Polydouri, tr. by Manolis Aligizakis, from “Pride,” written c. 1927
Andrea del Sarto,  Lady with a book of Petrarch’s rhyme , detail, 1528

Andrea del Sarto, Lady with a book of Petrarch’s rhyme, detail, 1528

“Every sound she utters is such / a cry of grief, all language could be / drowned in it. She makes me think that / the saddest words are only a failure to cry.”
— — Brendan Kennelly, from Euripides’ Medea: A New Version
honeydon.t

honeydon.t

“So, this boy is a horse galloping
towards you, so much bark, forest in his throat—
you can’t hold your breath. This is
is how we wound.”
— — Karese Burrows, from “Little Beast,” This Is How We Lost Each Other