Mère Ubu, the once and future Queen of Poland, is a personage loosely derived from the writings of Alfred Jarry. In the blog, we shall consider a variety of blah blah art blah, blah blah history, blah blah blah blah Kultur, and a variety of assorted phenomena.
Also to be found on this virtual nonsite are linkages to some work by one Beth E. Wilson, uploaded here as a professional courtesy to our invaluable amanuensis.
Beautiful, gritty, complex — Marseille is my joint, my future residence, the place I feel surprisingly at home. Here are some pictures, made on various explorations there.
A public Facebook group specialising in the posting of visual puns, ‘pataphysical observations, and other exceptions to the rules.
To see the latest posts, click on the Mère Ubu Society here
A short film reflecting on the dream-like state of lost love and surreal eroticism.
Performative ink-brush pen drawing on vellum with red rubber stamp lettering.
Made on May 19, 2018 at Garner Arts Center, Garnerville, New York, in as part of Tangled up in You, curated by Faheem Haider.
Inspired by my own youthful history working with them, and a more recent introduction to the practice of ‘horse medicine’ under the tutelage of Linda Mary Montano, I am processing the magical intersection of time, space, and energy manifested in the figure of the horse. Working with the sequential imagery of Eadweard Muybridge’s iconic images of a galloping horse, I will be repeatedly drawing horses on a long, continuous roll of paper, creating my own primitive, pre-cinematic meditation on both the ‘pataphysics of equine locomotion and the moment when these horses prepare to leap into illusionistic motion.
Mère UBU traveled on an extended sojourn in the summer of 2017...ATHENS VENICE KASSEL MUNSTER AMSTERDAM LONDON BRIGHTON PARIS MARSEILLE...
Using the tools of psychogeography, camera lucida, watercolour, smartphone, collage, 'pataphysics, and the postal service, Mère UBU produced and sent over 70 postcard-sized works of individualized response to these places.
TRAVEL DATES: JUNE 20 - AUGUST 2, 2017
Here is a sampling of the cards produced. To see the GoFundMe site, which was integral to the work, please click here.
There is a scene in Günter Grass’s The Tin Drum (from the second half of the book, which didn’t make it into the Schlöndorf film), in which we find a strange gathering, a sort of pseudo-cathartic nightclub in immediate post-World War II Germany: a group of Germans sit together in a room, peeling onions in order to cry. These onion-induced tears are, of course not quite the same as truly emotional ones, but at bare minimum the ejection of saline through the tear ducts offers the form of the process of grief.
The Janet Cardiff/George Bures Miller installation The Murder of Crows, recently on view at the Park Avenue Armory, prompted in us a remembrance of that revealing bit of literature. Entering the dark, cavernous space, one finds a cluster of people seated on wooden folding chairs, raptly staring at an old fashioned gramophone bell on a table. Arranged (mostly on other folding chairs) at various distances are a number of small, black speakers, which radiate out into the darkened corners of the room, each connected by a wire umbilical to the rafters. The central circle is illuminated by several clusters of harsh theatrical lights, creating a stark atmosphere in which this random, disconnected ‘family’ of upscale art lovers might gather ‘round the old wireless, in a postmodernly updated version of raptly following the narrative of an old serial.
Inspired in part by Goya’s The Sleep of Reason Breeds Monsters, Reason calls but Emotion answers. Reflections on the Industrial Revolution, also borne of that era, unspool through a mediated version of Cardiff’s narrated Unconscious (her dreams), revealing ley lines connecting that key event to the more disturbing elements of the various 20th century horrors. At the remove of the 21st century’s technologized methods of framing, here via a 98-channel audio work that sculpts the ‘viewer’s’ (for lack of a better term) consciousness.
We submit to these deeply intelligent machinations, longing for some sort of release from the entrapment of the four corners of our own skulls. Our age is defined by its hunger to connect – a process that oddly enough, seems to take place only through a variety of technical (social) media. What is this one listening to on Spotify? What is my husband feeling, as reflected in his status updates on Facebook? So much chatter pointing to the need to de-cleave the separation of subject and object. We only miss the experience of the Ding-an-sich when we have first irrevocably distanced ourselves from it. Desire continues to drive us along in our splintered form.
A tentative proximity was fashioned in the 1970s; falling out of fashion for a time, it has now returned in the form of an anti-light show, a visibly wired radio show that rehearses someone else’s memories of trauma and loss. Have you ever had a dream and you weren’t in it? In/Out, We/They, Alive/Dead. We reach vainly for the distant shore, beyond the limits of the bourgeois emotional palette.
(c) Mère Ubu/Beth E. Wilson August 2012
In a short-term residency with Habitat for Artists, Mère Ubu’s amanuensis (Miss Beth E Wilson) assisted in the production of a series of limited edition prints (largely of a Phynancial nature), whilst in the shadow of the World Phynancial Centre in lower Manhattan. Housed in a shipping container, and equipped with a spirit duplicator (aka ‘ditto’ machine), a typewriter, and a variety of psychogeographical tools, Ms. WIlson entertained the public, and also improvised an afternoon of ‘pataphysical consulting, in which it was learned that the primary imaginary problem of people in Manhattan appears to be Real Estate.
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