title:Readymade ver.1.2e
by Taro Kimura


What is the need of
expression? Does creation lie in the thing produced? The thing
produced by hand or by the mind, however beautiful or
utilitarian-is that what one is after? Does this self-abandoned
passion need expression? When there is a need, a compulsion, is
it the passion of creation? As long as there is division between
creator and the created, beauty, love, come to an end. You may
produce a most excellent thing in colour or in stone, but if your
daily life contradicts that supreme excellence-the total aban-
donment of the self-that which you have produced is for
admiration and vulgarity. The very living is the colour, the
beauty and its expression. One needs no other.
The shadows were losing their distance and the quails were
quiet. There was only the rock, the trees with their blossom and
fruit, the lovely hills and the abundant earth.


He is, in fact, full entitled to draw as much
and as frequently as he pleases from anything that comes to
his hand, whether it be history, saga, myth, or chronicle,
nay, even from material and situations which have already
been artistically treated. Just as we find in the art of paint-
ing the external matter of the situation is borrowed from
legends of saints, and the process has been repeated on
similar lines over and over again. To discover the real
artistic significance of such artistic work we must penetrate
far beyond the mere invention of particular situations. The
same remarks will apply in full force to the entire wealth of
the circumstances and developments artistically handled. In
reference to this it is frequently claimed as a virtue of mod-
ern art in contrast with that of the ancients that we find in
it an infinitely more exuberant imagination. As a matter of
fact, we do find in the artistic creation of the Middle Ages
and our modern world the most extraordinary variety and
interfusion of situations, events, and occurrences, whether
tragic or otherwise. This fullness of detail, however, does
not take us far. In spite of it all we have very few dramas
or epics of the first excellence. For the main point is not
the external course and interchange of a variety of events,
when we find such events and histories merely complete the
entire content of our work of art; rather it is the ethical and
spiritual form which embodies them, and the masterful
movements of temperament and character which are ex-
posed and unveiled during the entire process of this artistic

No one thinks now of writing an ode to Venus,
Zeus, or Pallas. Sculpture, it is true, can hardly get along
even in modern times without the assistance of the Greek
Pantheon, but for that very reason it is mainly only appreci-
ated by and intelligible to a select circle of cultivated men
who are either connoisseurs or critics.

To have no "manner" was ever the one great "manner," and in this
sense alone can we ascribe originality to Homer, Sophocles,
Rafael, and Shakespeare.

In one world, Art is unable to persist in this breach be-
tween the abstract conceptions of the inward life and the
objective world around, without proving itself false to its
own principle. The subjective realm of the soul must be
conceived as that which is itself an essentially infinite and
independent existence, which, albeit it is unable to suffer
the finite reality to subsist as Truth itself, nevertheless does
not merely assert itself negatively toward the same in a bare
contradiction, but proceeds all the while on the path of
reconciliation, and for the first time, in its opposition to the
ideal individualities of the classical art-form, declares this
very activity, being in fact the presentment of the absolute
mode of self-conscious life.


"But I'll repeat it for you," I say. "We believe the dis-
embodied words of Sir Isaac Newton were sitting in the
middle of nowhere billions of years before he was born
and that magically he discovered these words. They were
always there, even when they applied to nothing. Gradual-
ly the world came into being and then they applied to it.
In facet, those words themselves were that formed the
world. That, John, is ridiculous.
"The problem, the contradiction the scientists are
stuck with, is that of mind. Mind has no matter or energy
but they can't escape its predominance over everything
they do. Logic exists in the mind. Numbers exist only in
the mind. I don't get upset when scientists say that ghosts
exist in the mind. It's that only that gets me. Science is
only in your mind too, it's just that that doesn't make it
bad. Or ghosts either."


all of our contemporary so-called scientific research into
what causes what, all of it misapplied because it is misunder-
stood, inevitably comes up with nothing but fake causes, be-
cause it is in fact possible to understand the whole world, or
what we believe to be the whole world, or what we think we
recognize as the world on a day-to-day basis, as the result of
nothing but fake causes arrived at by fake research. You could
waste decades of your life trying to get the better of this self-
perpetuating duplicity, but all you would get out of that was to
grow old, that was all, to go under, that was all. Suppose you
make a statement, Konrad is supposed to have said to Fro,
only one sentence, say, no matter what it is, and suppose this
sentence is a quotation from one of your major writers, or even
one of our greatest writers, all you would succeed in doing is to
besmirch, to pollute that sentence, simply by failing to exer-
cise the self-control it would take not to pronounce that sen-
tence at all, to say nothing at all, you would be polluting it,
and once you start polluting things, the chances are you will
see everywhere you look, everywhere you go, nothing but
other polluters, a whole world of polluters going into the
millions, or, more precisely, into the billions, is at work every-
where, it is enough to shock a man out of his mind, if he will
let himself be shocked, but people no longer let themselves be
shocked, this is in fact precisely what characterizes the man of
today, that he refused to be shocked by anything at all.Distress
has become transformed into hypocrisy, distress is hypocrisy,
the great movers and shakers of mankind, for instance, were
merely even greater hypocrites than most people Since we
have nothing but polluters in the world, the world is polluted
through and through. The vulgar will always remain the
vulgar, and so forth. Konrad went on to say that people no
longer took risks, they were cowards, every one of them, and
so forth.


"Here, I think, it will do no harm to comment upon the
misunderstanding connected with the word 'artist.'
"This word was also passed down to your contemporary
favorites from the Babylonian epoch, not as all the others
were, that is, as empty words without any sense, but just
as a distant echo of a word formerly used.
"You must know that at that time the learned members
of the club of the Adherents of Legomonism were given a
name by the other learned beings, who were well disposed
toward them, a name which they adopted for themselves,
and which your contemporary favorites would write as
"This word was formed from distinct roots of words then
in use, which in contemporary times would signify 'right'
and 'essence.'
"After the Babylonian period, this expression also passed
automatically from generation to generation with almost the
same meaning, but about two centuries ago, when certain
beings with hasnamussian tendencies began wiseacring
about that empty word 'art,' and when various 'schools of
art' arose and everybody considered himself a follower of
one or another of those schools, then, since they did not
understand the genuine meaning of the word 'art,' and
chiefly because one of these schools was named after a certain
Orpheus, a figure invented by the ancient Greeks, they de-
cided to coin a new word defining their 'vocation' more
"So in place of the expression 'Orpheist' they invented
the word 'artist,' which was supposed to mean 'he who is
occupied with art.'

"It must in fairness be admitted that now and again certain
beings of contemporary civilization have suspected that
something was concealed in the works that chanced to reach
them in their original form, specially created in Babylon by
the members of the club of the Adherents of Legomonism,
or even in the copies of these originals made in the course
or their transmission from generation to generation by var-
ious conscientious professionals, to whom, as I have already
said, it had not yet become proper to 'plagiarize,' and who
therefore did not resort to altering the details of the works
of others in order to pass them off as their own. And it
sometimes happened that certain of these inquiring beings
of the European civilization, while searching very atten-
tively, actually found in these works some fragment or
other of this 'something' that had been intentionally hidden
in them.


Brangwen himself was in one of his states of flux. After
all these years, he began to see a loophole of freedom. For
twenty years he had gone on at this office as a draughtsman,
doing work in which he had no interest, because it seemed his
allotted work. The growing up of his daughters, their de-
veloping rejection of old forms set him also free.
He was a man of ceaseless activity. Blindly, like a mole,
he pushed his way out of the earth that covered him, working
always away from the physical element in which his life was
captured. Slowly, blindly, gropingly, with what initiative was
left to him, he made his way towards individual expression
and individual form.
At last, after twenty years, he came back to his wood-
carving, almost to the point where he had left off his Adam
and Eve panel, when he was courting. But now he had knowl-
edge and skill without vision. He saw the puerility of his
young conceptions, he saw the unreal world in which they
had been conceived. He now hand a new strength in his sense
of reality. He felt as if he were real, as if he handled real
things. He had worked for many years at Cossethay, build-
ing the organ for the church, restoring the woodwork, gradu-
ally coming to a knowledge of beauty in the plain labours.
Now he wanted again to carve things that were utterances of
But he could not quite hitch on-always he was too busy,
too uncertain, confused. Wavering, he began to study model-
ling. To his surprise he found he could do it. Modelling in
clay, in plaster, he produced beautiful reproductions, really
beautiful. Then he set-to to make a head of Ursula, in high
relief, in the Donatello manner. In his first passion, he got
a beautiful suggestion of his desire. But the pitch of concen-
tration would not come. With a little ash in his mouth he
gave up. He continued to copy, or to make designs by select-
ing motives from classic stuff. He loved the Della Robbia
and Donatello as he had loved Fra Angelico when he was a
young man. His work had some of the freshness, the naive
alertness of the early Italians. But it was only reproduction.
Having reached his limit in modelling, he turned to paint-
tin. But he tried water-colour painting after the manner of
any other amateur. He got his results but was not much
interested. After one or two drawings of his beloved church,
which had the same alertness as his modelling, he seemed to
be incongruous with the modern atmospheric way of painting,
so that his church tower stood up, really stood and asserted
its standing, but was ashamed of its own lack of meaning,
he turned away again.
He took up jewellery, read Benvenuto Cellini, pored over
reproductions of ornament, and began to make pendants in
silver and pearl and matrix. The first things he did, in his
start of discovery, were really beautiful. Those later were
more imitative. But, starting with his wife, he made a pen-
dant each for all his womenfolk. Then he made rings and
Then he took up beaten and chiselled metal work. When
Ursula left school, he was making a silver bowl of lovely shape.
How he delighted in it, almost lusted after it.
All this time his only connection with the real outer world
was through his winter evening classes, which brought him
into contact with state education. About all the rest, he
was oblivious, and entirely indifferent-even about the war.
The nation did not exist to him. He was in a private retreat
of his own, that had neither nationality, nor any great ad-