Art in Malibu
We Americans love to wrap things. Cars, corpses. This expensive car you’ve wrapped in camouflage cloth and parked near the beach. This car you won’t expose to salt and sun. This car you won’t let me drive, won’t let me ride in. This car contains a corpse, doesn’t it? Someone pickled, polished, thoroughly revised and edited. Someone propped at the wheel. Someone you didn’t want me to know. Someone who died of natural causes. Or maybe only the idea of a corpse, the idea of something wrapped within something wrapped. We Americans love packaging. Elaborate plastic packaging, a challenge to open. I could sweep the cloth cover from your car in a moment. I won’t, though. Let your secret blush and simmer under the camouflage cloth. Christo might critique your sloppy folds and drapes, but I’ll be on the beach toasting in varied shades of seafood. You can stand here and admire your handiwork. You can pretend that its concealments conceal, and that in its hot dank interior a lifeform is evolving, superior to us.
Shine a Light
Don’t you realize that this desert doesn’t like you? So what if it’s bisexual? So what if the sand retains footprints in secret forever? Here’s a secret to chew on: this isn’t a desert but a wall, a blank space on which to hang a lamp, a little emergency lamp more like a flashlight. You need this artificial illumination to explore your open pores and closed mind. You need it to scour for clues to your private nausea. But a crack, which extends across the entire plane of view, betrays a structural lack of dignity. You also lack dignity. You’d name this wall a desert, you’d expand or extend it to fill half a continent, or even all of Australia. Go back to Australia if you wish. I’m not stopping you. And take that lamp with you, don’t leave it hanging on the wall. It has nothing to do with the desert. It’s only a place to shine a light, if you have a light to spare.