Sunday, January 22, 2006

Marcel Dzama Untitled (2002?)

Esoteric academic humor follows from poet Ron Silliman:

Dear Silliman,
I'm having a fight with my girlfriend over her tendency to violently pierce the surface of a text and wrest meaning out of it. I'm tired of finding text-skins all over the house. I find her vulgar. I want to extricate myself without foregrounding contact. Any advice for me?--Agent Tochus

Agent Tochus, this is a classic new relationship problem. She's seeing "meaning" where there are only frames. In other words, it's a case of you say signifier she says signified. But don't call the whole thing off! She's probably also too involved visually to hear the sound of phonemes in the text. I suspect she's looking for the signified in all the wrong places and needs help distinguishing those works that foreground the signifier from those that foreground the signified. She's also complicated matters perhaps, by placing a secondary emphasis on the referential world. Don't give up. There are good cognitive linguistic counselors available.