Maskenfreiheit 𝑏𝑦 James Krendel-Clark

Maskenfreiheit 𝑏𝑦 James Krendel-Clark

“the opening of attraction and the negligence welcoming the person who is attracted are one and the same”

 

-Michel Foucault, The Thought of the Outside

 

Rex Hairdo Orifice IV was a genius and America’s leading art critic. He represented a new generation of critics who rejected the post-critical for good old fashioned judgement, although not without integrating the stylistic and conceptual advances of the post-critical vernacular (he had the instincts of a Greenberg and the theoretical acumen of a Krauss). He was also a veritable Don Juan, a Pierre Klossowski, a Phallic Prince, in short, a Mephistopheles, whose rhizomatically predatorial animality always arrived at its destination, and he surely clawed his way into the hearts of millions of homesick waifs yearning for the latest information on how to be erudite. Behind his expensively framed glasses were eyes that swiveled diabolically-robotically, saccadic crawl of mindrich divots spinning at the end of the terminal interface that churned the core of his surfaces and crunched the math of his machine moustacheface, whirring rods and pumping pistons straining towards the futurism of his smirk, intestinal situationism slimily sidled over to tzaraflirting artgirls in a woven sharpchat witword clunk glut deleuzian stutter of galactic oh wow what a brain you have gaping the void run abgrund against her sweetgleaming worldlyways, he oozed with goo, wisdom barfed its alphabetic associations into a holographic hieroglyph of true truthcave, we all nestled into its shadowy light, adequatio, correspondentia, convenientia, to on hos alethes, mellowly whispered clockworklike guruvocals, gigglesheheardhim alightwenton, comeintomycave, swirling negative dialectics, every charm known to enchant these cynical screen-kids and it knocked resonating like gong, clever clutzy cutesy nerdyouthgothtightskirt of today right on their cute asses. Oh, and tonight he was slyly relaxing awaiting most graciously the advent of the artwork whose author he intended to seduce (this time a charming young man with a ravishing hairdo and a well-groomed orifice, Rex whose name was a rhebus of features that belong to both genders), Ralph Overdo Dilletante’s long awaited gesamtkunstwerk (no doubt the start of a promising artistic career; Ralph’s name a rhebus of a universal tragedy of youth confronted with its own promise) with this imposing yet sincere presence, the raw bones of Rex’s robot-being were neutral and almost clinked like the ice in his drink, and almost invisible like a psychoanalyst’s fists clutching the pen that carved out an inky diagram of this fancy lad’s psyche, the revolutionary capacity of his s’words (god Rex could remember so much, the archive of his mind was archeologically organized with histories of movements ever kindling, ever going out like Heraclitus’ matches, tossed idly into a fountain one by one as the sun goes down and the sublimated dialogue barely conceals the genital topology within; Rex scratched his head and soothed his hair as he remembered the history of the avant-garde, its futility, its majesty, its excess and momentum, storming the museum, formalisms inverted, deconstructed, shattered). Glasses clink and polite chit-chat flit through the resonant hall as the lights dim. 

 

 

Ralph’s theater troupe, The Cosmic Irony Minstrels, were performing a grandiose and overworked work (yet still exhibiting incredible potential, the culmination of his so-far-short career; Ralph had a Masters in Media Studies from Pratt, a convincing credential that had opened doors normally closed to a yearner so young), a hypertext of a musical play (was it an opera? no, not exactly) that Ralph had written while still a student (“The Manic Myth of America” was its simply yet effective title). Surely it was something he had furrowed his brow over, gotten headaches long into the night, clenched his jaw and wracked the essence of his lucidly electrical, incandescent cortex over, cultivated, curated, in short, created, in the most Zarathustrian rockstar sense, he was proud, yes, and his actors were to be accompanied, in perfect Brechtian fashion — plenty of meta-irony in show, naturally — by (along with the original four members of Ralph’s avant-rock band Backhanded Compliment) a 42-piece ensemble that included, along with some of the standard instruments: lute, sitar, EWI, black metal screamers in full corpsepaint, flamethrowers, household appliances fitted with contact microphones, and finally a series of explosions that had been specially engineered to crisply demolish the concert hall, just basically gut the thing to gorey shreds of what would become an art installation called Architecture Gets its Ass Handed to it Part One (everyone was eager to know what part Two would be), thus this buildingdeath as the 3 hour piece comes to a cum-in-your-pants crescendo of a crashclose (the structure, a kind of simple yet elegant pavilion, partially perforated by orifices, openings, “holes”, if you will, and yet sheathed in a kind of windswept latex dressing, was designed specifically for this one-off spectacle by starchitect Reisling Momentum (in collaboration with the extremely talented engineer/roboticist Guy Zufall), would be made todetonate in such a way as to deposit all of the dust debris safely away from all audience and performers (who nevertheless wore gasmasks to avoid choking on the shrapnel’s toxic residue), a complicated process for sure, yet hardly a Rube Golberg gizmo, rather a process of almost minimalist elegance  hat had already been written about in some detail (from a neurophenomenological standpoint) by one of the leading design theorists of the day (and close friend of Rex), Custard Quintz, in the prestigious architectural journal Log [successor to ANY], in an article cryptically called: “Formalism’s Cumshot, or: How Many Minimalists Does it Take to Melt an Icecube?”).

 

 

Afterwards (the temporary triumph of The Manic Myth of America having been a devious orgy of revelry that had the guests barhopping manhattan and railing K til they could be certain of having transvalued at least most of their values) Rex bought Ralph a friendly drink in a trendy yet traditional sake bar where they discussed life, art, and other topics too broad to really define, wittily dancing over all things with their world-imaging words. Slowly, and with the snake-like attention of a surgeon, Rex gently disencumbered Ralph (every tonguetendril of his abstractions licking the orifices of the ears of this dear young boy who was fresh out of college and full to the gills of fanciful phantasms and only to willing to be educated, wisened-up). Every last one of Ralph’s silly vague hangups dissolved and he was converted without much struggle to that oh-so-rarified plateau that those in the industry like to call cynicism. The siren promise of eternal fame, like a sassy Circe (Rex thought of all this in decidedly Greek terms, the sneaky sodomite) seemed to dissipate all more mundane and fleeting concerns Ralph had, such as those dictated by the purely arbitrary zeitgeist. “Nothing more arbitrary than the zeitgeist,” Rex said wisely. “You, my friend, get to decide the Zeitgeist. You’re a prophet of the NEW! YOU decide what goes and what don’t, you transvaluater you!”. Rex prodded Ralph playfully in the ribs. And he continued to expound wacky [yes wacky no doubt, for they hinged on a style that always seemed to elude Ralph, as if their very arbitrariness were a form of rigor, the highest form, even] yet rigorous theories of life and art so scintillating, tasty (their candy crunch dissolving in Ralph’s brainthroat and their cocainecrispy electronshots blasting his synapses with dazzling dialectic CONCEPTS™), crystalline in their airtight, shockproof yet really fucking paradoxicalweird logic (ooh, he was getting dizzy and mesmerized and everything around him had this weird glow, like his brain was so turned-on by this wizard of theory that it was almost like being on some kind of drug, but it was like no drug he had ever tried before…) Ralph got dizzy and dizzy and dizz zzz z.z Zzzy y y Y!!!!!!! and eversoslightly nauseous, but seeitwasdefinitelyasexysortofnauseauyeah, hotinhispantshe could even feel himself getting a hardon as the air filled warm wet red buzz with the cutting-edge vibeZ of the latest avant-club music, some wasp of sonic buzz, some waspbuzz of sonic clubclubthrob, this must probably be something by Holly Herndon, Ralph wasn’t so sure, or m.e.s.h…. Totally confusednow and ditsy as a dingbat after only about two bottles of plum sake, he needed a cigarette which Rex gladly provided, Ralph could only squirm or rotate or move, angle his body in a certain way, only so far could he kinaestheticaly adjust the angle forming between him and Rex when he was hooked archingly back by another slick line of reasoning, another beautifully improvised pronouncement about this or that, like they were doing this spiraling dance, and so he just went with it, and the two laughed their heads off with no uncertain grin about the geometry of Rex’s rhetoric, can you dig it? It was as elegant as set theory, but also, who cares? It was about the vibe, the atmosphere, the stimmung. They switched to a rather pricy bottle of 20 year old Japanese whiskey which they drank to the last drop and before Ralph knew it he was swimming in schnockered, smashed, SHARDED glorious intoxication, he was OOZING EEL-LIKE THROUGH WATER totally horny, and totally converted to Rex’s way of thinking, and then whaddayaknow Rex was offering to give him a ride home, “But first,” he said, swaying slightly a slight smug sway a little drunk see so what, “let’s stop by my apartment, eh? There’s a Mark Leckey thing I want to show you, I just acquired it only last week, incredible use of a 3D printer, totally wild stuff, you’ll definitely dig it, it’s GINORMOUS in terms of its impact on our current GESTELL, to speak like HEIDEGGER.”

 

 

    Rex runs his fingers smoothly, delicately through Ralph’s beatiful hair. “You marvelous confluence of hipster influence. You posthip postcritical mishmosh of stuff, I love your glasses, man, they’re very COOL. Those slightly bad eyes that you sortofsee with with glassesoff. I’m sure you must read tons,” he teased. And so he carelessly, mashingly applies a stick of neon blue lipstick to Ralph’s meek mound of mouth, then to his own (“What the hell,” he smirks, “it’s an aesthetic decision”), and the two mouths join in a brutal, mesmerizing, deliberate smush of K-I-S-S-I-N-G, their faces smudging stiffly together in the stupefying agonizing intermingling of crazed, virile, wet souls. Mouth on mouth, mm, mushy, mpop, pulling away for a sec, Rex clocks Ralph’s face with astute Husserlian rays of phenomenological-perceptual penetration. This particular face, you see, has a shy, traumatized, embarrassed yet still sort of arrogant vibe to it. “You’re such a babe” says Rex, as he tenderly touches the raw, blushing skin of Ralph’s soft, childish cheek, then rakes his fingernails across the stubble of his five o clock shadow, fly-bristle to belie the boyish lack of full beard or adult lines of hardened face, not like Rex’s wrinkles, smoothing away forelock. “You belong to me now, my child, we both belong to this elegant synthetic moment, you see? This synaesthetic attraction. Look into my eyes, see how their void is a pure synthetic emptiness? Yes, just let me taste the exotic ice cream softness of your synthetic soul, like ice cream it melts like synthetic transcendental ice cream…” Ralph at first starts to giggle, but then there are certainly some tetrated tentacles of tears in his wildly raging robot cyberpunk eyes, those young eyes whose dry moisture indicates above all a severe lack of experience. Ralph’s penis, like a sculpture, existiert, it is the root of his Dasein, of everything about him that lists toward the future, towards newness, yes, radar ralph, radar dasein accelerating fast. “USE me, Rex, USE me, pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease, YOU are my ABGRUND, I admit it, I give all up, I surrender in full, my work is nothing without your criticism…” Rex smiles. “Weakness, is wonderful, no?” Ralph’s cute little young-adult face is wan with its ambitious lack of strength and manic, almost gloating passivity. “Yes. I love the way you weaken me,” he whispers. Rex is really digging this situation, and his cock is definitely grokking the way this jock of a subtwink is talking. “You’re really going places kid, you thought you were somewhere earlier tonight at your show, and yes, that was quite the triumph, but it was trivial, trifling compared to the giant gesamtkunstwerks gleaming in your virtual future. Just wait, I’m certain that an article or two by me, some strings pulled here and there, some doors opening, opening, opening, opening onto orgasmic wake of applause, total mobilization, total, unimaginable, inconceivable… [with winking and foxy glare here narrowing to a sensual whisper] fanfare.”

 

….

 

Rex and Ralph are nude and sprayed with some kind of glittery substance. Orgy technicians sit off to the side of the stage, on standby. The shimmering bodies of the libertines glisten with virile animality. Rex, in his capacity as a critic, would have referred to this as “a primordially obscure situation of radical performative obscenity.” But now, in the moment, he simply glows with obscure and villainous will-to-power. No need to theorize here. It was on like Qui-Gon Jinn. “I love you, I think.” Ralph whimpered. Rex laughed, haughtily. “Ah, yes, love! Of course! Why yes, yes, of course! of course! The ultimate illusion!” “But why, what, I thought…” “Shut up and kiss me kid,” Rex’s hand snakes down Ralph’s spine and hooks to penetrate, plumbing pulp of prostate, while the other arm draws Ralph’s face to his own, and after a certain interminable squealing, Ralph’s soul really does begin to melt to the tune of this ferocious fisting, this enhollowing howl of hardcore homosexual hardon. They pull apart only for a gasping second of breath-catching. “I love you Rex, it’s a love I’ve never known before, never a wild love like this have I known, in die Wächterschaft für das Seyn…” Their mouths suck to mutual lipping of kiss (der Ursprung eines Verzichtens!), mesmerizing swirl of pullulating fat worm lips, yumming togethering in their moldering slither and then SMACK POP apart again (lichtende Verbergung des Seins als solchen). Ralph’s crazed expression satisfies Rex so thoroughly in all of his surfaces that he decides to pull out every last one of the stops of his dasein, every damn decadent stop he’s got within reach, mm swish and with a swaggering flourish he flips on the switch (CLICK) that triggers the snow and the wind machines (Geschlichtlichkeit!), meanwhile technicians rush in to give Ralph a coat of golden drag makeup (wesentlich seynsgeschichtlich) with fractal butterfly motifs, operatic backdrops arc in along with shifting heideggerian blur of brilliant theatrical lights blasting each brain (amidst Wagneresque trumpeting, die Freiheit der Fügung seiner Fugen) that sets the shimmer spray that coats them dazzling in fractal constellations of atmospheric flux and racial purity, blistering polarity of the bubbles let loose in the spine of the Unermesslichkeit of their strong traumatic ecstatic beingness. Flicks another switch and something that sounds like a cross between Stockhausen’s Cosmic Pulses (the “thirteenth hour” of his being-historical Klang cycle) and some new obscure freak-out neogabber jam (a little bit of kitsch, for kicks) blasts bleedingly out of state of the art speakers (οὐ γὰρ φρονέουσι τοιαῦτα πολλοί, ὁκοίσοι ἐγκυρεῦσιν, οὐδὲ μαθόντες γινώσκουσιν, ἑωυτοῖσι δὲ δοκέουσι). An influencer and a guru and an erudite man of letters, Rex was always an expert at creating this sort of relational-pedagogical art environment (this was his Συμπόσιον, his Holzwege, his Musik Kosmische, Vom Ereignis), this installation, this situationist autonomous zone, this radical re-orientation in dasein was testament to his VISIONARY GENIUS for configuring alternate DIMENSIONS of the MULTIVERSE. “Oh my god,” said Ralph, more than a little bit impressed. “Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be sodomized by Rex Hairdo Orifice in such a being-historical situation, κόσμον τόνδε, τὸν αὐτὸν ἁπάντων, οὔτε τις θεῶν οὐτε ἀνθρώπων ἐποίησεν, ἀλλ’ ἦν ἀεὶ καὶ ἔστιν καὶ ἔσται πῦρ ἀείζωον, ἁπτόμενον μέτρα καὶ ἀποσβεννύμενον μέτρα.”

 

 

Ralph’s moaning aching flesh flaystrips of black charred meat separates from itself gristle of turkeyleg, raw aching fire everkindling, winging out in aching creak of crack, history windpuffs of lightning core zeuswinding stretch of pullcunt, bent up on cuntrack of lust, CRUNCH DECODED KERNELS ached the arched back ache stretched on a rack, blinding the flayed form of the arch take feminine form, grecian urn folding inside-out aching arching, blinding, twisted arc of the back 45 degree angle the gaping hole inside outside, thrusting into out of wrenched apart his sloppy decrystalized face decoded decohering daintily ditz of number split ends of the equation, whence excluded from the manuscript of minute calculation, eluding the grasp of its too stupid brain, its nerdy aching glasses clatter klutzily on the floor, wrenched eyeballs kookoo crazed forever blurring blazed, out of joint bonkers and out of time, no more focus no more normal no more ever centered in himself no no no opening up orgasms dilating into moregasms… the limit of the limit of the limit of the limit. His eyes grew damp, finally welling with tears. The hugeness of his erection mythical larger than any infinity. He swooned in his weakened weakness, sobbing sad depressiontears sobbing sadcry uncontrollably ill emo, mental meltdown of a priapic god. His body spasmed in confused/confusing rictus WRECKED squeezing every tense tush tight, sucking every spasm of bulging fibers of bodily NURBS SCREAMING SKY LIPGLOSS. Every friend, every mentor, every father, figures… shapes… surfaces… structurescathected to mirror of homosexual whirled around bergsonian cone, mister mystery, father fantasy, master masquerade, momentarily frozen in a childhood page from the rip of a book, magical moans echo into the weird night weird orificewebbed, ἀνθρώπους μένει ἀποθανόντας ἄσσα οὐκ ἔλπονται οὐδὲ δοκέουσιν. Hysteriaworld™ whirled around a million tabs open of exotic 3D cartoon carresses, hysterical epileptic strobe montage, spasming movement-image glitches of chiropractors and surgical time-elves with spinning ninja weapons corrupt surgery chanting high pitched deathmantramusic ecstatic mysterium of youtube playlist angelic plastic throbbing reaction hieroglyphic iPhone. This time it was a real homosexual escapade, this time yes, this was a known homosexual situation, a homosexual experience for sure, definitely homosexuality this time, homosexuality both masked and unconcealed, discernibly homosexual, obfuscated in its clarity, τήν τε οἴησιν ἱερὰν νόσον ἔλεγε καὶ τὴν ὅρασιν ψεύδεσθαι. Clear homosexual unmasking, razor eats the skin, skin eats the flesh, flesh eats the world. It was the maskenfreiheit of the epistemology of its own dark unfolded faustian closet, unruffled costume of heraclitus fragments, the gaping hole of that same heideggerian marxist’s closet’s unveiling(s). The parenthetical s indicating could be plural, being singular plural, but from now on collapsing together into one: identity identify slipped slushily into slurp of orifice, anal beads pulled out on cam with horrible homo howls of pleasure. Homosexual, now, yes, through and through, true as the heraclitean flames corroding his already-dead corpse of a face, it’s clear what threshold styxcrossed now, when and Ralph was burned up oprhic this new identity clearsnapped into place around, everywhere everything ensured this to be the case, script-writers and chattering production assistants thronging through the space which seemed to keep expanding on and on, and on, and on, paparazzi swarming like weevils, some kind of massive studio rigged to the gills with infrastructure, special effects guys and stunt doubles, secretaries fielding phone calls and accountants crunching numbers as the budget keeps hitching higher and higher, he thought he had heard them quote a figure like “5 billion” but now it seemed to be going steadily up, it made him melt with pleasure to know this could be so expensive and official. ἐὰν μὴ ἔλπηται ἀνέλπιστον οὐκ ἐξευρήσει, ἀνεξερεύνητον ἐὸν καὶ ἄπορον. Basking in this expensive Hollywood spectacular gaygaygayness, never before had he been so gay, never more GAY, couldn’t get more GAY than this, or more expensively GAY. Before, yes, in his other life (das Suchen des Seyns), he had had this quiet heideggerian heterosexual dignity, it was as if he felt almost large and in charge of his own dasein. Like a gigantic guru or a superpowerful sorcerer. But here, now, fully fisted by this erudite genius who clearly was into some seynsgeschichtliche Denken himself, giving into fame and fortune (die falsch Vergemeinerung) he lost all of that former allure, and he felt a gentle sort of distance come over him, a resignation, as he was reduced to a typical faustian teen, a gooey goth slut, and he absolutely no longer existed anymore, he squealed like a rutting nymphet with glee, gleeful as the hottest, horniest little strumpet-on-a-string (τὸ μὴ δῦνόν ποτε πῶς ἄν τις λάθοι;). His anxiety was like electrical wires fizzing with charge, a warning sign that says: “DEATH”, but his delight was a dance, it was empty-headed dazzle, pure energy, liquid, poseidonwet, every nerve a wire alive with the energy of money, proust, gide, lazy nervedeath in bookland. ἕν τὸ σοφὸν μοῦνον λέγεσθαι οὐκ ἐθέλει καὶ ἐθέλει Ζηνὸς ὄνομα. He did a kind of a swishy, nervelit ecstatic nymphodance, thunderstorms blasting him with hot godbreath, vogueing violently and aching more tenderly than ever, mushy as a mango, melted confluence of transcendental consciousness, grasped in a greekly heroic fire, vaguely burning with an attic gaze wildly crossing the limits of difference and repetition, he is grimly absent as a chorus of choreographers swirl around his body and give him tips, assigning steps to his limbs and turns to his angles and testing out the spatial boundaries and morphologies of his surfaces, really pushing things as far as possible, grimly he withstands it. Rex grins, equally vacant. The heraclitean fire that fills the room rapes every identity. 7 or 8 different camera-people danced around the crazed singularities (“Rex,” “Ralph”, strange attractors in a lava that trembles as only anti-matter can as it snaps every connection to reality, as it flips every outline into its anti-procrustian terror, meanwhile advertising jinges, huge crowds, sold out stadiums. An aching hollow eyed head gleams and blots out the sun. Laughter echos, unhinged, through the space, an enigmatic cackle that coughs itself dry, wheezes each void and crevice until breathless, vacant asthmatic nothingness.