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Operation: SOAML/TPRATWNLANWICDDTIHNL

Operation: Suck Out All the Marrow of Life/To Put to
Rout All That Was Not Life; And Not, When I Came to Die,
Discover That I Had Not Lived

In tribute to David Foster Wallace

The plan= To head west in a truck dubbed, John W. Silver and steer a
course to Utah via undetermined locations.

10-31-09-Agent W. Blade¹ cut through Detroit on his way to Ann Arbor. In Detroit he photographed a city that in some places is actually returning to pasture due to neglect. In Ann Arbor he made rendezvous with the criminal mastermind, Ash Wednesday, with whom he spent hours discussing the nuances of gender/educational models/less so, Michigan’s beer.

On I-94, the following day, W. Blade rode into Chicago amidst a rainstorm of elephantine proportions and sought refuge at the Chicago Art Institute. There he sketched from Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus on loan from London’s National Gallery. He admired El Greco’s Assumption of the Virgin but recalled being more moved by Titian’s Assumption at the Friari in Venice. Onward to Madison, Wisconsin, where he found a city that had fallen under the spell of some odd festival known as “Halloween” in which hordes of youth dressed in costume and paraded down State St.

  1. agent of A.P.O.L.L.O.
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Operation: SOAML/TPRATWNLANWICDDTIHNL





-3
Wayne Blade w/ John Wayne Silver
Operation: Suck Out All the Marrow of Life/To Put to Rout All That Was Not Life; And Not, When I Came to Die, Discover That I Had Not Lived

In tribute to David Foster Wallace

The plan= To head west in a truck dubbed, John W. Silver and steer a
course to Utah via undetermined locations.

10-28-07- Originally, agents Wayne Blade and Isaac Fastki were to ride west together. Events, however, took an unexpected turn,¹ leaving W. Blade alone in the drivers seat. After a breakfast with Fastki, in which Fastki bestowed W. Blade with sagacious advice, W. Blade departed under solemn skies, funereal even, and drove into the hills of the Catskills. In Andes, NY, he visited the Candela/Decker gallery to see the permanent collection of Dan Eldon.²  After staying at the gallery longer then expected, W. Blade made some westward progress on NY 17 and I 86. In the evening, he turned into the parking lot of a Travelodge hotel and slept in back of John W. Silver, somewhere near Erie, PA. That night, it rained cats and dogs.

  1. Not long before Estimated Date of Departure, Fastki’s urine turned a hue of crimson (some speculate due to the thrashing he was taking during tennis camp, though unconfirmed), subjecting Fastki to a barrage of tests and procedures and precluding him from a timely departure.
  2. Dan Eldon, young explorer and artist who created volumes of layered journals before his untimely death while on assignment as Reuters photographer in Somalia.
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The Aegean Center for the Fine Arts

The ferry pulled out of port and plodded away toward mainland Greece. The island of Paros eventually fell out of sight, leaving only sun gilded sea in its’ stead. The very same currents of change that had taken me to Paros two years prior were now pulling me away.

Paros had been the mise-en-scene for one of the most spectacular dramas of my life. On this island, fields seasonally be speckled by crimson poppies had wrestled air from my lungs; winds arriving from the south occasionally carried clay from Africa’s Sahara and from time to time would glaze the sky with an ominous ochre. On Paros, the ancient poet Archilochus was the first to scribe in iambic meter.  The omphalos of my experience had been inside a colorful neo-classical building nestled amongst white-washed facades. It was there that the Aegean Center for the Fine Arts held most of its’ classes. Although not exactly visible there was inside an educational model like none I had found before.

Over the course of my four terms, the Aegean Center facilitated a personal odyssey that would leave an indelible impression upon my life. During this time, the world adopted the narrative of a deep and marvelous mystery. The history of Western art and thought became more alive to me then ever before.

In a quiet and subtle way, the Aegean Center presented a kind of citizenship to those attune to it’s beat. During class and conversation and often on our customary Friday hikes, a rhythm was created that felt separate from the feverish drumming of 21st Century paeans. This would challenge me to examine notions of identity, particularly those of patriotism and temporal fads, that I, as a young American, carried with me when I arrived.

My teachers at the Aegean Center drew upon lessons from the vault of history and taught from a longstanding tradition of visual, literary and musical art and communication.  For a month out of each year lessons were held on their Italian facility, in a 16th century Tuscan villa. We were thus stationed to study in the birthplaces of Italian masterworks. This type of engagement with the past was not intended to foster anachronistic art or thought but rather, to increase our sensitivity to present day currents and to better inform our decisions.
*    *    *
Soon after the ferry arrived to the mainland near Athens, I flew to New York to celebrate the Christmas holiday with family and childhood friends. For this, I was grateful. I did, however, miss the friends and mentors with whom I had shared a magnificent and transformative experience.

It has been nearly nine months now that I have been back in the States. I have since attended classes at the Art Students League in Manhattan and taught classes at the Masters School, in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Over the summer, I took a motorcycle, alone, across North America. I sometimes thumb through the sketchbooks I had filled at the Aegean Center and consider their pages to be full of signposts from the path I have been on (although I still sort of feel that I am at a beginning, with so much to do and to learn). It is both daunting and exhilarating to be free to choose what path to take from here.

 

For more information on the Aegean Center for the Fine Arts, visit http://www.aegeancenter.org

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Ode on Archilochus

River trrree

Farewell Paros,

Those Figs and Life by the Sea.

Farewell Aegean,

Thy Font of Wonder.

Kind Grecian Sky, Adieu,

A Light Over None Other.

Along Distant Shores

May I Be Met

By Your Kin.