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This place / is love
ANTOINE BEUGER, MICHAEL PISARO
(Erstwhile 2013)

Review by Patrick Farmer

The combined catalogue of the works of Antoine Beuger and Michael Pisaro goes back around 17 years, to my knowledge. Whilst glancing over those works in my possession, I was this time struck by the constancy of change within their individual oeuvres, with regards to what I am now hearing in 2013. And so it follows, that whenever I’ve sat down and tried to write about the work of either of these two people in the past, I realise I am already lost as an approach, like that sound, everywhere, which is the sea, which is and as I still am, happily so, amidst lands of thought in all their interference and direction. Overtime I have been able to at least formulate a few responses, and to try to listen to what form of residue comes rolling back. I have often asked, where am I supposed to start? Is there a beginning? If there is, I feel that it must be found, in levels. Levels that display faces of emergence, portraying an abundance of fluctuating layers in air. Experiencing this place / is love is like studying the burrow of an earthworm, like looking into a hall of mole hills, as if it were my own body, attempting to detect the minute tumble of sequential movement among myriad peaks and ineluctable curves. One needs to almost tame the work, albeit temporarily, in perception, so as to be able to observe its behaviour before it reclaims the required quiescence.

So what might it be that is being observed? I can only submit that it is myself. Is that where the strength of this expansive place lies? Though there isn’t a hint of reflection… So what might it be that is being observed? Movement both toward and away from an image made human by sound? An anti-reversal of vibration? This could all quite possibly take place as a cavity of erasures, sitting warmly in the mouth of the one covered in perception, in all their narrative light, scraping away at, as Robert Duncan once said, “…all the architectures that I am.”

There appears to be no life outside of this place that is itself full of life. Its presence feels as cyclical and yet unreachable as a dog chasing its own brain. Love can be overheard, as if it were just out of reach, though closer than we think, calling to a small circle of curious organisms, belonging to an intimate cloud of oratorical solitude. Herein, time freely submits to a bowls of structure, to images of brightness, skin, and mould.

Inside, a warm conversation takes place between play and empty space. It speaks of a childlike acquisition of form – there is no hint of bifurcation or dichotomy, no lurching panic, resulting in its eventual submission, as if the entire event had never happened – its story takes place beneath language and exists apart from so much of conscious choice, regardless of the stage upon which it is presented, in a state of constant eventuality. This place tells of a joining of qualities, neither received nor given as a polemic or judgement, but as concentric personality and the accorded instinct. This, a position pointed, leads toward the inevitable. Not that it has to happen, but that it always has.

It’s like watching the mating ceremony of two wood pigeons condensed into a speck. It’s not the action, but rather the feeling, the idle surprise of a moment in waves and in thought, witnessed for perhaps the hundredth time, crafting a range of that which is yet to be made into many quiet personalities. Like watching a gentle enjoyment that is watching an event slowly unfold.

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[Antoine Beuger left, Michael Pisaro right]

Antoine Beuger website
Michael Pisaro discography
Erstwhile website