Alright comrades, I realize that Quotes of quotes of… has been pretty theory-heavy these past few days; moreover, I recognize that a substantial portion of my readership (I’m [irrationally] presuming that such a thing exists) doesn’t have much of a taste for theory, which is an acquired taste to say the least. With that in mind, I’ll spare y’all the Martin Heidegger quote I had lined up for today and instead post some quotes which actually live up to the Quotes of quotes of… moniker (by this I simply mean that I’ve been posting regular quotes rather than quotes-of-quotes).
In the past I’ve cited Walter Benjamin and Jean-Luc Godard as being masters of quotation; today I present to you a real mistress of quotation, Sonic Youth (and Free Kitten) singer/guitarist Kim Gordon. Gordon’s lyrics have consistently employed quotation, appropriating and juxtaposing bits from cultural sources as disparate as Alfred Hitchcock and Madonna. The results of this technique are works of art that are both scattered and erudite. Sonic Youth’s discography could hypothetically serve as a strange yet insightful textbook on the recent history of art. OK, maybe I’m reaching here. Take it away, Kim:
The drama of my consciousness is that, having lost the world, I try to recover myself, but in this moment, I am lost. It’s always blood, fear, politics and money… I don’t know how to stop vomiting since I’ve been working in office.
(“The Ineffable Me” by Sonic Youth, from A Thousand Leaves; originally uttered by Paula Nelson [Anna Karina] in Godard’s Made in U.S.A. )
Going back to these origins. The city is a natural scape. Order in the details. Confusion uproar in the whole. In nature, reality is selection, the tool of critical intervention. Fragmentation is the rule. Unity is not taught in school. You are an unnatural growth on a funny sunny street. The city has forgotten you, its symbols of the past, the meaning of its state, its order of decay. Stand now in a column and make the nature scene… There is no resistance to the signs along the way.
(“Making the Nature Scene” by Sonic Youth, from Confusion is Sex; originally written by 18th-century Italian artist/architectural theorist Giovanni Battista Piranesi)
Beauty lies in the eyes of another’s dreams. Beauty lies lost in another’s dream.
(“Beauty Lies in the Eye” by Sonic Youth, from Sister)
P.S. For your enjoyment: A kind of weird cover of Sonic Youth’s “Shadow of a Doubt” (from EVOL), courtesy of the FADER (are the caps really necessary?)