Alpha and Omega of Our Athens Nostalgia: Ps is for Pseudonym

Did you know when you took the photograph of this quiet performance piece, with its rustle of aligning sunlight, that its creator’s name, Marie Cool Fabio Balducci, was some form of collective pseudonym? Did you read about ‘them’ in an interview article called ‘The Politicization of Anatomy’, in which ‘they’ respond to a question about their name by quoting Deleuze and Agamben (not Guattari) on Melville’s Bartleby on the phrase I WOULD PREFER NOT TO? Did this link between the collective name and the negation of the individual make you think of Odysseus and his cunning name OUTIS (Nobody), as shouted by the blinded Cyclops, when not one of his own come to help him? Did you speak to any of the performers, either before or after their carefully applied actions? While there, in the sunlight, did you contemplate the white page while taking stock of your brightly colored surroundings? Of Tracey Rose’s red column caryatid and Stanley Whitney’s yellow and orange squares of James Brown’s sacrifice to the sun god Apollo? Even if your eyes were squarely fixed on the play of light and white rectangles on the tables, what were your ears doing, what were you hearing? Did you catch a Greek phrase from Pope. L’s Whispering Campaign nearby? Did you want to know what it meant, asking one of the performers, after she had purposefully moved a piece of paper, to translate it for you? Were you pleasantly stunned and thrilled when the English words came back as: Language, even though it is spoken by everybody, is still a mystery? Did you once again feel like Odysseus, this time tied to the mast, as if you were hearing the Song of the Sirens? We need to know.

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