. . . . . . . Supervalent Thought

My friend Patrick
November 7, 2008, 1:58 am
Filed under: Attachment, Ordinariness, Theory of this Blog, writing | Tags: , ,

My friend Patrick W. Welch died a few weeks ago, and I’m still kind of miserable about it, and unsure if it’s appropriate to upload news of it to my research blog without processing it conceptually, as I do in so many previous posts and as I’ve tried and failed to do in relation to this event on a number of occasions.  It’s one of these events that doesn’t produce permission to tell a retroactive story explaining how his life added up to x, y, or z.  So I will just lead you to this, this, and this, more or less verbal ellipses to a situation whose unfolding into genre will just have to be attended to in slow time.  Did you notice, by the way, how very many people responded to Obama’s win by thinking about how the dead would have felt?  Someone must write about that.

Patrick W. Welch: Art Legend
Miniature Paintings 1997-2007

Saturday, December 6, 2008 6-9 pm
1407 E. 54th Place
(Laura Schaeffer’s home-based gallery, as yet nameless)
(773) 363-5935

5 Comments so far
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I think the reason why people have been thinking about the past is not because Obama’s election was surprising, but because it had been so often prophesied. Since the age of Jackson, the principle has been that “anyone can grow up to be president.” The idea that African Americans are supposed to be included in that “anyone” has been a live idea at least since Frederick Douglass ran for VP in 1872 — no, further back, at least since Lincoln was accused of being part black. Not many expected to live to see the day (at least I didn’t), but again and again it was talked about as a day that ought to come — either as an acceptance of reality (“all men are created equal”) or as a transcendence of it. The latter idea, Obama as messiah, has been tossed around some, but when you think about Kafka’s line that “the Messiah will come only when he is no longer needed” it seems to have been falsified.

Comment by Brianz

It reminds me of all those people who swarmed to cemeteries in Boston after the Red Sox won the World Series–to tell their dead friends and relatives.

Comment by Mandy

Brian, I’ve been thinking a lot about your post all month. I didn’t know that about Lincoln. (Half black, half gay! Political love produces some intensely varying phantasmatic embodiments!) You’re totally right about the fulfillment of prophecy. But too it relates to the ways that objects of desire haunt one in advance of their loss, radiating fragility or potential non-existence almost despite what one knows about their mere okayness, randomness, disappointingness, probable endurance, etc. One’s rat brain rehearses potential loss, fort/da like, without even willing the rehearsal. How will I manage the loss of the thing I don’t even have, can never have fully, don’t know if I want? But of course to “wish that x were here to have this event with me” involves lots of other things too: wanting to enjoy the lost intimate’s now barred enjoyment; wanting the intimate to be released from some of their pain by a new pleasure; wishing to share the burden of an attachment that makes one feel vulnerable; or something more mental, associating an event with a particular person or community and wanting the apex intensities of that to be real now, so that a convergence could occur between a history of activism and the current career of political desire….

Comment by supervalentthought

I had the privilege of spending time with Patrick and Cary when Patrick taught at SCAD. And, I am so saddened and sorry to learn of his death. The world just shrunk a bit. Is his art still being shown?

Comment by Lisa Prichard

Carrie had a showing of it right after he died; she said that there’s going to be some sale or something, but there’s been nothing so far. I’ll let you know. It’s a terrible thing. LB

Comment by supervalentthought

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