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1984 Anna Leonowens installation

Above: A photograph by Donald Westin of Cliff Eyland's 1984 Anna Leonowens Gallery exhibition entitled "Library/Art Gallery." The show consisted of an arrangement of file card paintings -- 3"x5" -- and drawings in 35 mm slide mounts within a 3'x5' area on one wall.

FILE CARD DREAM SENTENCES FOR GEOFFREY HENDRICKS' KETTLE PERFORMANCE WORK, 18 JANUARY 2005

[These sentences were first published in Toronto's defunct alternative gallery journal Parallelogram, Vol. 9, No. 1, Autumn, 1983, 11-12 as "Talking: Poems." They were edited slightly in 1998 -- each one used to be prefaced with David Byrne's Talking Heads line "You may ask yourself..." -- and slightly again in 2001. In 1981 they were meant to act as adjuncts to some of the file-card sized works, but they were never shown with the paintings. They were modified again for a Geoffrey Hendricks "kettle" performance piece in which Eyland participated at the University of Manitoba's Art Barn on 18 January 2005. See below...]

I had a dream that... Library was immense, ordered and deranged.

I had a dream of...A Library for what can be duplicated, a museum for everything else.

I had a dream that asked...What is the remove from reality we imagine library materials to have (I mean the book, the floppy disk, the videotape, microfiche...)?

I had a dream that...When your eyes cross slightly you are having a vision.

I had a dream that...Put a piece of electronics together erratically.

I had a dream that...In a Library things go wrong: words are misspelled, details lock together uncontrollably, etc...

I had a dream in which I...Made short notes and small paintings for people who have only seconds to look.

I had a dream that had me...Act as if the philosophical sketch and the graphic sketch can depict anything.

I had a dream that...Related punctuation marks to frequency of breath.

I had a dream that...Acknowledged the infinite subtlety and density of any topic.

I had a dream in which I...Tried to explain what I was doing as I was doing it.

I had a dream that...Assumed that the world gives up enough material for any kind of theorizing.

I had a dream in which I...Contemplated visual 'pain'.

I had a dream in which I...Contemplated obvious things.

I had a dream in which I...Mastered my own technical languages and systems.

I had a dream in which I...Developed a talent for improvised living.

I had a dream that...Acknowledged that every effort was collective effort.

I had a dream in which I...Read dense passages in order to put my eyes out of focus and to push myself into a trance.

I had a dream that...Always `worded' or `pictured' things.

I had a dream that...Lingered in the moment a decision was made: the decision to breathe, to look, to move.

I had a dream in which I...Had another look at philosophical nonsense.

I had a dream in which I...Used a television set as a light source for slides of my paintings.

I had a dream in which I...Looked again at the way artists misunderstand.

I had a dream such that...Even if the ideology of the church crumbled, the building might not fall down.

I had a dream that...Explored the emotional range between the precisely formed philosophical proposition and the meticulously-made painting.

I had a dream that...Reserved a space outside the Library for an imaginary world.

I had a dream in which I...Did nothing in a particular way.

I had a dream in which I...Made what I believed consistent with what I did.

I had a dream in which I...Considered wood as paper.

I had a dream in which I...Thought small like a microchip, a file card, or a one-room apartment.

I had a dream that...Attempted to distinguish real violence from representations of violence.

I had a dream in which I...Thought public thoughts about private things.

I had a dream that...Opposed American world culture.

I had a dream in which I...Wrote clearly about what is intentionally obscure.

I had a dream in which...When I made a painting, I considered the cost of maintaining it forever.

I had a dream in which I...Made art that is direct, immediate, concrete, small.

I had a dream that...Thought explodes out of matter like fire, as if it were a phenomenon of matter.

I had a dream that...Made a record of every state between deep sleep and total attention.

I had a dream in which I...Spoke without using new terms or odd inflections.

I had a dream that...Assumed everything happens.

I had a dream that...Developed my argument into a snakelike bundle of qualifications.

I had a dream that...Made paintings that look one way and think another.

I had a dream that...Breaking a convention interfered with a memory.

I had a dream that...Taste makes waste.

I had a dream in which I...Thought of my brain as fog with bone brackets.

I had a dream that...Organized a loose bunch of aphorisms into essays.

I had a dream that...Encouraged the kind of insanity in my art that remakes the world according to my vision.

I had a dream that I... Felt fake whenever I talked 'educated'.

I had a dream in which I...Attacked graphic design as raw prejudice elevated to the status of beauty and truth in advertising.

I had a dream in which I...Followed how word and word interact and word and not-word interact.

I had a dream in which I...Used a paradox as a gateway to reverie.

I had a dream in which I...Circled a problem with attempts at a solution.

I had a dream in which I...Became fashionably or unfashionably out of style.

I had a dream in which I...Did Poussin again, after the apocalypse.

I had a dream in which I...Imposed intelligibility on things.

I had a dream that...Did not refer to names in defense of a position.

I had a dream that...Dreamed myself awake.

I had a dream that...Considered a daydream to be a thought experiment.

I had a dream that...Imagined your eyes squeezing through your nerves and blood vessels.

I had a dream that...Wondered about degrees of yes, no, and maybe.

I had a dream that...Used your first responses as art materials.

I had a dream that...Aesthetics in the factory means scrubbing the place.

I had a dream that...If I wanted mythology, I would make it the mythology of analysis and analytical methods.

I had a dream that...Divided atomic facts into pure emotion.

I had a dream that...Did not feel obligated to think anything at all.

I had a dream that...Did not give over any part of its thinking to professionals.

I had a dream in which I...Got groups together to sketch orchestrated visions of described things, or to think matter into existence.

I had a dream in which I asked...Why should I be famous for a few moments when I can be anonymous forever?

I had a dream that I...Filed cards in a box according to an alphabetical order; put cards on a wall according to a visual order.

I had a dream that...If God judgeth you according to every word that issueth out of your mouth you may want to mull over a thought a little more before you commit it to breath.

I had a dream that...You may want to mix up the self-conscious drunkenness of expressionistic painting with the tautological vagueness of conceptual art.

I had a dream that...Experienced the emotion of an insight without having one

I had a dream that...Made notes and paintings as discrete fragments in an unorganized continuum.

I had a dream that...Made Library into an illustrated novel.

I had a dream that...Grassroots were hay seeds.

I had a dream that...Secretly placed file card sized works in borrowed books.

I had a dream of...Military order and civilian chaos.

I had a dream in which I...Developed intellectual impressionism.

I had a dream in which I...Imagined robots on welfare.

I had a dream that told me...Do not "distribute" file cards, rather "disperse" them.

I had a dream that told me...Chop everything into file cards.

I had a dream that told me to...Write an essay on file cards.

I had a dream in which I...Remembered that printed type is also photography.

I had a dream in which...Library insisted on a visionary analytical scheme.

I had a dream that...Didn't let the investigation deepen, that brought it back to the surface.


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