No Orozco: A Dream


In my dream I am in a long room that I think is an attic: there are no windows and there is no furniture and the walls are broken up into different sizes and differently shaped facets. The floor is unfinished and is made up of long dusty floorboards which make me think that the house might be older.  I have been tasked with painting a mural on the walls and I keep thinking of the Orozco murals at Dartmouth College.

Each wall naturally forms a panel to tell a story, except that there are already a few people there: a boy and a girl, both younger than me, and I am annoyed because they are already painting on some of the walls. They aren’t good and they don’t have a plan, they just want to use up the walls so no one else can paint on them. I think: “Well, they’re no Orozco.”

I choose a wall at the far end of the room and begin to draw a figure on it using a black oil stick and my thumbnail. The figure is of a singer who is also the owner of the house. I am taking inspiration from a music video and I have to keep scrubbing back and forth over the same clip to draw the face but I can’t decide which angle of the face I like best so I just keep drawing face upon face upon face until the mural shows several expressions at once, all distorted like a Francis Bacon painting.

Behind me, the singer is standing in the middle of the room performing to no one in particular. From where I am standing I can see that the tail coat he is wearing is dusty and made out of worn out corduroy (no dream dictionary seems to ascribe any meaning to corduroy) that is held together at every seam by safety pins. The pins are on the inside and are not obvious, but I recognize them and notice that the coat is not hemmed.

When I go to color in the mural instead of using paint I find myself squeezing out the juice of a tomato onto the plaster. When it stains into the white wall it becomes a nearly perfect color for the skin tone. I want to focus in on the details but my eyes seem to have become like cameras that can only zoom out.

When I give up trying to force it I sit on the floor behind where the performance is taking place but the floor becomes a turntable and I discover that I can cause it to twirl at exhilarating speeds, but when I try to change directions I wake up.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on August 2, 2012.

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