Entries in old hickory (3)

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 PRESS RELEASE

"CODE DUELLO, OLD HICK & A BIG BANG"

New Art by Paul McLean on Exhibit [5-26 July 2014] at David Lusk Gallery Nashville

In his first solo exhibition in Nashville in over a decade, on view at David Lusk Gallery from July 5 through July 26, Brooklyn-based artist Paul McLean will present a rich body of new paintings and supporting media focused on the life and times of President Andrew Jackson ("Old Hickory"), and other stories from the past, here and now. For “Code Duello, Old Hick & A Big Bang,” McLean will exhibit interlinking series of mixed media on canvas, sculptural or dimensional wall-mounted pieces and ink-on-polyester works, plus digital animations and texts. The show’s subject matter will cover a spectrum of compelling narratives, including President Jackson’s colorful and controversial history, the practice of dueling in America and the art and science of the universe’s origins, as represented in modern technology through computer-enabled data visualization. "Code Duello, Old Hick & A Big Bang" opens Saturday July 5, with an artist's reception from 6-9PM

ABOUT THE SHOW

McLean’s unique approach, which he has termed “4D,” or “4th Dimensional art” since the early 80s, provides an integrative framework for layered techniques, timelines, spatial concerns and concepts. Most of the images in “Code Duello, Old Hick & A Big Bang” consist of the figure on and/or in abstraction, but operate as a kind of perceptual projection device confronting space and time beyond the limits of strict 3D and 2D pictorial architectures. Throughout his career, McLean has created art in both solo and collective platforms, and in this exhibition, the artist partners with long-time collaborator Shane Kennedy, a Tennessee native and recent graduate of The Cooper Union. McLean and Kennedy created a series of innovative pull-paintings during a residency at Chanorth in upstate New York in Fall 2013, as part of the “Code Duello” set. Kennedy also prepared lush surfaces for some of the paintings for the Jackson series, and provided substantial technical support for McLean’s project. Additional fabrication services for “Code Duello, Old Hick & A Big Bang” came by way of the robust and bustling artisanal networks in Brooklyn, especially the Bushwick district, where McLean’s current studio is located. McLean’s impetus for weaving the Big Bang into the discourse underpinning the show arose from his doctoral course work at the European Graduate School, and an encounter with NYU’s Tim Maudlin, whose specialty is combining physics and philosophy in exploring the nature of relations to the cosmos.

Ultimately, “Code Duello, Old Hick & A Big Bang” is an exposition on questions we have about what it means to be “A Man of the Times,” how we stylize our experiences for the purposes of representation, and what we consider to be meaningful action. It is McLean’s general contention that the arts - and especially visual art - give us a worthy vehicle for sharing our most profound encounters with the complex world in which we live out our lives. The artist has the means to combine craft with theory to generate singular objects that simultaneously reflect and embody our perceptions of existence and what we value most. As a valuable expression the art thus conceived can be passed down, generation to generation, as an act of hope - a “real” reminder of, meditation on, and hedge against our individual mortality.

 

"An Atrocious Saint"

Songs:
5
OLD HICKORY

 

[CHORUS 1]

 

THIS IS A SONG ABOUT OLD HICKORY

THIS IS A SONG ABOUT OLD HICKORY

THIS IS A SONG ABOUT OLD HICKORY

THIS IS A SONG ABOUT OLD HICKORY

 

[VERSE 1]

 

OLD HICK!

OLD HICK!

OLD HICK!

OLD HICK!

 

[CHORUS 2]

 

THIS IS A SONG ABOUT OLD HICKORY

THIS IS A SONG ABOUT OLD HICKORY

THIS IS A SONG ABOUT OLD HICKORY

THIS IS A SONG ABOUT OLD HICKORY

 

[VERSE 2]

 

OLD HICK!

OLD HICK!

OLD HICK!

OLD HICK!

 

[BREAK]

 

[REPRISE]

 

THIS IS A SONG ABOUT OLD HICKORY

THIS IS A SONG ABOUT OLD HICKORY

 

6

I KILLED THE BANK

 

[CHORUS 1]

 

THE BANK IS TRYING TO KILL ME

BUT I WILL KILL IT!

THE BANK IS TRYING TO KILL ME

BUT I WILL KILL IT!

 

[VERSE 1]

 

I KILLED THE BANK!

I KILLED THE BANK!

I KILLED THE BANK!

I KILLED THE BANK!

 

[CHORUS 2]

 

THE BANK IS TRYING TO KILL ME

BUT I WILL KILL IT!

THE BANK IS TRYING TO KILL ME

BUT I WILL KILL IT!

 

[VERSE 2]

 

I KILLED THE BANK!

I KILLED THE BANK!

I KILLED THE BANK!

I KILLED THE BANK!

 

[BREAK]

 

[VERSE 3]

 

I KILLED THE BANK!

I KILLED THE BANK!

I KILLED THE BANK!

I KILLED THE BANK!

"A Most Law-defying, Law-obeying Citizen" 

[Net-Illustrated] Poem:

["OLD HICKORY" in binary numbers] > 01101111 01101100 01100100 00100000 01101000 01101001 01100011 01101011 01101111 01110010 01111001 


> “has invented a new and useful improvement in the Construction of a back for a Forge & for most other fires where a blast is needed.”


7
THIS IS NOT PHOTOSHOP [cut & paste]; a meditation on selectivity

"Let it be signified to me through any channel (say Mr. John Rhea) that the possession of the Floridas would be desirable to the United States, and in sixty days it will be accomplished."


[HANG THE BRITISH!][no attribution/just retribution]


A gin for representaton, blood & Chickasaw
A territory for taking, binding wounds & onwards,
Driving, evicting, Cherokee & Nullification,
Biddle & Crockett, Houston & New Orleans
The poetry of the raid & treason, veto, for 
"The farmers, mechanics and laborers," TECHNE
Unleashed, formidable & a menace; fury,
Manifesto, against injustice, but "I will kill
it!" Plurality & radicals, Seminole, what can we
Know of his bones today, of his intentions, you
In your cars, of an age of cholera & devastation,
Unabstracted & not remotely virtual, the meaning
Of "Ubiquitous" a cosmos bygone, gone beyond,
Form equal emptiness, tending the fields, bound.
"Who is this General Jackson? To what state does he belong?" 

A BOOM BANG & A BUST
8
"My God would not have smiled on me, had I punished only the poor ignorant savages, and spared the white men who set them on."

[DEVOLVE! DEVOLVE!]

Contrary and cantankerous, a leader and killed by lead
You killed the bank, it did not kill you, the assassin
Did not kill you, killed red men and, yes, slaver, 
& Also proved devotion in love, your Rachel
The brightest star in your celestial vision...til
Woe unfathomable, still another life to finish,
The end & a tomb in the backyard of a house,
A Hermitage, statehood of the mortal, God.
Down with all cowards & equivocators!
Abscess, denunciation & the Duel! Lodged
You ribs, next to your heart, animus, anima,
Lost, the "painful facts"...
"until all is done, nothing is done."
9
[THIS]."almost incredible victory"

Fierce in battle, a gambler, a man of means, wrought 
By the times, or self-propelled, a willing subject, born
Of the Carolinian Waxhaw clan to the dead son of a
Son of a linen draper from Carrickfergus, his ma's line
Weavers of linen, birthed in a log cabin, no less, 
American dream, his education such as it was &
It was perfunctory, from a field-school, the basics,
Public, as such, providing the pioneer child, imperfect
Letters, to serve him the rest of his storied days, & 
The infant rebellion soon consumed them all, devouring
Brothers & Mother, & Andy would be taught hate by
A saber, & survival of deep wounds, & eventually
The succor of the reckoning, from Camden to Natchez.
OLD HICKORY

10
He would be Sharp Knife & no saddler, a lawman, Indian Killer

"the most roaring, rollicking, game-cocking, horse-racing, card-playing, mischievous fellow" 


A prosecutor of frontier justice in what would be 
Tennessee, "Great Crooked River"

"Just inform Mr. Jackson. He will be sure to do his duty, and the offenders will be punished."


Strapped before the camera, scarred by a sword 
Swung by an officer of the Crown of Britain, 
Orphaned, racing to the scene of carnage, 
Engine of whisky & revolution, & acquisition
South, hounded by the horror of failure,
Of bankruptcy, of infamy of being 
Nothing in the cosmos, a mote to
Emerge in finery, unimpressed 
You threw parties, challenges,
Destroying and owning as you go,
Hanging the opposition, a plotter
Beset by scoundrels, you coder,
Unraveling chain of command,
Toggling massacre with autonomy,
"will of the people"

Unstoppable by Law, romancing 
Virtue, the weak your charge,
To be a statesman, unfettered by now,
Only now to be ordained and installed,
To stand against your kind with pirates,
The red coats made redder and grim,
No amount enough to pay for it all,
[in]"specie circular" 
& No wonder the greatEST minds of 
The Continent quaked at the notion
Of this BEAST, besting the enforcers
Of Power, a crusade against Tyranny,
Intolerant of disunion but by power
Forging alliances in a New World, 
The object of criticism 
The cartoon, portrait 
The 7th one
"Do they suppose that I am such a damn fool as to think myself fit for president of the United States? No, sir, I know what I am fit for. I can command a body of men in a rough way, but I am not fit to be president."

11
"turning the rascals out"


Judge me not, when I am gone
No longer of this world to defend
Myself or the nation I love or freedom.
Pray a path to heaven for me & mine
At the pinnacle of the obelisk, a Heaven
For a heathen {Who is these FACES}
"Our Federal Union: it must be preserved"

Where all is Right and the pain ends,
Enemies nowhere within range of guns
& blade, the sweetness of Tennessee 
Breeze in the evening & dinner prepared,
My bound papers by the desk to gather
A circle of friends and confidants, 
No cause for offense nor redress,
No complaint nor recourse, Freed
From memory of slaughter and mayhem,
The stench of corpses, no powder 
Nor flame, a prisoner no more

∞ 

 The principal of these is the protection of their persons, property, and religion, until they shall be incorporated into the union, and become entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States.

  In performing this important part of my functions, I have endeavored to pursue the spirit of our political institutions. I have made no discrimination of persons; my house has been surrounded by no guards; no one has been kept at a distance by repulsive formalities; all have had free admission, and found a ready ear when they required my aid for the protection of their rights.  The American government, at the same time that it is the freest, is perhaps the strongest in the world; because the most wealthy and most powerful in society are as weak in opposition to it, as the most humble and obscure. It knows no distinction between an ex-governor and a peasant. In the course of my short administration, one case has unfortunately occurred, which required the exertion of that authority, which is no respecter of persons. 

> Addendum: [F*CK TOCQUEVILLE]

...

Mr. Serrurier presented us yesterday evening to the President of the United States. The latter is General Jackson; he is an old man of 66 years, well preserved, and appears to have retained all the vigor of his body and spirit. He is not a man of genius. Formerly he was celebrated as a duelist and hot-head; his great merit is to have won in 1814 the battle of New Orleans against the English. That victory made him popular and brought it about that he was elected president, so true is it that in every country military glory has a prestige that the masses can't resist, even when the masses are composed of merchants and business men.

The President of the United States occupies a palace that in Paris would be called a fine private residence. Its interior is decorated with taste but simply, the salon in which he receives is infinitely less brilliant than those of our ministers. He has no guards watching at the door, and if he has courtiers they are not very attentive to him, for when we entered the salon he was alone, though it was the day of public reception; and during our whole visit but two or three persons entered.

We chatted of things that were insignificant enough. He made us drink a glass of Madeira wine, and we thanked him, using the word Monsieur, like the first comer. People in France have got an altogether false idea of the presidency of the United States. They see in it a sort of political sovereignty and compare it constantly with our constitutional monarchies. Of a certainty, the power of the King of France would be nil if it were modeled after the power of the President of the United States; and the authority of this President would be a thousand times too large, did it resemble that of the King of France.

I visited today the Senate and the Assembly of Representatives of the Union. These two political assemblies meet at the Capitol, a very fine palace and truly worthy of being cited as a magnificent monument. Even so the Americans exaggerate its merits greatly; they often ask foreigners candidly if there exists in Europe anything that can be compared to their Capitol. The aspect of the debates is grave and imposing; rarely do political passions intrude so as to make the debates disorderly.