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Apollo by Geoffrey Gatza - Reviewed in Galatea Resurrects

Tom Hibbard reviews APOLLO: A BALLET BY IGOR STRAVINSKY
 by Geoffrey Gatza


APOLLO: A BALLET BY IGOR STRAVINSKY by GEOFFREY GATZA

TOM HIBBARD Reviews

Apollo: A Ballet By Igor Stravinsky by Geoffrey Gatza
(BlazeVOX [Books], Kenmore, N.Y., 20140


GEOFFREY GATZA’S APOLLO:
NIETZSCHE, ROSE SELAVY AND THE FORGOTTEN
UMBRELLAS OF ELMWOOD AVENUE


“…this [artwork] itself is our catastrophe…it says that the catastrophe…has already occurredbecause the very idea of the catastrophe is impossible.”
-Jean Baudrillard

Did the universe begin as a mistake, a crime? As some horrendous mishap? According to Christian mythology, in its beginning, Creation was a smooth-running paradisical garden inhabited by only a solitary couple, Adam and Eve, along with all the natural creatures and God. God told Adam and Eve they could do anything (eat anything) in paradise, except they could not eat the fruit of two trees at its center—the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life—perhaps more potent or toxic fruits whose taste would catastrophically cause them to become self-aware and dissatisfied. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately, Adam and Eve listened to the snake, “the serpent” and ate the fruit of those trees. God cast them out of “paradise”—and thus began the bumpy history of civilization.


In the same way, at an unsuspecting lulling blissful moment in oblivion of spring 2011 (“April is the cruelest month”), poet and publisher Geoffrey Gatza decided to visit an exhibit at the local art gallery, the Albright-Knox art gallery on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, New York. The day was rainy, and Gatza took with him an umbrella. Art galleries are similar to paradise. The walls and floors are spotless; the lighting is precisely beneficially measured; the abundant spacing of the artworks is idyllic. As Gatza absorbed and enjoyed discussing one of the works at the Albright-Knox gallery with friends (noting that white is an “ambiguous” color), he was asked to leave by a security guard because he was carrying an umbrella.

In this way, Gatza was also cast out of paradise. In my opinion, both the fates of Adam and Eve and Gatza are similarly somewhat arbitrary and predictable. Though God expressly gave them this one restriction, as God of all Creation, he must have known that Adam and Eve would succumb to doing what they were told not to do. The mysterious prohibition itself tasted of forbidden fruit. This Adam-and-Eve tale could only be some sort of preface to the unfolding of human development, with the so-called “Fall” in the Garden as the revelatory opening of the discourse of humanity becoming responsible for its actions. Had everything gone as outlined and continued in endless bliss, many essential events and ideas that in Christianity’s own doctrine lay ahead could not have taken place, including the giving of the Law, the ideas of grace and ascension, the Apocalypse, the appearance of Elija and of God’s son—Jesus, who, in his lifetime, compared himself to that self-same serpent in the wilderness being “lifted up,” that is, articulated and embraced for what it really meant and was (is). (Ferlinghetti once said about Kerouac that he liked his writing once he understood what Kerouac was doing.)

Read the Whole Review Here

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