Seven Rings: Artist Telephone

Today I played 7 Rings, the game created by Rebecca Campbell and Nicole Walker on the Huffington Post.   Each participant has 24 hours to respond to the previous artist’s work.  I was responding to the poem below by Alison Deming called The Mirror.


“Chains for Alison” 2010, gouche on paper, 9″ x 12″ Kimberly Brooks

THE MIRROR

Once I had a cat who studied himself
in the mirror. He didn’t know
what it was in there staring back at him
but he couldn’t stop looking
because the face never turned away
and eyes meeting eyes
want more seeing. It’s already dark.
No moonlight. No whippoorwill–
the bird that tormented my childhood
refusing to take on the night
without incessant song. That bird
must have been the size of a fire hydrant,
something alarming anyway, I thought then,
but learned later it was just a pip
of feathered life with a voice
insistent as the news, that continuity
of disaster and argument to which
we all belong–bomb in recruiting office,
stoning in public square, crude oil
in everyone’s hair, to mosque or not
to mosque. Don’t turn away. It’s just
the brute world that will outlive us,
the lean hard muscle of it
flexing. But the birds
don’t belong, they are settling
into the night, their feathered quilts
ready-made. Some of them
are rising out of their bodies, whole
categories of bodies, and into
the being of non-being where of course
we’re all headed after a few more parties
and fixations of eyes upon eyes. But first
who doesn’t want to make something
of it, the clutch of childhood’s
solitary rages and the way the face
begins to cave in on itself with age
so that it looks like an Arizona landscape,
all contour and defile, telling the outcome
of its story to everyone, leaving out
a few details, so that a person might stare at
himself and say, Don’t I know you from
somewhere? You look so familiar and yet . . .

Alison Deming was responding to self portraits by Don Bachardy.


Don Bachardy, Untitled,  2010, Acrylic on Paper, Aprox. 24″ x 36″

7 Rings is a game of artist telephone that we launched on August 2nd.  I wrote about the overall concept for the game here.