17 July 2014
The Heart Sutra
If you've passed through the Bay Area in the past, say, four years, you've probably also passed through David Brazil and Sara Larsen's comfortable and welcoming apartment in Berkeley. If you've passed through said apartment, there's a good chance you've seen the worn copy of The Heart Sutra affixed in their bathroom. For me, this text has become a kind of objective correlative for their love, so I printed a version as a party favor and distributed it at their recent celebration in Alameda. My goal was to highlight the the wear of the document as a testament to the difficulties and joys of domestic labor.
As a preface to distributing the broadside, I read the following text by Judith Butler from her incredible essay "To Sense What is Living in the Other: Hegel's Early Love," which was printed in the Documenta 13 catalog:
"...the development of the phenomenon of love involves a displacement of that purely subjective point of view--some dispossesion of the self takes place in love. Internal to the singular and living feeeling of love is an operation of life that exceeds and disorients the perspective of the individual. That operation of life has to be followed as a process or development that is instantiated in the absolute singularity of that perspective that it also exceeds...each is understood "to sense what is living in the other." This is an important formulation, since there is something living in love, and has to be, even though love can never be the whole of life."
The whole essay is incredible and worth reading (especially in light of Leslie Scalapino's injunction, in Front Matter, Dead Souls, that it's time to reevaluate love as a concept). And it's worth mentioning that Judith Butler is incredible.
The broadside's colophon reads: "This broadside was produced in July 2014 to mark the happy union of Sara Larsen and David Brazil. It is an exact facsimile of the photocopied Heart Sutra that has hung in their bathroom for the past many years, and its wear speaks to the challenges and joys of domestic labor. May it hang in your bathroom and bring with it domestic bliss."
I'm all out of these at Compline HQ, but David and Sara should have extras if you're a friend from "abroad."
May this broadside work as a talisman to fight domestic strife of all kinds...