Pop Culture
Nov 19, 2013, 09:49AM

You Gasp

A 2007 Time Out Chicago interview with the late choreographer Merce Cunningham vs. a 2008 White Hot Magazine interview with artist Alice Aycock.

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Merce Cunningham: It came to the last question, a complicated thing about identifying wild mushrooms.

Alice Aycock: I didn't want to talk about that.

Cunningham: It can open your spirit.

Aycock: Maybe. I'm not just open.

Cunningham: Not at the moment.

Aycock: The glass is there and not there.

Cunningham: Like a tree. I think it's poetic.

Aycock: Things get taken over, layer upon layer.

Cunningham: Usually, that has a great deal to do with practicality.

Aycock: I refer to it as transformational grammar. You know that.

Cunningham: Well, I don't know. It sounds superb.

Aycock: You are always being assailed by language, and memory.

Cunningham: It proved to have a stronger lure.

Aycock: It's nothing but dust. But they were all there, I saw people building stuff, big stuff, using big cranes, making bridges, all kinds of things, and that was just my environment.

Cunningham: Yes, yes. There was an awful lot of laughing.

Aycock: (laughs) When you are frustrated because you don’t have the money or the support system to build something, your imagination is still there: you can still think it up, you can still draw it.

Cunningham: And even if something comes up that is not quite possible, it shows you something else that you hadn’t thought of that is possible.

Aycock: You gasp. Or you step out into empty space. You need to know when to pull back.

Cunningham: At the moment, I am drawing little birds.


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