STORIES OF NATURAL DECAY
About Sylvia Salazar Simpson
Time of metaphors, private transportation for unwritten stories invisible sometimes, at other times pulled away as if they were not ours. Sylvia Salazar Simpson’s books are seductive and repulsive bodies by themselves — there are no verbal stories — natural stories of decay. Pages were soaked with water to make a bed for paprika, or sugar, or herbs. Although these books, it’s almost certain, have to do with human nature, much more they share the destiny of speechless things like “flat land and weather and money” (Gertrude Stein).
There were railroads on the land, stretched out trees and metal. Some of those trunks are the columns soaked with tar that carry a book, placed on their sliced faces. No remembering on the pages either, no words, not even images. And yet each book is the story: the colored dust of burned-out feelings still spreading their smell, and soon showing their inevitable alteration. “Can you fold the page please? That’s the ritual.” “Why disgusting?” Repulsion disappears when the most terrible things are written words.
Years ago the artist wrote, “There is something amusing and embarrassing about the work.” A jelly bean-bacon-pearl page should be sucked, read by the lips, the same voracious tongue of a newborn exploring the world’s surface before names appear, as clear as thinking can be. And the distance between the new mouth and plenty of unknown objects around is filled with saliva. Articulated sounds will be spat out later by the same mouth. Is that all? The sacred word? Yes, once upon a time this artist sewed to a table the uncooked white of an egg.
Art needs only an alien space to physically exist, breaking the anesthesia. The Sugar and Spit Book? What does meaning mean if the book is a tongue as rough as a cat’s tongue, a black sandpaper growing Tylenol at the heart of a chewed bubble gum? Test tubes pull out of the page like babies. “Can you fold the page please?” You can touch what your brain has created. Who knows if it is human or not it must be but it doesn’t perfectly fit. The medical aura is disturbed by the artist reducing to zero an intellectual distance, and messing up what seems to be such a nice idea, and actually could be. Art is not an experiment. Sylvia Salazar Simpson’s books are flowers lying on aged stems torn from the ground of history. They can’t hurt.