Siphic’s Bi-Spartanism [chronicles of Dis/Infection, mar2016]


Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep. – Le Corbusier


My brother‘s crib is interesting, to say the very least, in a way. According to genetics a giga-significant share of our DNA is identical and, more anecdoto-empirically, according to our significant others we are alike in many a habitual pattern, in lilt of speech, as concerns phenotypical landmarks, and so forth. Siblings know the litany. And with equal habitude [don‘t look this word up, it‘s straight out of my mental rectum] we deny to be aware of such similarities, making a flaming point of our very different approaches to paper [i.e. folding it nicely, scribbling on it hideously] ….or, as is the case w/ our sister, using it as a pragmatic tool to convey knowledge of social surplus value. She‘s the one of us three who seems to be of some use to society, as far as anyone can tell 😉

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Anyway, my brother and I probably do share certain… convergences… but nothing could be more divergent than our attention to our immediate, everyday habitat. When my sister & her husband left for the dreamy territories of the US of A, Sipho got to take over/invade/set up camp in that place; however, Ray‘s friendly employer had organized for all of their worldly belongings&droppings they cared for to be containerized to the other end of the planet. Thus the place was left in a rather emptyish, echoing state, which is great for toddlers to play soccer but not excessively habitable for your median adult. Not that any of us is median.

The budget at my disposal would‘ve sent me scrambling to Conforama, possibly Ikea a few times. Or better still: we‘d have moved in all of Tiziana‘s nice furniture. My brother‘s a different beast however.
He was off to VonMoos et al, purchasing planks of wood, screws, lengths of metal, bits of round timber and other vital ingredients of movables, the names of which are like that of alien fauna. In the course of his Origami art-work he has accumulated a vast arsenal of tools [saws, screwdrivers, workbench, drilling machines, lathes???, a.s.f] with which to re-configure said assorted pieces of wood&metal. There have been very pleasing results in dark wood and brass or copper [don‘t exactly know]: a shoe rack, wall-mounted shelves, a petite but massive coffee table, etc.

Maybe the naive marvel to me is on the level of aesthetics/creativity: two genetically identical specimens of fauna walk into a do-it-yourself-store, T sees random pieces of timber, screws, hammers, etc. S sees unassembled tables and shelves and everyday appartmental objects.
The other thing that always strikes me [not just at Sipho‘s, to be fake-honest] is the dearth of objects in his living room: how can one possibly keep the living room so uncluttered? Is there not always an army of objects ready to invade the family room? To enlargen the vast empire of material matter? Books, dishes, magazines, tools, pieces of clothing, pens, shoes, what-have-you.

In my brother‘s lounge with its rarefied items, I get the distinct feeling that every one of them signifies; especially the artwork itself. And that, as if in consideration/contemplation of a work in the whitey cube, 1’d be amiss not to consider what the signification might be: can an existential lesson be extracted from a  piece of tchotchke?

This is a slobbishly post-modern over-interpretation of a great room and I could simply ask my brother why he places this or that object on the se fecit shelf but that‘s not how I care to consider it, doesn‘t strike me as productive. Rather, banal queries trickle to mind: If pieces of material are reduced, can they start signalling for themselves with some indepenence? What messages do we wish to convey to ourselves and others by the objects here present? Would our living room be an abject mess in the absence of Nomhle?

And then so right next to it is the over-cluttered atelier, bursting with colors, paper and matter of inconceivable variety. Criss-crossing from the sitting room into the workspace you can fairly feel the osmotic gradient you are pushing up against, the pressure the latter exercises towards the former, the enormous difference of entropy. In which case my brother, I now recognize, is an industrious, life-size version of Maxwell‘s Demon. He might not wreck the rules of thermodynamics but he certainly confounds the laws of spartanism.




About tmabona

writer, reader [bolano, DW, bellow, deLillo], runner, badmintoneer
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