When I first arrived at art school the first two guys that taught me anything were Bill Geis and Harry Bowers. They proceeded from opposite ends of the spectrum, infrared and ultraviolet. Harry was, and is, the consummate technician. He instilled the lesson that fine control mattered. You could say anything around Harry, just as long as you were prepared to deliver control on a level with your aspirations. Bill was equally demanding, but being the Gurdjieff avatar that I remember him as, he required something quite different. Far different from anything or anyone I had so far encountered. Maddeningly indirect, art for him was a mystical act, a path to selfhood.
I hope that, twenty years later, I have arrived at a point where my idiom synthesizes the lessons of these teachers.
This has been an unexpectedly long project from conception to completion. I give my sincerest thanks to the other people who have been essential to its progress. My assistant, Jeh Baak, for the patience of Job, unfailing good sense, and the willingness to chase cabs at a full sprint in rush hour traffic. Erik Schurink for the design of this strange book, and his ability to suspend disbelief that it would happen at all. And, the very diligent and skillful crew at Tallix foundry in Beacon, N.Y. for translating wax into bronze, and the hours of nagging detail, applying, and reapplying the patinas.
One final note: we are in a period of intense reassessment of both Freud and Jung, both as to what kind of men they really were, and as to the validity of their ideas against present concerns. While it would be incorrect to say that these innovators were exploring completely uncharted waters, they were master synthesists, and I think, even with their glaring personal faults, true humanitarians. It is a sign of maturity that we are finally able to divide the men from their work, keep what is useful, and set the rest aside. Until recently, the story of Sabina Spielrein, who was both a patient of Carl Jung, and his intellectual collaborator, was completely unknown. The Spielrein story does affect our assessment of the critical phase around 1912-13, when Jung broke from Freud to embark on a project that was both more than, and less than, psychology.
John Kerr's outstandingly fine book on the subject, A Most Dangerous Method is highly recommended reading.
© 1995 Morgan Garwood
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