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Thursday, 17 February 2011


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Mike,on the subject of suicide and the reason for it. Someone who had seriously concidered it told me that he was in a state of pain (mental I assume) and suicide seemed like the only way to get relief. There are states of mind that us lucky "normal" beings cannot comprehend.

Living here in that remote village, St. Louis, I thought about a mad dash trip to Chicago to see this, but couldn't quite bring myself to do it. I really appreciate your comments-Thanks very much! I look forward to seeing it online as streaming video.
I have always been impressed with Woodman's early work, and was lucky enough to stumble across a small monograph of her images ten years' ago or so. I felt her early conceptual work was, well, really conceptual, and not the sort of "worn out sight gag" that constitutes the work of many of her contemporaries (at least for me).

"she said in a halting voice that she can face the pain but cannot even touch the guilt."

Doesn't matter how they go; losing a kid; there's guilt. Sometimes the pain is just pain, no thinking required.

Empathy for the father; it took me about 5 years before I could finish a book, and now, it's a blessing, being able to read whole books again.

Mike, happy for you, to have a nice day in town.

Thanks, Mike. For the first time, I am moved by your writing. It's deep and honest.

Moved again by your writing Mike and thanks for that. So moved, in fact, I found myself wishing you had drawn it out a little more, given the substance of the review its own space to breathe. And I want to know more about your friend Gabi so a seperate post for that too.

I totally agree with you on the chicago skyline, world class.

Thanks again!


Mike thanks for the review and thoughts. Having lost my best and closest friend 26 years ago to suicide, I appreciate your comments. Some may not, but I do and I am sure his parents do. I must try to locate them and get in touch again. I have to say I agree with you that her art seems to suggest the genius yet to come that never is able to make it's appearance what a shame it is. Just like with my friend years ago. What he could have been now...

Not saying this pertains to Woodman, as I don't know anything about her, but, some of your remarks bring me to write this. Depression is an illness, like cancer, TB, diabetes, and so on. Yes, like those diseases, it has a behavioral component. It's rarely romantic to those who suffer from it, or those who love them, and persistence will not cure it. One of it's symptoms is that folks who have it sometimes get it in their heads that killing themselves is a solution to what feels like unendurable pain. Your 'blame' is entirely misplaced.

Thanks for listening.

Ray Hudson

What you say is true (I've suffered from clinical depression since I was 13), but depression itself is not a death sentence. There's still an element of choice involved.

The romantic component is often an investiture made by others. (There does seem to be a bonafide contagious aspect to suicide, and it is susceptible to suggestibility. As you probably know.)


What sort of place is a two-flat, Mike? Googling the phrase has left me none the wiser.

"What sort of place is a two-flat, Mike? Googling the phrase has left me none the wiser."

More or less what it sounds like--a building with two apartments, one on top of the other. Try Googling "Chicago 2 flat" and hitting "image," you'll see some characteristic ones. They're very common in Chicagoland for some reason.



With regards to your comment on suicide, and your reply to Ray, let me say this: I am a parent who has lost a child (motor accident). That does not qualify me as an expert on "losing a child". It only makes me an expert on losing my child.
The same, I would suggest, applies to your experience of depression.

Point taken, and very sorry to learn of your loss.

I'm not an expert on any aspect of this. However, I know a lot about suicide prevention, and it's important not to step uncritically into the view that it's romantic and/or justified and/or the inevitable result of mental disease. When I say what I said about Francesca, I'm thinking not of Francesca but of anyone living who might be suffering from suicidal ideation and who might stumble across my words about her story.

Not a major part of the article, in any event.


Mike: I enjoy this site and I you are one of the bloggers I follow on a continuous basis, with a refreshing approach on most topics. So I would say I have a positive bias towards content posted at TOP.

Having said that, I found this sentence to be quite shocking:
"few cities in the world can hold a candle to Chicago for architectural spectacle.".

Without going into details, let me respectfully say that I found that statement to be overly US-centric, and I bet that many architects could provide a long list of cities in the world that can hold more than a candle against Chicago. And I mean a few more beyond the pure beauty that is called Paris.

Paris beats Chicago for quaintness, charm, history, and ambience, but for architectural spectacle--and pure magnificence? Chicago beats the pants off Paris, IMO. I've been to both cities numerous times.


Thanks Mike. Before I moved a year ago I lived for nineteen years in a two-flat without even knowing it. : 0

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