Alex Caldiero Performance Seen/Heard by Zarko Radakovic

As I finish the page proofs for Zarko’s and my Vampires & A Reasonable Dictionary (punctum books), I read again Zarko’s response to a performance by Alex in Salt Lake:

Alex Caldiero spoke with rigid eyes. His mouth supported his strong forehead. He kept balance with his breath. He floated in the air. He stood on his tongue. He drew the audience’s attention with his ears. He addressed the paintings on the wall with his stomach and in those “dramatic moments” it (the wall) did not obstruct the field of vision. Alex Caldiero moved through the exhibit area full of spectators like a centaur through bacchantes and bacchants. Sitting with their legs crossed, they firmly squeezed their tightly bound genitals in which the flesh puffed up, swelled, expanded and fell apart. And the words that Alex Caldiero spoke that evening were the connective tissue of presence, at the same time fecundating cells of absence that would later, in repeated presence grow into a “great event” that would distinguish itself from history by its shape: it would not be fixed, it would be described with broken lines, often noted just with periods, all in open surfaces from which colors would spill into each other, and between them would certainly remain empty surfaces, not, however, like gaping holes, but like a very delicate painting, easy on the eye.

I sent it to Alex, who had seen it a couple of years ago. He responded:

scott, please convey my surprise to Zarko on reading his most incisive piece of seeing-hearing…i swear i was reading it for the first time…a brother under the skin. he is…i look forward to reading the whole work

About Scott Abbott

I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at
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