The following excerpts from an heretofore unpublished interview with PitPit Blawichinsky are published here in excerpted form:
Interviewer: Mr. diBlavisi, it’s a pleasure to meet you.
dB: Who are you? What do you want? How did I get here?
Inter-V: Oh, ah, you were brought here by your agent, Mdm, deVeaux, for this interview. Are you okay?
dB: Yes, I’m okay. Why would you ask such a question? Oh, it’s an interview and you will ask questions. Right. Is the interview over, then?
Int (chuckling): No, no, you just got here. Please, have a seat.
Several minutes of silence pass as sobbing is heard on the interviewer’s tape. Probably a defective recorder.
I: Um, I know that your fans would like to know more about your process.
dB: No fans. I must have air conditioning.
I: Yes, oh, no, what I meant was . . . no, I mean your . . . the people who enjoy your art would like to know more about how you create your work.
dB: Work? I haven’t worked in years. Listen, if you’re here to extort money out of me, then just . . .
I: No, please, Mr. diBlavisi. I’m not here for money. Your agent set up this time so that I could interview you about your art. Does that ring a bell for you?
dB: I don’t hear ANY bells. And if you must know, I haven’t heard any of those voices again. Not lately. Not since yesterday, at least.
I: Ah, okay, so do you think there is an internal voice to your work that can only be expressed visually?
dB: No. No voices. I don’t want them to come back. (whispering) If you talk about them, they make return, so, shhhh . . .
I: (sigh) Okay. How about this: some of your pictures break the conventions of classical composition, yet you have, it seems, evolved a visual language all your own. Clearly, you’re not emulating things that have been done before. Can you speak to this?
dB: Sure. First of all, it’s not possible to create a unique language of any kind since everything in the future is influenced by what came before.
I: What about the present?
dB: That, too. So, in essence, everything man creates is derivative. Derivative of environment, of nature, of history and of time.
I: That clears it up. So, could we get down to specifics?
dB: I told you, I don’t have any money.
I: (sighs) No, this has nothing to do with money, Mr. . . . .
dB: Because IF IT DID, my agent takes it all, anyway. So, chase her.
I: Okay, okay. Look. Can you talk about how you go about capturing these images?
dB: I wasn’t aware they were trying to get away.
I: Ohhhkay. What about the kind of equipment you use?
dB: Did Beethoven talk about the kind of ink he used to write the 9th? Did Twombly ever mention what brand of crayons he used for his wacky scribblings? Did Kandinsky reveal the sort of rulers he must have used in his drafting, or paintings, if you want to call them that?
I: No, but, but photography is a little different, more quantifiable, isn’t it. The tools matter, don’t they?
dB: They don’t matter if you’re blind, lady. Look, you want to know what brand of camera I use? Here’s the list – Zenobia, Canon, Nikon, Fuji, three different kinds of cell phones, Bronica, Mamiya, Speed Graphic, Polaroid. It’s like using different brands of olive oil. What the chef wants to achieve is the objective, whether those tools get him there is only known by him. And if his audience can’t see what he sees, then it’s a failure. Art is like porn: you may not know how to define it, but you will know it when you see it.
I: Well, thank you for that answer. May I follow up?
dB: No. I’m tired and I need my medication, which happens to be a tall bottle of Porto Fina located in the other room. Perhaps you could come back tomorrow? Or never? Is never good for you?
I: Fine. I knew this was a waste of time. No wonder you don’t give interviews. It’s because you really don’t give interviews.
dB: No doubt you were warned.
I: Okay, fine. Take the tape. In fact, take the recorder, I quit. If I had know getting an art history degree would be such an utter waste of time, I would have switched to Pharmacy while I still had some money left. (Interviewer can be heard sobbing.)
dB: Don’t feel too bad. At least you’re not an actual artist.
At this point, the interviewer can be heard wailing, then apparently running out of the room, crashing the door open on her way out, followed by a few moments of silence, some footsteps away from and then back towards the recorder. A bottle is uncorked, there is some plop-plop-ploping of liquid into a heavy-sounding glass, a noisy slurp and then:
dB: Good thing I didn’t owe her any money.