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John Long writes:
First, Thanks for your work on Jim's history and work. I am excited about the show and hope to see you there. I was one of Jim's students and was with him during his last critique and last lesson at UTA. I would like to add a little info, as I remember it. It was a very small class of advanced students and although he was very evidently in pain, he humorously told us the story of how he and his friends were playing in the park with the two dogs when the accident occurred. At the time it all seemed very funny, Jim had a knack for putting things (even serious things) in a humorous light. I remember looking in my bag for some aspirin because he was complaining of a head ache and him telling us he was going to see a doctor soon. I'm telling you all of this because I believe that night Jim gave one of his finest critiques. I was a both a fan and critic of jim's critiques. So I must say that night I remember wishing I had work for him to critique because he was both insightful intuitive and positive in his criticism of the students work.
- I think its important that people know that Jim was a teacher as well as a student of art. I didn't always agree with or understand Jim's approach to teaching, but I always respected it. His teaching and influences are found in all of my work. I will never forget him and his brilliant cynical playful sense of humour (Mack the Knife).
John Long antonio <email@example.com>
Ellen Zweig writes:
I was really pleased to see the Jim Pomeroy web page - I understand there'll be a retrospective sometime in the Spring? thought I'd send a couple of things I wrote about Jim. Feel free to use them if you like...
I wrote this about a week after he died:
VIRTUAL JIM He's lying in his hammock in an ocean, surrounded by swimming, shadowy images: sharks. He looks the same, except his left hand has gone through some sort of mutation. It's turned into the mouth of a baby shark, sleek and silver with sharp little pointed teeth. Every once in a while, it opens and snaps shut in rhythm with his other hand which he's using to pluck a tune on the hammock strings. I float in, encased in a glass bubble. It's a round submarine with a very long breathing tube. I'm afraid of the water. But I've brought him a gift. At the flea market last Sunday, I tell him, I found this marvelous thing. A 19th century version of Monopoly. It must be the first one. The tokens are unusual and perhaps instructive. There's a tiny Crystal Palace, a Difference Engine, Daguerre's Diorama, a stereoscope, and a magic lantern. The top hat is the only one that's the same. In order to give him the game without getting wet, I have to project it onto a large screen on a wall. We try to play, but there's something wrong. Wait a minute, he says, with that gleam in his eye and the mischievious smile he gets when he's solved a puzzle in a particularly inventive way. He places a silver tube in the middle of the screen and, presto, everything comes out right. This is an anamorphic Monopoly set, he says. Everything looks normal now except for our hands which curve around as though they had become liquid. The shark hand snaps intermittently with a mixture of fear and excitement. Outside, they're working on the new Mt. Rushmore. If you look carefully, you can see the three heads that have been completed: Bertolt Brecht, Spike Jones, Mr. Wizard. They're putting the finishing touches on the fourth: Jim Pomeroy. Everyone is sitting on the grass under the monument, talking, eating, and wearing 3-D glasses. It's a picnic. The AI group is discussing the relative merits of programming Freudian slips or bad puns. Another group ponders several holographic models of Biosphere, trying to detect the hidden agenda. A third group is wearing t-shirts that say: We've got the monument, let's make the movie. Jim is standing at a big bar-b-que, wearing his general practitioner white coat. Several large metal cans filled with water are heating on a nearby bonfire in preparation for the soundtrack implosion. Next to the roasting chicken, there's a pot of sweet dried corn which Jim stirs with a leer in his eye. Cooling on a rack, there's a gigantic shoo-fly pie. Everyone is enjoying the shade from the monument, the good conversation, and there'll certainly be plenty of food. The real Jim, the one with the body, would have liked that.
and this is a dream I actually had a few months later...
I dreamt I was at a conference and Jim Pomeroy was there. He had died last April, but now he had come back from the dead. No one was acknowledging how odd this was; they were just talking to him as though they hadn't seen him for a while. I ran up to him and gave him a big hug. Then we sat down on a couch; he lay down with his head in my lap. I couldn't stop touching him, stroking his head and shoulders and arms. I kept thinking about how he'd been dead, how he'd returned to life. Suddenly, I realized that no one had told him anything that had happened since his death, so I said: "Jim, did anyone tell you that when we did the memorial for you in San Francisco, they put that picture of you sitting up in a coffin on the leaflet?" "Really," Jim said, "how wonderful." Then, I realized that he must have been buried. "Jim," I said, "weren't you buried? I mean, how did you get out of the grave?" At that moment, he turned into Avital Ronell. She wasn't lying on the couch either; she was standing up, leaning against a pillar. She said: "People are buried in layers in the ground and they put these metal breathing tubes in so that the earth can breathe." She paused. Then, said: "I recently read something that has ruined me for life. Did you know that you fugue into consciousness over and over again after you die?"
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