The Tenth Arch

A Sequel to

Vatican Corridor, A Non-Specific Autobiography




Outer Wall
Tenth Arch
Inner Wall
Detail from Vatican Corridor, A Non-Specific Autobiography




The Tenth Arch is a literary transposition of the actual tenth arch of the sculpture Vatican Corridor, A Non-Specific Autobiography and completes it, spans a period of twenty-two years rather than the three years of each of the preceding archs within the actual sculpture and extends the corridor into and is part of The Procrustes Trilogy--Procrustes in Situ, Oratorio, The Cities of the Plain, now in the permanent collection of the Fresno Art Museum. The Tenth Arch is constructed in the same form as the completed sculpture wherein the actual is in balance with the metaphorical, monologue with dialogue, history with parable.The pages of the left side of the book are a continuation of the Outer Wall, the pages of the right, the Inner Wall. The Outer Wall serves both as "laundry list" of actual events that occurred during the twenty-two years subsequent to the completion of the Preparatory Study for Vatican Corridor, A Non-Specific Autobiography and includes a specific record of the creation of the works completed during that time, their exhibition, notes on materials used in making them, and as a record of certain of the artist's ideas and thoughts pertaining to them at the time of their creation and exhibition. These ideas and thoughts are thereafter expanded and clarified in the fifteen Footnotes which follow within the Outer Wall. Some are very brief whereas others, such as the Ninth Footnote, which appears in Procrustes in Situ, the first part of the Procrustes Trilogy, are "essays" in which philosophical concepts are discussed and analyzed in depth. The Outer Wall concludes with a Coda and an Apologia.

The pages of the right side of the The Tenth Arch are a continuation of the Inner Wall and transpose the Actual into the Real through metaphor. Employing the idea of the ancient papyrus papers which were written upon and then erased and written upon again and again, the memory of each erased writing held by the paper, the Inner Wall is a collection of Dialogues and Parables recorded on A Palimpsest in Five Erasures. Each of the erasures consists of five parts, the form repeated: Dialogue of the Eye and the I in which both the season and the I change; Artist and Other in which the other is at one time critic, another time patron, at other times a combination of personae; See-Saw which marks the progression of the time of day and the passage from childhood to old age; and two parables. Perhaps these Dialogues and Parables may be seen as a collection of metaphorical contracts: contracts with ideas, with oneself, and with others.




Book Cover

Fronticepiece: Cicada Niche



Assuming that a book's form need not necessarily dictate its pagination, I have constructed this volume as a corridor, a sequel, not to the PREPARATORY STUDY FOR VATICAN CORRIDOR, A Non-Specific Autobiography, but an extension of the Corridor itself. It consists, therefore, of two walls to be wandered through at the visitor's inclination.

No more than I would direct the viewing of VATICAN CORRIDOR will I direct the reading of its sequel. How one gets in, gets through, and gets out is left to the discretion of the visitor.


June 3, 1996

Artist's Introduction




Outer Wall


With the completion of the PREPARATORY STUDY FOR VATICAN CORRIDOR in February of 1974, a supplier for the 8'x16"x 2" pine planks was located and the first two 8'x 2'x16" blocks were laminated.The First Arch was laid in by the end of March and The Tenth Arch by the end of December. By the 1st of January, 1975, the entire corridor of ten arches--20 eight feet high and two feet wide monoliths--was standing in the studio.

All of the twenty lay-ins were accurate by the definitions of the Preparatory Study. As the carving progressed, two changes were made. One of these was fundamental. It was clear in the initial lay-in of The Third Arch that the Outer Wall give-away of sexuality could not be received by the Inner Wall without some sort of adjustment to the receding plane of the monolith: the scrotum could not hang in mid-air. The interstice between the legs of the receiving mold was bent forward to accommodate the give-away, lending a kind of poignancy and tender respect for this particular sacrifice on the part of the Who.

The second change was a total philosophic deviation from the Preparatory Study and occurred in The Tenth Arch. The Tenth Arch, which was a projection into the future, five years beyond the completion of the Preparatory Study--(my 47th year), concerned the give-away, connection. In the Preparatory Study, this transfer from the Who to the What was effected leaving the monolith of the Outer Wall an empty shell and theInner Wall figure complete. The carving of The Tenth Arch leaves a residual egg as the shoulder of the concavity in the Outer Wall and a corresponding negative in the mirror image of the Inner Wall an empty shell and the Inner Wall figure complete. The carving of The Tenth Arch leaves a residual egg as the shoulder of the concavity in the Outer Wall and a corresponding negative in the mirror image of the Inner Wall.


Inner Wall


With the completion of the PREPARATORY STUDY FOR VATICAN CORRIDOR and its subsequent absorption into the NARCISSUS PENTOLOGY, a direction was set. Rather than the making of separate, individual objects arbitrarily controlled by their arbitrary placement in arbitrary environments, visually coherent climates would be created that control themselves.

Connection. That which is created creates. Plants make seeds, birds make eggs, and artists make art. The creation of the beginning is itself the beginning. To Make, one must Be, and Being has no beginning and no end. It is process, and the acceptance of process is Being.

As the artist creates art, he creates himself. The plant becomes the seed becomes the plant becomes the seed which extends beyond the borders of self. This creation/ self-creation is an artist's way of Being in the face of the seemingly meaningless cycle of repetition which is process. Because as a species we are unable to accept process, we create metaphors. By saying something is something else, we are able to endure. This is not elucidation. It is survival.

We define our repetitive behavior episodically, creating beginnings and endings - an infinitely layered palimpsest that denies process and creates the illusion of linearity. Life beyond death. Escape. Reward. A plant worth more than the sum of its seeds. Ego. Disconnection.


The power of Art is its capacity for reconnection, an alchemizing of process into Being. Transparency. Cosmic conciliation. Transcendence.




First Entry on the Outer Wall

First Entry on the Inner Wall



Exerpts from the First Erasure of Dialogues and Parables, A Palimpsest in Five Erasures