Dick Raaijmakers - The Destructive Character
Another gem (translated and edited) by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei from Onomatopee dedicated to composer, multimedia artist and theorist Dick Raaijmakers (1930). In this (illustrated) commentary, based on a text completed in 2003, Raaijmakers addresses the issue of destruction and art, starting from the eponymous essay from 1931 by Walter Benjamin (included in this publication). By means of a series of telling examples, from Fluxus and Glenn Gould to Laurel & Hardy, John Cage, and his own work, Raaijmakers discusses the characteristics and the peculiarities of the destructive character inside and outside the arts. Raaijmakers’s survey of this creative clearing, destructively discovering news paths, makes us understand that every destruction always implies a new beginning. The Destructive Character is published in an English and Dutch language edition, and is accompanied by the publication Etui of the American poet A. Staley Groves, who reflects and reacts on both essays in general and Benjamin’s concept of the “étui-man” in particular. This issue contains both the Dutch and English text.