RB Kitaj , excerpt from ‘The First Diasporist Manifesto.’

"Symrna Greek (Nikos)" 1976-1977. RB Kitaj.
“Symrna Greek (Nikos)” 1976-1977. RB Kitaj.

I have mentioned before the work of RB Kitaj both as a writer in his Manifesto and as an Artist whose work The Death of Rosa Luxemburg profoundly effected both my interest in Art and my political view. Indeed I had stated that I would excerpt a short piece on his Diasporist Manifesto some time ago.

[First Diasporist Manifesto, RB Kitaj: Thames And Hudson 1989]

The Almond Tree

“I always keep a picture, tacked to my wall, of the gorgeous little painting of the The Almond Tree which Bonnard was working at on his last day,to remind me of another fate, a more sublime and fixed one than that of Jews or that of my own particular Diasporism, where painting marks on canvas may spell peripatetic danger instead of peace in the sun.

In fact, I return this day to a tiny picture of a false messiah I thought I’d finished, taking up Bonnard’s little tree to infuse my messiah with hopeful white paint, befitting the End of Days, prolonging its poor prospects and smothering the negative constraints of Diaspora for a moment; these negative aspects by the way, which in traditional interpretations are due to be resolved in the messianic end of time. I just came across a Biblical Allusion to the flowering Almond interpreted as the white head of an old man….so my poor Messiah can be aged and maybe even something more false.”

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