by David Feingold and Michael Quaintance
“Flux” is the third in the collaboration series “Teeth is Tears,” created by artists David Feingold and Michael Quaintance. Michael writes poetry in response to David’s images. As Michael says in his bio, “Feingold’s images act as doorways, as pathways to those avenues of thought and feeling that have been sequestered in the corners of my efforts to belong and be seen… as.” Both artists’ works are informed by their lived experience of disability.
Nothing is initiated
No points of origin
That aren’t reflections
That aren’t responses
The need to please
That rests at the core of I in absentia.
The pieces move to satisfy
The predisposition toward
And the relegation of person
To the ownership of the itinerant
To the ownership of the dispenser that determines design.
There is no
And the relevancy of pieces
At the time that the puzzle
Is aligned to confirm the presumption and assumption.
There is no need to know
Nothing to know
It moves to confirm
To confine itself to the affirmation of confirmation
So that they
To rub the head of the dying and the dead
In celebration of their insight.
Faces within faces
Faces upon faces
Without the complexity of identity
Without the confusion of consciousness
Or the need to be conscious
That this might not be as simple as
As simple as its allowed—as it required to be.
The red is essential
Pulsations promising continuity
Promising the continuance of continuity
Of the passage of time
And the gentrification
Of the periodically human landscape.
The neck is essential
The pedestal and the pivot
The pillar of vulnerability
Should the illusion need to be terminated
On which replacements can be made If
Too much time is taken
And history takes purchase and infects the moment.
The mouth is vaginal
Receptacle and deliverance of
Raped—ravaged and reviled
Should the “ists” fail to convulse
Rapt in the afterglow
Of their urgent need to impose their hungers
Into gaping mouths before they forget to remain silent.
Freedom through depression and repression
The careful calculation of denied
Yet essential balances
The careful writing of the fading promises of truce.
David Feingold was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1951. Feingold works in the medium of digital art. Much of his art is used in conjunction with his anti-stigma awareness campaigns to the lay public as well as professionals and academicians.
Feingold has a varied education and professional background, which along with his personal experience with bipolar disorder, influence much of his art: Bachelors in Art Education; Masters in Visual Design; Masters in Social Work; and a Doctorate in Disability Studies.
His work has been represented both nationally and internationally in both brick and mortar and online galleries. His ultimate purpose in creating “bipolar art” is to present the inner struggles of those with psychiatric disorders and through understanding and acceptance, reduce the stigma and prejudice associated with all mental illness.
Feingold worked for 15 years as a visual designer and 15 years as a school social worker, when he had to take early retirement, due to advancing cognitive impairments stemming from a closed head injury from a hit-and-run accident in his teens. The closed head injury was the genesis of Feingold’s temporal lobe epilepsy and bipolar disorder. He resides in rural Michigan in a simple, one room dwelling, complete with a wood burning stove and a pond in the back yard. Feingold states that his home provides a perfect environment in which to produce his artwork as well as a harmonious balance and stability in light of the unpredictable challenges associated with his diagnoses of bipolar and seizure disorders.
This is Feingold’s second art collaboration. His first collaboration was with a musician/composer, whose music was informed by his own seizure activity as well as Feingold’s art imagery.
How long has “depression” been a central part of your life experience? Before answering, I need to respond to the assumptions and preconceptions that haven’t be voiced, but have proven to be inherent in this kind of question. “Depression” (for me) is a region of sight and insight that exists outside of the constraints of belonging and the constructs of being used to set the terms and conditions of normalcy. I also need to add that I use the term “depression” for the sake of convenience, so that you and I can begin our conversation from a shared point, even though our interpretations will differ at the outset.
So, what is depression… for you? Depression is not—depression does not—depression will not. Is, does and will, belong to form, formality and functionality; the need to assert, discern and determine. What you call depression, I call imposition and the limitation of the unique by mandates of compliance that have little to no tolerance for difference, or that which cannot/will not be defined.
My work, my writing is motivated by this unfinished—recently began—lifelong discussion. Feingold’s images act as doorways, as pathways to those avenues of thought and feeling that have been sequestered in the corners of my efforts to belong and be seen… as. The gift of isolation and aloneness over the past few years, has opened doorways and pathways that I’ve only begun to discover; and in word, design.
Ex-Dancer—Actor, Bachelors in Philosophy and Performing Arts, Masters in Education, presently completing a Doctorate in Disability Studies