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Aryan Kaganof: his own –ism

A thousand words on Aryan Kaganof’s TRANSFORMATIONS
by Ramon dos Santos

For years one could recognize Aryan Kaganof by the miniscule notebooks that he carried everywere he went, making notes – following time as it were – in his miniscule handwriting with a razorsharp Rotring nr 3.
Following time I said, but with that same movement escaping it. For it is only when we find ourselves in the slipstream of time – that is while making love or art or war – that we are able to escape it. The notebook of Kaganof was – as any notebook – his mistress, his canvas and his battlefield. A mistress always eager to receive, a mirror- image always in for a fight.

page 1: A digital chroniquer of a globalized consumocracy
page 2: The artist looking at the canvas
page 3: We are the beheaders
page 4: Timeless, indestructable beauty

I have often watched Kaganof sitting in a bar or restaurant. Writing. Draining his surroundings for words. Conversations. His by now 26 novels and books of poetry have by some been described as shocking and not fit for print. And yes, those people are right. Some of it, if not all, is shocking. But not because of what the story is about, but because so little of it was made up by the writer himself. Kaganof seldom makes up things. In older times he might have been an impressionist. Reality is his thing. He is a digital chroniquer of a globalized consumocracy. I do not hesitate to place him alongside Samuel Pepys, Giacomo Casanova and Charles Bukowski.
With all of whom he shares the gift of drawing a portrait of the world, by drawing a portrait of himself.
Like his collegues from the past, he does not just theorize and contemplate: he lives his times and shows a masochistic loyalty to all he hates or feels uncomfortable with. Kaganof the artist does not have a theme outside the world and himself. He is, like all great artists, his own -ism.

broadcasted in Januari 2005

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