I GOT UP
(and didn't Pontus Hultén just know it)
New York, 1972
(part two)






I'm still waiting for Art Gallery Ontario to provide me with infilling 'I MET' info re 1972. So let's conclude the exercise I began on the last page. Do not think for one minute I am going through the motions. There are shocks in store. Do I mean that? There are strong patterns to emerge. On Kawara knew exactly what he was doing. A most original work of art about being a citizen of New York, circa 1972.

This next card's picture - the 60th of 118 sent to Pontus Holten, or the 59th of 117 received by him - was taken from the Empire State Building, which was the subject of the last three postcards images. And it's a reminder of the deep water channel that exists between Manhattan and New Jersey. That little ship that can be seen was the largest liner ever built at the time, the QE2.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

This next picture, below, was taken from the RCA Observatory, now called something else. It shows the greenery that can be found in the middle of Manhattan.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

But this next picture, below, was again taken from the top of the Empire State Building. That's the Chrysler Building in the middle of the picture and the United Nations Building on the shore of the East River towards the right of the image. Has On Kawara's iron grip on the geography of this exercise loosened?

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

One of the things that makes this series so powerful and optimistic is that it was done pre-Twin Towers. America was in the midst of the Apollo years and New York was the centre of the Western world. Pre-9/11 and post-Apollo 11, then. The triumph had happened and the disaster was yet to happen. Of course, the other reason that makes this work so powerful and optimistic to my mind, was that it was conceived and created by On Kawara, and I understand increasingly clearly how unusual, ambitious and far-reaching was his vision.

The next three cards commemorate New York Public Library:

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Z9QgX7DkTae9QvabAWwm3w_thumb_eba7..HPOfwJYYQLeKCNCnAFt3lw_thumb_eba2
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+zM7In2uSLOGWoSZBLxH7A_thumb_ebab
Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

The card for July 19 shows a lot of colourful cars.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

The shape of the cars is old-fashioned, but there's something else. I think of them as made of solid steel, far more robust than the aluminium alloy cars that you get these days. At least part of the reason I think this, is because, as a child, I used to play with model cars that looked like these ones. They were incredibly solid and could stand head-on collisions, powered by boyish fists, with ease. Now I was 14, coming up for 15 in July 1972, but this photo was actually taken in 1964, the small print on the bottom left of the message side tells me. In truth this set of cards tells us what New York looked like from 1964-1972. Still very much, the golden era. Before tobacco was recognised as the killer it was. And long before burning fossil fuels was recognised as the global warmer it was and still is.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

As you can see, On and Hiroko treated themselves to another day up-state. The day's 'I MET' was supplied to me by Art Gallery, Ontario.

July 20, 1972
Hiroko Hiraoka
Kunio Iizuka
Reiko Iizuka
Leo K. Iizuka
Jackie Yamen

That's a second day's fishing for the Iizukas, this time with their son along for the ride.

The bonus here is that the day's 'I WENT' is reproduced in
ON KAWARA: SILENCE. I suspect that On Kawara would have wanted the journey between 340 East 13th Street and Roscoe covered by at least one published map. The red line shows the route back from 'Butternut Grove', those words being written along the top edge, to 340 13th Street:

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation..

For six days from July 21, On Kawara's postcard was sent from Times Square. That's the equivalent to Leicester Square in London, where the big cinemas showing the latest films are situated. Publicity and advertising hoardings are everywhere. I think Andy Warhol would have made something more contemporary from this raw material. But he was on a very different course to On Kawara.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Perhaps I've rushed that. If On Kawara thought each of these days warranted a full-size Times Square card, then maybe I should have followed that decision. After all, the Times building was where the New York Times was published for many years, though not during the period that On was reading it every day, and selecting subtitles from his Date Paintings from its journalism.

Where have we got too? We are still in midtown Manhattan, vaguely moving north. I've gone from using olive circles to a yellow/orange ones. You can see the sites of the six overlapping Times Square pictures beside 'Theater District'.
These are a little north of the three overlapping pictures (olive circles) of the public library. But notice there are no picture postcards - and there won't be - of Central Station. This reminds me that the postcards represent a subjective choice. Which isn't to say that On Kawara approved of all the images or places chosen.


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In the above map, slightly north and east of Times Square is the site of the next two postcards.

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Radio City is close to Rockefeller Plaza where five of the next pictures were taken, though interspersed with a trip to Roscoe and a move from July to August. Let's get back to full size:


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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.


Prometheus bringing fire to humanity, in front of a multi-spout water fountain, in front of the flags of the United Nations. What a joyous scene. Let's have some more of it.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.


That's where I'm going to sip a cold Budweiser in the shade when I hit New York. Hopefully, this year or next.

As for On Kawara, it was almost a fortnight since the last trip to Roscoe, so that was where he and Hiroko went for the day.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

I have the 'I MET' for that day:

July 31, 1972
Hiroko Hiraoka
Jackie Yamen

Just Hiroko and the woman who ran the campsite. So forget the sociable, all-white scene on the card and think of a carefree and intimate day involving On and Hiroko; talking, plotting, playing and laughing.

On: "The postcard sequence to Pontus is going well."

Hiroko: "Isn't it much the same as the sequence you sent to Konrad?"

On: "I began to send postcards to Konrad the day we got back from Mexico. I had no collection to draw on. I began with the Statue of Liberty, but they got haphazard after that, even though I must have bought a hundred postcards that first day back."

"I'm sure Konrad didn't notice. He'd be too busy trying to get his mind round the getting up times."

"To begin with we were staying with Nobu and Miyuki at 53 Greene Street… Playing
mah jongg every night… Getting up in the afternoon."

"Then we stayed with Aoki at 97 Crosby Street. And we were still playing lots of
mah jongg and getting up long, long after noon."

"I remember. I felt more under control with the postcard sequencing by the time we had our own flat on Central Street. It was all a bit hectic to begin with, trying to Date Paint in New York while keeping abreast of the self-observation series."

"We didn't have Roscoe to escape to back then."

"Thank goodness for this - what do they call it, Hiroko?"

"Rural idyll…Fisherman's paradise…Nature reserve."

"I will send Pontus the card with people sitting on chairs in a group close to their caravan. You know the one I mean? Kids on the ground. The sun casting shadows. Plenty of pink skin."

"Do you know what tomorrow's card will be?"

"Oh yes."


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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

I say again, what a stirring scene, suggestive of international co-operation and human achievement! And On Kawara still wasn't finished with it.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

It reminds me of the statue to Peter Pan that is in the middle of Kirriemuir, J.M. Barrie's birthplace, about ten miles from where I sit putting this essay together in Blairgowrie, Scotland. The Kirrie statue includes a few quotes from the classic book:

"All children, except one, grow up."

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”

“Oh, the cleverness of me!”


Something about On Kawara's timeless brilliance brings Peter Pan to mind. And the odd, little genius from Kirriemuir.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

“Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning. ”

“Wendy, Wendy, when you are sleeping in your silly bed you might be flying about with me saying funny things to the stars.”

That's one difference between On Kawara and Peter Pan. Hiroko wasn't left behind. She shared in the adventure.

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MsYmZP0DQvaw2wJiUIkqQg_thumb_eb2f..eJe+6t1vQxGC04y8G4WTig_thumb_ebf1
Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

The card (see below) that was sent on AUG. 6 looks slightly out of place as a New York scene from 1972. There were three such postcards in the 1969 series to Konrad Fischer, but honed down to just this one by 1972.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Similarly the next card does not exactly scream 'New York', but it is of Central Park, an important motif in the city.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Actually, that reminds me that in the 120-card series sent to Konrad Fischer in 1969, the six cards covering the Apollo 11 moon landing of July 16 to July 21 focussed on Central Park, but in an otherworldly way. The viewpoint was from far above, from one of the surrounding towers, and Central Park seemed like a section of (dare I say) moonscape cut into the surrounding cityscape. I may reproduce those five cards when I get to the end of this exercise, but to do so here would be to muddy the waters.

Next: a triptych:

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.


On Kawara was part of the International group show held at the Guggenheim in 1971. That may explain the prominence he gives to the building.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Only the Empire State Building is also granted formal triptych status in the 117-card sequence.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Though, of course, the United Nations headquarters gets more appearances in all. Art is important but politics is more so.


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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.


August 11, 1972
Hiroko Hiraoka
Jackie Yamen

Hiroko: "Can I see today's card."

On: "Yes, it is a good one."

Hiroko: "Do you think Pontus will know that we have adopted a deer that a we call Jackie."

On (laughing): "It does not matter."

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Hiroko: "Can I see today's card."

On: "Yes, it is another good one."

Hiroko: "Do you think Pontus will know that you have deliberately sent him a blurred postcard of Columbus Circle."

On (laughing): "It does not matter."

The card for AUG 13 (see below) is of the Coliseum. That's a motif that was used three times in the 1969 sequence to Konrad Fischer.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

In the 1969 sequence two images of The Lincoln Centre for Performing Arts came directly after three images of the Coliseum, and they do again in 1972:

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

However, the first image of the Lincoln Centre for Performing Art is slightly different from the one used in the sequence sent to Konrad Fischer in Germany. Though the second image is the identical postcard.

Next:

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I260zHsKSF+3mFJ+DVxOnQ_thumb_ebca
Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

We are still in the area of Central Park. In fact, let's map the last few postcards.

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The Children's Zoo is marked in Central Park, bottom middle of the above map. Leaving aside the Roscoe images, the next New York location was the Guggenheim, the three photos being visible top right of the above map. Next was Columbus Circle, which is bottom left, after that it was the Coliseum, the two turquoise circles just north of Columbus Circle. That's also where the Lincoln Centrre for the Performing Arts is. (Strictly speaking there should be four turquoise circles where one can make out two.)

Then further up the west side of Central Park is the Museum of Natural History. The two other turquoise circles on the East side of the park, are indicators of avenues and have not been accurately placed as the avenues are long. All in all, we can say that On Kawara is still in control of the geography and is presently going clockwise around Central Park. Or at least he has been doing that since posting the three Guggenheim Museum cards.

Next, On focuses on Columbia University.


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g8GLsYyiQrqR3wAfAplkAQ_thumb_ebcf..gEb7YpM9Q3qeNnzWbkeABg_thumb_ebd0
Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

The aerial view contains the buildings shown in the three previous postcards. So where is Columbia University? It's quite a distance north from the last location, the American Museum of Natural History, as can be seen from this next map (below). Columbia University is near the top of the map, the turquoise circles are again where the photos that adorn the postcards were taken from.

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And now an even bigger jump. Because On Kawara has now entered the endgame. If you like, he has stopped walking and has got into a taxi or a bus.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

The above is a very early getting up time, because On and Hiroko were going to Roscoe for a day and night. But we'll be getting back to the Yankee Stadium soon enough. Just put the stadium on hold.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Hiroko: "Good choice, On. It will surely be Pontus's favourite."

On: "Tomorrow's card will be Pontus's favourite."


The 'I MET' list for August 22 is as follows:

August 22, 1972
Hiroko Hiraoka
Tatsuo Kondo
Miyoko Kondo
Jackie Yamen

Tatsuo and Miyoko Kondo were the third pair of Japanese-New Yorkers that enjoyed a day in the countryside with the Kawaras in this summer of 1972. Tatsuo was a contemporary of On's and had a successful art career. Would either of the guests have known about the 'I GOT UP' exercise? I think so, but I'm going to contact the Tatsuo & Miyoku Art Foundation and see if I can find out anything more.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Back to New York and the Yankee Stadium:

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

You can see from the map (below) that the Yankee Stadium (yellow circles) is north of Columbia University (turquoise circles), so a consistent route is still being followed.

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But at this point, the route swings south and east, as you can see from the next map:

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However, the stadium south of La Guardia Airport is featured first, before the airport. This is the Shea Stadium, home of the New York Mets and the New York Jets. Rivals, no doubt, to the Yankees and the Giants, respectively.


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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Then it's back north to La Guardia Airport, which is represented by four pictures


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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

This airport has a distinctive air traffic control tower. As, I suppose, most airports do. After all, one wants pilots to know what airport they're landing at.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

A final car trip to Roscoe of the summer. That was on August 29. Which means that on AUG. 30, On awoke alongside Hiroko in their regular accommodation at Butternut Grove Campsite.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Hiroko: "A new pet for us or a new favourite for Pontus?"

On: "The best card yet."


And back to La Guardia Airport for one last hoorah.


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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

You might think that was it. On is about to fly away from New York and embark on another adventure. But not so. On Kawara intended to exit this series from the John F Kennedy international airport. As suggested by this map, below, which contains all 117 of the picture postcard spots. The density of the circles doesn't take away from the clarity of the series's ending, as the airport is an outlier to the east, bottom right of the map. Clock it?

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That is very clear, First the blue circles between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Then the green circles. Then the orange circles. Then the purple circles starting at the northern point, George Washington Bridge, but soon hitting Battery Park on Lower Manhattan. Then the olive circles. Then the orange-yellow ones (difficult to see because multiple sites close together). Then the turquoise circles. Then the yellow circles. Finally blue again.

I guess by the time that Pontus Hultén got this next card he would realise that the end was coming.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Could this next be the last card? Did Pontus want it to be the last one? Of course not, let every day for the rest of his life begin with receiving such an exquisite object.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Pontus had an idea. He would invite On Kawara to be artist in residence in Stockholm for a couple of months starting in December of that year, and then On Kawara could do for Stockholm what he'd so brilliantly done for New York. 'The magic world of travel,' he quoted from his latest card.

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

The last postcard from On?

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.


"Hang on a minute," said Pontus.


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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

"Getting up time, 2.29PM? How were the simple, good people of Stockholm going to cope with having such an unusual individual in their midst?"

The next card arrived:

"I've never got up as late as 11.21 in my life! Perhaps it wasn't such good thing, this residency idea."

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DsIjbsjqTw22ns1Vd5kpSQ_thumb_ec09
Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

That's enough Pontus Hulten.

Back to me in 1972. The true receiver of these postcards!

See the above and below images. Cars made of iron that you could take in your puny fists
. And smash them against each other without doing any damage. Heady days!

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Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation. Photo reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

And then blankness.

Suddenly blankness.

From blue skies to blankness.

And day followed night, and night followed day, and Art Gallery Ontario are not going to tell me which days On met Aoki, Soroku, Nobu and Takeshi in the months of February, August and November, 1972. A short but polite email tells me, not unreasonably, that I have reached the end of their
largesse. However, they will try and hook me up with a researcher.

I'm lying in bed. It's Friday, March 10, 2023: 5.58 A.M. When am I going to get up? Let's think some things through first.

I'd forgotten that as well as four-month sequences of postcards to Konrad Fischer, Dan Graham and Pontus Hultén, there was a four-month sequence in 1971 sent to Dr. Jost Herbig. (On Kawara's 'I GOT UP' New York years were 1969 to 1972, after that he was travelling in the States or abroad for months on end each year.) Dr. Herbig was a scientist who lived in Germany. He died in 1995, and, a year or two later, his On Kawara postcard artwork was sold at Christie's.

The sequence was July 14 to November 21, I seem to remember. How many days is that? 17 + 31 + 30 + 31 + 21 = 129. The only postcard I've seen is the one for November 11. And that shows an aerial view of five planes lined up at La Guardia airport, with the planes in the background. Rather a grey card. Quite a warm grey on account of the planes coming and going, vaporising fossil fuel. Runway grey, let's call it. That was the 12th last card sent to Dr. Jost Herbig. Which card was it in the Pontus Hultén sequence? Well, seven JFK airport cards came after it, so it was the eighth last card. It's possible that On Kawara sent his La Guardia cards in a different order on each occasion, so we could be talking about essentially the same sequence. That's my way of suggesting that I don't need to see the Dr. Jost Herbig 'I GOT UP' set. Though I'd very much like to, if anybody out there could arrange that.

But On didn't just send out 4-month sequences of cards. More often it would be
a series of 20 or 30 or 40 or 60 cards, etc. Now when he was travelling, these cards would reflect his travels, with not very much compositional input appropriate. Though Berlin might be an exception, as he was there for a whole year. However, when he was in New York, once he'd established a collection of cards, I wonder how he chose which ones to send. If he was sending out 45 cards, for example, would it simply be, more or less, the first 45 cars of the four-month sequence? I expect it would depend somewhat on who he was sending the cards to. He sent a month's worth of cards to his very close friend, Hirotsugu Aoki, in 1970. Now they played a lot of serious mah-jongg together, and it would be interesting to know the kind of game-playing On Kawara got up to in that case. Runs of three, perhaps? The only published image of the Aoki postcards, still owned by Aoki, shows them as a pile, so I won't be able to progress that analysis as yet. I have a feeling that the 47 cards sent to R. Kostalenetz who lived at 242 East 5th Street, New York, which are now owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art basically follow the pattern of the Pontus Hulten cards, only there are even more of the United Nations Building, and even more of the jetties and ships between Manhattan and New Jersey, so that its about the 40th card (as opposed to the 35th) before a step is taken onto Battery Park, and very soon after that the sequence ends. One can understand why On Kawara didn't need to show Mr Kostalenetz views of the airports, but there remains more to be mulled over. I will try and access a few more entire postcard sequences, to see what more can be deduced - or at least hypothesised - about On Kawara's decision making.

I lie here with the set of 117 cards fresh in my mind. As On Kawara would have had the sequence clearly - crystal-clearly - in his mind on September 7, 1972. The first few cards showing the UN headquarters, then the next batch showing lower Manhattan where On and Hiroko slept for seventeen days, then ten or so cards in the estuary looking towards Lower Manhattan, then a quick sail up and down the channel between Manhattan and New Jersey, then the long march through Manhattan, occasionally going back on one's footsteps to take in one important building after another after another after another, with special attention paid to the Empire State Building and the Guggenheim, then a long sweep - I still imagine this bit being done in a car or a bus - taking in two sports stadiums and two airports.

Marvellous. But I must remember that On was sending out a second card at the same time. Not necessarily the same card. Perhaps he had a different vision of New York to show Dr. Daled in Brussels. In fact he did, because the card that Dr. Daled was sent on June 30, 1972, was not the same as the one sent to Pontus Hultén on June 30, 1972. The director of the Modern Museum in Stockholm had been sent that card on June 28.

"Can you hear me, On?"

"I can hear you, Duncan."

"Can I give you a test on the postcards you sent to Pontus Hultén in 1972?"

"Sure."

"OK, first question. Which postcard does this detail come from? Date and getting up time, please."

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"Easy question. July 23, 1972, a day in which I got up at 9.47A.M. It's Times Square. The film 2001: A Space Odyssey is advertised at the top of the image. That is a film by Stanley Kubrick that opened in New York the day after I flew to Mexico in 1968. I really wanted to see that film! I did see it that year. On my own, far from Times Square, in Mexico City. Back in New York, I was delighted to come across a postcard that used a picture from the film's opening in 1968."

"Correct on all counts. Next question…"

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"Ah, trick question! What I 'see' here is one of Hiroshige's 'One Hundred Famous Views of Edo'. The one called
Sudden Shower over Shin-Shashi Bridge. So what you must have done is take a small portion of the image from the postcard sent on June 1, 1972, whose title was 'The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge' (a day when I got up at 9.08 A.M.), and flip it horizontally. Yes?"

"Correct, I have to admit. Third and last question."

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"Ah, you might think that is a difficult one, Duncan, but it is not. First, I will just check if you have flipped the image horizontally or vertically, which I can see you have not. Then I must just focus on whether that cloud was behind the UN headquarters in the picture I used on May 21 or May 22. And that takes less than a second to compute, because the colour of the sky and the cloud formation was completely different on these days. So,' May 22, 1972'. And before you ask: I GOT UP AT 7.11 A.M."

Jesus Christ. Alright, that's enough of that. I know when I am impressed. Back to September 7, 1972. On Kawara didn't rest on his laurels at the end of the four-month sequence. He immediately began another. He would have had two piles of postcards with postage stamps attached, and he would have marked in his logbook who was going to receive the postcards for the next month. Or two months. Or three months. Or alternative time period.

Did I say marvellous? It seems the right word. I suspect the whole universe is contained in these '117 views of New York'. What more can I write to pay tribute to On Kawara's vision and resolve? His sense of style and structure? His positivity and sense of humour?

I GOT UP AT 9.11 A.M.