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ART : Putting Things All Together : Edward Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz, talk (a bit reluctantly) about life, art, love and all those changes

October 31, 1993|KRISTINE McKENNA | Kristine McKenna is a frequent contributor to Calendar

E.K.: We have a lot of control once we get here and you can affect what happens to you. Say you decide you want to be a creative person--there's no magic involved. You just put yourself in touch with the creative side of yourself and start doing it.

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In researching "The Merry-Go-World" you traveled to countries of extreme poverty--which environment you visited disturbed you the most?

N.R.K.: India. Life there is unbelievably hard and that may be why the people there have such highly developed spiritual lives. You have to have something when you're that poor, and what they have is the belief that things will be better for them after they die.

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And what do you believe happens after death?

E.K.: I can tell you with absolute certainty that when you die you stop. You don't dance off on the hand of God or come back as a mosquito--you stop and you go into oblivion, and that sounds great to me. I don't have any expectations other than right now, today, and that puts a great deal of pressure on today--and I love the pressure. I have no proof of what I believe, of course, but I do know the world would be a much better place if people weren't running around with fantasies of other worlds and other lives. I was recently asked what I'd do for the world if I had magic powers and my answer was that I'd eliminate all organized religions and all memory of organized religions. That would make everybody responsible for their own lives today .

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