Not being convinced that art is therapy, I will again turn my mind to the study of ekphrasis.
Ekphrasis – representing a work of art in a literary language – makes explicit the connection between visual art and literature. So lets start with a little excerpt from an interview Kevin McNeilly made with the Canadian author Anne Carson
KM: Do you conceive your work in any visual sense?
AC: Oh always; I mostly think of my work as a painting.
KM: Ut pictura poesis?
AC: No, not capturing what’s out the window. But making it like what Mallarmé talks about, using words so that you create a surface that leaves an impression in the mind no matter what the words mean. It’s not about the meaning of each individual word adding up to a proposition; it’s about the way they interact with each other as daubs of meaning, you know as impressionist colours interact, daubs of paint, and you stand back and see a story emerge from the way that the things are placed next to each other. You can also do that with language.
Art is not difficult because it wishes to be difficult, rather because it wishes to be art.
Ekphrasis (also spelled “ecphrasis”) is a direct transcription from the Greek ek, “out of,” and phrasis, “speech” or “expression.” It’s often been translated simply as “description,” and seems originally to have been used as a rhetorical term designating a passage in prose or poetry that describes something. More narrowly, it could designate a passage providing a short speech attributed to a mute work of visual art. In recent decades, the use of the term has been limited, first, to visual description and then even more specifically to the description of a real or imagined work of visual art.