Finally some good news:

I’d like to think I can represent all those artists who heroically have kept going and are successful, but are not recognised or acclaimed. —Phyllida Barlow Can it be true, as some say: Old women are replacing young men in the art world  We can at least hope! After having been overlooked for decades, the…

Allow the self to be distracted — (Ars Poetica XVI)

—  wasting time is the most personal, most private, most intimate form of conversation with oneself, as well as with another. Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures by Mary Ruefle *   Susan Hiller: Dream Mapping (1973/74)  Dream Mapping, 1973 was an art event provocatively poised between an experiment (social or scientific) and a performance without an…

Landmarks

Katharine Harmon – YOU ARE HERE: Maps intrigue us, perhaps none more than those that ignore mapping conventions. the Bedolina Map The Rock 1 of Bedolina, the so-called Bedolina Map, is a famous engraved prehistoric rock which is part of the Camonica valley (Alps, Italian side, Lombardy region) petroglyph complex. It is known as being…

Intimacy is not a quality in itself

I have just read a poorly written book about abuse and strained family relations. A novel which, to my surprise, is winning a lot of praise and awards here in Norway these days. A kind of book that I suspect get most of its attention for what it possibly reveals about public figures (even if…

Edouard Louis

I have yet to read any of Edouard Louis’ books, but I still found this interview: Fact or fiction: autobiographical novels with Édouard Louis – books podcast very interesting & thought provoking. I’ve rarely heard any contemporary writer – or thinker – reflect in a clearer and more precise language on the relationship between identity and…

From Evan Lavender-Smith’s Old Notebooks

(could also be read as writing prompts) ~ Memoir beginning with detailed narrative description of subject’s rich and fertile childhood slowly disintegrates into list of difficult books he read as an adult. ~ Academic essay, after Moretti, quantifying the extent to which Jackson Pollock’s paintings influenced late-20th-century hairstyles. ~ Story about a mother who develops…

Notes on Melancholy, part 4

In my first note on melancholy I quoted the following question raised by Jacky Bowring, she asked: How can things that are sorrowful be beautiful? Louise Glück’s First Snow is not a theoretical answer, but a wonderful demonstration of something deeply sorrowful becoming almost unbearably beautiful – First Snow  by Louise Glück  Like a child, the earth’s going to…

A note on compulsive performativity – and how to care (for) more

Thoughts excerpted from Jan Verwoert’s text: I CAN, I CAN’T, WHO CARES (2008) Some have said that we have come to inhabit the post-industrial condition. But what could that mean? After the disappearance of factory work from the lives of most people in the Western world, we have entered into a culture where we do no…

The Leper Squint Paintings

There are these paintings by the British artist Michael Simpson – The Leper Squint Paintings – which I find exceptionally interesting. The Leper Squint paintings is a series of works picturing simple ladders raised to small black rectangles high up on walls. The rectangles are illustrating holes in the walls, squints that were once built into medieval church walls so that…

Notes on Melancholy, part 2

  from A Field Guide to Melancholy  … melancholy & genius: Aristotle: ‘Why is it that all those who have become eminent in philosophy or politics or poetry or the arts are clearly melancholics, and some of them to the extent as to be affected by diseases caused by black bile?’ Moyra Davey

Notes on Melancholy, part 1

A depressive illness or a passing feeling? Mental detachment or a precursor to genius? Melancholy is a critical part of what it is to be human, yet we all seems intent on removing all signs of sadness, depression, or, quite simply, low moods from our own lives. In  A Field Guide to Melancholy  Jacky Bowring studies melancholy…

Ars Poetica XII: Art is a question

In my last post I offered a few points from Siri Hustvedt’s truly interesting essay on Louise Bourgeois. One of the things I have been thinking about since, is Hustvedt’s assertion that: A work of art is always part person, that is: a work of art is part-thing-part-person, it is this aliveness – according to…