Art and Fear

Making art can feel dangerous and revealing. Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be. I guess I mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again: Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards)…

Regarding Beauty

Beauty has been a recurring theme in these writings of mine – it’s a concept constantly slipping away from any final definition. Andrew Wyeth, “Frostbitten” (1962), watercolor on paper (Private Collection. © Andrew Wyeth) In his book Why Beauty is Key to  Everything Alan Moore writes: I have always been fascinated by beautiful things: architecture, furniture, books.  Beautiful…

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…