Hothouse

Here I am; reading, thinking & writing about roses, and then suddenly this poem comes along – almost as on demand … Hothouse A rose, rose. A violet, violet. A jade, jade. No. The architecture of each, a refusal. Rose is not rose nor violet violet nor jade jade. But each is what it is,…

Reading to write …

How to write about art … Since he applied paint thickly, and then repeatedly scratched it off the canvas as his work proceeded, the floor was covered with a largely hardened and encrusted deposit of droppings, mixed with coal dust, several centimeters thick at the center and thinning out towards the outer edges, in places…

Ars Poetica

ars poetica noun 1. a treatise on the art of poetry or poetics. . 2. Among the first known treatises on poetry, Horace’s “Ars Poetica” (also referred to as Letters to Piso, written about 19–18 bce for Piso and his sons) is literally translated as “The Art of Poetry” or “On the Art of Poetry.” The work…

Sophistication?!

The mellifluous, impenetrable language of theory is often thought of as a sign of sophistication. But it can just as well serve as a way of covering over underlying inconsistency or lack of substance. It all depends on how it is being used … And I must admit, I’m not very happy with the way…

Apropos voice

Grappling with Jacques Rancière, trying to get a grip on the concept of the “ethical regime of art”; in which artistic images are evaluated in terms of their utility to society. This is linked by Rancière with Plato’s banishment of painters from his ideal community. Rancière associates this “regime” with the antique idea that defines artwork…

cloth · a commonplace

spreading the word – I just want to direct your attention for a minute or two to a wonderful ongoing project by Ann Hamilton: on cloth Cloth is the body’s first architecture; it protects, conceals and reveals; it carries a body’s weight, swaddles at birth, covers in sleep and in death. A patterned cloth symbolizes…

A talent for concealment and revelation

A breeze was blowing, and I could smell salt, seaweed, and sun-bleached shore. I knew, once again, that I’d found home. –Sue Hubbell, Waiting for Aphrodite I never tire of the coast because it’s never the same twice. The tides and the weather change its physical shape, and they bring different things to look at….

It is hard to drop from the self into the soul

From “The Edge of the Frame”, by Tony Hoagland             (an excerpt)   Joseph Cornell collected souvenirs of places he was miserable in, which pretty much was everywhere he went. Churchill felt afraid on stairs. Terrible migraines of Virginia Woolf entered her skull and would not be evicted. I read biographies because I want to…

The Art of Fiction

I’m reading “The Art of Fiction” by James Salter, an essay full of treasures, like for example this, on the language of Isaac Babel: It’s like a handful of radium—a brilliance you would never imagine. and then – on writing: Of course, not every word can be the perfect word. Not every room overlooks the river….

Into … & out of darkness

Barry Lopez says: real beauty is so deep you have to move into darkness to understand it. I sense a truth in Lopez’ words, but at the same time I must admit I’m not able to fully comprehend the meaning of his enchanting postulat. But this is what I do know: when in darkness – look for beauty, because beauty can (strange…