In my recent holiday to Greece and Turkey I visited lots of Byzantine churches and The Benaki Musuem in Athens which has a wonderful Byzantine painting collection. The rendering of landscape struck me especially, the egg tempera paintings showed wild distorted fingers of rocks and caves as framing devices for scenes in a narrative. The caves are almost like holes in a sculpture At the moment I am working on some ink paintings which are influenced by the bleak imagery of these fantastical psychic landscapes. The paintings below are circa 15th Century and are held in the Benaki museum and Lefkada public Library.
Adolf Wolfli – German ‘outsider’ artist active around 1900-1930. Visionary musical scores and swirling patterns, reminds me of Hildegard von Bingen drawings.
Madge Gill – British ‘outsider’ artist, particularly for her large scale calico drawings and embroideries. She made art under the direction of a spirit guide she called, ‘Myrninnerest’
I am beginning a large scale ink drawing on fabric.MORE
I see the New Yorker has an article on Chika Sagawa a Japanese Modernist poet. Her writing is dream like with the kind of broken surrealist imagery that contemporary writers like Ryū Murakami.
Insects multiplied with the speed of an electric current.
Lapped up the boils on the earth’s crust.
Turning over its exquisite costume, the urban night slept like a woman.
‘Art is of the animal. It comes not from something uniquely human – reason, recognition, intelligence, or sensibility – nor from any of man’s higher accomplishments – a special inclination to the aesthetic or the ethical, to beauty or goodness – but from something excessive in the world, from what is unable to be predicted, from the animal. What is most artistic in us is also the most bestial. Art comes from that excess, in the world, in objects, in living things, which enables them to be more than they are, to give more than themselves, their material properties and possible uses, than is readily given in them. Art is the consequence of that excess, that energy or force, that puts life at risk for the sake of intensification, for the sake of sensation itself – not simply for pleasure or for sexuality, as psychoanalysis might suggest – but for what cMORE
Salvatore Arancio – the natural world, variations, evolution, strangeness, mythical history, mushrooms, abstraction, nodules, barnacles, botanic drawings. And a beautiful old photograph of boys holding a sheet behind a tree for a photographer.
his website HEREMORE
For many years I have been interested in classical Japanese aesthetics, the most widely known concept is Wabi-Sabi. In translation to English it is often missused or missunderstood as being a kind of catch all for Japanese things made of pottery or wood and the beauty of decay. This is vaguely what Wabi-Sabi connotes but the actual aesthetics are more challenging and interesting. Wabi refers to a philosophical construct, a sense of space, direction, or path, while sabi is an aesthetic construct rooted in a given object and its features, plus the occupation of time, chronology, and objectivity.
“Sabi objects are irregular in being asymmetrical, unpretentious in being the holistic fruit of wabizumai, ambiguous in preferring insight and intuition, the engendering of refined spiritualized emotions rather than reason and logic.
From wabi come two core pMORE
Reading: David Joselit in Dismagazine, full interview here.
“DAT: In your essay “Material Witness,” as one strategy to increase the legibility of these extensions, you cite Eyal Weizmann and Anselm Franke’s interest in Quintilian’s concept of “the mediated speech of inanimate objects.” Is this concept a critique of Bruno Latour’s “Parliament of Things,” or New Materialism and Post-humanism, in support of Vibrant Matter, Biopolitics, and Speculative Realism?
DJ: Well, these theories are complex, quite diverse and often contradictory in their positions. What I think they do share, however, is an effort to understand the agency of objects (politically, socially, materially), and a commitment to de-centering the importance of human perception in conceiving of the world. One of the important things I take away from this is thaMORE
‘When I got to the marketplace, I found men unloading meat for the butcher shops, their arms laden with sides of red and purple beasts glistening with blood, as tall and proud as dead princesses. … They were lined up along the porcelain-white walls like scarlet sculptures carved from the most diverse and delicate material. They had the watery, iridescent shimmer of silk and the murky limpidity of gelatine.’
HERE is a link to the White Review’s article discussing the book.MORE
In the booklet we published for Ashes of Roses and the smell of Birch, at Rupert, we were lucky enough to have Susan Ploetz contribute some writing. Susan and I share an intense interest in the medieval Mystic and visionary nun Saint Hildegard of Bingen. She was alive in the 12th century but if took until May, 2012 for Pope Benedict XVI to declare her a canonized saint, so radical are her writings, visions and music in the canon of the (non feminist) Catholic church. Here are some quotes from that most amazing of women:
At birth our divine potential is folded up in us like a tent. It is life’s purpose to unfold that tent.
I heard a voice speaking to me: The young woman whom you see is Love. She has her tent in eternity….
It was Love which was the source of this creation in the beginning when God said: ‘Let it be!’. And it was. As though in the blinki
Ikkyū (一休宗純 Ikkyū Sōjun, 1394–1481) “Crazy Cloud”
Fuck flattery success money
all I do is lie back and suck my thumb
Why do people
On this set of bones
Destined to disappear
Without a trace?
that stone Buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets
I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind
Makes you wonder hey? We all need a good injection of these ideas, fuck flattery, fuck success, I sit in the studio and doze.