The Starbucks Experiment

Monday, December 19, 2005

What does it represent?

Continuing in my vein of only quoting other people, i came across this today and feel that it represents everything that is wrong with the study of art. i promise that after christmas i will post my own words.

"One question--a naive one--remains: What does it represent? Were I to show one of Sam Francis's paintings to an uninitiated viewer, that very question would inevitably be voiced. Does painting have to represent something? Is it always the ambassador of the real? Does it represent reality? If it does, then it means reality is absent, distant, and, in fact, inaccessible. If it were supposed to represent the real, painting would be subjugated to the real. Yet, is it not the real that is in fact subjugated to painting? Is it not the painting that gives the real its reality, that grounds the real in its reality by introducing it to the world in which it may appear? Isn't the question one of the real presence of the real? That real presence is not a matter of representation but rather of transfiguration. That which in the work attests to the real presence of the real is not that the real is represented there, but that it is effectively present as an object of contemplation. How is that presence possible, It is possible only on condition that all that is not the work be excluded from it. It is necessary that the work stand "alone unto itself," "reposing in itself." Hence, there is no need to "interpret" the work, to reduce it to that which it could be, and is not, or to that which, not being so in essence, it could be accidentally" (Michel Waldbery. Sam Francis: Metaphysics of the Void. Translated by Michael Vogel and Marianne Tinnell. Toronto: Moos Book Pub., [1987?]: 17).

Sigh. of course it was written by a frenchman.


At 3:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I missed this day in Art Appreciation.


Post a Comment

<< Home