Archives for category: ideas about time

Over the past few months I’ve been working as curator and artist for Outrider, a Arts Council Library Fund to work with a collection of bee books and photographs by Alfred Watkins – Outrider | A fine site

A few images of work in progressphoto 1-3photo 2-3photo 4


Wild Rosebush

How it stands there before the darkenings

of the raining evening, young and pure;

amoung its thrashed-out tendrils, giving,

and yet sunk, immersed in its rose-existence;

the shallow blossoms, some already open,

each one unasked-for and untended:

so, endlessly outdone by itself

and indescribably self-excited.

it calls to the wanderer, who in evening

meditation, passes by the path:

Oh see me stand, here, look, how safe I am

and unprotected, having all I need.

Rilke, Between Roots

‘…what I’m suggesting it is necessary to reject the notion of time that began in Europe during the eighteenth century and is closely linked with the positivism and linear accountability of modern capitalism: the notion that a single time, which is unlinear, regular, abstract and irreverisible, carries everything. All other cultures have proposed a coexistence of various times surrounded in some way by the timeless.

Return to the forests that belong to history… A sense of waiting, yet what is it that is waiting? And is waiting the right word? A patience. A patience for what? A forest incident. An incident we can neither name, describe, nor place. And yet is there.’   John Berger ‘Into the Wood’ 2006

‘I suppose if people are not writers or painters or whatever, they see the life of the artist as being one of great freedom, but it’s not really; it’s as constrained as anyone else’s by the material thats available. The thing seems to have some kind of reality in one’s head;it seems to be something that one is discovering, rather than inventing.’

Michael Frayn, The Guardian 26.03.11

‘If we are in a state of passibility, it’s that something is happening to us . . .  what happens is not at all something we have first controlled, programmed, or grasped by a concept. Or else, if what we are passible to has first been plotted conceptually, how can it seize us? How can it test us if we already know, or if we can know—of what, with what, for what, it is done?’’. ‘‘Passibility’’ is a neologism that puns on passivity and possibility, where passivity is not mere passiveness as opposed to activity but an openness to what happens, a disposition free of calculation, being ‘‘on guard,’’ plotting, grasping, eyes alert to the main chance. Passability is something like a condition of experience, or at all events experiences of a certain specialty’.

The senses of Augustine: On some of Lyotard’s remains.   Gerald L. Burns

‘the present object evokes the absent one, in its place.

Other of the there, who is there, there where light takes place without place, there where sounds resounds without duration, and so forth.

A witness in proportion to there being none, and there can be no witness of this blow that, we repeat, abolishes the periods, the surfaces of the archive. The tables of memory fall to dust, the blow has not passed.’

Jean-Francois Lyotard   ‘The confession of Augustine’

As I heard Matthew Collings talk at the Crunch Festival in Hay the other day and also as he was one of the curators  for the Witching Hour exhibition here is a quote of his I really relate to.

And when an Impressionist artist paints a picnic it’s really not the picnic but an idealisation of freshness and spontaneity involving subtle hue and tone balances and wriggly soft edged forms, and forms above reflecting and echoing forms below, and so on, which are all just different approaches to the same theme of visual metaphor. Metaphors for what it’s like to be alive.

‘If there is no mystery then there is no ‘poetry’, the quality I value above all else in art. What do I mean by ‘poetry’? It is to a painting what life is to man (and woman). But don’t ask me to define it; it is something that each artist has to struggle to discover for themselves through there own intuition. For me it is a matter of harmony, of rapports, of rhythm and – most important for my own work – of ‘metamorphosis’. When life becomes a perpetual revelation, ‘That is true poetry’.

George Braque talking to John Richardson  from ‘Braque the late works’ 1997

And what he saw there was a pattern, he was to explain, a pattern forged by the creative ‘look’ that artists posses as they scan the chaotic rubble of ordinary appearances and, through an extraordinary act of selective seeing, manage to extract a series of intervals, of harmonic relationships between darks and lights, an intuition of that organic intermeshing to which could be affixed the term unity.

Rosalind E Krauss    The Optical Unconscious