Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The contradictions of Tim Clark

Lecture II
Cubism, these paintings convince me, is a style directed to a present understood primarily in relation to a past: it is a modest. decent, and touching appraisal of one moment in history, as opposed to a whirling glimpse into a world-historicai present-becoming-future. It is commemorative. Its true power derives not from its modernity. that is, if we mean by this a reaching toward an otherness ahead of time, but from its profound belonging to a modernity that was passing away: the lonq modernity of the nineteenth century. ...

Cubism's world has the following structure. It wishes to state again, this time definitively, that the world is substantial through and through, with space only real -only felt- to the extent that it is constrained and solidified. Physical reality is something the mind or imagination can only reach out to incompletely, for objects resist our categories; and painting can speak to this ultimate non-humanness of things very well; but only by giving their otherness a certain architecture, a certain rectilinear -indeed "cubic"- constructedness. And this constructedness is only real if it is not far away, and smaller than us, or maybe just the same size. ...

Roger Fry says of Picasso in 1921, looking back to the line of work from 1908 to I916 —he says it a little regretfully— that "the obstinate fact remains that the limit of depth into the picture space is soon reached, that these pictures rarely suggest much more backwards and forwards play of planes than a high relief in sculpture. The immense resource [that painting has] of suggesting real distance and, perhaps even more important, circumambience of space seems to be almost cut off, or at most reduced, in its power to persuade the imagination." Well, yes: because the imagination should not be so persuaded; because the space of modernity is only falsely circumambient: it does not surround us like a circle —the great shape at the bottom of Still Lift in front of a Window could be understood as a parody of any such claim— it faces us like a piece of wainscoting. We lean on it like a table. We strum the strings of its guitar. We take off in our paper Montgolfier —Picasso actually made paper cutout versions of his  Young Girl's toys before reproducing them in paint—for a voyage around its four walls. And this proximity, this tactility, this coziness, is the condition of endless mad inventiveness about its particular states. Because the interior is the truth of space—for Bohemia, those last believers in the nineteenth century.
see the tags. more later.

As long as I'm at at…
More for Austin, Searle, etc.

Clark: "-Portrait of a Young Girl, is collage epitomized, for all that the stick-ons are illusions in oil-"

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief...

Art is use and reference.
And Searle now has his own tag

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