Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Picasso in 1923
I can hardly understand the importance given to the word research in connection with modern painting. In my opinion to search means nothing in painting. To find is the thing. Nobody is interested in following a man who, with his eyes fixed on the ground, spends his life looking for the purse that fortune should put in his path. The one who finds something no matter what it might be, even if his intention were not to search for it, at least arouses our curiosity, if not our admiration. 
Among the several sins that I have been accused of, none is more false than that I have, as the principal objective in my work, the spirit of research. When I paint, my object is to show what I have found and not what I am looking for. In art intentions are not sufficient and, as we say in Spanish, love must be proved by deeds and not by reasons. What one does is what counts and not what one had the intention of doing. 
We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know how to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies. If he only shows in his work that he has searched, and re-searched, for the way to put over lies, he would never accomplish anything. 
The idea of research has often made painting go astray, and made the artist lose himself in mental lucubrations. Perhaps this has been the principal fault of modern art. The spirit of research has poisoned those who have not fully understood all the positive and conclusive elements in modern art and has made them attempt to paint the invisible and, therefore, the unpaintable. 
They speak of naturalism in opposition to modern painting. I would like to know if anyone has ever seen a natural work of art. Nature and art, being two different things, cannot be the same thing. Through art we express our conception of what nature is not.
Velazquez left us his idea of the people of his epoch. Undoubtedly they were different from the way he painted them, but we cannot conceive a Philip IV in any other way than the one Velazquez painted. Rubens also made a portrait of the same king and in Rubens' portrait he seems to be quite another person. We believe in the one painted by Velazquez, for he convinces us by his right of might. 
From the painters of the origins, the primitives, whose work is obviously different from nature, down to those artists who, like David, Ingres and even Bouguereau, believed in painting nature as it is, art has always been art and not nature. And from the point of view of art there are no concrete or abstract forms, but only forms which are more or less convincing lies. That those lies are necessary to our mental selves is beyond any doubt, as it is through them that we form our aesthetic view of life.
and 1927
It was just at this period that we were passionately preoccupied with exactitude. One can only paint out of a view of reality, which we tried through dogged hard work (how we applied ourselves to this side of things!) to analyze in pictorial terms. ... How anxious we were lest something slip through our clutches (Que de scrupules de laisser échapper quelque chose). ...

Moreover. this feeling for exactitude is one I have always held onto in my researches. There is no painting or drawing of mine that does not respond exactly to a view of the world. One day I'd like to show drawings done in my synthesizing mode (dessins à forme synthétique) next to ones of the same subject done in a classical manner. People will my concern for exactitude. They'll even see that the [synthetic] drawings are more exact
"The philosophical role of illness – and how it can teach us to live reflectively"
Serious illness is a great calamity. It is unwelcome, violent, frightening and painful. If it is life threatening, it requires the ill person and their loved ones to confront death. Illness causes pain, anxiety, incapacitation; it limits what the ill person can do. It can cut a life short, stop plans in their tracks, and detach people from life, suspending the previous flow of everyday activity. In short, illness is almost always unwelcome but must be endured, as it is also unavoidable. We “each owe nature a death”, as Freud put it.
The link, in the original,  now an obscure reference, is to a BBC biography.
The author, (on the right side of the page)
Havi Carel
Professor of Philosophy, University of Bristol
Disclosure statement
Havi Carel receives funding from the Wellcome Trust (Senior Investigator Award 103340).
Investigators are researchers.
My current research explores the phenomenology of illness. I am interested in augmenting the naturalistic approach to illness with a phenomenological perspective. I believe that as embodied persons we experience illness primarily as a disruption of lived body rather than as a dysfunction of biological body. But medicine has traditionally focused on returning the biological body to normal functioning, and has therefore worked from within a problem-focused, deficit perspective that ignores the lived body. A phenomenological approach can provide a framework for incorporating the experience of illness into the medical naturalistic account, by providing a rich description of the altered relationship of the ill person to her world.
Belles lettres as research. Anglo-American philosophy is now claim-jumping experimental psychology on one side and literature on the other.

Rules of submitting to Granta: "Please do not submit book manuscripts, academic essays or reviews."
No fucking footnotes. "Experience" and literature. Follow the links.

The research model of art, and politics. Follow the motherfucking links. Learn something.

"Continental and Anglo-American philosophy are collapsing in on themselves and on each other"

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