Thursday, April 9, 2009

Further Fragments

[Vatican Museum, Rome, December 2007]

The fragmentary & the incomplete.
All demand participation, an embedding of the self within the work in some way. In the manner argued by Rico Franses for the 'stranger memorial' - those memorials where we know none of the dead - that because the circle of grief cannot be completed, because no direct connection can be made, the visitor instead leaves behind something of themselves. Perhaps a subconscious conjunction, a spatial suture that stitches an invisibility onto an unknown. It is this space that is between the fragments which presents a possibility - whether in word or world - that is so exquisitely ... open.
Petrarch's Canzoniere, his 366 verse poem circling his ideal, his Laura, creates such vast, open, vertiginous spaces in the interregnums between the verses. This vision - of a very limited scaffold separated by vast lacunae - was an innovative form, a challenging structure. (After all, a scaffold is both a structure which may allow one to gain more height, or to hang one's self). Laura never appears fully in the poem's 'fragments', and nor is there any map or directions of what is happening in between these 'scattered rhymes. Yet, here is love in its most enigmatic and stunning form - in all that is not said as much as what is said. In the hint, in the moment, the speculation - and as with the Temple of Philosophy at Ermenonville, there is an ambiguity in the state of these scattered pieces, of how they go together, or fall apart, and who is implicated in their making.

You who hear the sound, in scattered rhymes,
of those sighs on which I fed my heart,
in my first vagrant youthfulness,
when I was partly other than I am ... ... ...

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