Thursday, April 23, 2009

On Seeing Our Not Seeing

Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition: White on White, 1918

''Why did we become blind, I don't know, perhaps one day we'll find out, Do you want me to tell you what I think, Yes, do, I don't think we did go blind, I think we are blind, Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see.''
Such is the denouement of Jose Saramago's Blindness, a parable of sorts perhaps, of the not seeing which is part of our 'sightedness'. The 'blindness' of Saramago's characters manifests as an engulfing whiteness, rather than a blackness which one might anticipate, and in that a sense of emptiness, rather than a plunging depth. So very different is the not seeing that comes from staring at what is in front of us, of an inability or unwillingness to discern the small beauties, to comment on them, bring them forward - so very different to staring into an infinite blackness, and seeing in that a universe ...

Kazimir Malevich, Black Square, 1913

No comments: