Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Cusp of Invisibility

Ben Cauchi, Loose Canvas, 2007 (tin type photograph)

Anne Noble, Window/Altar, 1978 (gelatine silver print)

Odilon Redon, Profil de Lumiere, 1886 (charcoal)

Bill Henson, Paris Opera Project, 1990-91

William Forsythe, Limbs Theorem

Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than seeing.

J W Goethe

Knowingness is a state of soul which prevents shudders of awe.
Richard Rorty

Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term Art, I should call it 'the reproduction of what the Senses perceive in Nature through the veil of the soul.' The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in Nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of 'Artist.'
Edgar Allan Poe

Within the vast, unknowable, ineffable darkness of existence, there exist glimmers, moments. On the cusp of invisibility the scintillas dance, light strikes an edge, a surface, a visage, a limb. A match is struck, phosphorescence. Lux et Nox. Fleetingly surface and depth inflect, the subtle bend of the meniscus, the tenderest touch. The cavernous blackness of the unknown pulls at the presumptions of light and knowledge, of seeing and knowing. Always already on the verge of swallowing the visible whole, the invisible, the dark, the deep is that which induces the shudders of awe, the beauty of the unseeable, that which exeeds mere imitation. To dance in the abyss, to reach into the distance, to touch the depth of darkness ...

Bill Henson, Paris Opera Project, 1990-91


Anonymous said...

There has to be an engine of sorts to drive such an interest, in fact to drive or carry the many kinds of human interest but the question is how are these engines made, can simply a lack of something in early life create a later and lasting want for example, or do such engines exist always, either lying
dormant or started up by some event or drift of character.

An engineer

jacky bowring said...

A lack of something in early life ... "In my beginning is my end ..." (T S Eliot, East Coker)
But, must a want stem from a lack?

Roger said...

I wonder why it is that the unknown is usually paralleled with darkness or blackness? I often think that what we ordinarily see is the dark and the unknown, the invisible, is the light!

The statement about 'the shudder being art itself'is probably the best definition of what art is that I've come across in the brief time that I've taken an interest in such things - thank you


jacky bowring said...

Darkness, blackness, are, perhaps the signals of the obscure ... the 'night of the world'. Light - and day - are often allied with knowing, seeing. But indeed, the invisible, the unknown, is also light, as in the sense of the numinous, the 'holy other' ... and those who tell of the near-death passage into a tunnel of light ...