Friday, November 13, 2009

One Degree of Separation

Simon Patterson, The Great Bear, 1992 (detail)

Roland Barthes' assertion of the 'death of the author' somehow evaporates when the object of one's writing is suddenly reading what one has written. While Barthes promoted the creative intervention of the reader in the experiencing of a work - or in the case of my current conundrum, the viewer - the sudden presence of the author (director) has a somehow immutable and omnipotent power. They are far from 'dead.' Is what I have written about his work of any interest to him? Is it, even, truthful? Does that matter (in the context of the reader's promotion to creative ally of the author)?

This has happened some times before, direct contact with the topic of one's musings ....with theorists who suddenly loom large at conferences, here or there, hither or yon. However, this latest imminent exchange is perhaps the most intimidating yet, and productive of an extreme and scrupulous self-critique. Crises of confidence ensue.

The webs of association are intriguingly complex and imbricated. The various degrees of separation sometimes suddenly fall away, till there is The Other, right there, without intermediary. This web is remiscent of Simon Patterson's The Great Bear. Playing on the idea of 'constellations' of thinkers, artists, musicians, philosophers, Patterson deemed his particular configuration a grouping of stars called The Great Bear, which is clustered along the various lines of the London Underground. So, now, travelling via the line of Great Directors, and imagining I would, as usual, simply rattle by the station and stare at it out the window, I find that I have now disembarked, and am confronting it, in person ...


billoo said...

hello and salaams, jacky! sholdn't st. paul be at st. paul's? and descartes on the district line..that can't be right. he's much more central, no? and marx should be further north, no?

could you tell me who's at woodford? can't see it..and that was my home.

anyways, hope all is well.



jacky bowring said...

Well... Woodford is inhabited, in Simon Patterson's constellation,by Louis VI. The Central Line appears to have been annexed by the French monarchy ... oh but I see Marat is in residence at Leyton station!
Thanks Billoo and best wishes from the earth's underbelly, j.