Thursday, July 24, 2008

‘Deleuze on Music, Painting, and the Arts’ – Ronald Bogue

“Painting deterritorializes the face just as music deterritorializes the voice.” (80)

“‘the face crystallizes the totality of redundancies, it emits and receives, releases and recaptures signifying signs. It is itself a whole body: it is like the body of the center of signification’” (MP 144; 115)(89)

“the volume-cavity system of the proprioceptive body is replaced by the surface-hole system of faciality.” (92)

“The machine of faciality is not an annex of the signifier or the subject, it is rather connected to it and conditioning…Precisely because the face depends on an abstract machine, it does not presuppose an already present subject or signifier, but it is connected to them, and it gives them their necessary substance.””(MP 220; 180) (94)

“Artworks create universes that ‘are neither virtual nor actual; they are possible, the possible as aesthetic category’” (QP 168; 177-78)(177)

“The face’s possible world ‘is not real, or at lease not yet, but still it exists nonetheless: it is an expressed [un exprime] that exists only in its expression’” (QP 22; 17) (177)

"In Difference and Repetition, Deleuze says that genuine thought only begins with an external violence to thought, a jolt that forces thought out of its ordinary habits. That jolt is a fundamental encounter, a disequilibrium or deregulation of the senses ‘that can only be sensed’ (DR 182; 139). All thought, then, begins in sense experience, in the becoming-other of the senses. That becoming-other is the sign of the passage of the virtual into the actual.” (178)

‘Francis Bacon – The Logic of Sensation’ - Gilles Deleuze

"If painting has nothing to narrate and no story to tell, something is happening all the same, which defines the functioning of the painting.” (13)

"From the start, the Figure has been a body, and the body has a place within the enclosure of the round area. But the body is not simply waiting for something from the structure, it is waiting for something inside itself; it exerts an effort upon itself in order to become a Figure. Now it is inside the body that something is happening, the body is the source of movement…The body exerts itself in a very precise manner, or waits to escape from itself in a very precise manner. It is not I who attempts to escape from my body, it is the body that attempts to escape from itself by means of…in short, a spasm: the body as plexus, and its effort or waiting for a spasm. Perhaps this is Bacon’s approximation of horror or abjection.” (15)

"As Valery put it, sensation is that which is transmitted directly, and avoids the detour and boredom of conveying a story.” (32)

"Clichés are always-already on the canvas, and if the painter is content to transform the cliché, to deform or mutilate it, to manipulate it in every possible way, this reaction is still too intellectual, too abstract: it allows the cliché to rise again from its ashes; it leaves the painter within the milieu of the cliché, or else gives him or her no other consolation than parody.” (72)

The painter “enters into the cliché, and into probability. He enters into it precisely because he knows what he wants to do, but what saves him is the fact that he does not know how to get there, he does not know how to do what he wants to do…not how to enter into the canvas…but how to get out of it” (78)

listening to: Wire - French Film Blurred

Monday, July 21, 2008

The date for the Glenbow Openings was announced this evening –

Painting: Thick & Thin
July 25th to September 28th
Miriam Bankey, Kyle Beal, Dave & Jenn, Chris Millar, Kim Neudorf, Patrick Lundeen, Ryan Sluggett

Curated by Wil Murray

The Glenbow Museum: 4th Floor Gallery
130 - 9 Avenue S.E.
Calgary, Alberta
T2G 0P3

Morning/Afternoon Opening Reception: July 26th, all day (Artists and Curator in Attendance 11 am to 1 pm)
Evening Opening Reception: July 28th, 5:30pm to 8:30pm (Artists and Curator in Attendance)

I hear there are going to be “comments at noon” on the 26th, and I hope to find out what that means. I wonder if they’ll be putting stark, stern signs all over saying “no cameras”. One thing though that has become completely normal, and it sounds a lot like what I said about an earlier group show, is that I usually end up being in the same room with the people I’m working with for several hours but rarely getting to talk to them at length, or find out what they think of everything.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

(more) on painting

(image source)

Marlene van Niekerk on Marlene Dumas:

"to permanently attract and reject the eye that wants its rest too soon...indefinitely deferred meaning."

"the 'painting-reason' plays with the 'picture-purpose'."

"traces of significance that escape the tyranny of meaning (Roland Barthes qtd)."

"[The painting] turns its back on you, and minds its own business. They don't tell us what to do."

"The works mediate emotions in the subjunctive mode, the mode of "as if", "could be" or "may be"...The effects of formal abstraction open a space for these emotions to be investigated rather than literally suffered by the viewer."

"We are forced by these unanswering faces to look inward."

David Jager on Ben Reeves:

"What happens then when an artist adopts such a critical stance while working, after a fashion, in the tradition of realism? Ben Reeves is a Vancouver artist who makes representational paintings that are also deliberate attempts to provoke and unsettle our cultural assumptions about representation. He addresses the brush stroke as a signifier of assumed and potential meaning without ever fully renouncing the claims or even the pleasures of traditional representation."

"Reeves is evidently fascinated by the objects and people he paints, and he paints them very well, but in examining his practice we see that his true fascination is with the meaning and function of painting. Reeves never forgets that painting is always about a smear of pigment on a surface, a mark that gathers all manner of meaning about itself immediately upon being made."

Friday, July 11, 2008

blogging and art writing

From the blog open-dialogues, I found these notes on "the Art Writing Salon; an event being hosted by Marquard Smith (Course Director MA Art & Design History Kingston University) and Maria Fusco, editor of the Happy Hypocrite journal and Director of the Art Writing MFA programme at Goldsmiths College"; notes by Rachel Lois Clapham:

"Art writing is an art practice that adds to or ‘performs’ its subject in text. Art writing is not writing as an adjunct, an aside, or writing on/about/ its subject matter (be it art or not). Moreover, criticality is what counts in art writing, not criticism per se. And, unlike arts criticism, it is not always the art work, object or subject that is at stake in the writing."

"Maria launches into fiction, reading various texts aloud. She cites Michel Tournier’s novels The Wind Spirit and Gemini, fiction by J.G Ballard and Robert Smithson and reads extracts from Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman. The Third Policeman is a cyclical tale in which the main character dies and has (paradoxically) been dead throughout the novel. The Third Policeman is self conscious about its form of address- the novel- it makes innovative use of footnotes and overtly references its reader and its own process. Maria equates The Third Policeman’s cyclical death and rebirth to art writing. The novel embodies the same heightened awareness of form, content, authorial voice and reader that art writing does. For Maria, The Third Policeman is also how art writing might (legitimately) have a different relation to fiction or non truth."

"Maria’s penchant for fiction doesn’t merely contain the recipe to combat society’s contemporary malaise. The significance of the genre is rooted in its potential for re-writing facts. Facts can be refuted in fiction, and if not totally refuted, then allowed to pass more freely. Fiction, then, allows a sideways glance, and forces a wedge into facts, into a place where facts, history, events can be begin to be worked with or read as more flirty, fragile and ephemeral. It follows that facts in Art Writing can shift and behave as deviously as they do in fiction...How far can art and writing, as language- as communication- actually be stretched before they become, uncommunicative, unreadable? Does writing still work as language if it is stretched beyond comprehension or readability? What would broken writing look like?"

"Maria reveals useful strategies (in addition to fiction) for taking a unique, sideways glance at your art writing subject. i.e methods on how to ‘poke’ the object of your attention. It is a particular method of looking that enlivens the subject and is employed in many art writing texts with varied and surprising results. Constraints – self imposed or not- can also be useful as creative challenges to set in writing. Constraints and challenges can overcome a block, or create re-investment in the object/subject where something unexpected is forced out onto the page. Tried and tested art writing challenges include limiting word length, limiting time spent on a text, reviewing the most boring show or the most banal art object you can think of. Although painful, these exercises in writer torture often force a writing around the object/subject, instead of being immediately pulled in buy it (and so avoids the writer being susceptible to mere descriptive writing)." More.

I also found a summary of "'Blogging: An Ideal Recipe' as a guide for writers on the Performa Biennial ‘Writing Live’ critical writing programme in October 2007" by Rachel Lois Clapham, which you can read here.