Sunday 29 September 2019

Joanna Hogg, The Souvenir

Masterful film and honest telling of a young, artistic woman who becomes involved with an older man about whom she later discovers is a heroin addict.

Sunday 15 September 2019

Merleau-Ponty, Cézanne's Doubt

"Cézanne does not try to use color to suggest the tactile sensations which would give form and depth. These dis- tinctions between touch and sight are unknown in primordial perception. It is only as a result of a science of the human body that we finally learn to distinguish between our senses. The lived object is not rediscovered or constructed on the basis of the data of the senses; rather, it presents itself to us from the start as the center from which the data radiate. We see the depth, the smoothness, the softness, the hardness of objects; Cézanne even claimed that we see their odor."

The Luncheon on the Grass
, 1876-77

Saturday 7 September 2019

Agnes Pelton (1881-1961)

Rachel Cusk in Texte Zur Kunst



CUSK: "Oh, like reading Winnicott on motherhood: the mother hates the baby before the baby can know the mother hates him. I think there is a problem with writing in that the medium is very bourgeois and one is very conscious of the susceptibility of writing to be disapproved of, or disagreed with, in a way that visual art isn’t really. Psychoanalysis seems to offer a completely different road because there is no judgement, there is no: It’s so awful the mother hates the baby before the baby can know the mother hates him, because it’s taken to be an objective medical fact. And yet, what kind of fact is that?"

TIMONEN: "This reminded me of my own ambivalent feelings – not being a mother – about femininity in general, and I think a lot of women experience some type of hatred of femininity, but it’s a touchy subject because it’s hard to tell where to draw the line between internalized misogyny and justified hatred of something ideological and oppressive."


CUSK: "All I know is that in the parts of life that have been determined for me, i.e., femininity, I’ve encountered injustice and dishonesty, and denial of individuality. As I said before, I was kind of fated to serve these subjects and it would have been much more fun probably to do something else that people found very pleasing. Is femininity inherently traumatic? I think in this day and age the difference is becoming increasingly clear between that being the case and it not being the case."

CUSK: I am interested in an example of something. I’m not interested in my own experience when I’m the only person who’s had that experience. Anything that is unusual or special about myself I’m not interested in at all. I always want to find my way to a shared junction with other people where they can recognize something, that I can say things out of my own experience that others can recognize.

Sunday 1 September 2019

Huguette Caland (1931 - )

Wishing I could get to the Huguette Caland exhibition at Tate St Ives... some photos below of her work.

Deborah Levy at the LRB

I had the great pleasure to listen to Deborah Levy talk about her new book The Man Who Saw Everything at the London Review Bookshop this week. Upon discovering her writing within the last year, I've read 5 of her books and have now started her latest. I cannot get enough of her writing.

Notes from the discussion:

- extreme beauty is quite freakish wherein we want to gaze but find ourselves repulsed by that which is beautiful
- narrative consequences whereby the author is in contract with her reader and must address the stakes in her created world
- Is it possible or desirable to see everything? If we did, we would never fall in love - we have to be blind to fall enough or we'd run away
- "erotically fierce moment"
- Marx as the spectre than haunted a whole continent
- how we see ourselves and each other vs. how the state sees us
- political and personal surveillance
- being a muse is very undesirable and is completely lacking in agency. DL said: it is better to plant tomatoes and hope that someone finds the dirt under under your fingernails adorable
- there is a seductive quality to people who are so caught up in their own lives (narcissists)
- to be both narcissistic and loving is confusing for the one you love
- Stalin punishing people for thought crimes
- return of the father as return of the repressed
- risks associated with knowing things you don't want to know
- how the present is haunted by the past and moments of psychoanalytic repetition
- attention as a subject matter; hyper-attention as mania - an author is only as interesting as what she pays attention to
- how one might be saved by the attention of others

The socialist fraternal kiss or socialist fraternal embrace between Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev, 1979