[Table of Contents] [Search]


[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [BKARTS] bookart



Michael,

I think we can all be guilty of sloppy thinking and miscommunication at
times, and I'll be the first to admit it. I think you raise some interesting
points, but we seem to differ.

Michael said;
So, plastic arts, just like the poem, rely on referring to external
contexts, not only for convenience, but for the power of it. There is
something moving, persuasive and powerful about the terse reference to
common cultural contexts. For one thing, such references are beyond
true/false analytical thinking. It is what makes the metaphors and symbols
so powerful in a poem by Tu Fu and the fact that it would require the entire
translation of the Chinese culture to effectively render a Tu Fu poem into
English. That in itself makes translation impossible or, at best,
approximate. Note that it is not necessary to translate "The Burghers of
Calais." Perhaps such power has to do with the suspension of critical
thinking which, after all, invites a value judgment. No one can accuse "The
Burghers of Calais" of being false. The criticism of the plastic arts rely
more on emotive terms such as liking, viewing, representation, form, etc,
and hardly at all on such value judgments of true or false.


I disagree that sculpture and the plastic arts are merely 'viewed' and not
read. That the plastic arts don't deal in terms of true and false or contain
analytical thought is, I think, blatantly untrue.
Take History painting - a genre of painting where current events are
commissioned to be painted by an artist. A text. Much great research and
historical commentary has been conducted pouring over the surface of a
painting or print. It can be described as being true and false. It contains
historical information. Portraiture is no different. They are documents. War
artists do the same job - documenting the realities and events of war. Art
does contain significant texts. I brought up the Burghers of Calais for that
reason - there is a text contained in that sculpture - it is not merely an
illustration. Art is NEVER about suspending critical thinking and demands
the viewer to make countless value judgments - and it is not just about
whether we 'like it or not'.

I think the way some view the Plastic Arts is hindering the current
discussion.

Andrew Williams.
Pickafight Books
Stanmore NSW Australia

             ***********************************************
     Visit "The Book of Origins: A survey of American Fine Binding"
                Online exhibit and catalog order form at
       <http://library.syr.edu/digital/exhibits/b/bookoforigins/>
                                    
             For all your subscription questions, go to the
                      Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
          See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
             ***********************************************


[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents] [Search]