Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Motivation, Incubation, and Expression

I have always been interested in collages – visual images spun, placed together in ways that may be surprising.  I had not thought much about it, except peripherally - as something would remind me, until a few months ago, when my friend’s granddaughter sent her a beautiful birthday card with the right amount of whimsy and charm and insight to motivate me back into the playful joy of childhood scissoring of all manner of papers and pasting.  Since then I pasted a picture together which reminded me both of the card, of my sister and me squatting on the living room floor surrounded by paper dolls and more, and of the absolute joy of creating and remembering.  That led me to making a “collage-book,” which I’ll display soon.

In the last few weeks I have been seeing all kinds of articles about collage, and the way certain artists integrate materials. One is BrainPickings, the fascinating brain-child of Maria Popovva, curator-at-large and troll of all manner of connections of potential human inspiration and interest. Another is the facsimile (and more!) of Joseph Cornell’s Manual of Marvels, noted in a book catalog I received in the mail (holiday time and all). In yesterday’s New York Times, I read “Recycled Newsprint,” by Carlo Rotella, which describes an exhibit running at Washington’s National Gallery until January 27. The curator and her collaborators call the exhibit Shock of the News, the catalog of which “offer(s) a cogent, evocative account of artists’ use and abuse of the newspaper from 1909 to 2009.” I find this fascinating – both the making of images from other images, and the collective consciousness summary of the findings/creations by others who “discover” them in a new context, as more of a whole over time. What more do they say, in context over time?

Again, bodies of work reveal themselves “naked” in the world in which they are incubated and expressed. The bodies change and show other interaction as context is expanded.  Keep looking.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mother & Child, Cycles of Creation

A body of work – addition. I just finished reading Carole Maso’s novel, Mother & Child. I have read all nine of her other books, so can truthfully say that I have read her body of work, in book form. Mother & Child took me a while to read, though as always with her writing, I found that finding the moments to sink into the lilting rhythms was the most satisfying way to appreciate the images, the “singing narrative.” The reading itself becomes almost a cradling, a sense of lullaby, both muted and softly incoherent at times, lucid as starlight on a cold night in other moments. I was carried along with the rhythm and pace of the Spiegelpalais, and the dreaming and waking images Maso created of the mother and child’s interaction, their growth cycles and changes, how experience and knowledge become a way of life as love shown, lived.

I now have one more image of how we create our reality, each of us, individual and collective, how we mold our world into reflections of how we know ourselves to be, each blinking moment in Time.

“Pupa is from the Latin for puppet, and from puppet, or young girl, comes an animated doll-like puppet creature. Pupa is the life stage of some insects undergoing transformation. The Romans also noted that when you looked into the center of the eye, you saw a small doll-like image of yourself reflected, and this was called the pupil. Look, the child said, shining a light into the Grandmother’s eyes.”  (287)