Wednesday, February 17, 2010

a month later







this post is the product of lots of separate thoughts coming together. it's from being so disconnected from the rest of the world when i first got to paris that it was days before i knew that the earthquake in haiti had even happened. it's from reading about the history of phaidon last night (i realized that they would be a kick ass company to work for...) and wondering what walter benjamin would think of all the art on the internet today if he was so appalled with photogravure. it's from feeling slightly embarrassed that i've been here for a month but still haven't gone to the louvre (it's in my plans for this weekend...) it's from telling myself that i should be designing and making stuff but wondering why it doesn't exactly feel like the right fit for while i'm here. it's from soaking in the surprisingly contemplative process behind eric baudelaire's work at a lecture on lundi. and it's from being reminded at that lecture of the never resolved tension between having responsibility/wanting to do something and feeling like it's just (as the french would say) "pissing in a violin."

how do you process something that you can only see through photographs on the internet you have to be sitting in a mcdonalds to use? how do you find relevance in paintings made for kings hundreds of years ago? it most certainly comes from making connections and creating a context for yourself. as eric explained, his practice is in images. but images are not meant to be autonomous.

"in 1977 i argued that while an event known through photographs certainly becomes more real that it would have been if i one had never seen the photographs, after repeated exposure it also becomes less real. as much as they create sympathy, i wrote, photographs shrivel sympathy. is this true? i thought it was when i wrote it. i'm not so sure now. what is the evidence that photographs have a diminishing impact, that our culture of the spectacle neutralizes the moral force of photographs of atrocities?"

-from eric baudelaire's "que peut une image?"

photos from the websites of the louvre and the new york times.

1 comment:

Welcome! said...

hello long lost lover,
congratulations on this beautiful and seriously powerful work. its so good to have this blog to know what you're up to :)
<3 steph