Saturday, 2 July 2011
I've been collecting images of Tilly Losch over the past few days. I'm just fascinated by them. I'm trying to pinpoint why, and in doing so, I continually return to these words:
All contents of consciousness are ineffable. Even the simplest sensation is, in its totality, indescribable. Every work of art, therefore, needs to be understood not only as something rendered, but also as a certain handling of the ineffable. In the greatest art, one is always aware of things that cannot be said, of the contradiction between expression and the presence of the inexpressible. Stylistic devices are also techniques of avoidance. The most potent elements in a work of art are, often, its silences.
-Susan Sontag, 'On Style', in Against Interpretation and Other Essays, New York: Picador, 1966, p. 36.
When I look at these images, I feel as if there is a veil, a heavy curtain, between the subject and the viewer. Her whole body is so expressive and yet, ironically, because of its obvious visible signs of artistic expression, it somehow seems incomprehensible, like there is something she's trying to tell her viewer but she can't. I look at these amazing photographs and all I can think of is silence. Rather than being frustrating though, I kind of find this exciting. It reminds me that sometimes I just have to let images be silent, let them assume some sort of momentary power and fascination over me without the need to deconstruct and understand why.
A few other things ...
: : I really enjoyed reading this wonderful article on A Cup of Jo: 8 Confessions of a New Dad by Jo's husband, Alex. One of my best friends recently became a father for the first time and I couldn't help but think of him when I read this. I sent him the link to the article, to which he replied that reading it was like a huge relief because he could just about empathise with every point Alex made. It really got me thinking about men and fatherhood. There is a ton of information out there in women's magazines about motherhood, but you'd have to look pretty hard to find such articles in men's magazines. Every time I pick up a men's magazine all I see is repetitive articles on how to get women into bed, and the like. Gee, how enlightening. Wouldn't it be great if they featured articles such as this one instead?
: : I've been invited to be a panellist for a pre-screening/premiere panel discussion of the new Jane Eyre film here in Australia, and I'm wondering if any of my overseas friends have seen it? I'd love to hear what you thought of it.
All images from here from Life Magazine's collections.