…on writing about art…

Criticism is sometimes mourned as dead. Reviews often seem to be mere blurb now. But it is not desirable either, to do a hatchet job on an artist’s efforts. There is a space in between where meaningful writing can reside but perhaps to do this properly requires moving away from the pretence of objectivity…

‘The critic is not one who debunks, but one who assembles. The critic is not one who the lifts the rug from underneath the feet of naive believers, but one who offers the participants arenas in which to gather. The critic is not one who alternates haphazardly between antifetishism and positivism like the drunk iconoclast drawn by Goya, but the one for whom, if something is constructed, then it means it is fragile and thus in need of great care and caution.’

Bruno Latour as quoted in the Hal Foster essay Real Fictions, in What Comes After Farce

…tractor…

…and you think about art writing and how sometimes, a lot of times, you don’t know what it means and sometimes you sort of get it but you know – you should know! – you can’t really get it as there always is…there has to be…a slippage been language and reality. Writing is, art writing is, has to be, imprecise…

…stuck behind a tractor on a warm half-clouded day in high summer thinking these things and the walls and the fields and the rocky hills and the clouds pilingpilingpiling up on the horizon and it makes you think…an explosion goes off in your head…you realise that writing…though in black and white and not experiential in and of itself…is a hint for the reader who builds their own landscape, a map, a path, a pattern, a frame by which, on which, to colour, plot, weave, stretch, your world…

…the tractor unreeling the long white line…bright grey road dry now…trees scratching the sky clouds piling piling piling…I know they are piling because of writing and experience. I do not see them piling…I see a series of images, words pulling them together, situating me in a multi-dimensional world buildingbuildingbuilding word by word, image by image

…and all roads everywhere reel me in and clouds pilepilepile on my horizon and I am tied like Turner to the mast, tied but tossed too into the maelstrom, the collage of memories thoughts and feelings stuck and stitched with words that is my world…