Wednesday, 28 May 2008

On accidental loss

There's been an expression popping up throughout a number of discussions between Casey, David, Brian and others. I think it was Casey who named it first: in order to finish a painting one has frequently to 'kill the precious thing'. The one that you keep closest, most valued within the painting is so often precisely the one thing that stops you from finishing.

It's something I know too well: again and again I find that it is precisely the object, line, colour that drew me to that particular scene or composition in the first place, that proves later to be the weak point, the nag, the problem. It's a funny one. So, in many ways I wholeheartedly agree with this proclamation.

But, then again: to KILL it? My mind kept going back to it - and I also see that Casey refers to the messing up of a new truck rather than death. My mind kept wandering to some of the collage work I've been doing. The beauty of collage, as well as pretty much all other art is, that stuff, mistakes, failures do get lost: they submerge, recede in the background, become unnoticeable. Yet, all the same, they remain - and I think they do so very much being alive and not as corpses.

So, my proposition is on losing rather than killing. And I've got a good quote to give you a sense of what I mean. It's one that's been keeping cropping up in my academic work, and while I have difficulties with the sense of solidity it conveys, it - on one level or another - gets me to where I want to: lost.

"I wanted to see Kafka’s tomb. Knowing perfectly well (having verified it so many times) that you cannot see what you want to see, I went to the cemetery to see what I could not see. It’s the law. All is law. It’s because of desire. The law makes its nest in the peels of desire. Go on: you will not enter. If you did not desire to go, there would be a chance that the door would open." (Cixous, H. (1997), ’Attacks of the Castle’, in Leach, N. (ed.) Rethinking Architecture, London, New York: Routledge; p.303.)

Fields in blue WIP, Detail
Fields in Blue, WIP Detail
Mixed media on board, 50x35cm

5 comments:

Casey Klahn said...

I wouldn't argue with "lose" or "lost" as a concept.

One point, though. The precious thing is intended, and not a mistake. Mistakes can sometimes be subconscious arrivals that contribute and sometimes "make" an artwork. All good abstract art is riddled with mistakes.

"Kill" is a metaphor, of course. A harsh word, but letting go of that mark, shape, color or line can be so hard to do. Get rid of it with all dispatch! Make the existential leap!

Wonderful Fields in Blue.

Gesa said...

Yes - the different between intention and mistake is a good point. And, yes, that is how I understand the precious thing too. Completely agree with the mistakes point!
Did you notice: my first pastel (well, with some acrylics underneath) for some time. I've now got all my paintings at home for the exhibition and will get a better photo of this one done.
Thanks for your comments, Casey!

Casey Klahn said...

Isn't it awesome to look at a grouping of your works?

Gesa said...

Yes - a bit overwhelming i must admit, even though they are all stacked against the wall. i'm preparing myself for seeing them up on a wall... :)

Miroslava Balazova said...

...well done!!!... I really like your work...