Arthur Danto, arguably the most important philospher of art in our times has passed away.
He was a wonderful man as well as remarkable philosopher and critic. When I published an article criticizing his influence on the Danto-Dickie Institutional Theory of the Ontology of Art --- and, more importantly, disputing that art had ended --- , I included a cartoon with the article. He not only read it, commented to me on it, but wanted the cartoon. I gave it to him as a gift and it hangs over his desk! (I discussed meeting him face to face at the CAA conference in 2008 on Sharkforum here: http://www.sharkforum.org/2006/03/caa-annual-conference-report-f.html)
Also, he read my PhD dissertation before it was published, discussed the philosophical aspects with me by email and even gave me a positive comment "blurb" to use on the cover! How open-hearted. Many of us talked to him regularly on facebook for years until he discontinued a short while back. A generous, intelligent, fabulous human. I hope he is logically debating right now in the afterlife! http://www.philly.com/philly/obituaries/20131027_ap_2ec6964b392445fdbe01f3d73a456c4c.html
This is not just fun to know (although I find that alone intriguing), but rather an enjoyable way to think about art. What would visual equivalents of each be? Are you already using one of these intuitively in your own art? What would it be like if you changed that to one of the other tropes? What, e.g., would my image be if I changed it to a litote? And so on. - See more here.
Hadara Bar-Nadav is the author of Lullaby (with Exit Sign), awarded the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize; The Frame Called Ruin, Runner Up for the Green Rose Prize from New Issues; and A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight, awarded the Margie Book Prize. Her chapbook, Show Me Yours, was awarded the 2009 Midwest Poets Series Award. She is also co-author of the best-selling textbook Writing Poems, 8th Edition. Recent awards include fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Hadara is currently Associate Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
This interview with Hadara Bar-Nadav about Lullaby (with Exit Sign) and The Frame Called Ruin was conducted during the summer of 2013 by five poets: Jim Davis, Dan Fliegel, Adam Lizakowski, Anthony Opal, and C. Russell Price.
Q:Many of the pieces in Lullaby (with Exit Sign) are prose poems. Could you discuss your process regarding prose poems? For instance, do you consciously set out to write a poem without line breaks, or do you take a draft and then "stretch" it into the prose form--or both of these? Furthermore, what do you believe is lost, gained, or changed by writing and/or reading a poem that is in a prose format, specifically with the elimination of the "poetic line"/line break? Finally, many of your prose poems make use of many sentence fragments, such as, for example, in "To Ache Is Human," where your write, among others lines, "The nerve in nervous, in sever and serve." How do you use fragments to affect the rhythm or caesura in your prose poems?
The poems in Lullaby (with Exit Sign) are largely elegiac. I don't know that I initially decided to write a manuscript of prose poems. The weight of grief just leveled me, and leveled the poems in terms of form. Once I started to write a few of the Dickinson-inspired prose poems, I discovered I had a form to lean on, and this helped me as I navigated the writing of these (often difficult) elegies.
I don't think anything is lost in writing prose poems, except for, obviously, the line break. But the line break could be said to be "ghosted" in other ways; pauses become suggested through syntax and sound. The hard syntax and sound of the prose poems in Lullaby would have been too obvious, in my mind, broken into lines with neat end-rhymes. Nothing is neat about grief. It is messy and consuming, coming from all sides at once. The syntax and sound was thereby cast in tension against its form, which was a formal way of creating even more tension.
The way I use fragments is probably specific to each poem--each soundscape that arose as I was writing each poem. But I was very aware that many of these poems would need fragments--language at the breaking (or already broken) point. Many of these poems felt ripped through my teeth. I didn't necessarily want to write them (just as I didn't want my father to be dead). But I also knew I had to write them, for my family, for myself, and most importantly for other people, those readers who have suffered grief and loss. The poems helped me overcome the smothering silences that often surround grief. Ask someone whose family was killed in the Holocaust what silence is--large as an ocean, as the sky.
A very small, i.e. life sized, study of my hand with a brush (flat, sable, copper, mahogany signpainters' brush) done as a study for the hand in my big Conceiving Metaphor(m)s painting. It will be in the show though as well, near the big painting. The background image suggests this little one is transforming and enlarging into the other one. Oil on canvas about 14 x 15 cm, 6 x 5 in.
A short promo video for Mark Staff Brandls art exhibition "My Metaphor(m)" (Jedlitschka Gallery Zürich, 28. 2. - 18. 4. 2013) Made by Vincent Scarth, 2013
It is finally the time! After some years in the making, the room-filling painting-installation based on my PhD dissertation is opening at Jedlitschka Gallery in Zurich. You are cordially invited to the opening, I'd love to see you there.
Mark Staff Brandl My Metaphor(m), Painting-Installation 28 Feb. - 18 April, 2013
Opening Reception: 28 Februar, 5 pm - 9 pm the artist will be present (as well as on Saturday, 2 March)
Laudatio/Opening Speech: 28 February 7 pm Dr Philip Ursprung, Professor Art and Architectur History at the ETH Zürich
Discussion with the Artist: Friday 22 March, 7 pm with Dr Gerhard Mack, Editor and Critic for Art and Architecture at the NZZ am Sonntag
Finissage /Closing Reception: Thursday, 18 April, 5 pm - 9 pm The artist will be present.
Here is another painting from my upcoming installation in Zurich. It is of Eshu, the spirit of the crossroads in Yorùbá. Also known as Èṣù, Legba, Eleggua and identified with St. Anthony of Padua, Saint Michael or Santo Niño de Atocha in Santería. Èṣù is a spirit of Chaos and Trickery, and plays frequently by leading mortals to temptation and possible tribulation in the hopes that the experience will lead ultimately to their maturation. He is both young and old simultaneously. In my PhD dissertation I replaced the metaphoric figure of Oedipus with Eshu in my rewrite (misprision) of Harold Bloom's theory of misprision.
Oil and enamel on canvas.
I always liked Jens Hoffman's image for his critique of documenta. I have made one myself for my thoughts about it and all big international shows. Please spread it around!