vendredi 30 septembre 2011

Many Worlds.

Olivier Laric, Versions, 2010 (via Brain Pickings).

Degradation followed display. Reified and emptied, the image was treated like the lowliest of things. Images were broken, burned, toppled, beheaded and hanged. They were spat, pissed and shat on, tossed into toilets, sewers, fountains, canals, rivers, rubble heaps, garbage dumps, pigsties and charnel houses, and lewdly handled in brothels and inns. Stone statues were used as cobblestones, keystones and infill, or were modified to represent something new. In 1608, a statue of the Virgin on the clock of the Basel town hall was turned into a personification of Justice simply by removing the Christ child and replacing him with scales. Wooden statues became table ornaments and toys, or were sold on the markets as firewood or distributed free to the poor. In Bern in 1528, images were taken from the church, broken and buried in a hole before the cathedral where they would lie until Judgement Day. 

It takes two to make a thing go right. With famous books, the first time is already the second since we approach them already knowing them. The cautious common saying of rereading the classics turns out to be an innocent veracity [Jorge Luis Borges, Some Versions of Homer]. We are always somehow rereading a classic because we have encountered some previous incarnation of it, a refraction, in other stories, texts or versions. What are the many versions if not diverse perspectives of a movable event, if not a long experimental assortment of omissions and emphasis? [Sergio Gabriel Waisman, Borges and Translation, the Irreverence of the Periphery, p.52] 

Just about everything has been photoshoped [remix of Susan Sontag, On Photography]. Precisely, it is about what five people think this reality consists of. How an incident happens may reflect nothing about the incident itself, but it must reflect something about the person involved in the happening and supplying the how. Five people interpret an action and each interpretation is different because in the telling and the retelling, the people will reveal not the action but themselves [Donald Richie, The Films of Akira Kurosawa, p.75].  

For the first time several months ago, I spent hours looking at the façade of the cathedral, but only when I bought a book on the cathedral a week later did I really see it. The photographs enabled me to see in a way that my naked eye could not possibly see the cathedral [Susan Sontag, An Interview with Susan Sontag in Boston Review]. 

Same, same but different. If no one drawing should singly answer the personal taste, there will yet be found a variety of hints sufficient to construct a new one. I am confident I can convince all that will honor me with their commands that every design can be improved, both as to beauty and enrichment in the execution of it [remix of Master Chippendale, The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director]. Every writer creates his precursors [Jorge Luis Borges, Kafka and his Precursors]. I express unlimited thanks to all the authors that have in the past by compiling from remarkable instances of skill provided us with abundant materials of different kinds. Drawing from them as it were water from springs and converting them to our own purposes we find our own powers of writing rendered more fluent and easy and relying upon such authorities, we venture to produce new systems of instruction [Vitruvius, Ten Books on Architecture, preface 7.10]. 

The function proper to knowledge is interpreting. Scriptural commentary, commentaries on ancient authors, commentaries on the accounts of travelers, commentaries on legends and fables: none of these forms of discourse is required to justify its claim to be expressing a truth before it is interpreted; all that is required of it is the possibility of talking about it. (...) There is more work in interpreting interpretations than in interpreting things; and more books about books than any other subject [Michel Foucault, The Order of Things, An Archeology of the Human Sciences, p.45].  

Multiplication of an icon, far from diluting its cultic power, rather increases its fame and each image - however imperfect - conventionally partakes of some portion of the properties of the precursor [Anthony Hughes, Sculpture and its Reproductions, p.38]. Much roman sculpture is greek in style and subject and most of theses greek-seeming works have been assumed for at least a century to be reproductions of lost works by greek artists. Some now appear to be roman creations and even those that are reproductions are not considered mechanical ones. The theory that they were made with a pointing machine similar to the one invented in the 18th century for making mechanically exact copies has been discredited [Anthony Hughes, Sculpture and its Reproductions, p.8]. This shift entails moving to the more recent revisionist theory that draws attention to the Roman's programmatic use of repeated, recognizable, often famous but not necessarily greek images. These images announce the use of a particular type of building and were valued for their subject matter rather than their formal or iconographic origins, creators or style [Elaine K. Gazda, The Ancient Art of Emulation: Studies in Artistic Originality and Tradition from the Present to Classical Antiquity, p.10]. 

A corpse, a dog, a stork, a gold coin, the color red and two dervishes from the mountain village resemble one another completely without it being possible for anyone to say which of them brought its similitude to the other [remix of Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red]. Flesh is a glebe, bones are rocks, veins great rivers, the bladder is the sea and the seven principle organs are the metals hidden in the shafts of minds [Michel Foucault, The Order of Things, An Archeology of the Human Sciences, p.25]. The more images, mediations, intermediaries, icons are multiplied and overtly fabricated explicitly and publicly constructed, the more respect I have for their capacities to welcome, to gather, to recollect meaning and sanctity [Bruno Latour, What is Iconoclash, or is there a World beyond the Image Wars]. The multiverse is composed of a quantum superposition of infinitely many, increasingly divergent, non-communicating parallel universes or quantum worlds [Bryce Seligman DeWitt, The Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics]. Every historical what-if compatible with the initial conditions and physical law is realized. All outcomes exist simultaneously but do not interfere further with each other, each single prior world having split into mutually unobservable but equally real worlds [Michael Clive Price, What is Many Worlds?]. 

Double the treat, double your pleasure, double your fun. Every lie recreates a parallel world, the world in which its true.  

It is a frequent habit, when I discover several resemblances between two things, to attribute to both equally, even on points in which they are in reality different, that which I have recognized to be true of only one of them [René Descartes quoted by Michel Foucault, The Order of Things, An Archeology of the Human Sciences, p.56]. Combined with this is another perversity, an innate preference for the represented subject over the real one. The defect of the real one is so apt to be a lack of representation. I like things who appear. Then one is sure. Whether they are or not is a subordinate and almost always a profitless question [remix of Henry James, The Real Thing]. 

A sculpture cannot merely be copied but always only staged or performed. It begins to function like a piece of music whose score is not identical to the piece, the score being not audible but silent. For the music to resound, it has to be performed [Boris Groys, Religion in the Age of Digital Reproduction]. Touched with a hammer as with a tuning fork [Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of Idols, p.4], I cook every chance in my pot [Friedrich Nietzsche, Zarathustra, p.118]. Its the real thing. 

Olivier Laric, Versions, 2010.

2 commentaires:

Mouvement a dit…

Merci pour les annotations !

Professor Bourbaki a dit…

De rien! Il est revigorant d'apprendre que cela sert à quelqu'un/quelque chose. Bonne continuation.

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