By Stephen Scobie
Like the earthquakes and explorations depicted at the covers of Gertrude Stein's notebooks, this research responds to creative and linguistic fault traces and charts new territories. The author's obstacle is either with a normal theoretical query – the dating among portray and poetry, among the visible and the verbal – and with a selected interval of creative historical past – the early years of the 20 th century, whilst Cubism flourished.
Rather than seeing any clash or irreconcilable department among portray and poetry, Scobie proposes, as a version for his or her relation, the Derridean inspiration of 'the supplement.' This relation is grounded within the pervasiveness of language, within the ways that language surrounds, imbues, constructions, and vitamins either verbal and non-verbal images.
Working from the double concentration of thought and heritage, this ebook doesn't try to advance a consecutive argument, yet particularly navigates round its themes, adopting a marginally diverse process in each one bankruptcy. It starts off with a normal theoretical dialogue of the position of language in portray and in artwork heritage, then strikes to a chain of particular discussions of points of Cubism, contemplating the work of Georges Braque, and the writings of Gertrude Stein and Guillaume Apollinaire. It concludes with an exam of the experimental type of concrete poetry, together with sound and visible poetry, specifically the Cubist-influenced paintings of Ian Hamilton Finlay. Earthquakes and Explorations will curiosity these learning paintings heritage, literary feedback, and important theory.
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Additional resources for Earthquakes and Explorations: Language and Painting from Cubism to Concrete Poetry (Theory / Culture)
Breunig concludes that 'his magnetism, his all-embracing enthusiasms, his very ubiquity in prewar Paris made him beyond a doubt the main impresario of the avant-garde' (xvii). During these pre-war years, Apollinaire wrote a vast amount of art criticism. He contributed almost daily to the newspaper L'Intransigeant, and later to Le Journal, as well as writing numerous occasional articles, essays, and catalogue introductions. Breunig's edited selection from these writings runs to 473 pages. Much of this mass of material was of course ephemeral journalism; but once such allowances have been made, there still remains a question as to whether Apollinaire had any real competence as an art critic.
The stories told by art criticism are not exempt from this bias. As 'we/ the viewer is envisaged as part of the story; his supposed 'presence' within the diegetic space of the narrativized image is not only inferred but regarded as an integral part of the story. This narrativized viewer cannot, of course, be seen directly in the painting: he is held to occupy the position of the painter, the source of the gaze. Very occasionally, this narrativized viewer may, in fact, 'appear' on the canvas. He can only do so, of course, through the intervention of a mirror - as in Manet's A Bar at the Folies-Bergere.
These are weighty opinions, and when one turns to the bulky volume of Apollinaire on Art, one finds certain aspects of them clearly borne out. Apollinaire's criticism is always subjective and impressionistic, and frequently vague. He rarely if ever discusses particular paintings in detail, and he has practically nothing to say on questions of painting technique. One turns to an essay entitled 'The Three Plastic Virtues,' expecting, from the adjective 'plastic,' to find something specifically and distinctively applicable to the visual arts; instead, one finds a three-page effusion on purity, unity, and truth.