Saturday, July 17, 2010
In Derrida's essay Passe- Partout, Cezanne is saying that painting can render the truth, and Derrida is saying that truth has been the provenance of speech-acts (philosophy). So Cezanne is saying that painting can be a means for searching for the truth, as language is a means for searching for the truth in philosophy. Cezanne also seems to be saying that it is the act of painting, the process of seeing and recording one's sensations before nature the truth becomes possible. This probably is leading to the famous Derridean phrase "There is nothing outside the text" from On Grammatology. I see the ghost of Greenberg hovering nearby.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
The opening shots in this Italian language film were very familiar: the monumental Teutonic train station in Milan where we were disgorged this past June for a whirlwind art history tour with Sharon Hecker. In this newly released film starring Tilda Swinton, Milan is covered in a snowy blanket, all grey and quiet. The narrative is linked to the city's long heritage as a textile center. The story focuses on the daily lives of the Ricchi family. Without giving up any of the story, I found myself seeing Derridean elements everywhere in the photography. All kinds of doors open and close throughout the film, setting one thing apart from another in a constant reframing of visual elements.
Swinton's Emma is nearly silent in the film, barely asserting herself yet telegraphing a growing inner turmoil through her mercurial facial expressions. And then there is food, protagonist of desire, and social lubricant permeating the film. The film is shot through with quiet arresting moments where the spoken word is only the tip of the iceberg. I saw the movie last night and can not get it out of my mind. Not to be missed.