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When we hope for something grand, we draw from the beauty of the goal the courage to brave all obstacles. If the chance of reaching it diminishes, the desire grows proportionally. The farther from reality lies the goal, the more desirable it is, and since desire is the supreme force it has the greatest amount of force at its service. The vulgar goods of life are so small a thing that in comparison the ideal conceived must appear immense: all of our petty joys are shattered before that of realizing an elevated idea. This idea, even if it amounts to almost nothing in the realm of nature and even of science can, in relation to us, be everything: it’s the offering of the poor. To seek the truth: this act offers nothing of the conditional, the doubtful, the fragile. We have something in our hands, not the truth perhaps (who will ever hold it?), but at least the spirit that wants to discover it. When you stubbornly halt before some too narrow doctrine, it’s a chimera that flees from your fingers; but carry on, keep seeking, keep hoping: this alone is not a chimera. The truth is found in movement, in hope, and it is with reason that we have proposed as a complement to positive morality a “philosophy of hope.” A child saw a butterfly poised on a blade of grass; the butterfly had been made numb by the north wind. The child plucked the blade of grass, and the living flower that was at its tip, still numb, remained attached. He returned home, holding his find in his hand. A ray of sunlight broke through, striking the butterfly’s wing, and suddenly, revived and light, the living flower flew away into the glare. All of us, scholars and workers, we are like the butterfly: our strength is made of a ray of light. Not even: of the hope of a ray. One must thus know how to hope; hope is what carries us higher and farther. “But it’s an illusion!” What do you know of this? Should we not take a step for fear that one day the earth will slide away from under our feet? Looking far into the past or the future is not the only thing; one must look into oneself. One must see there the living forces that demand to be expended, and we must act. The Philosophy of Hope by Jean-Marie Guyau 1895 Source: Pages Choisies des Grands Écrivains. Paris, A. Colin, 1895; Dieter Roth Self-Portrait as a Drowning Man Roth made self-portraits in a variety of media throughout his career, particularly during the mid-1970s. This work was made in Iceland, where Roth periodically lived and worked. In order to bring the work to London in his suitcase, he cut it into a number of pieces. This gesture was characteristic of Roth’s irreverent approach to the art object. He was especially open to changes that would occur after he had ‘finished’ the work, such as the process of cracking which is visible here. https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/roth-self-portrait-as-a-drowning-man-t02209
Nijinski Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917) 1912 Plaster
An illustration captioned ‘Scene from the new ballet of Lalla Rookh at Her Majesty’s Theatre’, Harry Beard Collection
Engraving, Lalla Rookh, Veiled Prophet, by James Stewart after Edward Henry Corbould Daniel Maclise, RA. Study for The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan. Pen and ink on paper, mid-19th century.
We shall take note particularly of the Kleinian definition of splitting introduced in 1946. On the one hand it moves backward from the depressive position toward a more archaic, paranoid, schizoid position. On the other, it distinguishes a binary splitting (the distinction between “good” and “bad” object insuring the unity of the self) and a parcellary splitting–the latter affecting not only the object but, in return, the very self, which literally “falls to pieces.”
For our purpose it is absolutely essential to note that such falling into pieces may be caused either by a drive-related nonintegration impeding the cohesion of the self or by a disintegration accompanied by anxieties and provoking the schizoid splitting. [. . .] If schizoid fragmentation is a radical, paroxysmal manifestation of parceling, melancholy inhibition (psychomotor retardation, deficiency in sequentiality) can be considered another manifestation of the disintegration of bonds. How so?
–Kristeva, Black Sun, “Psychoanalysis–A Counterdepressant”
(Marnie) – but their erotic drives lead them into compromised situations. The power to subject another person to the will sadistically or to the gaze voyeuristically is turned on to the woman as the object of both.
III Woman as Image, Man as Bearer of the Look
Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema
By Laura Mulvey
Jean Cocteau Le Sang d’un Poète (The Blood of a Poet) 1930 (film still)
The first film in Cocteau’s Orphic Trilogy, The Blood of a Poet draws on the classical Greek myth of Orpheus to explore the relationship between an artist and his creation.
Blood of a Poet Box 1965–8 Wood, cardboard, glass slides, blood, brass, paper and ink.
The work comprises a green specimen box containing one hundred glass slides, each holding a blood sample that Antin took from a poet
Dolls Head Puppet 1915 – 1920 (manufactured) Emil Gunther.
Dolls head (baby) is made of moulded or pressed card. It is made in two halves and then been stapled together. The head has molded hair, hand painted features, it’s mouth is open revealing two bottom teeth.. The name Gunther is hand written on the back of the head. The head has been sown onto a plain cloth body making it into a hand puppet. Its hands are made of plastic and have also been sewn on.
This item belonged to Dennis Arkinstall, who worked for Lines Brothers Ltd as a sculptor. It was given to the museum by his son after his death.
The Mascot, 1933
Fétiche (original title)
Animation by Wladyslaw Starewicz
View it on Ubuweb
“When the casket is closed, when the ears of the importunate are stopped with sleep, or filled with outside noises… “Then strange scenes take place in the casket’s parlor, several persons of unwonted size and appearance step forth from the little mirrors.”