Friday, January 16, 2009

The Aging Art Of Gazing Into The Simulacra Of Time

Fig. 1. René Magritte - The Eye, 1935

'Painting is there all at once. When I read a book, listen to music, or go to a movie, I experience these works over time. A novel, a symphony, a film, are meaningful only as a sequence of words, notes, and frames. Hours may pass but a painting will not gain or lose any part of itself. It has no beginning, no middle, and no end. I love painting because in its immutable stillness it seems to exist outside time in a way no other art can. The longer I live the more I would like to put the world in suspension and grip the present before it's eaten by the next second and becomes the past. A painting creates an illusion of an eternal present, a place where my eyes can rest as if the clock has magically stopped ticking.'

Siri Hustvedt (from Mysteries of the Rectangle)*

* This link will take you to a downloadable PDF version of the introductory chapter of Siri Hustvedt's Mysteries of the Rectangle.