01 February 2016

What's IN a book...

Consider this book work, by Lisa Kokin (from makinghandmadebooks.blogspot.co.uk)

One woman said she wanted to cut it open, to see what's inside. People have said that of my "memory balls" - how will they know what's inside if it can't be cut open? Ah, but that's something they have to take on faith, I say, as they contribute to making one themselves, winding in whatever's at hand.

The contents are locked in forever. Is the speculation about them - or, taking them on faith - "enough"?

Alisa Golden writes of the woman who wanted to cut open the "rock" -

 I believe, instead, what she really wanted to do was to get at the mystery of the creative process, which is an unsolvable mystery. Artists don't really know where the first spark comes from or just how the work evolves. The creative process is mysterious, which is part of the thrill of creating and of viewing a thing created. I can think of two results of dissecting, halving, or dissolving the work: 1) the woman could lose interest in the art once she lost all desire to excavate it or 2) she could reconstitute it and create yet another form (discarded book to papier mache rock to ??) which might ultimately contribute to, as Dean Young writes in The Art of Recklessness, "an endless procession of quote marks" (31-32).

I don't think we can examine art too deeply without removing its charge. Over-analyzing something tends to kill its liveliness. "Desire vanishes at the point of capture…" (21) writes Young. Mystery laid bare is not mysterious anymore. What was curious is no longer a curiosity. It deflates. "Anything fully known offers us no site of entry, no site of escape, no site of desire" (85). It seems to me that my friend's piece was successful. Although it may not have been in the manner that she had intended, by embracing that mystery of creative process and making the work, she stirred a longing in the heart and mind of another human being.

1 comment:

irene macwilliam said...

What an interesting post. I will try and not enquire too long about some things. Now there is a get out for the non curious. Seems you could go round and round in this loop and so make an invisible ball and not know what is there inside...... a bit like the chicken and egg scenario. Now my mind is shooting off in various directions.
Thank you Margaret