Saturday, February 03, 2007

Image-inary solutions?

Is this photo ‘pataphysical? And how can we know for sure?
Perhaps these exhibits can give us some clues…

Portland Art Museum (Oregon)
"Personal Best: Photography by Elliot Erwitt"
Examples: 1) A man with umbrella leaping while a couple embraces. The Eiffel Tower tilts in the background. All in the pouring rain.
2) An intimate moment caught in the side mirror of a car.

National Museum of Women in the Arts
"The Book as Art"
Display of 108 hand-created books by 86 artists. A featured example is "Swiss Army Book," by M.L. Van Nice; ink on paper, linen, wood, pen nib, ribbon.
Because viewers aren’t allowed to actually turn the pages of these books, the museum has provided a computer station where people touch a screen to "turn the pages". (A little like Amazon’s "Look Inside" feature…)

Philadelphia Museum of Art
"Thomas Chimes: Adventures in ‘Pataphysics," a retrospective of Chimes’ paintings and mixed media works. A fragment of info from the PMA website:

Between 1973 and 1978, Chimes created a haunting series of forty-eight portraits of French Symbolist poets, philosophers, and other literary and art historical figures including Alfred Jarry, Antonin Artaud, James Joyce, Edgar Allan Poe, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Marcel Duchamp. These intimate, sepia-toned panel paintings were inspired by the artist’s profound
interest in the writings of Alfred Jarry. Chimes was especially interested in the French writer’s invention of 'Pataphysics, which Jarry defined as "the science of imaginary solutions," and which he used to create an alternative universe.

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‘Make a remark,' said the Red Queen; 'it's ridiculous to leave all the conversation to the pudding!'
– Lewis Carroll

There is no surer method of evading the world than by following Art, and no surer method of linking oneself to it than by Art.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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