I will be making regular contributions on the visual arts in France and Europe under the category “Beyond words: visual arts”.
For me, “visual arts” mostly means contemporary dance, circus and the various forms of visual representation (painting), but can certainly mean any non-language based creative effort – Daniel Linehan’s “dbdbh”, a truly fine dance performance at the Centre Pompidou last year, is a paradoxical example: Linehan invented a language then danced it, or, by dancing, created a language! Whatever, it was a cool idea and well-danced. Why not write it up it?
Since gadding about is my preferred method for general doing, it is by gadding that I shall make my choices of which and whose visual endeavors to think and write about under Beyond words: that’s as close to random as I can come.
I’d like other poets to join me in contributing ideas and observations to “Beyond words”. They, you, decide, as I shall, what creations fit the bill.
We shall say that all felt divergence between us adds to healthy creative tension: all to the good then, for this, the best of all possible endeavors.
Join with me, friends, in exploring Beyond words.
After all, if words have their uses, nothing is less sure than their true value.
Do words make worlds or do worlds make for words?
Was the Word there at the Beginning and will Strangled Whisper mark the End? Or did Bang begin it all and shall fire and ice finish it off? Poets, warriors and the people in their wisdom say both.
While whole empires have been built on words, words, words, each and every one of them has one day fallen apart for critical lack of content – whether bread or just plain sense of it all.
By contrast, visuality, even when it’s a mirage, never fails. And it just keeps on keeping on.
One look has made me fall in love, many times; the touch of a finger, the sleight of a hand, the crunch of gravel, have set exquisite shivers of both lust and fear up my spine in anticipation; sight has taken my breath in endless wonder; silence has made me pause in intellectual, mystical and moral reflection.
“Stopped in my tracks” by a word and “Stopped in my tracks” by what I see, then, are absolutely two different norms of experience.
A word is always somewhere a word of command, a world already ordered, delivered and installed by expert craftsmen. See and touch and hear are to stand on the threshold of understanding.
Join with me Beyond words. Poets ought to explore those arts that strive to show rather than say.
This is obvious, but I’ll use words to prove it, anyway.
Gadabouts go gadding so as to scope and shape Otherness. Gadding is escaping from the intolerable constraint of what one loves, ought to love, does not love, undergoes. In all this, then, Gadabouts are Poets, Poets, Gadabouts and gadding is poeting, poeting, gadding.
So far so good.
Except, poeting is word, sound; gadding is sight, hearing.
Which is an apparent unbridgeable conundrum.
However, beyond words, experience shows that satisfactory gadding-poeting identity fusion, or, Gadabout-Poet identity melding, or both, is achieved by battering sound against hearing, confounding word with sight. And the Poet remembers that see and touch are just beyond the reach of the words that shape them. And the Gadabout sees that, paradoxically, words can turn hear into listen, that they must name silence and might give tongue to the Otherness on which both gadding and poeting thrive.
I have also heard that Scientists have said that gadding’s cause is the same infernal brainpan itch as poetry’s. The miracle cure for brainpan itch, they have said, may very probably possibly be the creative vertigo of Otherness – her perception, his senses, her take on the world around.
Also, it has been demonstrated that all proof is louche.
Suffice to say that getting out to see what’s up in the visual arts and trying to toss words toward it refreshes, I think, the poetical mechanism and is very possibly healthful and fun, too.
Poets, join with me Beyond words.
Readers, join with us to support the visual arts everywhere.