Wednesday, June 11, 2008

vanishing points...

sketch by robert delunay

a sketch by robert delunay from 1924 expressing "the contradictory rules in the use of perspective: for example, in the representation of a table - 2 according to the eastern tradition and - 1, the western." he goes on to say that the representation of space through mechanical devices has "poisoned hundreds of years of painting" and condemns cubism for not creating a new language, but simply creating a "superficial" shift in one that already existed.

of course, the drawing, intended to simply be a diagram, is beautiful. there's something pure about the lack of labor or overthinking... it's just the simple laying down of a thought - just a guy with a pencil drawing tables from different angles.

last night i went to see billy bragg perform. to be honest, i bought his first record when it came out, and haven't listened to his music in over 20 years. i haven't gone to see a straight ahead music show in a long time (largely because the last few were terrible...). while his politics were heavy handed at times, there was something inspiring about the power of a guy with a guitar, on stage, trying his best to change the world.

preaching to a room of like minded thinkers also creates shifts that might be considered superficial, but even small shifts draw attention to something within us; and action is action no matter if it is the activist, perceptual, or poetic that guides us.

as pure as delunay's simple drawing is, it not only reflects his ideas and intentions, but contains the promise of transcending these things, suggesting numerous other places of wandering. looking and listening are also action. a guy on a stage with an electric guitar, singing his ass off doesn't necessarily send me to a protest march, as much as i marvel at how powerful and moving a human being can be when they mean it.

perhaps in both cases i'm discarding the message, and finding my own meaning, but inspiration is a shift in one's being... a small one perhaps, but a far cry from superficial...

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2 Comments:

Blogger Matterhorn1959 said...

Steve- I am so jealous. Billy Bragg is one of my favorite singers and I would love to see him, but he is not coming to Denver. I would have loved to see him again. He is quite a riot to see with the right crowd.

5:07 PM  
Blogger sroden said...

hey, he was pretty great. he was definitely an entertainer, but never seemed anything but honest, and his guitar playing and voice have only gotten better over the years. they called him the "one man clash" in the paper, and his energy was definitely up there with early joe strummer. good stuff! i've seen a few folks over the past 5 years or so who i'd seen many years ago and most disappointed. this was up there with seeing X a few years ago, and they sounded (and looked) like it was 1979 all over again... eek.

6:55 PM  

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