Wednesday, February 24, 2010

found art

On top of a free newspaper bin by the side of the steps up to New Brunswick railway station, here are various smashed frames, or forms, that seem as though they might once have represented something, but the elements (and this is even before the next, prophesized, Major Blizzard hits New Jersey) have turned them into broken, crumpled windows, or diagrams of edifices, or sheer abstract pieces that have given up the fight to mean anything. I haven't had much time to read further in Shields' Reality Hunger today (and should I be reading from the front? - which I will, when my time unfolds into a manageable expanse again - dipping in both seems like cheating, but also in keeping with his whole commitment to the fragmentary) - but I'll pluck out his comment (p. 166) that "Life is, in large part, rubbish. the beauty of reality-based art - art underwritten by reality hunger - is that it's perfectly situated between life itself and (unattainable) 'life as art.' Everything in life, turned sideways, can look like - can be - art."

Yes, of course, I know that he intended - surely - that "turned sideways" in a figurative sense. But of course I couldn't resist that literal challenge (and think this is an improvement), especially as this very choice of image depends on the recognition, and transformation, of actual "rubbish" in the first place.

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