more on the philosopher/cultural historian’s dilemma:
“Fields of space generated by connecting the endpoints of handwritten “#” signs.”
karen caught my eye because of her work between ‘visual’ and ‘linguistic’ signs. well, that’s not quite accurate. my london friend, shezad dawood, introduced us because he spotted the love both K and I have for gertrude stein. beyond that, i have recognized in k’s work, a rare artist who has taken as her theme, that the main compositional device of modernism has been odd: the grid, the very emblem and mark and sign, of modernity, because of its ultra-rationalism. K’s work, even while in keeping with the work of agnes martin and others, has decided to generate a body of work that subverts the grid, driving it toward the irrationality that in fact, underlies it. what is wonderfully subverted in her work, and purposely ‘confused’, is the relations of language and text, as in, text and ‘sub’-text; and, this is coequal with her ‘sub’versions, image and text, and, text and image… her ‘works’, i won’t demean them by designating them as either texts or images, because they are simultaneously both – her works are ‘about’, the strained to say the least, relations between image and text today. one has to simultaneously ‘experience’ them through two ‘subs’ – subtexts AND, though it has no currently acceptable meaning, sub-images, meant analogously to sub-texts – images that are the unconscious of texts, just as texts can be the unconscious of images. but were it so easy! her work, therefore suggests and embodies the following propositions: 1. just as texts have subtexts, so, 2. images have sub-images… 3. texts have images as ‘sub-texts’; 4. as images have sub-texts. but these four propositions are too limited to capture her works because they are so theoretically contrived. but that is of necessity, i’m afraid, because we are not ready to imagine what is really going on in karen’s work: subimaginal images, or, subimaginal textual images, subtextual imaginal texts, and the like…
but we need such a complex hybridized vocabulary in order to begin to apprehend the collusion and conflation of image and text in the Audio/Visual culture that inhabits us, and in which we reside, today. VanDerBeek predicted this as long ago as 1965…
a similar question needs to be intelligently asked of minimalist music. thanks again, to GUN, for alerting me to this particular piece by riley.
aspects of conversations and encounters: the work of shezad dawood, not necessarily representative\but not unrepresentative either: