To live meaningfully we project fictions
by which we order life, the fictions have
no truth, but they have a truth function.
Art un-veils through dissimulation. A linear outline is
artifice, a memory image (Read).
The world is admired, feared, before being verified:
then imagination, recalling, rites that control
world around, a canon of operative choices and
criteria founded on its functionality in regard
to a form of
life, a preconceptual grasping (Heidegger), life
metaphorically projected onto potentially organizable
domains (Corradi-Fiumara), the figural, the haptic
as preconceptual (Lyotard).
Art is dependent upon everything which the community,
tradition, and history, transmit to the body and mind. By its
roots, art belongs to a time and place (Maritain).
the spirit of a world without spirit
Culture (cultura,colere,cultus) is
a spiritual cultivation just as
the cultivation of the earth is agri-culture, it is the forming of
Culture is a set of rules, collective representations
structures of belief, judgements and intuitions
of aptness, etc.,
of persons within the community (Goodenough).
structures of a culture have the character of
maps(Polanyi, Werner) that are understood
when they reveal
the sources conventions.
Life-community beliefs are not objects of knowledge.
experienced in life as time-duration (tradition
experienced as alive in the present) not succession
A justificatory canon balancing value beliefs by the formulation
of codifications can be either a list of works/artists or it can be
a complex of accepted rules of practice (Bonazzoli). The work
makes the rule evident, even if there is no other work of its kind.
The post-modernist canon is empty (Descombes).
becomes deliberate small scale iconoclasm, pranks,
puerilism (Huizinga), a limitless paralogy (Lyotard).
In the planetary imperialism of technologically
organized man, the subjectivism of man attains
its acme, from which point it will descend
to the level of organized uniformity.
After the Renaissance a rebirth of occult sciences,
resurrection of classical philology (Peuckert) - , after the
censorship of imagination that followed the Reformation and
Counterreformation , and after the Enlightenment with its mythical
irrational structure (Adorno, Horckheimer, Weiner), have flowed
past the adjacent category of mankind located on the margins and
byways of history (Couliano), the post-modernist alliance of power
and technology results in an accumulated momentum which is
about to overrun all: the brave neomodernist world which C.S.Lewis
characterizes as the abolition of man.
The discourse of the peripheral survivals is caught
Quinean indeterminacy of the cultural translative
act without a
commonality of context emic belief webs/concepts
receive full articulation and ongoing homologation/homogenization,
where dialogue becomes insignificant and superfluous,
dominated playing along unwittingly with the technology
control (Foucault): Brunos De Vinculis,
the prototype of the
impersonal mass media, indirect censorship, global
Difference is the object of a practical
affirmation inseparable from essence
and constitutive of existence.
The hermeneutic filter of an era acts through emphasis
and systematic distortion or semantic inversion of ideas which pass
through the interpretive grille (Couliano).
The alterity of the periphery is reduced to the
of difference that merges into the metacategory
interchangeable, while the organization of consensus
media becomes a rhetorical experience (Vattimo)
principle of insufficient reason as its axiom
The levelling out is no longer even a matter of
but rather is simply forgotten : structural amnesia,
oblivion (Peter Burke).
The con-text is being silenced. The global cultural contamination
of cultures existing at the margins represents a vast site of traces
and residues (Guidieri) a mixed reality, an in-authentic encounter,
a dissolution of the locus of alterity where even the Western
modernist model loses its cogency and becomes part of the
same contaminated site (Vattimo).
The function of the painter is not to reconstitute
an anecdote, but to constitute a pictorial fact.
anekdota unpublished story/narrative
A lexicographical mapping of basic formal and material constitutive
elements within traditional , predelineated , horizonal, artistic
belief-webs [textbooks and pattern books that communicate the
vocabulary and syntax, e.g.:
- the Chinese "Mustard Seed Garden"painters
Far Eastern calligraphy traditions and how-to handbooks;
- Greek/Byzantine painters handbooks]
suggests a kinship/analog character of structure on the periphery
that ties up with a paradigm shift, an alternative emic formulation
of the "modernist" canon, that substitutes a paradigmatic code
centered on askesis (training, practice), tacit knowledge (Polanyi),
and the pictorial fact, for the dominant Occidental model,
exposing the latter to its other:
the later Renoir, Degas, Bonnard; the later Braque,
Dufy, Vuillard; Villon, Modigliani, Sironi, Morandi,
Avery, De Stael, Poliakoff; the later Zao Wu Ki.
What one sees depends not only upon what one looks at, but also
presupposes a perceptual and conceptual experience that taught one
what to see (Kuhn) not only does one see differently, one
something else (Wolfflin).
Inasmuch as we appropriate past experiences
with an orientation to the future, the
authentic present is preserved as the
locus of continuing tradition and of
innovation at once.
syntakt(os) ordered/arranged together
syntassein to arrange together
syntasso ordering troops
The turn-over/deconstruction of Kunstwollen is undertaken in order
to assert the subversive difference alterity of the defeated,
forgotten, and excluded, and their referential categories, by opening
up the horizon of a repetition that repeats forward (Kierkegaard),
of repeatedly different possibilities actualized (Deleuze), of paths
that weave and interweave, re-placing, linking, fusing horizons.
Fragments/scattered pieces of ruins reach into a concealed whole
containing parts that no longer address us.
The field of anamnestic redemption/re-membering/re-cognition
recaptures a radical inward retrieval, fully reactivating
releasing the fading, elusive, marks in their
simultaneity a syntax structuring the flow
-, into the hitherto
latent play that unfolds in manifold ways: recurrence
of the possible.
It is because nothing is equal, because everything
bathes in its
difference, its dissimilarity, even with itself,
The new comes to be as the old is
recollected in dissolution.
The idiolect forms when reenacted, altered, extended:
cultural replication but affirmation of the deracinated individual,
Methods and standards are an inextricable mixture,
unbuilding/ overturn of implicit hierarchies [e.g.
content and form]
inscribing ones appropriative strategy:
to appropriate means
to impose, to create forms (Deleuze).
One produces the new only on condition that one
repeats reminiscence within
forgetting, a past that was
never present. History the present
traces of a past should
play a role analoguous to that of collage
Rhetoric in execution: calling forth the
reserves of beauty of forms and
colors, result of personal observations
or observation of the masters,
evoking themselves under ones
eyes as the brush places the brushmarks.
The idiolect/idiopraxis is simultaneously an allolect/allopraxis
opening up to borrowing, appropriating, and rejecting: a destructive
Prior to any sign, what is given is the nework.
A Gestalt appears
as functionally more than the sum of its parts.
The will to form has to recognize the laws of
In adapting to their dictates, freedom is produced.
significant aspects of paintings lie not in their
but in the handling of the medium.
Marks conserve for ever their status as signs
or traces of the
human action that engendered them (Ortega y Gasset).
The dike or immanent game: the
polemos which is its place, the whole
envisaged as a game; and judging the
whole, the creative artist, himself
identical with his work.
iter [itara (sanskrit) other] once again
Marks, free from truth and objectivity through a radical
reduction/suspension/withholding of meaning (Caputo) so as to
touch upon an unutterable mystery, have the power to create beyond
themselves as the play of the arbitrary infinite iteration (Blumenberg)/
as a repetition which alters/as formants of iterable and alterable
signs an abyss of latent graphic associative links, a deep play
irrepressible pseudomorphic operations, metamorphosis,
synecdoche: the strange path of the hand (Matisse).
El Greco uses Byzantine schemata in Counterreformation
pseudomorphosis; esoterism (Mondrian, Kandinsky,
meets French Art and uses its pictorial ways for
purposes: pseudomorphosis (Besancon).
The hermit and the artist are
reflections of one another as the
dromenon [related to "drama"]
rite, a thing done
One grasps perspectives beyond the structure of a given vocabulary
when that structure is no longer firm (Kenneth Burke)
The reoccupation of functions (Blumenberg) resembles ritualization:
an ingrained mode of activity has lost its intelligibility, so that
the schema is available for a retrospective interpretation and
integration into a new context an alternative social memory
and myth define identity (Peter Burke).
Understanding means mastery of a technique, possession
capacity, participation in a custom, and exercising
know-how by acting in accordance with a rule.
a rule is unreflective, rationally ungrounded
Ritual transforms the objects of memory into the
of present time events. The paradox of festivals:
an "unrepeatable" (Deleuze). If we agree
with Victor Turners
opinion that a given ritual, as a dramatic unity,
is a work of
art, the reverse should be true as well: a given
constitutes a sort of shadowy rite (Girard)
Syntax, meter, chant, are partly ritual or have a ritual origin,
syntax is older than semantics and most in need of explanation. This
is why there is syntax in ritual, an independent level of syntax in
linguistics, why language is so unlogical and roundabout:
language as a playful activity (Halle). There are instances when
the words are not intelligible to the listeners.
Ritual is a system of acts, sounds, etc., related to each other in
accordance with rules without reference to meaning, a
self-contained and self-absorbed pure activity functionally
ambiguous it is essentially execution, it is not a "language".
The absence of goal or effective action Indian tyaga or
wu-wei- is similar to games. Its meaninglessness explains the
variety of meanings attached to it. It is a remnant or resurgence
of a prelinguistic stage where the sound, the gesture, the
visual for numerous image constellations there is no verbal
equivalent (Berlejung)- are used in a syntactic manner. Ritual
is often transmitted without the help of language, by demonstration.
School affiliation and lineage are concepts with ritual overtones(Staal).
Iocari serio et studiosissime ludere
(joking seriously and playing assiduously)
graphein Moiras tapestry weaving/the
weaver appears later with a
(Onians)/to draw or write, simply seen as graphic
including the void as shaped spacing
Understood anthropologically, form is a means of self-preservation
and stability in the world (Blumenberg).
Palimpsest, multiplied, superimposed, crossed
the grapheme/pictur-eme, formant of the sign,
itself to traces of traces (Derrida) vestigium,
of Cusa), the reference marking a path, the mediating
of transmission, the trace as signal, the enactment
imitative quality at the place where marks give
The rule dominates through the ritual (Baudrillard). Games
originate in rites that have been divested, to a greater or lesser
extent, of their sacred character (Girard).
Play, mark, dispersion, ludus mundi, and
the insistent question
"what does it mean?" pitted against
dispersion and play (Krell):
Velasquez pinta pintura (Ortega y Gasset)
paints paint-ing. Pictoric signification: the
The nothing has no middle, and its
limits are the nothing.
Leonardo da Vinci
telos wrapping/circling around (wheel of
fate): the ritual form of
of fate causing fulfillment (Onians)/goal,
in the sense of perfectedness that determines the
Marks have their autotelic games significance (Nishitani), oriented
toward the play of art and its rules, including the
violability-in-principle of rules (Feleppa). The authorial act is
incorporated in the event, it is an end in itself.
The final form of art is contingency, an atelic
telos (Kuki, Merleau-Ponty). A painting is about
surfaces, self-referential, auto-figurative: look
at, and not just
through, the painted surface. Pictorial space
is constructed as
a combinative arrangement, a manifold of interacting
and areas, and the constitutive nothing of spacing
of the syntax system), a configurational Gestalt.
Just as a work of painting gradually
unfolds itself on account of the
several colors [with which it is
painted], so Brahminhood is
similarly brought about by
samskaras performed according to
[sam (integrative prefix), kr-: to do,
to make; ritual forming of the
eikon (eiken to be like) likeness,
eikonismos - delineation/rough draft/sketch/ to draw as on a map
imago (same root as imitor/imitari) death
mask of an ancestor/
imitative re-presentation in the death-mask of
an ancestor (Przywara)/
imitation, copy, semblance
pictura(same root as pictorius pictorial)
A pictorial image (schema) is not merely a replica of an external
object, but a unit of a structure(Frye), seen as part of a total pattern
or rhythm [rythmos to articulate, impress, fit, form /meter
measure out as giving form].
Looking away from the "what", the meaning-content oriented
seeing (Habermas), one can grasp the interconnected structures
that make the whole into a painting, without it being a mimetic
image. A content is an accompaniment. The "how" characterizes
art: ars latet arte sua (art lies in its own art).
What use is there in trafficking in
something that, may be, should
not be sold, especially when it does
The artist builds around himself his own solitude , such
fate (Ortega y Gasset). To paint is to decide for silence. While the
discourse of religion cult and ritual undergoes demythologization,
the "communicative rationality" (Habermas) becomes
remythologized: the linguistic turn of modernity, fetishization of
media-created discourse and images.
In art, one is not besides oneself, but
remains simply and
totally in communion with oneself. To be exiled
ones community (Kierkegaard, Ortega y Gasset)
is to be
separated from the mass "my circumstance"
- , from the
"crowd that is untruth" (Kierkegard),
it means to recover
"the flesh of the world" (Merleau-Ponty),
it is a transgression
of modernism, logocentrism , logophilia, and the
transgression of plurality that eradicates difference.
The leveling of pasts, uncontrollable multiplication, the copy of
copies which allows neither original nor origin to exist (Deleuze),
the "absolute fake" (Eco), are offsprings of a present without
depth and a vacuum of memories: the eternal return as
parodic (Deleuze), the modern and neo-modern age and its
consummation as a self-perpetuating arrangement (Heidegger).
The main value of a mass-production is rather iconographic
than artistic, a charade of copies (Zimmer).
becomes a central concern
precisely at that stage when a given
system of meanings is fallen into decay.
In periods of firmly established meanings,
one does not study them, one uses
Forms/shapes have physical pregnance: de-formed but structurally
form resists the noise of perturbation (Thom). Theodore of Studion
underlines the peculiarities of pictorial space: even when the
various appearances of shape are not identical in detail, the
configuration continues to exist as such.
A pregnant/imprinted shape emerges from the diffuse surroundings
of probabilities (Goethe, Burckhardt). Time does not wear away
instances of pregnance: it brings things out that were not "in them"
all along (Blumenberg).
The investment of form with "sense" is what painting brings
the fore, a structural articulation and play, outstripping and eroding
mimetology [impressing itself with an alien shape mimesis-,
no longer itself and is also not the other (Schmidt, Gadamer)].
A texture/context/structure of distances, absences, and possibilities,
pressuposed/preconceptual understanding, creates significance:
possibilities lived as possibilities molding any presence.
Signs are instantaneous,
ephemeral concentrations of force.
Significance a pointing, lifting up into a definite
context of reference-
is part of being-in-the-world, it is related to finitude: signification
configuration that makes sense as such.
Intention is more primitive that meaning (Luhmann,
There is nothing to understand, as the word "understand"
commonly used. One simply obeys a rule or sees
in a certain way without thought: understanding
is a practical
skill, custom, know-how (Wittgenstein).
Every understanding of meaning is suspect of having
enforced through pseudo-communication (Habermas).
is an ambiguous and inconsequential accident (Baudrillard).
The primacy of interpretation over the sign is
feature of modern hermeneutics (Foucault).
Metaphoric possibility of meaning arises from formal qualities,
a stratum of schematic aspects in which relations on the level of
form lead one to believe that a relation should exist also on the
level of signification (Eco): mans semiotic potential of giving
In the historical world of culture things have
from the objective world of science where the
subjective value tends to zero (Rothacker). The
to deal with the failure of the indicators and
his behaviour: he sets up "significances"
meaninglessness of the world (Blumenberg). The
is assigned meaning (Weizsacker). Man lives while
meanings to his world (Heidegger).
Every utterance is deficient that is,
we never manage to say entirely what
we mean to say
Every utterance is exuberant that is,
our pronouncements always manifest
much more than we intend.
Jose Ortega y Gasset
contentum that which is contained in anything/subject
subjectum - subject matter
subicere (sub-jacere) to throw/cast/subordinate/in
state of dependence
The price of freely chosen rules/no rules is that they have not the least
fertility if rules are reduced to subjective habit, they have no
If there is no more to painting than what one
into it, there is no more than a multiplicity
of private symbol
If painting is a "mirror image", the
subjectivity of the viewer is
a distorting mirror.
If "meaning" is "mattering"(value, purpose, intentionality)
"signifying" (signs intelligible in local contexts), as Caws
then contents, the figurative shapes incorporated into the pictorial
structure, are signs and symbols commissioned by/for the viewer
and manipulated by belief states, a societys or periods