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Saturday, 12 February 2011

Image Dialogues


Witch and scarecrow in the snow: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, n.d. (Collection Günther Ketterer, Bern)

Images are not autonomous. Like puppets, dolls or toys, they had to be made by someone.

File:Kirchner - Weiblicher Akt mit Hut.jpg

Female nude with Hat
: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, n.d.

It is only when they begin to converse with each other that they start to assert their independence of those who have made them.

File:Ernst Ludwig Kirchner - Schlitten im Nebel - 1928-29.jpg

Sledge in the fog: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1928/1929 (Brücke-Museum, Berlin)

They may embrace one another; they may quarrel; they may pretend to ignore one another and study a casual disregard.

File:Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Straßenbahn und Eisenbahn (Berlin).jpg

Railway and tramcars: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1914 (Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte der Hansestadt, Lübeck)

But they simply can't help getting involved.

File:Kirchner - Mondaufgang auf der Staffelalp.jpg

Moonrise, Staffelalp
: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, n.d.

A favorite rhyme for a long winter's night as a very young child began so:

The gingham dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
'T was half-past twelve and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t'other had slept a wink!
The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat.
(I wasn't there; I simply state
What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)
House in the Meadows
: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, n.d.

You knew that no matter how long the gingham dog and the calico cat pretended to ignore each other, sooner or later trouble was inevitable.

File:Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Totentanz der Mary Wigman, 1926-8.jpg

Death-Dance of Mary Wigman: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1926-1928

This rhyme (by Eugene Field) would not have been so popular, one reckons, had the gingham dog and calico cat become fast friends in the end (instead of eating each other up -- a conclusion which adults of the period of my childhood evidently had no qualms about serving up as edifying fare to their innocent and tender progeny).

File:Kirchner - Mädchen mit Katze (Fränzi).jpg

Girl with cat (Franzi): Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1910 (Werner & Gabrielle Merzbacher)

Since then, one creation after another, ipse dixit, to each image its own animated or stodgy, voluble or diffident, congenial or combative niche, each driven by sunup to pasture, each from pasture by sundown;

File:Kirchner - Rückkehr der Tiere.jpg

Return of the animals
: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, n.d.

and if over this cabinet of animal oddities there seems to fall a certain eerie silence now, remember the fabricator's absence alone doesn't mean no one's talking.

Davos in snow
: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, n.d.


Ed Baker said...

W O W O W !

(this by Kirchner) is what that is far beyond talking about that-witch I am "talking" & "hollering" about!

art comes from art
artists come from artists

now need-in-hell to label this guy's work
put him in a museum!

he "HAS" the secret...& the secret is
there IS no secret...
these are NOT pictures

these are paintings

paintings this DO what the paint does
just as paint/paintings
down through the Ages

have always
so done.


Kirchner a discovery via your mouse searching/ mind searching around into the

just-what-is-ness of it-all.

looks to me that this guy ... did his "stuff"

in the pre-bull-shit era (?) say, before the Surrealists?

Anonymous said...

I will be with these a lot longer.

"they may pretend to ignore one another and study a casual disregard.

But they simply can't help getting involved."

This reminds me of my own cat/dog menagerie.

I would truly love to see a Kirchner-Clark exhibition mounted around your collaborations.

Ed Baker said...

here is Kirchner's studio in a 1915 photo...
(he died in 1938 &, unlike everybody else I GOOGLED Kirchner to get "the low down"

either he needs to put some clothes on
or she needs to take her's off

or both need so do ... simultaneously

I can just imagine the three of them laughing while getting to this picture!

(notice their facial expressions..

Ernst Ludwig had "cheek" (get it?) and a sense of humor which is sorely lacking in today's .....
politically/religiously/socially Correct Ways.

... butt, (get it?) what do I know?

TC said...

As Curtis has recalled, there was a "spell" of Kirchner here, some time back, with several posts in a row featuring his work -- including both the landscape and figurative.

Whether painting those icy pink and violet peaks or those anxious beings enclosed in the city, Kirchner always seemed also to be painting a psyche... sometimes perhaps a collective psyche... and always as if "from the inside". It is no surprise the Nazis considered him decadent. (And things did not go well for him, then.)



"Images are not autonomous"

"to each image its own animated or stodgy, voluble or diffident, congenial or combative niche"

"remember the fabricator's absence alone doesn't mean no one's talking"

[thanks for this, and these. . . .] ----


light coming into sky above still black
corner of wall, line of branch in right
foreground, no sound of wave in channel

symmetrical with respect to,
system of coordinates

only apparently, observable
difference, in itself

first grey of sky above black of ridge,
bright silver of planet by pine branch

TC said...


light not coming into sky above still black
extension of eaves, drooping reach of branch
in foreground, sound of rain in downspout

symmetrical with respect to,
probably, weather where you are



"symmetrical . . . with respect to weather"

Yes indeed -- see comment just posted on "Jenny Kissed Me" (would that were so!). . . .