ekphrasis: “the graphic, often dramatic description of a visual work of art. In ancient times it referred to a description of any thing, person, or experience. The word comes from the Greek ek and phrasis, ‘out’ and ‘speak’ respectively, verb ekphrazein, to proclaim or call an inanimate object by name.”
This is a blog about the visual.
It is a blog about violets on a chain link fence. About the color and light that can infuse the squalor of modern life (if you will). About the cage, and about its adornments.
The visual is not merely decorative. Optical aesthetics embody the most potent natural art there is; and we all know that art functions as a way to reformulate subjectivity, to enhance our understanding of the world, to allow us to categorize the categorizable and acknowledge the un-. By seeing (literally seeing) the art in everyday life, we become again and again better human beings.
Seeing takes effort. That’s why this blog is here.
Of course, I’m not the only one who likes art, the visual. One Katie Sadow does the same. She might feel differently. And in order to level the playingfield, to harness the prodigiousness, she holds the other mouse in the blog relationship. Perhaps she is more sensible than I. Perhaps not.
Brookings Hall, here (it’s tiny tiny), peaks over a ridge, framed by a blue sky, Forest Park trees, and an early sunset. If Washington University knew this shot existed, I feel they’d take it, with million megapixel cameras and a clear conscience. That’s quite all right, perhaps, for most of us.
But the kid standing there who suddenly realizes that he can see his school a mile away among this giant oasis thrives on the absence of such a capturing. Its previous presence in an ArtSci viewbook would disqualify the scene; the idyllic would be commodified; the discovery of the image would bear the smear of its earlier misuse.
Allow us to not smear our images; to allow the moment of discovery to remain fresh. Ekphrasis, we hope, is nonperishable. Might it forever renew our souls.
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