Unreal Nature

February 11, 2017

An Inimical Relationship of Sense and Reason

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:51 am

… Because they worked with fierce honesty … the wrongness of some of their theoretical attitudes matters far less than does the soundness of the concrete foundation they built …

Continuing through Language of Vision by Gyorgy Kepes (1944):

… Space-time is order, and the image is an “orderer.”

… “Everything we call nature, is, in the last analysis a fantasy picture,” Malevich says, “with not the least resemblance to reality.

But as has been stated before, man asserts himself in the material world not only by means of thought but also by means of all his senses. Art is a sensuous form of consciousness, an important instrument in the conquest of nature, and representation is the creative assimilation of nature. The artistic conquest of space is not an end in itself, nor is it a matter of the senses alone. Herein lay the limitation of these [modern art] pioneers of the language of vision. They had taken the first step toward freedom but they were hampered by lost faith in the integrated human existence.

[line break added] Their work was shaped in pseudomaterialism and resulted in isolation — of sensory experience. The division of labor, dictated by shortsighted considerations, creating a one-sided individual, gave rise also to division within the individual, an inimical relationship of sense and reason. Instead of using the conquest of the senses for further integration of man with his surroundings, painters in their revolt against an involved and planless social system carried this fatal division into the sphere of creative expression.

Because they worked with fierce honesty, however; because they were content with no half-measures, but gave themselves completely to the rediscovery of the materials with which they dealt; because they brought to their perception of new visual surroundings senses cleared of the fog of tradition, the wrongness of some of their theoretical attitudes matters far less than does the soundness of the concrete foundation they built for the new representational control of the visible world.

My most recent previous post from Kepes’s book is here.

-Julie

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