Unreal Nature

January 18, 2018

The Suspension of Decision

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:47 am

… the mind, eye, and hand sometimes shift in and out of synchronization.

This is from ‘Drawing’ (1981) found in Solar System & Rest Rooms: Writings and Interviews, 1965-2007 by (of) Mel Bochner (2008):

“What you see,” he said, pointing to the wall of drawings, “is the cinema of my sensibility.” — Matisse

Drawing couples a directness of means with an ease of revision. This gives thought and feeling a direct access to visibility. The tools are simple … something to make a mark, an eraser, a sheet of paper. Each material has a particular quality, the choice of which gives a drawing its “color.” Charcoal is dry and burnt, pastel is thick and luminous, conté crayon is crisp and translucent. Different papers are dense or light, resistant or absorbent, bright or dull. The flexibility of these materials in combination is essential to the unique content of drawing.

Drawing can present conclusions. It can record the spontaneous appearance of a thought. It can contain the results of an investigation into the nature of relationships. Or, it can be the clear declaration of a complex idea.

Drawing is also a process of testing differences. In the process of questioning distinctions, the mind, eye, and hand sometimes shift in and out of synchronization. Speculation, or the suspension of decision, leads below the surface of order into the ambiguity of conflicting perceptions. Drawing becomes a meditation on the meaning of certainty. Erasures pile up. Containing the archaeology of its own doubts, the work cuts across the conventions of finish. A tissue of overlaid impulses, the tangle of contradictions suddenly implodes into a drawing.

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

-Julie

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