the lamps are not lit
the end does not begin
the walls do not talk
the mirror does not crack
the drugs do not work
the scars do not hurt
the books do not burn
the fight is not won
the photograph does not fade
the best lies are never told
the bird does not sing
the dead are not seen
footsteps do not betray
I do not give my heart away
the lamps are not lit
What I feel about these photographs derives from an average affect, almost from a certain training. I did not know a French word which might account for this kind of human interest, but I believe this word exists in Latin: it is studium, which doesn’t mean, or at least not immediately, ‘study’, but application to a thing, taste for someone, a kind of general, enthusiastic commitment, of course, but without special acuity. It is by studium that I am interested in so many photographs, whether I receive them as political testimony or enjoy them as good historical scenes: for it is culturally (this connotation is present in studium) that I participate in the figures, the faces, the gestures, the settings, the actions.
The second element will break (or punctuate) the studium. This time it is not I who seek it out (as I invest the field of the studium with my sovereign consciousness), it is this element which rises from the scene, shoots out of it like an arrow, and pierces me. A Latin word exists to designate this wound, this prick, this mark made by a pointed instrument: the word suits me all the better in that it also refers to the notion of punctuation, and because the photographs I am speaking of are in effect punctuated, sometimes even speckled with these sensitive points; precisely, these marks, these wounds are so many points. This second element which will disturb the studium I shall therefore call punctum; for punctum is also: sting, speck, cut, little hole — and also a cast of the dice. A photograph’s punctum is that accident which pricks me (but also bruises me, is poignant to me).
I have been thinking about this again recently, in relation to various things.
One not entirely fine day, some not entirely sensible friends & I painted our clothes/hankies, made a magic wand-staff, dressed up, put on our Wonder Woman gauntlets, and tripped down to the beach to dance up & down in the hope of making the sun shine for once. And it worked! (For about 20 minutes. The sun is fickle.)
And then there were speeches and live music and drinking.
Also also: Hampshire Feminist Collective
I met up with Pete Gilbert to photograph him in his studio, as part of an ongoing portraiture projekt. His paintings are fabulously beautiful and I sort of want them all.
The Abyss of Hallucinations has Law and Reason; but in Truth there is no bond between the Toys of the Gods.
This Reason and Law is the Bond of the Great Lie.
Truth! Truth! Truth! crieth the Lord of the Abyss of Hallucinations.
There is no Silence in that Abyss: for all that men call Silence is Its Speech.
This Abyss is also called ‘Hell’, and ‘The Many’. Its name is ‘Consciousness’, and ‘The Universe’, among men.
But THAT which neither is silent, nor speaks, rejoices therein.
This, as mentioned before a long time ago when I posted #2 whenever that was, was my degree show projekt. I rather wondered at the time if it was impolitic to use a Crowley poem, but . . . I quite like Crowley’s mystical poems, even if I’ve always suspected they were not to be taken entirely seriously. I may of course be wrong (BUT IT WOULD BE MOST UNPRECEDENTED); I haven’t studied them.
(Well, really I wondered if it was impolitic to incorporate Crowley and to mention in my CV that I helped to start up an LGBT society at the uni. I hoped that using Crowley would prove me well-read and that starting up the LGBT society would prove me proactive, but couldn’t help fearing that Crowley + LGBT would prove me a devil-worshipping gaymosexual. As only an excerpt of my statement re. ideas/themes/inspirations was displayed at the exhibition, I don’t think anyone got to read about how well-read/proactive I was and so couldn’t make any assumptions about the state of my immortal soul. Foiled them again!)
In any case, it is about time I posted these images in their wholeness.