Friday, April 6, 2012

chronic ambivalence

(caveat: i get that blogs are widely used for pictures and short sentences but this one is just for voicing thoughts that don't always come up in my casual conversations...)

for the past few years i've been slowly exploring the idea of chronic ambivalence. Ambivalence within myself, in others, in the world surrounding me. the concept that there are two opposing ideas simultaneously coexisting fascinates me and i feel that i have a greater understanding of myself and others and life by understanding these opposites. there is a greater intensity when you understand life through the death surrounding life. i don't think that is a macabre thought but really just the opposite.

however, i've never been able to pin down exactly how to describe this to others without sounding like an idiot who doesn't know what they are talking about. then i read david sylvester's interviews with francis bacon. then i read milan kundera's essay on francis bacon and i've decided to direct anyone i try to describe this fascination i have with opposites to these two resources.

francis bacon has a way with his portraits of people that although they are not your regular realistic representation of a person they convey the individual in a much more knowing sense than any i've seen. bacon captures through the painter's "brutal gesture" (to use kundera's words) the "golden nugget." that special spot in which the ambivalence crosses hairs and forms the multi-faceted being. the self. not the static, one-sided individual. the sinner and the saint embodied in one individual. which also makes me think of caravaggio but maybe that's a different post.

i really want to do a project which involves these ideas and i immediately think of the myth of icarus and his wax wings. so fragile, a rebirth, the closeness of life and death. but it is such a tender subject to me that i don't want to do it injustice...and it's so personal that it would have to be something just perfect which builds it up into perhaps an insurmountable task. which i love. and hate.

1 comment:

  1. You should try diving into the Japan culture. One of their founding cultural beliefs is that opposing ideas can and do coexist within. It surfaces in many ways, like saying yes when they mean no, being Buddhist and Shinto at the same time, etc.