Random July

I want to engulf this city,

Mile by mile, edge

By edge,

Till the edge is reached of

All of heart’s emptiness;

 

Until then,

I walk.

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Blasphemy + Visitations

~ Blasphemy ~

 

It’s for the blasphemy of love,

That I burn, roll

In the depths of despair

Of Self-inspection, contemplation, raking,

Shaking it all up;

What could I possibly seek 

From the heart that doesn’t speak, from

The eyes that don’t

Glimmer in hope,

Just like red wine, kept in the fridge. 

Maybe, not lust, maybe

Not love,

Maybe nothing, no words at all,

But,

Just a vile search

To find a word in that heart, a word

To make me stay. 

 

~ Visitations ~

 

My words, don’t pass by me,

Like the love, I

once had,

For you know, of

What I crave,

For,

No love,

 But Lamentation. 

 

 

Art: Rowena Murillo

 

 

Miss Simone

How do I reconcile, 

A spirit so free with the 

World that demands otherwise. 

So, then, there’s a life, that

shines bright in the day, and

In the evening, just

Like sunlight melting into the darkness of sea,

I see, very well,

What this honest world never bothers

To show, I

Sing, all the melodies I belt, for

Their souls are to nice to 

Hear me scream.

So, then, there’s a life, that

Stretches too hard to reach its 

Own shoulders to

Cry upon;

Maybe, there’s a way for one

To curl up into one’s 

Own arms, wrap oneself around

One’s own warmth,

Maybe, there’s a way for one to 

Live off oneself, to

Feed upon one’s own flesh, to 

Savour one’s own tears to quench one’s thirst. 

It is from a distance,

That I see it clearly, see

This world,

In its rightful smallness, stillness

Unrecognizable scenes.

And, then, there’s a life,

Away from this distanced world, away

From the orgies of its desires

I see that life

Straight in the face, I see

This life everyday, this life

Is all mine; it’s

Ugly, lonely; bereaved to the

Dust of the bones, 

But, 

It’s free,

It’s fearless, and,

It’s never going back. 

Undelivered

What do I tell faith about denial, of

What could I say

That is not whispered to fate, by time,

To destiny, by hope, of

Songs that winds silently carry to the wind-charms, and 

Then wind-charms call it mine. 

Could I ever make the sun, see,

A look of it from the hiding, from the shelters, above

Within, walls, from my eyes, I 

See sun, hear music, 

Of winds, or 

Wind-charms, Maybe.

What possibly, 

Could I ever,

Tell love of all the joys of being unaware. 

I see the surge of fury from

Beneath the bedrock of my core, I 

Lean over, and then

Turn away,

Vanquished,

Of all that I ever said to silence about fulfillment,

And darkness,

About home. 

 

 

Art: Give Me Your Eyes, Alexis Winter

Real in the Reel: Ethics of Authentic and Accurate in Art

Art relies much on representation, or maybe not. Aesthetics, as a discipline, has incessantly posed certain debates on the purpose and meaning of art. Such debates often place art as a matter of study within the meta-disciplines of philosophy, psychology and even science. While art for art’s sake is also a prevailing perception, what resonates as a ‘virtue’ among all is the inherent ‘authenticity’ of art. In this essay, I will talk about the understanding of ‘authentic’ in art (In aesthetics, one may also call it ‘authentic art’), the different perspectives on the same and how an artist achieves such authenticity.

Dardagny Morning by Jean Baptiste Camille Corot

 

In European aesthetics, it was the period of Renaissance that spearheaded the conscience of ‘real’ in art. What is famously termed as ‘humanism’, art began to look both inwards and outwards. The outward vision was oriented towards the life outside self, and the inward, was the recognition of the alike, the body, the human. This anthropocentric development was further given a spiritual direction by the Romantics. Suddenly, the concepts of ‘genius’, ‘sublime’ and ‘imagination’ rekindled the artists and the inward vision became much more individualistic. The art was no longer only the recognition of the ‘alike’ but it went on to celebrate artist’s own perception of life; sourced from deeper spiritual understanding of the ‘living’.

Starry Night by Van Gogh

 

As the individuation of art continued, it was during the 19th century that the concept of ‘real’ or ‘authentic’ in art became a matter of serious debate. In styles such as Impressionism, Modernism and Expressionism, artists were engaging with the outward subject matter but the representation of the same was not so clearly discernible as ‘real’. The shift in focus towards elements of art, namely light, colour and texture, the representation of the ‘real’ had to filter through the creative perception of the artist. In other words, the representation of the objectivity was refracted through the subjectivity of the artist.

With the development of science and technology, the world of aesthetics was presented with a peculiar version of the aforementioned debate – Photography. The medium of photography was peculiar because unlike impressionism, there was no indiscernible relationship between the subject matter and its representation. Rather, a photograph became the most realist and reliable representation of the ‘real’, the ‘outward’, the ‘life’. This gave rise to a new word in the debate on the authentic – the accurate. Unlike art, where authenticity, in different periods and styles, was determined by the different ways of expressing artists’s original creativity, photography left little for such ‘internal’ or ‘spiritual’ expression. The representation became so real that it was hard to call it authentic. This is precisely why photography had a hard time being recognised as a work of art; and the struggle continues.

Photographer: Guy Bourdin, Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

This is a right time to differentiate authentic and the accurate. Authentic, like in the case of impressionist art, is the representation of objectivity refracted through the subjectivity of the artist. On the other hand, Accurate is the representation of the objectivity with little or no refraction through the subjectivity of the photographer. This line of differentiation gave rise to two sets of parallel debates; first, whether photography only falls under the category of accurate, and second, which one between the two is ethically justifiable.

Miss Butterfly by Shadi Ghadirian

 

The first line of debate became apparent when the nature of photography saw a diversification. The rise of artistic photography dragged the medium away from its conventional understanding of a recording agent. The use of artistic expression through the medium of photography challenged the claim of it being an accurate representation of the real. The objectivity began to refract through the subjectivity of the artist, and the lines between accurate and authentic, blurred. However, not only the other forms of photography continued to flourish, the claim of artistic photography itself could not dismantle the distinction completely. The fact that the subject matter in artistic photography continued to be the most realist representation of the objectivity, the resultant accuracy continued. And so did, the debate.

Now, how do we move on to understand the ethical nature of art which is premised on this debate on Accurate and Authentic? The answer may lie on cognitive value of art. While Accurate gives us the most honest possible representation of the objective, it is the Authentic that makes us see beyond the representation. The cognitive value of Authentic digs deeper beneath the surface representation and bring out meanings that remain unseen in Accurate. The true meaning of original is what is true to an artist. If an artist considers a self-alienated and accurate representation of the objectivity as the only meaning of original, so be it; for there are also artists who believe that original cannot be produced without the refraction of objectivity through an authentic perception of self.

As Simone de Beauvoir puts it in he Ethics of Ambiguity, the true authentic self becomes meaningful only when its other-regarding. Authentic or Accurate; an original or true artistic expression requires an engagement with the outward. While, the terms of engagement might differ, the very fact that an artist consciously realises this engagement, makes her work not only meaningful but also transcendental.

First Writing Since…

As I begin to think, I see

What was that drunken, sunken, 

Love forsaken grin, and

The smiles in between, all smiles

And no meaning. 

As I begin to think, I write,

scream in the silence of words, sing

In the language of form, I begin 

To see myself, outside

Of self. 

First writing since, First 

Love after life got done with all that called itself love

First words since that morning, of

Waking up to the death of 

Those who lived till yesterday, Unlike myself,

When was the last time I lived

Till yesterday?

Words be words, since

Since it began in curiosity, now all

All, of it, all, 

Just languishing, I’m dragging, it’s unmoving;

 Unloving, maybe?

First matters Since, the

First fights and reconciliations, of first

Everything but love. 

I see you in pain, I can see

You looking at me in want, in desire, in 

Everything but love. 

First writing since I saw you looking at me

With someone else, in smiles, in warmth, in 

Everything but love. 

Words, upon words, upon verse, I build,

I build every day like a house of cards,

You say you see me but you don’t, you never did, I

Though, am aware of your

Honesty,

Am aware, of

Your presence, your calls, your texts, your words, your drives, your stares, your

Everything but love. 

 

 

 

Art: Fotini Tikkou

 

Sounds of Self

We’re all humming,

Humming our own made up melodies, Our

own parched lips parting and then

Meeting again,

Taking out words marinaded in a voice audible only

To self, We’re all

Making music of heart, of 

Sorrows, spirits and sunshine, music

Of our own travelled course, 

I hear you humming,

I hear your music, distinct from mine

And then my parched lips part,

To hum

My own melody, to smile

And cherish yours.  

 

 

Art: Joe David Drumm

On Why I Run (Literally & Figuratively)

As I run, and when 

I do so, putting my body into this

rhythmic motion, my mind

consumed in the melodies of classics, or jazz

Or piercing notes of sitar, I

find myself running, moving, not

Away from nature, but

somewhere deeper into its undefinable stretch 

Of what am I made up of, 

Of earth, fire and water, of elements

That never reiterate themselves until the day

One burns on his pyre, and

All this while,

When I run away from all the life is made up of 

And what is it to be alive, 

It’s only when I run here,

That I run deeper into life 

 

 

Art: Fatime Molnar