Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Lopsided (8)

For me the shoe has many functions, none of them identical with the real function it had for E.: it is my way in and my barrier, boon and bane, thrall and threnody. I can’t see her without it, but I can’t see her with it either.
Found this in my thesis: ‘but what has happened is that the thing we are staring at has sunk into its image’ (Maurice Blanchot). When does looking become staring? At college I made a video-piece where I seamlessly edited out people’s blinks to get permanent stares. Blinks of course are like little breaths for the eye which can’t function without these nourishing moments of darkness. People who looked at the piece often couldn’t work out what was strange and straining to see ended up not blinking themselves.
I feel like I’m staring back into my childhood, searching for E. Everywhere I find her she is standing and looking. Always frontally, always head on. Might she move if I turn my back?


Joni said...

Hi there Marjojo ! I had a little problem with my pc, so a lot of catching up to do, reading yours e.g. ;). Thx for your comment, love it ! Have a good day, love, Joni

Anonymous said...

I'm absorbed in how you are dealing with your memories of E. The original shoe must have been conspicuous, unsightly your work continues to be fragile. In my Catholic primary school you could always spot the girls from the local orphanage. Long fawn socks and brown laced shoes (like boys' shoes) which they despised. Scraping them along the concrete playground and dragging them through the rain filled gutters. Intent on wearing them out.

Roxana said...

it's becoming increasingly harder to tell something about this series. that is why I thought I would simply offer you these lines, a praise not to the words, the images of things, but to the Things themselves. I am stunned as to how much your approach is similar to Rilke's view here (9th elegy):

Praise the world to the angel, not the unutterable world;
you cannot astonish him with your glorious feelings;
in the universe, where he feels more sensitively,
you're just a beginner. Therefore, show him the simple
thing that is shaped in passing from father to son,
that lives near our hands and eyes as our very own.
Tell him about the Things. He'll stand amazed, as you stood
beside the rope-maker in Rome, or the potter on the Nile.
Show him how happy a thing can be, how blameless and ours;
how even the lamentation of sorrow purely decides
to take form, serves as a thing, or dies
in a thing, and blissfully in the beyond
escapes the violin. And these things that live,
slipping away, understand that you praise them;
transitory themselves, they trust us for rescue,
us, the most transient of all. They wish us to transmute them
in our invisible heart--oh, infinitely into us! Whoever we are.

Marjojo said...

Lesley, these are much like the shoes I'm thinking of, mud-brown, laced, only they went up to the ankle. I think at the beginning of last century those boots would have been worn by boys and girls alike (if they had shoes) - I've got a copy of a very old photograph of my grandmother and her sisters who all wear them. In E.'s times they were way out of fashion, I think we (girls) had shoes with straps then, whether we wanted to be girlie or not. Thank you for sharing your memory!

Marjojo said...

Oh Roxana, do you know that - having come to poetry only recently and in English - I only know one poem by Rilke? Thank you so much for printing this here, it is beautiful, leaves me almost tongue-tied lest I say something that doesn't do it justice. But this I can say: every line stirs something in me. Ordered a volume of his Gedichte, craving more now. Thank you!

Roxana said...

you're welcome :-) and I understand the tongue-tied feeling, it happens to me too!

I am sure you will love his poetry.