the violence of reality/ clichés

When talking about the violence of paint it's nothing to do with the violence of war. It's to do with an attempt to remakte the violence of reality itself . . . and the violence also of the suggestions within the image itself which can only be conveyed through paint. When I look at you across the table I don't only see you, I see a whole emanation which also has to do with personality and everything else . . . the living quality . . . all the pulsations of a person . . . the energy within the appearance. . . . And to put that over in a painting means that it would appear violent in print. We nearly always live through screens—a screened existence. And I sometimes think when people say my work is violent that from time to time I have been able to clear away one or two of the screens. [Francis Bacon in gesprek met David Sylvester]
Bacon says we live through screens. What are these screens? They are part of our normal way of looking at the world, or rather our normal way of seeing the world without looking at it, for Bacon's claim is that a real seer who looked at the world would notice it to be fairly violent—not violent as narrative surface but somehow violently composed underneath the surface, having violence as its essense. No one has ever seen a black hole yet scientists feel confident they can locate its essense in the gravitational collapse of a star—this massive violence, this something which is also, spectacularly, nothing.

Uit ‘Variations on the Right to Remain Silent’, Float; Anne Carson.


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