Monday, November 9, 2009

on art

The following excerpt has changed the way I look at everything. It's also changed the way I look at my gray cube, as a photocopy of page 204 from Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog now hangs on my wall:

But when we gaze at a still life, when - even though we did not pursue it - we delight in its beauty, a beauty borne away by the magnified and immobile figuration of things, we find pleasure in the fact that there was no need for longing, we may contemplate something we need not want, may cherish something we need not desire. So this still life, because it embodies a beauty that speaks to our desire but was given birth by someone else's desire, because it cossets our pleasure without in any way being part of our own projects, because it is offered to us without requiring the effort of desiring on our part: this still life incarnates the quintessence of Art, the certainty of timelessness. In the scene before our eyes - silent, without life or motion - a time exempt of projects is incarnated, perfection purloined from duration and its weary greed - pleasure without desire, existence without duration, beauty without will.

For art is emotion without desire.

[image via here]

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

elegance...what a novel. needed a dictionary by my side to understand the crazy syntax but i enjoyed it nonetheless.