Monday, February 01, 2010

Future Legend

I have been considering a reading that one of the art professors at Flagler College is requiring her students to read. I happened to bump into this particular colleague as she was photo coping a passage from the book in question. It is a piece on Traveling and the visual arts, The Art of Travel. I am not very good at concentrating on dense art writing, but I did come away with a little insight on the poet Baudelaire. The book stated that he liked to hang out in places of travel, like train stations and ports. The passage described how it wasn't so much the destinations that the poet liked but the feelings evoked by the atmosphere of transition, liminal places.
“It always seems to me that I’ll be well where I’m not and this question of moving is one that I’m forever entertaining with my soul.”

Charles Baudelaire
From what I gather, "The Liminal" is a hot topic within art circles. The word for me brings to mind places like shorelines adorned with horse sculls and the artifacts of viking warriors, or cross dressers trolling the Tender Knob in San Francisco. Or tiny mouses in white gloves at the helms of mighty globe spanning entertainment empires. Indeed this state is probably more the norm than the illusive sedentary states we believe ourselves to inhabit.

4 comments:

Russell Maycumber said...

http://www.alaindebotton.com/pages/content/index.asp?PageID=77

john said...

Very interesting . I have not heard of this term , maybe it's close to subliminal ? Good idea though, to write or draw in travel spots.

JDS said...

The liminal is such an rewarding philosophical idea, especially when you consider it with the ideas of telos and desire.

Then again perhaps there is something saddening underlying it..

(p.s if you enjoyed the essay, try his book 'essays on love', its extremely readable)

Russell Maycumber said...

Thank you, I will. I live near the ocean. When I stand on the beach and stare out, there is almost always a moment of change. An abrupt shift in focus, and then nothing. I think there is relief and sadness in the nothing. I may be setting myself up for those changes but its irresistible to me, to go to the shore and not expect my view to be shifted or suspended, if only on a purely physical level.

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