The Clash of the Everyday

Fragments of text, close-up details of images, the unfinished in pride of place.

From an email

“…how Virginia Woolf in To the Lighthouse, shows Mrs Ramsey (a character representing Woolf’s dead mother) as walking through fields of asphodel with violets in her dark hair, which imagery goes back to ancient Greek descriptions by Homer of the goddess Demeter or Ceres, a way in which Woolf understands her own mother  as having passed into archetypal myth. So I found myself remembering A’s fig tree with its honey-sweet green  and white figs that  was so bountiful  each summer and how  the figs were hidden amongst the  fig leaves, the way A’s life was so hidden and secret(ive), her deep sorrow over the  loss of  their mother D who died in 2003, the  pain of her divorce, the  loneliness we all knew about and could not assuage.

“And  when I was in that hideous funeral parlour, the  stiffness and  ugliness of the place and ‘knowing’ at once that here I would find no portals to the afterlife, the fridges of cadavers, the corpse-like faces of the receptionist and  assistants, the drapery veiling nothing, but I had a momentary flash of what it would be like to leave the rooms at street level and  go down a winding staircase into the underground, down through cellars and  caverns to where the soul lay hidden and buried, entombed but waiting for renewal or metamorphosis.”

From an abandoned tumblr:

“We must surrender the idea that this perfection that we see in the mind or before our eyes is obtainable or attainable. But our happiness lies in our moments of awareness of it.”

Agnes Martin (via der-rattenfanger)

The Republic of Less (1960)


Zanele Muholi is shortlisted for the 2015 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, for her publication Faces and Phases (Steidl/The Walther Collection). Muholi’s work is currently featured in the Wellcome Collection’s exhibition, The Institute of Sexology, in London (until September 2015), and in Paris the Pompidou Centre’s recent acquisition of her work is on display within their permament collection exhibition (until September 2015).

Muholi Faces

The exigencies of mourning and consideration of the afterlife. Pausanias’ description [translation from Gregor Nagy] of the initiation into the mysteries of the hero-cult of Trophonios.

“But when a man comes to Trophōnios, they bring him a ladder – a narrow and light one. There is, for the one who has descended [kata-bainein], a hole between the bottom level and the constructed dwelling [oikodomēma]. Its breadth appeared to be two spans, and its height one span. [9.39.11] So, the one who descends [kat-ienai] is now lying down in the direction of the bottom level, holding barley-cakes kneaded in honey [māzai memagmenai meliti], and he pushes forward with his feet, forward into the hole; he himself pushes forward, eager for his knees to get into the hole. Then, after the knees, the rest of his body is suddenly drawn in, rushing forward, just as the biggest and most rapid river will catch a man in its torrents and carry him under. After this, for those who are now inside the inner sanctum [aduton], there is no single or same way [tropos] for them to learn the things of the future. One person will see them, another person will hear them.”

Werner Herzog

Nor is the Greek word for truth, alêtheia, simple to grasp. Etymologically speaking, it comes from the verb lanthanein, “to hide,” and the related word lêthos, “the hidden,” “the concealed.” A-lêtheia is, therefore, a form of negation, a negative definition: it is the “not-hidden,” the revealed, the truth. Thinking through language [im sprachlichen Denken], the Greeks meant, therefore, to define truth as an act of disclosure—a gesture related to the cinema, where an object is set into the light and then a latent, not yet visible image is conjured onto celluloid, where it first must be developed, then disclosed.


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