“the relation of language to painting is an infinite relation. It is not the words that are imperfect or that, when confronted by the visible, they prove insuperably inadequate. Neither can be reduced to the other’s terms; it is in vain to say what we see; what we see never resides in what we say. And it is in vain that we attempt to show, by the use of images, metaphors, or similes, what we are saying; the space where they achieve their splendor is not that deployed by our eyes but that defined by the sequential elements of syntax.”“This Is Not a Pipe” – Michael Foucault
p.9 Translators Introduction
Yeah. Where to grow with this one? The book is inspired by a René Magritte painting that mixes media in French irony. I’m off work today and just back from taking my son to see one of his favorite thin…, uh, artists, Julie Andrews. We had hoped to meet her as she signed her new autobiography at Borders – Downtown Crossing, but British protocol had other plans. Still carrying the weather and navigating ourselves and a parrot-handled umbrella through a turnstile door, we heard, “all the tickets are gone for Julie Andrews.” Huh? Tickets? Sadly, we trailed the real fans who arrived at 7:00am to score free tix to meet the woman who embodied two of the most enduring characters in film. I was concerned for Kyle, but he’s so understanding. Truly, he has both song and love in his heart, and Ms. Andrews is a big reason why. Thoughts of a payoff raced through my head. A couple hundred would buy a position in queue, right? It didn’t happen, but we were able to get a spot about 8 yards of high traffic carpet from the table where pen would grace paper.
Grace doesn’t walk, it floats, balancing on its head a legacy that will never fall. On air, she glided through polite applause and took her seat as a solitary press photographer documented the moment from within an empty area of red velvet past. Amateur photography was not allowed, but many of the 400 attendees showed the Brits how rules don’t apply to us and flashed away, in spite of the gentle pleadings of the Borders staff. I stored some respect with my camera in its bag. At 72, Dame Julie Elizabeth Andrews is an enduring, now backlit beauty. Kyle was awed, but ready to leave after a few minutes. Book signing is not a compelling spectator sport.
My intention today was to blog the Ansel Adams episode on “American Experience,” but I don’t need to. Its start provides my end. It features the late photographer John Szarkowski poignantly describing the infinite relation: “He found some way to put together those little fragments of the world in a way that transformed them into a picture in the same way a poet uses the same dictionaries the rest of us do. All the words are in there. All the words in the poem are in there in alphabetical order so you can find them. And it’s just a matter of taking a few of them and putting them in the right order. That’s all there is to it. So why is it that some lines of poetry, some sentences, grasp us, grip us, and we think that’s right, that’s true! I don’t know what it means, but it’s true! A good picture does something like that.”