domingo, 27 de abril de 2014

Berger on Drawing

For the artist drawing is discovery.
And that is not just a slick phrase, it is quite literally true. 

It is the actual art of drawing that forces the artist to look at the object in front of him, to dissect it in his mind’s eye and put it together again; or, if he is drawing from memory, that forces him to dredge his own mind, to discover the content of his own store of past observations. 

It is a platitude in the teaching of drawing that the heart of the matter lies in the specific process of looking. A line, an area of tone, is not really important because it records what you have seen, but because of what it will lead you on to see. 

Another way of putting it would be to say that each mark you make on the paper is a stepping-stone from which you proceed to the next, until you have crossed your subject as though it were a river, have put it behind you.

John Berger: Berger on Drawing. Aghabullogue, Co. Cork: Occasional Press (II edition, 2007), p.3.

Spinoza - Prop. XVIII

A man is as much affected pleasurably or painfully by the image of a thing past or future as by the image of a thing present. 

So long as a man is affected by the image of anything, he will regard that thing as present, even though it be non-existent, he will not conceive it as past or future, except in so far as its image is joined to the image of time past of future. 

Wherefore the image of a thing, regarded in itself alone, is identical, whether it be referred to time past, time future, or time present; that is, the disposition or emotion of the body is identical, whether the image be of a thing past, future, or present. Thus the emotion of pleasure or pain is the same, whether the image be of a thing past or future.

(Ethics, Prt III, Proposition XVIII)

terça-feira, 15 de abril de 2014


Memory is not an instrument for surveying the past but its theater. It is the medium of past experience, just as the earth is the medium in which dead cities lie buried. He who seeks to approach his own buried past must conduct himself like a man digging.

Walter Benjamin, 
Berlin Childhood: Around 1900