Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Mythologies

I'm away from base at the moment, so no pics.
A second grandson Bill arrived at the end of last month, so that's wonderful.
Meanwhile I have ( along with a lot of other people I know ) had the most awful summer flu, which doesn't see to want to go away. With 4 big projects on the go the timing couldn't be worse.
In between bouts of deathbed coughing I have been reading a lot... always an upside of being ill.
Greatly enjoyed 'Motherland - a Philosophical History of Russia' by Lesley Chamberlain; it answered all sorts of questions vaguely circulating in the back of my mind; and always good to revisit and reconsider the possibilities of how we might try to organise the way we live a little better.
Am now re-reading, yet again, Schama's 'Landscape and Memory', such a satisfying book. He gives a wonderful background and vindication of Anselm Kiefer ( another of my heroes ), and indeed for the whole process of meddling in mythology.

"...The real problem - what we might call the Kiefer syndrome - is whether it is possible to take myth seriously on its own terms, and to respect its coherence and complexity, without becoming morally blinded by its poetic power.
...without either losing ourselves altogether in total immersion or else rendering the subject 'safe' by the usual eviscerations of Western empirical analysis.
Of one thing at least I am certain: that not to take myth seriously in the life of am ostensibly 'disenchanted' culture like our own is actually to impoverish our understanding of our shared world....."


...this after a couple of hundred pages on trees - fantastic; which brings me to Perceval/Parzival. My co-worker on this project, James Simpson ( who I worked with on 'Hunting the Wren' ) has just been awarded second prize in the Agenda/Thomas Hardy poetry competition; many congratulations to him.

No LAB at the ICA this year ( so a bit of a breathing space ); it is re-opening next year at the newly refurbished and expanded Whitechapel Gallery, at the end of September. I'm a great fan of the Whitechapel - it has really interesting exhibitions - so I'm very much looking forward to that.

Meanwhile, still trying to stop coughing.....

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