Angel of [my] History
Artist and model, both are works in progress. They are a dialectic of the lone sleeper. They are dream, alternating in both senses of ‘dream,’ both the sense of a bored and frustrated mind (being asleep and therefore deprived of ‘real’ sensations) making up perceptions from a brain’s randomly firing neurons and in the sense of a fantasy as a possible–and for the most part–pleasurable scenario for ‘real’ life.
‘His face is turned toward the past.
Where we perceive a chain of events,
he sees one single catastrophe
which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage
and hurls it in front of his feet’
—Walter Benjamin commenting
on ‘Angelus Novus,’ a painting by Paul Klee.
The drawings start ‘in here’ as a mental image. they become more ‘out there’ with time. They go from word-sketch, which is simply a means not to forget the ever-so-fleeting image. Then to pencil, to photoshop, to back to paraphrasing in words. I go farther out there–online– to find connections between what I’ve drawn out from my own head and the real world, in a way to justify what I’ve already committed to making public of.
This time I searched ‘dialectic’ because the flipping in and out of canvases seemed like one; and ‘image’ because it, for sure, is one. Those searches lead me to ‘dialectic therapy’ and ‘dialectic images’ which lead me to Benjamin then to Klee. I stopped there, for now.
The dialectic image as therapy; synthesizing from an analysis, thesis and antithesis share a bed. back and forth, in and out up and down, even here/now and there/some day. The therapists say, ‘observe, describe, participate.’ The gestures are recorded whether they conflict or compliment. Do I understand Benjamin’s concept of a dialectical image? No, but I’ll try again. Did i find some new Klees to like? Yes. You should look up Klee and ‘A Spirit Serves a Small Breakfast, Angel Brings the Desired.’