Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Carnival of the Levels

For about forty eight hours I was in full on weirdness mode as I explored a country I'd never been in. Objects, from lights to smells, seemed to float in front of their usual resting places, leering towards me like characters in an Expressionist painting.

So it was with particular delight that I visited Garden of Illustrations, an exhibition of children's book illustrations by Taiwanese artists. These sorts of illustration are within the sorts of parameter one calls “naive,” i.e. happily uninfluenced by, and not needing to take a position relative to, academic styles of art. In this they remind you of the great Henri Le Douanier Rousseau who has been mentioned before on Graham's and my blogs.

The children's illustrations worked perfectly with the strangeness of those first forty eight hours, introducing me to Taiwan via weirdness rather than trying to smooth it out into tourist normality.

Then things began to settle down and I started to see foregrounds and backgrounds again. I started to be immersed in a world. It struck me that the sensual ether of causality floats in front of the illusion of structure. That's why you don't see it. Because you are looking for something behind the structure. The secret is right out in front of it, in your face.

1 comment:

Bill Benzon said...

Tim, this gave me an opportunity to post some material that's been nagging at me for awhile. Here it is, a post on Strange Friends and New Lands.