Monthly Archives: June 2010

Footnoting our being as humans …


I was asked to write something about the work of art present from several illustrious fine artists. The moment I take a look at the papers in which their works were printed on, my mouth coincidently mumbling, “…life-notes.”

Those notes are life documentary as suggested by Danny Gregory (2008) which ‘is an art form that must be experienced as it was created’. These are works that is actually not intended to be shared to everybody. What would we see in this kind works of art is:
“You see moment being recorded in sequence. You see ideas unfold and deepen. You see risk, mistakes, regrets, thoughts, lessons, dreams…” (Gregory, 2008, p. 1)

Artists who passed over their works here are sharing their secrecy and intimacy, and their works disclosed the world of being. The kind of work that preceded the work of art is considered as a work of art by its own being. Oliver Mongin (1993) in The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader said that ‘it is the gestation of humanity that will go on completing itself forever improvising opened a limitless field of discovery, set forth the world “to be painted” or “to be sketched,” calling for an indefinite future of painting’.

Exploration. Observation. Expression. Construction of lifes. Whenever one may think, he/she could made contemplative act in his/her everydayness through sketching or doodling on merely any surface spontaneously. It is a way of being creative, a primordial talent that God gave to us as human being. Visual thinking is a mode of being that was practiced daily. Being open, seeing, listening, elucidating and participating in the world is essential. Although these Paperworks were made individually by particularly artists involved here, their identities appeared as suggestive reading sequences. It is necessary to mention notes from Robyn McCallum (1999):

“Concepts of personal identity and selfhood are formed in dialogue with society, with language, and with other people, and while this dialogue is ongoing,…. Conceptions of subjectivity are intrinsic to narratives of personal growth or maturation, to stories about relationships between the self and others, and to explorations of relationships between individuals and the world, society or the past …”

The identity being appears through the Paperworks is socially constructed in a dialogical space-time. The identity is not calculative or summative but subjectively correlated each works to others upon its mysterious gaze. “… a view that the mysterious and unknown remains relevant to our everyday life, “said Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei, “as a potential halo surrounding the most ordinary things and experiences”. Nevertheless, in his seminal essay ‘The Origin of the Work of Art’ Martin Heidegger refused the accounts of the artwork as representation of actual objects, as the container of aesthetic feeling, or as self-expression of an artistic genius. Simply to put, art is the manifestation of truth itself for truth is Being’s self-disclosure in tension with its concealment and this Paperworks is consider as the happening of such truth. “All art, as the letting happen of the advent of the truth of being, is as such, in essence, poetry.” According to Gosseti-Frencei (2007) poetry for Heidegger means a projective saying, “…by naming beings, language makes them manifest as something; it draws them out, projects them as what they are, in their Being.”(p.186) Truth is not the adequate correlation between a thought or idea and external facts; rather it is unconcealment.

Creating. Writing. Footnoting. The role of a writer is to capture and construct the world manifest through language, whilst language is not merely an abstract system of signs perse. We experience and understand language as opening us onto a world, to such quasi-perceptual effects as mood, inflection and silence. Literary language has a ‘halo signification’ comparable to ‘the mute radiance of painting’. There is a tacit language, and painting speaks in this way says Maurice Merleau-Ponty. As a matter of fact, this Paperworks is a kind of writing, as aforementioned above that it is a ‘life-notes’. Footnoting is a bodily act that is an intertwining of vision and movement. The visual world is saturated with motor sense in virtue of our bodily continuity with the world we perceive which according to Merleau-Ponty that visibility is the intuitively felt reality of things disclosed to us as part of dense, opaque world, the milieu in which things show up, amid other things. This Paperworks explicate the world through its writing and it is footnoting our being as humans.

Karna Mustaqim

Gregory, D. (2008). An Illustrated Life: An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers. Cincinnati, Ohio: HOW Books.
Mongin, O. (1993). Since Lascaux, in Johnson, G.A., The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader. Illinois: Northwestern University Press, (pp.248-249).
McCalum, R. (1999). Ideologies of Identity in Adolescent Fiction: The Dialogical Construction of Identity. New York & London: Garland Publishing Inc., (p. 3).
Gosseti-Ferencei, J. A. (2007). The Ecstatic Quotidian: Phenomenological Sightings in Modern Art and Literature. Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, (p. 9).
Heidegger, M. (1977, 2008). Basic Writings: Martin Heidegger. New York: Harper Perrenial. (p.197).
Carman, T. (2008). Merlea
u-Ponty. London & New York: Routledge, (p. 198)
ibid., (p. 184-190).