David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

04 April 2010

Fight the Power

What are we to make of this?

Fight the Cube : a pocket-size meta-projection propaganda toy for children. There are no images on its wheel, which is entirely as shown above. That is, as one rotates the wheel through a complete revolution the 'image' projected remains the same. This from the culture that brought us, "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose." But why round on the Cube? Even the corners of this device have been rounded : Square v Circle : CUBE V SPHERE :

Art critic Louis Vauxcelles seeded the term "cubism" in 1908 when he described a picture by Georges Braque as "full of little cubes". (In 1905 Vauxcelles excoriated the group of painters around Matisse, as well as their admirers, as Les Fauves (the wild beasts) and, after Cubism, Tubism in 1911 to deride the style of Leger.)

Maisons à l'Estaque
Georges Braque (1882-1963)

Is it possible that before this there had already been a children's anti-Cube movement in France? That there were anti-Cube-ists before Cubism? It would appear so. What might they have called themselves? From this artifact, Le Cercle de Lumière perhaps. But who knows. (*More research needs to be done on this.)

Is it possible that as a child EN FRANCE the young Georges B was excluded from such a patriotic membership? It seems likely his friends would have been aware of the photo portrait reproduced below, which is known to have been displayed in the family home. Someone pictured thus would hardly be an obvious anti-Cube candidate.

Rejected by his peers, did a formative psychodrama later play out as a petty and reactionary (rather than revolutionary, as has been previously proposed) Le Monde Est la Cube! determination in early adult life? Cubism! (And Picasso, of course, knew a good thing when he saw it.)

Or, as the old Braque family photograph invites us to consider, was Georges Braque born a Cubist?

Georges Braque

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something ...