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.

07 October 2017

Guggenheim Museum (Director's Cut)

Frank Lloyd Wright with a model of the Guggenheim Museum, 1945.
FIAPCE after Ben Schnall/LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Otagaki Rengetsu (1791-1875), a Japanese Buddhist nun, great in many disciplines. 

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), a great United States architect. 

How interesting it could have been if the Guggenheim Building Committee had accepted Wright's initial proposal for an 'enlightenment dome' based on a work by Rengetsu.

Wright explained to journalists at the 1945 Plaza Hotel unveiling of the initial model that his design was in the form of an inverted ziggurat. He emphasised that he saw it as a spiral ascending outward.

Otagaki Rengetsu, whose chosen name means Lotus Moon, designed many of her ceramics as a lotus rising out of the darkness and mud, ascending through the clarifying water toward the moon of enlightenment that ringed the open circle lip of her cups and bowls.

Otagaki Rengetsu, saké cup
Oscar Wilde, 'We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.'

Wright proposed a union of Eastern and Western wisdom-seeking forms. Education moving towards enlightenment. A transparent dome with radiating lotus pad orbs, centred with great jade frog.
The old pond;
A frog jumps in —
The sound of the water.

(Basho, translation R H Blyth)

The old pond!
Bashô jumps in,
The sound of the water!
(Sengai, translation by Robert Aitken)

Gallery Open :
entry by gold coin -
(Theatre of the Actors of Regard, translation by FIAPCE)

At the 1945 press conference, Wright showed the Rengetsu teapot lid inspiration and (in his hands, above) the proposed, stylised, lotus pads transparent dome upon which would sit the great jade frog.

Unfortunately, the Director's Cut was rejected. Instead, the newly self-confident USA opted for an oculus rather than a dome. Preferring to be overseen by the Eye of God and of Providence rather than commit to the self liberation of the many.

US One Dollar note with the Eye of God

The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States, the current post-1954 version, with the capitalised Nation and the added-in words under God : 

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

photo : Sean Mathis  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...