Eleventh Hours

Episode One Hundred Forty One: Eleventh Hours.
In which the clock turns.

1 comment:

  1. Summer vacation to Art Gallery at Yale in New Haven, and then the National Gallery in D.C., left imprint of modern-infused outlines, sketched existence.

    The first frame is actually a freeze of the 'nudge, nudge' Monty Python sketch ("Candid Photography", 1969). This worked, though it's certainly too vaguely rendered to be evident in this frame, because Idle's character is blindly enthusiastic in an inappropriate way. I've been identifying with him lately, which is an odd experience because I’m rarely enthusiastic, blindly or otherwise.

    Standing by itself, though, the image appears to convey energy and camaraderie, albeit through fleetingly loose outlines. I’d argue that the lack of weight and substance around that sense of community is the point.

    The second a Morris Louis painting ("Beta Kappa", 1961). Saw some of his work in Washington. We had a Louis print on the wall when I was growing up: broad, standing vertical lines of washed color against a white background. This one is two arrays of color that bottom out in the center, as if a bridge of color has just collapsed.

    Seeing this at the National Gallery was apropos of my experience visiting family during this trip: The childhood experience no longer able to bear weight, but the fallen result still enticing.

    The third, a Giacometti bust ("Grande tete mince", 1955). This particular head we didn’t see, but his work did play an unexpectedly prominent role in both locations, my appreciation of him bolstered by the 2017 biopic starring Geoffrey Rush (Final Portrait, Dir. Tucci). It’s not clear to me whether it was Giacometti’s intent, but one review noted: “…his urge to reduce appearance to its strictest kernel would result in his picking away so much of the substance of his figures that they became absolutely tiny – at the end of the war, he was said to have returned to Paris with several years’ worth of sculptures carried in large match boxes.” (from the bio at ‘ordovasart.com’)

    This impulse, incidental as it may have been, a striking outcome; the cogs of modern existence having whittled humanity down to a nub. Do cogs whittle? Is that a mixed metaphor?

    The fourth frame is a depiction of a Fibonacci clock (designed by Philippe Chretien, basbrun.com), and this one reads either eleven o’clock or eleven fifty five, depending on the interpretation of the shaded blocks (hours only, or both hours and minutes). Either way, we are clearly in the Eleventh Hour.

    So, an end is imminent. Community, family, humanity - all have desiccated and collapsed. The lack of weight, indicating lack of substance, also giving me a refreshingly peaceful chance to breathe. The heaviest fill here is the weight in the frame around the third panel, and that itself feels uncluttered. Horror Vacui is reserved for another time.



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