I'm supposed to be recruiting new art students right now. But, instead I sit in my empty presentation room, with my beautiful website work on a screen taunting me, and no one to watch the amazing 360 degree video tour I was so excited to bust out on them this morning. Art is a tough sell. Interdisciplinarity is hard for some to understand, and here I sit, an artist, thinking about fencing and poetry.
My friend, the Dr. of Physics has convinced me to take up fencing. So last week I went to my first lesson with her. The attendees included she and I (middle-aged female academics in nice shoes) a couple adult men, a couple teenage men, a nice couple in their early 20's and one single teenage woman. Our instructor, Deirdre, was an extremely good and enthusiastic teacher. And, of course...the saber, the mask, the funky jacket. Good equipment. Romantic and threatening equipment. Plus archaic Italian terminology. Thus, I plan to continue wielding a sharp object, at a length of 3 feet.
I seem to be becoming some sort of a old-fashioned European man. I'm trying to write sestinas now, and the odd thing is, the language of my profession fits the poem's language requirements really well. In textiles, we use words of many meanings: fabric, material, fiber, and so forth. As I constantly tell my students, the history of textiles is the history of humankind, period. Was the wheel a more or less important an invention than the string? It only depends on if your goal is to move things or hold things down, it seems to me.
So far, my sestinas are hopeless hackneyed things, but I see hope. I think I will be able to craft both a passable sestina and a visual companion for it, expressing whatever it says in two ways. While I was before rejecting the idea of writing a sestina using the simplicity of color names to match my first drawdown, I now wonder if the simplicity is false, and the complexity lies within the choice of color words. I know a bit about the history of colors, of course, because, dye, right? Pigment. And for the past 3 years or so, since I was taken to the Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, the geometry involved in composing a page of illuminated text has been on my mind as well (did you know, it follows music time? I learned this in Kalamazoo when I spoke with artist Daniel Mitsui - "The other way to determine proportions in medieval art is musical, based on the aesthetic writings of St. Augustine. Everywhere the ratios of 1:2, 2:3 and 3:4 appear; these correspond to the pitch ratios that produce the harmonic intervals favored in medieval music: octave, perfect fifth and perfect fourth." ) A sestina with an illustrated border might be in order here but is it too obvious? And would it be interesting after one go? Don't want to be a spinning bore. Or boar.
So...am I becoming a French monk, perhaps...who used to be a swordsman, or who is in drag? I've no idea. I'd be a lousy monk; one pair of sandals, for instance, wouldn't do. But I continue to wonder why I keep returning to old things...fencing is an old art, not unladylike if the vintage photos on Pinterest are to be believed. In order to be a real vintage Valentine, all I need is a heart-shaped patch above that organ on my jacket. Stitching one of those on will be the easiest task I have ahead.
Martin Creed: What's the point of it?
1 day ago