(un)knowability

Friends, I have done my stress-cooking for the night — and consumed the goods much too quickly for there to be photographic evidence. I have moved on, in my nocturnal navigations, to completing my House of Cards mini-bender whilst delaying my return to the more perfunctory tasks that await me. The hour, once again, is quite late. My eyes threaten to fuse shut if I don’t remove my contact lenses, which I will do just as soon as I introduce you to a gorgeously confounding collection of photographs I found over on Slate — as part of my equally perfunctory practice of procrastination — published under the heading “Narratives of Unknowability.” And I wondered, as my eyes flitted between and across images, whether that is perhaps the best descriptor of modern art: a quality of unknowability, rendering the art critic (nascent and knowing) essentially disempowered from the discomfort that comes from not knowing what to make of something. It is perhaps less an exercise in explication* and more an endeavor of experience — specifically, an attempt to create experiences for audiences, both known and unknown.

Eyes near-crying now… so without further ado, the photo essay.

(and below, two from the collection that I especially adore)

_______

*much of what is maddening about maneuvers in minutia is steeped in an ardent pursuit of explication as both the preferred mode of communication and redress. first to go is any sense that there may be more than one way to see something, to pursue something, to consider action or not. too eager are the explicators to explicate, to offer the answer. or, as a student noted, the all-too-common practice of seeing singularly without recognizing the harm done by adopting a stance toward difference as inferior. put simply, ranciere was on to something; thanks to d for reminding me of it.

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