Not to do with my recent immigration but a conversation I had with my father. Though I will take this moment and, as an aside, say that I went to a very interesting exhibit at the Museum of Latin American Art in Buenoes Aires. It was a “perspectiva” on an artist called Jorge Macchi, who did all sorts of very interesting art including a room with a disco ball in it and holes cut into the floor, ceiling, and walls wherever its light hit. My favourite was three plain pieces of paper that were attached by their uppermost edge to the wall. If you lifted them up and looked underneath you would see that they were actually lined or graph papers, but their markings were on the wall intsead of on them. It was called “Shy.” What I liked about the show was how much it made “looking at art” into an active process (you had, or were invited, to touch, rearrange, peer, crane your neck, and listen) while still being made up of physical objects that were delicate, skillfully made, and aesthetically appealing. I’m old fashioned, I’m afraid – I like to look at beautiful things. Here’s a movie of them installing the exhibit, which gives you some sneakpeeks if you’re interested!
Anyway, rather anti-climactically, this is what I actually here to post!
When you put your eye on level with an image printed on good quality paper, you will see a rolling expanse of dimples stretching out before you like the waves of a very tiny, immobilised ocean. The need to touch it will feel strangely urgent, like it is with when you see the grooved brush strokes of an oil painting, and you will want to align your skin with its. Sometimes the desire to touch art is so strong that I wonder if we need to feel something in order to see it clearly.