Raison d’Être

Reading the essay “Freaks” in art critic Dave Hickey’s celebrated collection of essays on art and culture and came across this gem and my soul said, yes. This.

“In my own experience, it always seemed as if language was a tablecloth positioned neatly upon the table of phenomenal nature until some celestial busybody suddenly shook it out, fluttering and floating it, and letting it fall back upon the world in not quite the same position as before – thereby giving me a vertiginous glimpse into the abyss that divides the world from our knowing of it. And it is into this abyss that the “horror vacui” of…art deploys itself like an incandescent bridge. Because it is one thing to believe, on theoretical evidence, that we live in the prison house of language. It is quite another to know it, to actually peek into the slippery emptiness as the Bastille explodes around you. Yet…art takes this apparent occasion for despair and celebrates our escape from linguistic control by flowing out, filling that rippling void with meaningful light, laughter, and a gorgeous profusion.”
-Dave Hickey, “Air Guitar”


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