pure

by uzwi

Some kind of directness of image which would obviate all that narrative guff. You can find it in Surrealism, traditional ghost stories, 15th Century engravings of witches’ cats, in unwriterly reports of hallucinations, madness, alien abductions. A clear, if incidental, implication of something past what can be seen in the image itself. (That’s to say: Does the engraver indicate, here, something extra to the idea of witchness or catness or “the diabolic” ?) Of course I’m not saying it would be more than words on a page. But it would be the exact opposite of an ad, which never stops nudging & winking & coming on to you, as pumped up with semiotics as a tennis player is with hormones; or a “story”, which never stops producing neat rationales for its own events or teaching you about what it wants you to conclude. I’m not even saying that the kind of work I mean would lift a lid on a brief glimpse of something–that strikes me as a fully-(old)fashioned narrative in itself; only that, in it, the obvious & the not-obvious would be superposed from the beginning. It would be full of images which believed in their own charisma. I’m looking for a word like “purity” to describe images like these, even though they clearly aren’t pure. What you see is not what you get, even though you’re never offered anything else. There would be some kind of honesty & simplicity in the way they were offered, because they wouldn’t need to be packaged for consumption (though of course they might be quickly annexed as a style). What comes to mind again is Petra Freeman’s animation Jumping Joan, which you can’t get on the web, but you can see her The Mill.

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