Looking down the valley of the Loup from Montaigne du Cheiron.
Wow. I’m very interested how (still) pictures of landscape encapsulate time, in the sense that landscape = space + time, wherein the attempt to present landscape as simply space is an attempt to erase it of (other) histories (Leo Marx wrote about this in an essay called The American Ideology of Space). The poignancy in making landscape pictures lies partly in the sense that, as a representational endeavour ostensibly engaged primarily with the spatial, any representation of landscape nevertheless attempts to straddle two senses of the temporal: on the one hand the historical (in which affairs of people and their narratives are staged) and on the other the geological (that unimaginably vaster timescale which reduces all life, including human, to thin strands of compressed sediment and fossil remains in rock). Poussin seems to have got that – a thin web of human affairs stretched across a vast, ancient topos.
Thanks, Mike. Uplifting on a grey day.
If you look close enough I think you can see Manfred on the cliff.
Hi John. There’s a thoughtless, simple, thoroughly emotional attempt in holiday snaps, of which this is so definitely one, to celebrate (sorry) being there. That’s actually an attempt to put history–personal history–in. It describes the individual eye’s attempt to see. I know nothing about the Loup Gorge: but I stood there & I saw that & felt I had to have some sort of relation to it if only just to say, I’m here & it’s that amazing (ie, it resembles all those representations of “amazing” from which my vision has been constructed). As a low-modernist moment of being I like it. The trick for me in Empty Space was to show some of the characters experiencing moments like that in bleakly alienating but kitschified circumstances. That’s pretty much what both Irene the Mona & the New Men are for in that book, to suggest a sort of commodified alien sublime.
sendmeaneonheart: I think he’s just out of shot on the left.
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