precisely does he mean, GUITTARRA MIA,
concerns the Rules of Grace,
question being asked concerning the work of a simple activity, what precisely
does it mean for a man to have walked across the corner of a room,
In a tango,
is a way of giving meaning, as if I hadn't yet learned to speak for myself as I
should, coolly and slowly, one sentence at a time, as if I had started too soon,
as if I lacked standing,
more than one,
the first tango was already begun,
the daughter of the mother, whose laughing rebuke had once been given before,
No, I don't think so,
provides the restraint of a double negative, as for example when I say, I am at
my best in corridors or Departure Lounges,
hear Simonides (fr. 527) speaking, Nothing
is not painful among men.
are explanations for the Rules, which are guarded by her, the Nomo-phulax,
and are written down.
way of reading, the first tango, is dramatised via the play of her hands, this
way of holding and handling, and longing for, and all the textures of exchange
way of reading is by slanting example across the diagonal. It is a geographical
mapping, the second tango constructs a guitar in the shape that a mother holds
her child, (2).
way of reading is through certain buried facts, the historical uncovering of a
specimen of one kind. The third tango describes the terror of a young child’s
tantrum, and her rage (3).
the numisma, the coinage for the whole economy (4), being Grace,
man giving and receiving said from the front room.
1. Ecce Ancilla Domine
‘Con queste parole Maria risponde all’angelo che Dio le ha inviato
per annunciarle la nascita di un figlio, concepto dallo Spirito Santo. Questo e
il titolo della mostra nata in primo luogo dall’esigenza di dostrare al publico
il restauro… sull’Anunciata attribuita a Matteo Civitali, della quale si sono
seguite le vicende connesse al suo luogo di provenczia, la Collegiata di S.
Maria Assunta a Camaoire, e quinde riflesse anche nella storia del culto.'
Ex INVITO (25 luglio – 30 settembre 2008) delle Museo d’Arte Sacra, Camaiore, Tuscana.
2. The reconstruction of Tatlin’s Corner-Counter-Relief
‘In Late 1914 Tatlin took the dramatic step of liberating
his structures completely from the wall and produced a series of corner
counter-reliefs that consisted simply of intersecting planes of metal in space,
suspended on wires or ropes across the corners of a room. Their placement, like
Malevich’s Black Square, recalled the position of the icon in the Russian
Ex From Russia (15 September 2007 – 6 January 2008),
Catalogue, Pp 192, Royal Academy of Arts, London
3. The reporting of the restoration of Danaë
‘In 1997 an exhibition was held to return Rembrandt's Danaë,
one of the most important canvases in the Hermitage collection, to public
viewing following the completion of restoration work.
On 15 June 1985 Rembrandt's painting Danaë was attacked by a maniac who poured
sulphuric acid on the canvas and cut it twice with his knife. The entire
central part of the composition was turned into a mixture of raised brown spots
with a mass of splashes, vertical incrustations and areas of lost paint.
The process of restoration began the very same day…’
Ex State Hermitage Museum, Hermitage History (2006)
4. The Simonides fr. 543 (D L Page, Poetae Melici
Graeci, Oxford 1962)
‘Let us study Simonidean iconology in another, more
colourful painting, the famous Danaë fragment.
The poem tells the story of Danaë and her infant son Perseus (* see FOOTNOTE), put to sea
in a box because of a sinister prophecy:
… (the Greek text is omitted)…
in the painted box –
wind blasting her,
waves going wild,
knocked flat by fear,
her face streaming water,
she put her hand around Perseus and said,
“ O child, what trouble I have!
Yet you sleep on soundly,
deep in infants dreams
in this bleak box of wood,
nailed together, nightflashing,
in the blue blackness you lie
Waves tower over your head,
water rolls past - you pay no attention at all,
don't hear the shriek of the wind,
you just lie still in your bright blanket,
But if to you the terrible were terrible,
you would lend your small ear
to what I am saying.
Ah now, little one, I bid you sleep.
Let the sea sleep,
let the immeasurable evil sleep.
And I pray some difference may come to light
father Zeus, from you!
Yet if my prayer is rude
or outside justice,
Throughout the poem Danaë is
awake, terrified and talking; the baby is silently, serenely asleep. Simonides
has chosen to construct the poem as an alignment of two consciousnesses: one of
them is present, active and accessible to us, the other has vanished
inwardly. One of them is cognizant of
the reality that we see stretched out around it, the other is oblivious of that
reality and apparently paying attention to something quite different behind its
difference between their two states of mind is the chief subject of Danaë’s
discourse, addressed to the baby (vv. 7-21) as the sea rises around them. Placed exactly at the centre of utterance
and her emotion is a contrafactual sentence (vv. 18-20) that operates like a
vanishing point for these two perspectives on reality:
But if to you the terrible
you would lend your small ear
to what I am saying.
In its perfect symmetry, the protasis (ei de toi deinon
to ge deinon en) is a picture of the cognitive dissonance that obtains
between these two states of mind. The
world of Danaë and the world of Perseus are set alongside one another as two
different perceptions of the same physical situation, two discrepant
definitions of the same word, to deinon, “ the terrible”. It is strange to
think how such divergence is possible…’
Ex Anne Carson, Economy of the Unlost, Princeton University
Press, 2002, Pp 55-58
Danaë conceived the child Perseus by being impregnated by Zeus in a shower of gold, no ordinary coinage, but what Sappho once described "golder than gold". Only fragments of this stuff ever reach us.