Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Medusa (sketch 2)

I like Nietzsche's bifocal view of the Medusa (and Derrida's take on it, but that is another aspect perhaps to explore later), even if this quote does not fully express my interpretation of her. While I prefer not to quote a critic, I haven't been able to find my copy of The Birth of Tragedy on my shelves yet.
"...the stake of...[the] reading of Nietzsche is the relation between Apollo and Dionysus, understood as the hierarchical relation between appearance and essence, and between metaphor and meaning. "Nietzsche was certainly right," de Man writes, "when he referred to the nature of the Dionysus/Apollo relationship as 'the capital question [die Hauptfrage]'" (90). In the opening sections of The Birth of Tragedy, the present chapter proposes, Nietzsche's Hauptfrage takes the form of a Medusenhaupt, a Medusa's head. Medusa appears in these sections as one figure among others for what Nietzsche calls Dionysus, ostensibly serving to sustain the opposition between Apollo and Dionysus that would allow for their genetic and dialectical relations and for their ontological hierarchy to be established. But the Medusa myth is also a figure in Nietzsche's text for an inextricable, non-dialectical fusion of Apollo and Dionysus; in this latter capacity, it undermines the opposition that Medusa in her first capacity establishes and supports. The second figure puts into question not only the opposition between Apollo and Dionysus but also the structure that underlies that opposition: the logocentric model privileging meaning over metaphor, truth over appearance, Dionysian music over Apollonian words, and authentic presence over representation. So the Medusa motif winds up playing a double role in Nietzsche's text, not unlike Medusa's head in Freud's essay, and the Medusenhaupt emblematizes for Nietzsche a double aspect of Hauptfrage."

The Medusa Effect: Representation and Epistemology in Victorian Aesthetics by Thomas Albrech (quoted from Google Books).

I'm showing you the three stages in the second Medusa drawing. While the original sketch is quite powerful, it is still in process, and my intention is to add a small amount of colour with some paint. In the meantime, I have created two digital drawings out of my original sketch (yesterday's is here).


Medusa (sketch 2), digital final, 2012, 12" x 17", original is charcoal on primed canvas sheet.


Medusa (sketch 2), mask layer, 2012, 12" x 17", original is charcoal on primed canvas sheet.


Medusa (sketch 2), 2012, 12" x 17", charcoal on primed canvas sheet.


Because I didn't know about The Keyhole life drawing sessions when they did The Gorgon, 
I based  my drawing on one of the photographs by The Madame.

brendaclews.com