Showing posts with label Medusa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Medusa. Show all posts

Thursday, May 03, 2012

The Artist and Her Muse

The Artist and Her Muse, 2012, 12" x 17", charcoal on primed canvas sheet.

This charcoal drawing has been re-named to what I really drew it for. The Medusa is the dreamy poet's muse. I wrote a poem about this half a dozen years ago. It is in my manuscript, which I'm currently shopping around.

At first, I thought the image was too sexual, but then I gave the artist breasts, in a manner of speaking, and so I allow the sexualization of these creative women. Write with your 'white ink,' says Cixous in The Laugh of the Medusa.

Do read this essay if you haven't already. Found on-line, just to give you a taste of her text:
In "The Laugh of the Medusa" [1975] Cixous discusses how women have been repressed through their bodies all through history. She suggests that if women are forced to remain in their bodies as a result of male repression than they can do one of two things. The first option is to remain trapped inside their body, thereby perpetuating the passivity women have been apart of throughout history. The second option is to use the female body as a medium of communication, a tool through which women can speak. This is ironic given the body, the very thing women have been defined by and trapped within, can now become a vehicle in transending the boundries once created by the body.
with thanks to The Madame - this charcoal sketch was based on one of her photographs of the Gorgon session at The Keyhole.

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.

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Medusa (sketch 1)

"Although Nietzsche had embarked upon the destruction of all idols, he too, in this way, recognized the desire for death inherent in the desire for truth at any cost. The philosopher who wants to examine all things 'in depth', discovers the petrifying abyss. The destiny of the man whom Nietzsche refers to as 'the Don Juan of knowledge' will be paralyzed as if by Medusa, and will himself be 'changed into a guest of stone' (Morgenröte i.e. the Dawn of Day, 327, 1881). This is also the destiny of the 'lover of truth' who, in the Dionysos Dithyramben (1888) appears to be 'changed into a statue/into a sacred column'. Nietzsche, who was aware of the necessity 'for the philosopher' to live within the 'closed circuit of representation' (Derrida), to seek the truth even if he no longer believes in it, without ever being able to attain it, devised his own version of the 'truth', his Medusa's head, the Eternal Return: 'Great thought is like Medusa's head: all the world's features harden, a deadly, ice-cold battle' (Posthumous Fragments, Winter 1884-5)."

Medusa (sketch 1), 2012, 12" x 17", charcoal on primed canvas sheet, digitally altered.

The pink lines I think could be whitened, but I haven't thus far been able to figure out how to do it in Photoshop since the pink is a strange combination of pink and white pixels with orange and sometimes also black single pixels embedded within them. Coating it all with a whiter shade of pink doesn't work since it loses its grainy, cave-like quality. I may have to leave it as it is.