Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Did I miss the point or did he lose it??? The point that is

Wendy stated in our class with Christina, while viewing black and white pictures taken in (I forget where) that the pictures seemed sad and devoid of life (forgive me..this is not a verbatim account). Upon reading Ulmer, I share the same sentiments to a degree. Ulmer's emonuments seems sad and devoid of life in that the examples he brings to us time and again focus on disasters and the questions/desires that stem from them. Car accidents, child murders, 9/11 ...oh my! he states that emonuments must have a punctum...that it must create within a viewer a peircing that opens them to the experience of what they are taking in. I have no doubt that Ulmer priviledges death as a the ultimate punctum. Though he allows us to use emonuments for our own purposes it does not offset his example of tragedy as an exemplar: a model/original/archetype.

What of color, sublime life, and dancing?

Though he does not state that this should not be the subject matter he does not imply explicitly that it should be.

Given the restriction of the form as a monument - which entails a looking back - I wonder if it doesn't have the capacity (which I think it does) to witness through a pleasant punctum that which is all around, but due to its encompassing presence not always acknowledged. Perhaps he believes that should be relegated to the arts: poetry and the like. All forms that he taps into to inform his conception of emonuments. Perhaps it is not his intention to deal with the dead...given that a part (I hesitate to say most) of the theory which informs his emonuments comes from dead people and then maybe it was.

Though he states that emonuments are for the living - a dialouge between the living...I cant help but see the parallels between this conversation he wishes us as egents to have (supposedly new and radical) and the conversations that have gone on before. Essentially a superimposition of traditional exhibitions onto an electrate medium/media.

It seems that Ulmer might have gotten away from himself in over theorizing simple traditional tenets that have been dictating the creation of alternative forms of communication as witnessed in the arts through the ages. I wonder what Christina or Varnette Honeywood (artist), or Picasso, or Gertrude Stein, or Wanda Coleman (poet, screenwriter) would have to say about his work?
Would their collective response be:
Why / Y you've stated what we've been about all along...(aside from all the death and dying that is)

1 comment:

Donna Bowen said...

I am really interested in the comparison between B&W imagery (devoid of life) and Ulmer's examples. I am an avid photographer and I often find that people are drawn to (and often request) B&W images.

B&W imagery speaks to me in different ways than your every day color image...I tend to notice light, texture, and focus in different ways...the imagery requires a different way of seeing.

I suppose that the same can be said for Ulmer's examples. He gives us familiar images and stories, but asks us to look at them in different ways.