Let me start by saying I love this medium, I love this artist, Cathy Bleck, I love this particular image (click here for Fred Sasaki’s beautiful Blog:Harriet article), and I love the way it looks and what it conveys on the cover of my edition of POETRY that just arrived in my mailbox in Chiang Mai just ahead of Ketsana, the terrible tropical storm that has ravaged the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia and is now on my doorstep (fingers tightly crossed!). Indeed, the photo of the Filipinos reaching out to you in the previous Blog:Scarriet post survived the same storm just two days ago, and they’re reaching out for help.
Not for What Art History Says!
This Blog:Scarriet post is about commentary that matters, and there’s precious little of that left on Blog:Harriet at the moment. For example, what do you make of this?
O.K, so Poetryfoundation.org “welcomes comments” (put your glasses on and read the fine print just above) — “comments that foster dialogue and cultivate an open community.” But how “open” is a community that ends up talking like this?
For a start, do you think the comment is about the image or the commentator? Does the commentator say what the image says or does he say what art history says in the beautiful volume of El Greco he has conveniently resting on his coffee table (along with the copy of that letter he wrote to Merwin from Toledo, of course, and those notes from the margins of his well-worn Baedeker)? But hey, why El Greco at all? Wouldn’t Cathy Bleck have been enough, such a fine artist illustrated so well in Fred Sasaki’s gallery right before him? I mean, why do we need El Greco already?
And what sort of “dialogue” do you think will follow this cerebral hi-jack, and can it be called a “community” when three of its most ardent and faithful members have been banned precisely because they did NOT talk like this, i.e. that they refused to talk shop?