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16 August 2013

The blue, the blue, the blue!

Unreal Nature's "Rather than presumption" post, earlier today, quotes from a Vivian Sobchack essay on Derk Jarman's film Blue:
...the image is not "empty"...
How I wish that I could persuade the rows of art lovers who have sat, stony faced, before me as I talked myself blue (!) in the face, vainly trying to put over that very point.
Audiences whom I seek to similarly persuade of the depth and passion in Yves Klein's IKB works are equally unimpressed. I show them the intense blue of the sky between tall buildings (though not as intense as that in the steep Virginian valleys where Unreal nature is written) and invite them to wonder ... for a moment their eyes show recognition of how amazing that blue is; but when they drop their eyes again they have not altered their opinion of Klein.
I have often wondered whether Jarman had Klein in mind when he chose blue for that magical rectangle in the luminous dark ... or whether both of them were, like Robert Frost in Fragmentary blue, simply responding to a shared human entrancement described by Doris Lessing:
She had clung here and looked up and out and it had been as if her whole self had filled with a need to leave here and let herself be absorbed by that endless blue — the blue, the blue, the blue!

1 comment:

Julie Heyward said...

I love the Jarman / Klein kind of art; it's like a magician plucking a coin out of thin air. Against all expectation and belief, suddenly there it is.

Reference your blockheaded audiences, maybe try some reverse psychology? (This was a favorite among my siblings when we were in our pre- and early teens.) And/or tell them the truth; it's too good for them, so you're just not going to share. "Now please go home. Thank you for being so blue-less."