Reading John Berger's collection of short essays of art criticism, I just came across this:
"What the painting by Bosch does is to remind us -- if prophecies can be called reminders -- that the first step towards building an alternative world must be a refusal of the world-picture implanted in our minds and all the false promises used everywhere to justify and idealise the delinquent and insatiable need to sell. Another space is vitally necessary.”
(John Berger, The Shape of a Pocket)
@jk "Cows are very delicate on their feet: they place them like models turning on high-heeled shoes at the end of their to-and--fro." (JB)
@jk Here's another quote from the same essay.
"Hope, however, is an act of faith and has to be sustained by other concrete actions. For example, the action of approach, of measuring distances, and walking toward. This will lead to collaborations which deny discontinuity. The act of resistance means not only refusing to accept the absurdity of the world-picture offered us, but denouncing it. And when hell is denounced from within, it ceases to be hell."
@katebowles I need to read some of these, i got really into Ways of Seeing and some of his 80s channel 4 stuff last year
@jk He is a beautiful writer and thinker, and a good source for sustainable left ideas. The Shape of a Pocket looks at art practice grounded in the realities of resistance, the materialities of being human in a body.
@jk "Cows are compliant, yet they refuse to be hurried." (JB)
@katebowles What a find! Do you have to take your world picture by force to reject and replace, I wonder, or can it be done gradually like a dawning?
@taniasheko I think the tone in our times invite haste and breakage. There's just so much to be angry about, and people are searching for legitimate but violent gestures to reject with great force the bad.
But I sense a gradual unwinding may last longer, a disentangling from this world of the sell, and careful relocation to another space.
@katebowles @taniasheko I think it can also be done gently, but takes effort as it is neither easy nor readily accepted (socially). Someone I heard today said (about looking at an employability graph of all things) we don't have to accept this. These are perceptions, and if evidence/sense/gut tells us otherwise then there is no reason not to choose to redefine through another lens.
"We don't have to accept this."
I want this embroidered, I want a t-shirt.
But I also want to think about "evidence/sense/gut" and the things that are really troubling to us about who believes what in the world.
Do we need, should there be, some reference points?
The academic colleague who works in the office next to mine genuinely believes climate variation is not the result of human action. He believes this.
What is faith?
@taniasheko @lauraritchie This is the thing that troubles me about the present time. For a long time critical theorists said "We must be open to the radical possibility that facts are only the stories told by the powerful." Now we're not sure how to defend ourselves against the return of this logic in other hands.
jumbled thoughts follow. 1. reference points yes, but they involve eyes open and active education. 2 Faith in goodness is important, but active blindness - and for me that is anything that is not actively learning and seeking is not what I would aim for. 3 reference points are difficult. so many lenses - and they are not all facts, as we know.
@katebowles @econproph @taniasheko we have to find a lens to focus it all. I think there is something in perspective. For me I often find myself on the outside of other people's vision of society... back to faith, truth, values, and often that doesn't fit with 'societal' projections. ...maybe I'm just eccentric!
@katebowles I found it!! the quote you shared! scrolled back ...and back... and now I've ordered the book :)
@lauraritchie Oh I hope you enjoy it! It's one I love to keep near me.
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