What is Sculpture? | project reference and notes

‘You must change your life’ was the injunction that the Greek torso issued to the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. A torso without a head.
The head – of the Greek God Apollo, severed from its body and lying on one side – is seen elsewhere, held between the hands of a blind man in Jusepe de Ribera’s painting, In Sense of Touch. 
The painting was made in Naples in 1652. The poem composed in Paris and first published in 1918.
Rilke would live in Paris for twelve years, and in 1902 he became the friend, and for a time the secretary, of the sculptor Auguste Rodin. His writing during this time (1907-1908) was not about his own abstract ideas and moods, but instead about actual things outside of himself, a type of poetry he referred to as Dinggedichte (thing poems) – for example, an encounter with a panther in a zoo enclosure; children on a merry-go-round; the broken sculpture of a male figure in the Louvre Museum. The poem, ‘Archaic Torso of Apollo’, is ekphrastic – a vivid description of a visual work of art, in this case, a statue without a head, without arms or legs, without genitals – and it asks us to consider why the poet ‘sees it’ as more real, in this, its damaged condition.
Both the photograph of the statue in the Louvre’s collection, and Rilke’s poem, are ‘documents’. And this ‘document’ – in addition to studying the subject of sculpture – is the other subject of this, the second project.

(from ‘What is Sculpture?’ The second of three first semester Fine Art studio projects; General Foundation in Art & Design, DJCAD, University of Dundee.)

 







Untitled|eight eighteen – ‘My Mother’

Ghias Aljundi
John Berryman, Homage to Mistress Bradstreet, in ‘Selected Poems 1938-1968’ (Faber, 1972)
bicycles
clay plant pots
Alastair Cook (Cricketer)
Fil D’Argent, Fil D’Or (Pierre Danican Philidor 1681-1731 & Michel Pignolet de Montéclair 1667-1737: six suites for two traversos: Outhere Music, 2015)

Robert Graves, Selected Poems, edited by Michael Longley (Faber, 2013)
Grid Iron Theatre Company, South Bend, written by Martin McCormick (2018)
handerchief’s (Alec Finlay, a feather in weather)
wooden clothes pegs

Untitled|seven eighteen – And Et cetera

Brambles, thousands to a soul, march on the English aorta – and others of that species – intent on crusade in the moist arch of her cut grass. Aye, revelation in the food bank at suppertime: isolation, Fentanyl analogues, bevvy, et cetera.

The second wound: The land moved away starting to turn in the orient of sky. And as the land moved away so too a sour melody turned without light into the wound your lance made in the canvas; the Verfremdungseffekt of a supermarket trolley, contactless payment, dry cleaning, flies, et cetera.
In the sky about the wound that your lance made in the flesh, the ur-psalm of a goldfinch spread the sweet shelter of a lime tree on the bleached grass; a teenage girl slept peacefully-foetal in a space between Lenor and Comfort on the bottom tray of a shelving unit in the Household Cleaning aisle. I ask, are we all too late? Have I seen your face before? I need help from time to time: Yes, I said, we would need the guns by next spring.
L. your discovery was more than just the hole, more than just nothing.

Collecting sticks in the wood, I went over to where he was found by a dog walker, where they fly-tipped his body; over here,
This is where the officers danced the Scottish dawn.

Friday 5 January, 2018. The Hirsel, Riemore Estate, Dunkeld. Snow fell over everything. Voices grew quieter and fewer. I was no longer ashamed of my love for you. On the far hill the snow came on again, but softly, as I watched the blue numbers huddle neon deep in the weather, perhaps six hundred of a flock surrounded by brilliant light; an immense protecting veil of steam inside which were ten thousand and more eyes. You needed to be somewhere. I cleared the windscreen and windows with a flat five centimetre square piece of Plockton oak and turned the key in the ignition.

The fifth wound: A rabbit arched its back. A blossom-killing fog hung over everything. I watched a woman in grey sweats turn slowly away from a memorial of flowers that were tied to a fence. She stepped over a puddle and walked towards the other end of the car park and a spirit-blue Fiat; towards where sickly bushes rusted behind the fence, the ground around them a poisonous blush of deep red. A train went by. She pulled the key to the car from a clutch bag and a silver bullet fell to the ground – a Cyber Colours avocado lip balm.
Woven into the fence behind her car were thin strings of human guts; cold viscera; wet human guts starting to dry in the gentle breeze. The rest had been bagged by early morning, and hastily stored in a chest freezer in the Coated Fish aisle before the red mud had had a chance to harden on it; before he had had a chance to harden on her:

The night bled outwith her; her room, saturated in a porcelain silence that flowed and flowed like starlight coming into truth in the white-washed air at the end of her bed: linseed, yellow ochre, plaster of Paris, carmine and hawthorn, taking form;

Daisy, dandelion, smooth meadow-grass, orchard grasses … pitiless small birds flitted around the wooden kirk, and to everything later, et cetera.

Untitled|six eighteen

M.H. Abrams, The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition (OUP, 1953)
John Barbour, HARDSOFT (Australian Experimental Art Foundation & Yuill/Crowley, 2011)
James Brooks, Spoils (Offord Road Books, 2018)
Common Mouse-ear
Cross-hatching
14 degrees and breezy from the west north west.
David Hayden, Darker With The Lights On: Stories (Little Island Press, 2018)
Hinnonmaki yellow (Gooseberry)
Sean O’Brien, Europa (Picador, 2018)
Venus Durathin (Thin lead-coloured pencils / 50-9 Blue), Venus Pencil Co., Ltd. (England, 1950)


At Forest of Ae on the final stage of Round 3 of the POC Scottish Enduro Series – wearing the tartan sleeves of team Basecamp Bikes.


After the first three rounds … with Basecamp Bikes owner, Lindsay Carruthers, at the front of the field after an inspired performance at Ae Forest.

Untitled|five eighteen – Vine black

Amoxicillin
BASP UK – Outdoor Emergency First Aid
C366H384O228FeMg.

As a boy he would sit on the carpet with his back against his bed and listen, with his eyes closed, to the singing birds.

Highland, to plant limes beside the spring, to purify and sweeten the water.
Shaun Prescott, The Town (Brow Books, 2017)
Soil

The world, as wide as your sides, but masked by fashion and comfort.
‘Twice five, twice five, twice five …’
Vine black – rushlight.
Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Ivan the Terrible and Ivan the Fool. Translated by Daniel Weissbort (Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1979)