Sunday, April 25, 2010

Collage 41

Art and the Text

I’ve been thinking about what I tried to express, and what Lola wrote in the blog a few entries ago based on a conversation we had while were working in the studio. I think it’s not that I prefer a literal translation of the text into a collage, it’s that I am searching for more of a connection between the text and the collage. Literal to me implies a picture of some sort, or more direct illustration of what’s on the page. And that’s not really what I’m after.

I have been wondering what the connection is between the collage and the text - I mean, we’re using W&P, pages with Tolstoy’s words on them, but….why? just because it’s there? Could we just as well be using any other text, Ladie’s Home Journal, People Magazine, a John Grisham novel, etc.?

What’s striking me as I read W&P, is that there’s so much there!

On a physical / literal level, there’s Tolstoy’s descriptions of the armies, the military , the battles,, all of which are so vivid and detailed, and which he researched so thoroughly; his descriptions of the high-society parlours among the Russian elite – I keep visualizing a PBS Jane Austen-esque adaptation when I read these…

There’s his commentary on human nature, human emotions, and human behavior – the way he’s able to describe how someone’s doing something, and it conveys an emotion and a point of view that is somehow universal and familiar, and resonates – whether it is a critique of someone’s behavior or attitude, or simply an observation.

Then there’s the language, repetitive as he wants to be, but it works – I guess what Tolstoy would say, words repeat themselves as much as they need to be repeated, no more, no less.

There’s the threads of ideas about God, action, love, free will – he keeps saying things like “and it could not have been any other way.”

There’s the frequent use of color descriptors, as Lynn pointed out (now I notice them all the time). Some of it conveys the picture, some conveys mood or tone.

I have no idea what this all means in relation to connecting the collage to the text – I don’t know what that would look like…

But I’m curious. Thoughts? --Lulu

Lucy Zahner Montgomery
page 89-90 from original text
made 3/26/10
collage and acrylic paint on paper

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