Thursday, February 5, 2009

"One Point: Perspective"

"But if there were a king over us all again and he sought counsel of a mage, as in the days of old, and I were that mage, I would say to him: My lord, do nothing because it is righteous or praiseworthy or noble to do so; do nothing because it seems good to do so; do only that which you must do and which you cannot do in any other way." 
Ursula K. LeGuin   The Farthest Shore  1972

Pictorially, Western Painting has adopted the visual geometry of perspective to create an illusory sense of  tangible depth. Paintings have utilized this strategy of seeing not only to imitate, but rather also to impose and maintain a right sense of ownership. Not just in the way that a painting may be owned as property but also in the way that a viewer may take ownership of that which is being seen. This translates beyond the boundaries of the frame and begins to include the 'outer' world as a whole. To see is to own.
As we scramble about to formulate a soulution to our sociatal malaise, let us please take a breath and realize that our sense of loss (if indeed that is what we are experiencing) may not be something to be reclaimed or even necessarily solved. 
Perhaps now is the moment when we may re-frame the concept of perspective as stance.
Perhaps now is the time to understand that we may adjust our stance to behold each individual and each moment as unique.
To understand that we are standing on gravel.
  Theodor Adorno embraced this particular understanding of perspective when he said, "Intolerance of ambiguity is the mark of an authoritarian personality."

No comments: