Mirrors & Shadows

“Ten times a day you must overcome yourself.  You must want to burn yourself up in your own flame.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche-

The Shadow, Andy Warhol
The Shadow, Andy Warhol

“the lesson is clear: one is multiple, the same is different, the representation is the negative of the person…both original and copy, identical and different, they are the same and the other, interchangeable and monumental…In the dark room of his studio, Warhol develops himself.  In so doing he ‘unmakes’ himself.”

-Victor Stoichita-

Shadows, Andy Warhol
Shadows, Andy Warhol

“Death follows artists around like their shadow and I think that’s one of the reasons artists are so conscious of the vulnerability and nothingness of life.”

-Francis Bacon-

Children singing choruses.  Joyous chants and rhymes.  Distant.  Repetition forming memory.

Chasing shadows, or running from.  Self-same body blocking sun.  To be sought, to be feared.  Identical and strange.

Known alone in traces and reflections.

I say that “I” was young once.  That it’s only patterns of light, only the passing of time, only angles of vision.

I repeat myself.

Each day reassembling, developing, dissembling, to reassemble again.  My body a gathering post.

Mirroring image has gone from the closest thing to self-awareness we might uncover to a flat reflective surface full of nothing.  Ephemeral and changing by the second, dependent on the looker, a vacant mirage.

Shadow has proceeded from a designator of real presences to an outline of actual vacuity.  From a measurable symbol of substance to a vague hint of objects passing.

Voices like a bag of small bells and grass.  Something shaking and stirred.  Snippets of a tune, the catchy parts.

What I can tell I read, observe, attend and consider, opening a dialogue of days.  But I only get to see in glimpses and portions.  A hand moving, holding an instrument here; flat feet from crossed legs there; a shoulder, some hair of a beard, the frames of glasses.  I don’t see myself seeing, nor see myself as seen.

There’s the mirror and the shadow – intangible, eminently interpretable and malleable “things” – emphases of the transitory.  Receptacles like language – merely signs or indices – pointing back at absence.

Moment, moment, moment…now then now then now…endless fantasies of dissection moving round the room, faster than shuttling clips of film.  A self presenting / representing itself after again, appearances only, shimmering skein mingling veils of light…

While they sing like breezes dreaming – “Who sees?” and “What is seen?”

He who has ears let him hear,

bypassing illusion,

in marks and gestures

Question

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4 thoughts on “Mirrors & Shadows

  1. This i liked very much, but i can’t quite identify what it is exactly that thrilled me. Read it twice, and i’m thinking a third is coming. Sure sign of good writing Mr Filbert!

  2. Mirrors and shadows
    Heart of the art.
    Echoes and simulacra
    Percussive breath.
    A wonder
    We know
    Anything at all
    Or think we do.

    This is a rich meal, this one. I love: ‘My body a gathering post’

"A word is a bridge thrown between myself and an other - a territory shared by both" - M. Bakhtin

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