El lago vertical
(Derrida) DERRIDA, Jaques. la Estructura, el signo y el juego en el discurso de las ciencias humanas. 1966. Pag. 2, 3.
(Paz) PAZ, Octavio. La apariencia desnuda. La obra de Marcel Duchamp. 1973. Comentarios sobre el gran Vidrio.
(Da Vinci) Leonardo Da Vinci. Tratado de Pintura.
Fúcares Gallery presents a second solo show by Rubén Ramos Balsa (Santiago de Compostela, 1978) in its space in Madrid.
Discussion on The Absent Structure of Naked Appearance.
The Vertical Lake
Notes for an introduction to the problem
Umberto Eco opens the discussion about the problem. Four timeless speakers discuss some aspects of the issue:
– Communicating two mechanical devices-
(Eco) If every cultural phenomenon is an act of communication and can be explained through the pattern of any communicational act, it will be appropriate to individualize the elemental structure of communication where this takes place-or, better yet-in its minimal terms. In other words, at the level at which a transfer of information between two mechanical devices takes place.
(Arnheim) If they were not symmetrically located with respect to one another, their fusion would be facilitated and the whole strengthened, and thus inverted. This coincidence of being whole and part simultaneously is another aspect of interaction not representable by discursive formulation.
(Derrida) It would be easy to show that the concept of structure and even the word structure are as old as the episteme, that is to say, as old as Western science and Western philosophy, and that their roots thrust deep into the soil of ordinary language, into whose deepest recesses the episteme plunges to gather them together once more, making them part of itself in a metaphorical displacement.
(Paz) In art all that matters is form. Or more exactly: forms are the conveyors of meanings. Form projects sense; it is a signifying device.
– Structure and centre-
(Arnheim) To perceive any object or event is to see it as a configuration of forces, and being aware of the universality of such configurations is an integral part of every perceptual experience.
(Derrida) structure, or rather the structurality of structure, although it has always been at work, has always been neutralized or reduced, and this by a process of giving it a centre or referring it to a point of presence, to a fixed origin. The function of this centre was not only to orient, balance and organize the structure-one cannot in fact conceive of an unorganized structure-but above all to make sure that organizing principle of the structure would limit what we might call the freeplay of the structure. No doubt that by orienting and organizing the coherence of the system, the centre of a structure permits the freeplay of its elements inside the total form. And even today the notion of a structure l acking any centre represents the unthinkable itself.
(Arnheim) The mind cannot sustain two different structural organizations of the same design at the same time: it cannot help but subordinate one to the other. Consequently, the mind provides the necessary hierarchy by alternatively conceding predominance to each one of the structures. At a given instant the whole prevails, at the next the parts. Such oscillation makes it possible to present the identity without compromising the duality.
– Force and movement –
(Da Vinci) Observe the motion of the surface of water, how it resembles that of hair, which has two movements, one of which depends on the weight of the hair, the other on the direction of the curls; thus the water forms whirling eddies, one part following the impetus of the chief current, and the other following the incidental motion and the return flow.
(Arnheim) A circular edge is always in tension, like the skin of a balloon, which bears the centrifugal pressure from the interior and generates a centripetal counter-pressure because of its resistance to expansion.
(Paz) The body of reality, its appearance, is the result of two forces: attraction in space anddistraction in extension. Appearance is extended and moves away from its point of attraction: us, mirrors who reflect it. The movement itself unfolds in time: its body enjoys an alternative freedom with respect to the centre of gravity. During certain intervals, the body is free and does not respond to the attraction; at others it is determined by i t. As long as those intervals last, the body is outside of time, at least outside of linear time. Appearance vanishes between the hands of the clock: it is a pendulum seen from the side.
(Arnheim) The two elements mutually complement each other at all levels of the circle. There, where one is narrow the other is wide, and this is so throughout the entire range of proportions.
(Da Vinci) Just as a stone flung into the water becomes the centre and cause of many circles, and as sound diffuses itself in circles through the air; so a body placed within the luminous air diffuses itself in circles and fills the surroundings with an infinite number of images of itself, seeming complete in the whole and complete in the smallest of its parts.
(Arnheim) The whole is not an entity that exists separately from its parts, preceding them, nor do the parts exist separately from the whole, preceding it. Both families of vectors, that which descends from the whole and that which ascends from the parts, are constituted in artificially isolated linear relations between separate static entities.
(Da Vinci) If one single point placed in a circle may be the starting point of infinite number of lines, and the termination of an infinite number of lines, there must be an infinite number of points separable from this point and these when reunited become one again; whence it follows that the part may be equal to the whole.
(Paz) The pursuit of an object that infinitely moves away entails an equally endless motion. This metaphysical (rather than material) motion, can be nothing but perpetual and, therefore, circular, a race in which the subject reaches his object only to become detached from it and run after it again.
(Da Vinci) 1. The surface is the limit of the body. 2. The limit of the body is not part of that same body. 4. The limit of one body is the beginning of another body. 3. What is not a part of anything is nothing. Nothing is what nothing occupies.
(Paz) The damnation of seeing becomes the freedom of contemplation.
(Eco) ECO, Umberto. The Absent Structure. Introduction to Semiotis. Page 36. (Spanish edition). Beginning of the first chapter. The Universe of Signs from section A The Sign and Meaning.
(Arnheim) ARNHEIM, Rudolf. Toward a Psychology of Art, chapter Perceptual Analysis of a Symbol of Interaction. Pages 208-226 (Spanish edition, 1996)
(Derrida) DERRIDA, Jaques. Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of Human Sciences, 1966. Pages 2,3 (Spanish edition).
(Paz) PAZ, Octavio. Naked Appearance. The Work of Marcel Duchamp, 1973. Commentaries on the Large Glass
(Da Vinci) Leonardo Da Vinci. Treatise on Painting.