Monday, September 1, 2014

The Idler Wheel...

Fiona Apple
8" x 5", markers on paper, 2014
The Idler Wheel is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You Better than Ropes Will Ever Do is the title of a 2012 Fiona Apple cd. It is known abbreviated as The Idler Wheel... The title is from a poem penned by Apple herself while the sleeve features art work of her own hand too. The relationship between poetry and music is a much more natural one then than that of the relationship between art and music. I once wrote a lengthy article on the latter category that I will reproduce here within the next week or two. It needs an updated rewrite which will come to you too. In the meantime my head is preparing to conjure up some thoughts on poetry as well. I've dabbled in poetry myself but my relation to it is as full of anxiety as I had (in 2009) described the relationship between art and music to be. Reading the lengthy full title of The Idler Wheel... I find myself inadequate, not able to catch the metaphor presented in the title. I spent an hour deliberating, focusing on a meaning but to no avail. All I could come up with was, by free association, Duchamp's The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even of 1923. I would also like to investigate, if only to examine my own stance, the relationship between poetry and art. That said, it is sometimes maybe better to not write thoughts down because they then become rigid. It can determine and cement an opinion that may or may not be truthful. For politicians flip-flopping is a sign of weakness but I think it is the opposite. The stigma on flip-flopping is a hindrance to creativity. Recently I looked back at the top 100 lists from 1983, the first top 100 year. Needless to say there wasn't a whole lot there that I still consider meaningful in 2014. I don't think I have to flip-flop anytime soon when I state that The Idler Wheel... is nothing short of a masterpiece though...

(A bit of commentary on the drawing above: The process of making the Fiona Apple portrait took several hours and is different from the usual straight forward portrait drawing process. It is in fact the accumulation of several drawings in which I worked with issues of symmetry. I made the first portrait freehand as usual but then I mechanized the  drawing process. On the back of the first drawing I traced the visible lines projecting through the paper (which makes it reverse, as one would see oneself in the mirror) while adjusting the drawing looking at the original source photograph. I then, on a new sheet tracing the second while referencing the photo anew. The fourth drawing then was a reversal like the second. The final drawing was the twelfth in the process, making it more a scientific face study than an artist's personal expression. The Fiona Apple drawing on the cd-sleeve, mind you, is, while using similar drawing tools, precisely the opposite approach: total expression.)

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