Thursday, 3 July 2008

Art as Poetry

For some reason, this evening I found myself thinking about the work of Robert Rauschenberg - not the collages of iconic images of the twentieth century which he is most famous for, but his other works - paintings with objects incorporated into them.

I like the idea of juxtaposing surreal or abstract imagery with concrete everyday images (or objects) . This is something that I try to do with words in my poetry - making the mundane surprising (for example licking a photograph). Through a process of defamiliarization we are forced to see things in a new way. Shelley describes this process as making "familiar objects be as if they were not familiar’ by stripping ‘the veil of familiarity from the world" Viktor Shklovsky called this ostranenie (making strange).

Rauschenberg does this by juxtaposing abstarct painting with everyday objects like clocks and electric fans. He creates a kind of visual poetry - although mostly without words. Arman too creates a kind of poetry with his art owrks although in a slightly different way to Raushenberg. In his works the objects are the main focus - in effect they become the art. My particular favourite is a collage made of old typewriters pinned to red painted board.

No comments: