Een vreemd woord, en als je’t vaak herleest, niet te vertrouwen: toe-val. Een onvoorziene gebeurtenis die dichtklapt, niet meer terug te draaien (val!) ontsnappen uitgesloten.
Ik zwerf vaak langs de gallery’s in NY, zei het dan via de computer.
Ik klik op ‘Artists’ en begin dan prentjes te bekijken, bio’s te lezen en notities te maken.
Mocht je verhalen verzamelen waarin ‘toeval’ een hoofdrol heeft gespeeld, dan zou je verbaasd zijn hoe ‘gevierd’ en ‘vergeten’ elkanders neef en nicht zijn.
Ik wil niet zo ver gaan als geschiedkundige Frank Ankersmit in zijn intervieuw-boek (‘De erfenis is op) dat zonder de nierstenen van Napoleon III er geen eerste werldoorlog zou geweest zijn, geen Hitler, geen tweede wereldoorlog en ook geen genocide. Geveld door die kwaal liet de toenmalige Franse keizer het bestuur aan zijn vrouw Eugenie over die, gebeten als ze was op de Duitsers in de val van Bismarck trapte en… Terwijl, zegt men, de keizer zelf nooit zo’n oorlog zou begonnen zijn.)
Geboren in 1944. Dat herken ik.
Achter-achterkleinkind van Darwin, dat is vast boeiend. Haar grootvader psychiater bij Queen Victoria en zij was verwant met Josiah Wedgwood.
‘The little girl grew up in London, but one very different from the shining, skyscraper-studded capital that we know today – a city in ruins, where children played in bombed-out buildings, and where the sides of houses had been blown off to reveal staircases leading to nowhere, and incongruous patches of wallpaper were still attached to walls that were now open to the sky.’ (The Guardian, Charlotte Higgins)
Ze studeert kunst, ze huwt met een kunstenaar, krijgen samen vijf kinderen.
zal kunst als bekwame lerares tot haar 65ste onderwijzen aan jonge kunstenaars en begint na haar pensionering op haar 65ste aan een carrierre.
‘All at once, the very clever curators and the very shrewd and canny people who ran galleries saw that Barlow was, after all, a very good artist. The proof that it was magic was that some of the people who now thought her work was very good had known her for many years.
At once, many invitations arrived: would Barlow make an exhibition here, and here? People came from far and wide to knock on the door of her house in that shabby London street. Her visitors included the owners of one of the grandest and richest galleries in the country. She was nominated for awards and travelled to many places around the world for exhibitions. Now, for the first time in her life, she could make sculptures that were bigger, and more stupendous and formidable than she had ever dreamed.’ (ibidem)
Bekijk de mooie documentaire van de BBC en geniet.
‘All our lives are about constantly losing. The moment is always disappearing, like sand between our fingers. So what is it, we are actually left with?,’ asks British sculptor Phyllida Barlow.
The language of sculpture is not about perfection or exactness, according to Phyllida Barlow (b. 1944). It’s about approximation, about recovering moments. ‘I like the language of sculpture which is about space and time, smell and temperature. Opposite photography, sculpture constantly rejects the single image because of the way you walk around it. Oddly enough sculpture, despite it’s physicality, constantly disappears. You walk past it and it’s gone. You come back to it and you discover it in a new way. The powerful emotional impact is all in the moment.’ (Marc-Christoph Wagner)
‘My grandmother’s under-stairs cupboard was filled with beautifully folded brown paper, navy blue sugar paper that grocers used, and neatly assembled piles of reusable stuff like black rubber bands and old matchboxes. I’ve a vivid memory of these accumulations, so it’s possible they left a subconscious impact. My father kept yogurt pots and anything made of glass. My mother cut up old clothes to make new clothes and taught us, as children, to make things from remnants. We continued to use Christmas decorations made during the wartime years well into the 1950s—strange, rather abject pieces of cardboard with paint on them. But it all seemed wonderful to us. Then there was an explosion of materialism in the 1960s, and that making-do and getting-by approach was swept away. We entered the world of disposable objects, which has now created appalling long-term natural disasters.’ (ibidem)
One day, talking in her studio, Barlow compared the art world to an iceberg. Below the waterline are those who work unseen. They have a certain kind of freedom. Above the waterline are the recognised, the successful, who have another kind of freedom, the kind conferred by support and money and encouragement and invitations from museums. Good, indifferent and bad art is made either side of the waterline; and, just as an iceberg conceals most of its mass beneath the surface, most art-making happens unremarked upon and out of sight. (The Guardian, Charlotte Higgins)