Blue Book, Moon Rock

Thomas Erben Gallery
2009


“…(We ought to talk further on about the meaning of “forgetting the meaning of a word”1).

1 This he never does. – Edd.”[1]

Astronauts returned from their mission in 1969 with photographs and moon rocks.  The rock, a dead limb from a dead surface, does not glow. It does not resemble our Moon.  And yet photographs and the recorded descriptions of astronauts allow the witness to stitch these fragments of evidence to another (fragmentary) reality.

If, as Vilem Flusser says, “texts are a metacode for images” and codify them, and likewise, photographs are a metacode for texts and are a second degree abstraction, what then happens when a fragmentary reality (the “word,” the “rock”) collides with the photograph.  The moon is the rock.  The moon is not the rock. The moon is (not) the light.  The light is (not) the photograph.

A promise made in the past, to discuss the meaning of forgetting in the future, is then altogether forgotten.  The word.  The forgotten word hovers like light bouncing off silver.  “Is shiny a color?[2]”

How do we fix an object, dress it, give it a name?

“…
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
…”[3]

And even after the flags have been planted and forced to flutter, the light still plays with our eyes. It eludes us, draws us elsewhere.

“Blue moon
You knew just what I was there for
…”[4]

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[1] “The Blue Book,” Ludwig Wittgenstein

[2] Joshua Hart, January, 2009

[3] “The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock,” T. S. Eliot

[4] “Blue Moon,” Richard Rodgers and Lawrence Hart