Live Auction, 12 November 2018
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About this Item
‘These scrolls/flags/banners/cloths/ shrouds originated at a retrospective exhibition of my paintings at the Frans Hals Museum in Harlem, the Netherlands, a couple of years ago. The curators wanted to exhibit the “written” part of
my art as well, not only the “visual” and I suggested a series of long banners with words/poems and images on them. At the back of my mind were the examples of Tibetan prayer rugs with mandalas containing formulas and figures used for meditation; also, Chinese scrolls, often of landscapes (suggesting journeys) with calligraphic poems written on them – objects, in other words, that one could roll up and carry with you from place to place, serving as text book, or map, or diary of one’s travels. As soon as one starts painting words, they turn into images. Sound, in other words, turns into colour, and the relationships between words create their meaning, compelling one to express the meaning in images. These images are rhythms – precursors (“voorbeelde”, in Afrikaans) of the primordial urge in the human consciousness to make sense of the unknown in terms of sound and colour – that repeat one another in a constant exchange of associations. Consciousness is sound in space. And that is when I started dreaming of these book cloths.’1
1 Breyten Breytenbach (2001). Boekdoek/Lappesait, New York: Besteblaar, page 1.
LiteratureBreyten Breytenbach (2001). Boekdoek Lappesait. New York: Besteblaar, illustrated in colour on page 4.