Welcome to my blog, The Word EmPress
Here you will find words about all things art and culture, by me, The Word EmPress. The great 12th century poet, Rumi often described words as problematic, words as something that can all too easily get in the the way of the heart and the true spirit language. Rumi often opted for silence to allow the poetry to move through him. Fast forward to the 21st century and we can now reflect on Rumi, for a moment, with these thoughts as presented by Susan Sontag, in her seminal paper Against Interpretation. In this paper by Sontag, the notion of interpreting culture in any of its forms is vehemently opposed. Sontag describes such interpretation as “the revenge of the intellect upon the world. To interpret is to impoverish, to deplete the world – in order to set up a shadow world of meanings.” Sontag hearkens us back to the ideal that “in place of a hermeneutic we need an erotics of art”and speaks passionately of art in its “sensual capacity.”
So why write about art and culture? Why disrupt the sensual capacity of being, of presence, of experiencing art and of participating in cultural life as a living, evolving entity, with the potential impoverishment of words? Is there a place for words in art? The disparate discomfort and agitation of humankind at any given point in history with that ever present desire for a revolution or a renaissance of culture and ideas is ever present. One can also determine that all things revolutionary start with the mind; the imaginings, the thoughts and the philosophies of a person, a people, a community, society or nation. It is at this intersection; between space and time and that which crosses over into the realm of the mundane, the social, the political and the joyous tragedy of being …it is known that words which drive or sow ideas and that allow contemplation are indeed one of the greatest of art forms… and no doubt crucial in fermenting the imaginings of people. Words are the vessel through which the transmission and evolution of culture can come into play.
So what about Rumi… or even Sontag? What silence does Rumi implore, and can Sontag’s interpretation itself be reinterpreted or even reinvented. Word as art.
The Word EmPress
I am a Melbourne based contemporary Muslim artist, curator, writer and arts producer….check out the About section to learn more…