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    FIELDS OF KNOWLEDGE: Full paper from

    the Thinking With John Berger conference,

    Cardi!, 4th & 5th September

    Posted on September 9, 2014



    This paper (with accompanying illustrations) was written for & presented at the Thinking With John Berger conference

    held at Cardiff Metropolitan University on the 4th & 5th of September 2014, organised by Jeff Wallace, Professor of

    English, Department of Humanities in the School of Education.

    At first I referred to the field as a space awaiting events; now I refer to it as an event in itself. John Berger Field


    Asartists, in the widest sense of the word, how do we read, experience and learn from Berger? Im going to start from

    the position that creative practitioners might be able to have a more fluid relationship with texts than is allowed the

    orthodox academic; that we can start from the position ofnot knowing,and then continue to embrace and even nurture

    this position.

    There is a Hegelian maxim that says that it is only in the hours of Darkness that the owl of Minerva takes flight. This is

    perhaps an elegant way of saying that it is the territory thatprecedesthe domain of understanding in which we think

    (Bolland 2014). Receptiveness to the potential of such territory, to the spaces that are the gaps in certainty and

    Emma Bollandartist / writer
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    knowledge, is the cornerstone of what I would describe as experiential practice. Bergers writing often discursive,

    wondering, anti-didactic produces such a space: the space that is in itself productive (Lewis 2014, in conversation),

    the field that is an event in itself (Berger 1971). Berger introduces his 1978 essay Uses of Photography: For Susan

    Sontag by saying:

    The thoughts are sometimes my own, but all originate in the experience of reading her book.

    This is a brief example of the types of self-facing / explicatory phrases in which Berger allows himself, asreader, to

    respond to the spaces that can be sought out; that indicate agency, generosity, and reciprocity between the reader and

    the writer. In a 2002 conversation with Michael Silverblatt he says that:

    it is a question of the hospitality to the reader hospitality has nothing to do with being polite, or being frightened of

    being offensive hospitality is a question of allowing a space in the story for the reader to take her or his place, then

    that place has to be such thatnaturally there is the possibility of the reader participating, actually participating in the

    telling of the story, and that finally at its most extreme comes to that line which I will misquote, but its the end of one of

    Video still from Spelunker, Deep Sea Diver, Astronaut #3 (2014 version of footage from 2003), Emma

    Bolland. To view film click here
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    the marvellous Borges poems in which he says and the reader who has read this poem, he has written it. (My


    I think that there is a link here between the act of reading and what I will call a psychoanalytical situation (and Im

    talking here of the broader processes of the psychoanalytical encounter, and not of any thematic or sectarian

    preoccupations) [1]. The creative reader and practitioner might be said to be in the position of both analyst and

    analysand. A sort of chimeric reader who is receptive to what Adam Phillips refers to as Side Effects (Phillips 2006),those thoughts and responses which are unpredictable and surprising. To slip further into therapeutic language, one

    might say that the opportunity of analysis (reading) is the opportunity for a speculative therapy (interpretation) and for a

    collaborative and intuitive process of speaking and listening in a space of receptiveness and not knowing a leap into

    a relative dark (ibid). The artist and writer Emma Cocker, in Tactics for Not knowing: Preparing for the Unexpected

    (2013), suggests that to persist in a productive state of not knowing, given that we are culturally conditioned away from

    such states, especially in academic and professional contexts, is a challenge. She insists, though, upon its worth,

    stating that:

    Artistic practice recognises the practice of not knowing, less as the preliminary state (of ignorance) precedingknowledge, but as a field of desirable indeterminacy within which to work. Not knowing is an active space within

    practice, wherein an artist hopes for an encounter with something new or unfamiliar, unrecognisable or unknown.

    Emma Cockers essay is all about the value of not knowing and yet, paradoxically, not so very long ago, I would have

    been afraid to read it, paralysed by a state ofnot knowingthat I had no way of valuing. Far from feeling fruitful, it felt

    shameful. Im going to use an analogy now that I think is from Alain Badiou (and Im purposefully using something here

    that I may be attributing wrongly, and that I do not have the breadth of knowledge or the resources to verify or

    disprove), and this is an analogy that talks of the weight of the water. A fish does not feel the weight of the water it is

    the natural environment through which it moves instinctively. So a person who is comfortable in the environment of theacademy, the gallery, the institution, whether by class, education or the fact that such institutions represent their culture

    and their interests, does not feel the weight of these waters. I used to really feel the weight of the water; now not so

    much. Bergers habits of local and attentive looking and working, whilst indisputably informed, value the intuitive and

    the not knowing, and provided me with a framework for valuing my own thinking, for meeting texts such as Emma

    Cockers on equal terms.


    Seker Ahmet, on the other hand, faced the forest as a thing taking place in itself, as a presence that was so pressing

    that he could not, as he had learned to do in Paris, maintain his distance from it. John Berger Seker Ahmet And The

    Forest (1979)

    In 2003 I recorded some audio-video footage whilst walking in woods near the house where I grew up, woods that had

    been a childhood refuge. That day was the first time I had entered them for twenty years. A quarter mile away my

    mother was slowly losing her grip on life, the woods visible from her bedroom window. I had no outcome in mind; the

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    activity was initiated by the coming together of a need for

    an hours respite from the days events, having a camera

    to hand, and the proximity and familiarity of the woods

    but in retrospect it was the beginning of what John

    Newling evocatively calls a backward cartography

    involving place and memory. The footage was first used

    two years later, almost unedited, in a full room projection,and has since undergone many transformations.

    The walk that day was not the detached, often apolitical

    driveor driftof the psychogeographer, but an

    immersed experience of place that positioned the walker

    not as flotsam, not as neutral observer, not as touristic

    seeker of sights, nor as conquering explorer, but as

    attentive and receptive, as a brainand a body. More

    importantly, as a corporeal and active body not thepassive, dissected, examined & observed post-modern

    body, nor the male body to whom the privileged status of anonymous flaneur is more readily available (Solnit 2001)

    but as a body that is part of, and subject and vulnerable to the narratives of the landscape; an experience having much

    in common with what the artist and writer Helen Scalway (2002) describes as a kind of counter-flaneurie. It was a walk

    in which thoughts and visions of the past, present and future, were collapsed into an experience of time as spatial. An

    encounter with landmarks and sight-lines as inseparable from memory, prophesy, physical sensation and emotion: a

    sensory and symbiotic extension of the Wordsworthian concept of moving with thought. The landscape told its own

    history, and told and continues to tell me mine.

    In 2012 I began collaborating with curator Judit Bodor

    and artist Tom Rodgers on a project called

    MilkyWayYouWillHearMeCall, for which the process of

    experiential site visits and walks was adopted as a

    deliberate research methodology. Our starting point was

    the novel Nineteen Eighty by David Peace (2002), which

    is a fictional retelling of an actual historical series of

    events the murders committed by Peter Sutcliffe, the

    so-called Yorkshire Ripper, and the subsequent hunt for

    and capture of him in the city of Leeds in 1980. We went

    to sites in the city based only on the directions or

    descriptions given in the novel and began the processes

    of attentive and intuitive exploration. What marked these

    sites out was their anonymity, their lack of dramatic play.

    There was no obvious story to be extracted from the

    Video still from Spelunker, Deep Sea Diver,

    Astronaut #3 (2014 version of footage from 2003),

    Emma Bolland. To view film click here

    Prince Phillip Playing Fields at Night. Photograph

    by Tom Rodgers (2012).
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    topography itself a narrative was waited for and listened to, through a process of experience of and even meditation

    on the site.

    These walks differed from the walk around the woods, in that that we had gone there with an agenda to make art, or

    at least to enact a process of creative research. However, there were similarities in that we had no agenda in terms of

    the outcomes of this research we had made the decision that the research itself would suggest or even be its own

    outcome. In Bentos Sketchbook(2011) Berger makes the point that whilst traditionally the term outcome refers tohow a story ends, it can also refer to how the listener or reader or spectator leaves the story to continue their ongoing

    lives, and goes on to say that:

    in following a story, we follow a storyteller, or, more precisely, we follow the trajectory of a storytellers attention

    and thatwe become accustomed to the storytellers particular procedure of bestowing attention we begin to acquire

    his storytelling habits

    The narrative we started with was Davids writing, and our own relationships (all very different), with the sites and with

    the histories enacted upon them. We attempted to allow the sites themselves to take over the narrative of both thehistory and the author (David), and for the interactions and relationships of and between the sites and ourselves to

    shape our actions and outcomes, to tell the story of our collaboration.

    We realised that we had begun to enact informal rituals

    and acts of remembrance. On the morning of a visit to

    the Soldiers Field I impulsively put a vial of real gold dust

    in my pocket, and at the site had used it to obliterate a

    swastika that had been sprayed on a wall near to where

    one of the murdered women was found. [2] The dust goteverywhere, and Judit drew attention to my metalled

    hands. As I stretched them out towards her, Tom took

    the photograph that captures them: weathered,

    burnished and speaking of work and loss. The encounter

    between the space, our actions and our interactions

    invoked the image and the story of the present and the


    Crown and Targetalso captures a moment when place,

    intuition, encounter, movement and collaboration came together. We were preparing to leave Lewisham Park. Tom was

    at the car, his camera packed away. I had paused, and on an impulse pulled a clump of wet grasses from the earth and

    twisted them into a circlet, placing them on my head; and, as I did so, turned back to call to Judit who was still in the

    field. Tom heard my call, looked up, lifted the camera and captured the image with the last of his film. A sightline that

    joins us to the space and to each other.

    Emmas hands, gilded. Photograph by Tom

    Rodgers 2012.
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    the idea for Ways of Seeing began with going round

    museums and seeing so much insufferably, intolerably

    boring stuff which was called art! and so we thought,

    well maybe we should just accept this and admit it andtry and explain why it is so boring John Berger in

    conversation with Michael Govan (2002)

    Wrapped in luminous cloud, pushed by the wind, we

    walk up out of Hayfield in the steps of the glorious

    trespass, April 1932. The cloud is not a metaphor, the art

    is terrestrial. Eventually our heads will clear it. Stamping

    the ground, stamping mystery and privilege into the soil,

    we walk up into our work, hauled on our breath. Thefoundation of the state is not violence but education. Thought is free on the wind-steps. Rills under grass arches. It can

    only be a completely open field.

    Peter Riley The Ascent of Kinder Scout(2014)

    We decided that we wanted to try to use walking as

    research as a tool for teaching and learning with people

    in settings outside of formal education. [3] In the Place

    and Memoryproject, which ran from June 2013 to May

    2014, we worked with eight adults with mental healthdifficulties who wanted to develop their creative practice.

    With varying states of confidence, recovery and previous

    education, its fair to say that they really, really felt the

    weight of the water. We needed to enable them to take

    ownership of research, knowledge and expertise,

    and remove this conceptual territory from the hands of

    the institution, the academy and what they perceived as

    the elite other. Tom, Judit and I all had our own

    overlapping and complimentary frameworks for

    facilitating this. Judit, for instance, brought the ideas of

    the French artist Robert Filliou and his 1970 document

    Teaching and Learning as Performing Arts to bear, perhaps summed up in this quote:

    Research is not the privilege of people who know on the contrary it is the domain of people who do not know. Every

    time we are turning our attention to something we dont know we are doing research. Fillou (1970)

    Crown and Target: Emma wearing a crown of

    grasses, Lewisham Park. Photograph by Tom

    Rodgers 2012.

    Place and Memory: underpass in Seacroft, Leeds.

    Photograph Tom Rodgers 2013.
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    What all three of us emphasised was the importance of the participants each developing and valuing their own ways of

    looking, moving and paying attention. In his introduction to Understanding a Photograph (2013) Geoff Dyer states, with

    reference to research and criticism, that Bergers method was always too personal, the habits of the autodidact too

    ingrained, to succumb to the kind of discourse that seized cultural studies in the 70s and 80s.And Berger himself

    states, in his conversation with Michael Govan, that all of his writing as an art critic came first and foremost, not from

    reading biographies or art historical documents, but from looking at the work. We also accepted that they could

    challenge the orthodoxies that we would inevitably bring to our teaching. As project mentors, we had to accept thecriticisms levelled at us about the ways in which we presented our versions of culture and practice, and about the ways

    in which we used, and I quote, arty bollocks wank speak. It pleases me greatly that the author of that phrase was

    recently accepted onto an MA in Creative Practice, where she promises that she will continue to challenge and unpick

    such language.

    The eight participants were each given the task of choosing a place or

    places in the city that held, or could potentially create, memory or meaning

    for them. Over the summer we went as a group on long research walks,

    [4] talking, drawing, collecting, photographing, recording sound andmoving image, asking ourselves questions about these places, sharing

    stories so that new stories might be told back to us, but most of all paying

    attention, listening to the space. The sites we explored included

    woodlands, wastelands, housing estates, disused graveyards and the

    place where a river flows underneath the city. One of the participants took

    us to a hospitals Accident and Emergency unit where she had spent a

    traumatic night, and we retraced her journey around its corridors in covert

    ones and twos, meeting on corners to exchange whispers. Filming and

    audio-recording on hidden devices.

    The Place and Memoryparticipants started from the position of an un-

    valued not-knowing, and worked and walked over the space of a year to a

    position of valued not knowing to an ownership of knowledge and

    research, to an ownership of their own learning, and to an ownership of a

    creative practice. They developed (to varying degrees) the muscle to resist

    the weight of the water and created works that have an authoritative voice,

    but that still leave both their audience and themselves a productive space

    of uncertainty.


    Filming underneath the Dark

    Arches, Leeds. Photograph Tom

    Rodgers 2013.
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    The Place and Memory project outcomes included two exhibitions, film screenings,

    performances and readings, a creative documentary using footage and texts from

    the site visits (to view the film see below) and a book that wove their visual work,

    photographic documentation and writings into a text / image psychogeographical

    poem that explores the emotions of place across the city of Leeds during the

    summer of 2013. The book costs 5 plus post and package and is published byGordian Projects: you can find out more and buy the book here.


    [1] It might seem odd to talk of psychoanalysis where Berger is concerned, given that he is often (though not always)

    dismissive of its theory, at least where Freud is concerned. (See John Berger with Michael Silverblatt, Conversation 1,

    link below).

    [2] The tiny vial of gold dust had been bought in 2002 on a trip to Venice with my mother (then aged 82) a year after my

    father died and a year before she died. She walked my legs off, fearlessly hopping on and off the Vaporetti, and,

    somewhat suspiciously all the bar owners with whom she flirted outrageously greeted her by name and pulled

    bottles of homemade extra-strong Fragolino from under the counter to pour her a measure without her having to ask.

    Born into poverty on a working coal barge in 1919 a fact we only discovered after her death she had reinvented

    herself in a spectacular fashion. A capricious, cold and bewildering disaster as a mother, as a woman she was to be
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    [3] In February 2014 I used some of the teaching and learning tactics developed in Place and Memory with students on

    the MA in Art, Society and Publics at DJCAD, University of Dundee. For visual and textual documentation of the

    workshops and their outcomes, and an annotated suggested reading list click here.

    [4] A note here about walking. Walking is free, useful, democratic, and often political in terms of environmental impactand issues of private and public space. Above all it is ordinary. Although walking and the concept of walking are rich

    areas for creative thought and exploration, walking is not the property of psychogeographers, urban explorers, or

    anyone who seeks to mystify and intellectualise the everyday. It belongs to all of us and we should glory in that.


    Berger, J. Field (1971), inAbout Looking (2009) Bloomsbury.

    Berger, J. Uses of Photography: For Susan Sontag (1978), in Understanding a Photograph (2013) ed. Dyer, G. PenguinClassics, London.

    Berger, J. Seker Ahmet and the Forest (1979), inAbout Looking (2009) Bloomsbury.

    Berger, J. Bentos Sketchbook(2011)

    John Berger with Michael Govan, Conversation 3, Episode 6, October 2002

    John Berger with Michael Silverblatt, Conversation 2, Episode 5, October 2002

    Bolland, E. Tides, Texts and Transformations (2014)


    Cocker, E. Tactics for Not knowing: Preparing for the Unexpected (2013), in On Not Knowing: How Artists Think (2013)

    ed. Fisher, E. & Fortnum, R. Black Dog Publishing, London.

    Dyer, G. Introduction to Understanding a Photograph (2013), Berger, J. ed. Dyer, G. Penguin Classics, London.

    Filliou, R. Teaching and Learning as Performing Arts (1970). Translated facsimile published 2014 by Occasional Papers.

    Lewis, B. (2014) In conversation.
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    Newling, J. Writings by John Newling 1995 2005 (2005) ed. Newling, A., SWPA.

    Phillips, A. Side Effects (2006) Hamish Hamilton, London.

    Riley, P. The Ascent of Kinder Scout (2014) Longbarrow Press, Sheffield

    Scalway, H. The Contemporary Flaneuse: Exploring Strategies for the Drifter in a Feminine Mode (2002).

    Solnit, R. Wanderlust: A History of Walking (2001) Verso, London.

    Posted in Uncategorized| TaggedArt and writing, Cardi!Metropolitan University, Cardi!School of

    Education, David Peace, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Emma Bolland, John Berger,

    MilkyWayYouWillHearMeCall, pedagogy, Professor Je!Wallace, psychogeography, Teaching, Thinking With

    John Berger conference, University of Dundee| 1 Reply

    Fields Of Knowledge: Abstract for Thinking

    With John Berger

    Posted onApril 3, 2014

    I am delighted to be presenting a paper atThinking With John Berger, a conference to be held at Cardiff Metropolitan

    University, 4th 5th September 2014. My draft abstract follows below:


    (working title).

    At first I referred to the field as a space awaiting events; now I refer to it as an event in itself. John Berger Field

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    Who determines what research and academic practice is? Where do the boundaries of the academy lie? As artists andeducators, how and why do we challenge and disrupt these hierarchies? In Seker Ahmet and the Forest (1979), Berger

    describes Ahmets painting as having authority despite a disruption of academic style that in other instances might lend

    a work a lack of conviction. Berger seems to argue that the painters relationship with place insists on an experiential

    telling of forest which supersedes academic orthodoxies of 19thC landscape painting. The painting conveys the

    immersive / lived / attentive, not the observational / touristic / detached. Bergers own practice consistently

    references the outdoor nearby (whether or not the nearby is in London or the West Bank), particularly in relation to the

    reach of the walking / physical body, the encounter and the everyday. He writes at kitchen tables, and draws the

    objects and faces that are part of his material and physical immediacy.

    These habits of local and attentive looking can offer up possibilities for developing strategies for research, practice,

    teaching and learning that value the intuitive and the not knowing, and challenge the ownership of knowledge and the

    hegemonies of institutions. This paper will explore the potential of ambulant research and walking as pedagogy in

    questioning relationships between the orthodox and the unruly, the academic and the emotional, the empirical /

    validated and the wondering / intuitive, and for shifting the boundaries of the academy into spaces and amongst

    people who might feel excluded or intimidated by hierarchies of specialist knowledge. I will argue that through such

    Our Shadows: Emma Bolland and Judit Bodor walking in Prince Phillip Playing Fields, Leeds. Photograph: Judit

    Bodor 2012
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    processes and attending to the local, official narratives of knowledge ownership and expertise can not simply be

    challenged but also enriched. I will look at their potentialities both inside and outside of the institution, with reference to

    my own and others creative and teaching practice.

    Posted in Uncategorized| Tagged Cardi!Metropolitan University, Emma Bolland, John Berger, pedagogy,

    Teaching, Thinking With John Berger| 1 Reply

    Unearthing #2

    Posted on November 24, 2013

    For an audio version of Unearthing #2 click the Soundcloud bar below: (recorded and edited by Brian Lewis).

    The chariots of the gods in even poise, obeying the rein, glide rapidly; but the others labour, for the vicious steed goes

    heavily, weighing down the charioteer to the earth when his steed has not been thoroughly trained:-and this is the hour

    of agony and extremest conflict for the soul. from Phaedrus. Plato circa 360 BCE

    I wrote in Unearthing #1of the rediscovery of forgotten works, buried in memory sticks and external hard-drives. Park,

    the piece discussed therein is large and labour intensive around 100 square feet of coloured drawing but the work I

    address here can be disappeared in a trice.

    Black Pony comprises a herd of white horses cut from paper card, a corresponding number of clear plastic map pins,

    and the blue light cast from an unloaded data projector. At the time of its making much of my work, either consciously

    or unconsciously, had been drawing upon the world of my rural childhood: the sharp contrast between the illusory idyll

    of the countryside, and the actuality of an experienced geographical and societal isolation, and a disconnection with the

    accepted entertainments and aspirations of such a society. Festivals and fetes, sadness and madness. May Queens

    garlanded, hedgerows uprooted.

    Central to the lives of many small girls (whether or not they possessed one) was the pony. A preparatory erotic, a

    prepubescent love. A repository of detail that rivalled any boys mental catalogue of strikers and strips. I can intone the


    !"#$%&'(") +,!"#$%&'(") +,


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    litany of breeds and tack even now. Appaloosa,

    Palomino, Percheron and Shire; Kimberwick, Snaffle and

    Gag. The narrative of pony books, whether fiction or

    true life offered up an uncomplicated world of a

    seemingly classless triumph over adversity; the child as

    powerful, independent, strong and fulfilled. Jump For

    Joy, Jills Gymkhana, My Friend Flicka, Rosettes ForJill the titles tell their own tale. The reality could be

    horribly different. Snobbery and humiliation, the staring

    coats of neglected nags. I longed to be part of the glossy

    haunched circle of beribboned success (I failed), yet the

    idea of also it left me alienated and dissatisfied. I learned

    to draw by copying the pictures in the Observer Pocket

    Book Of Horses And Ponies, yet I needed something

    other than the thing I yearned for.

    I was dogged by childhood

    depression. Melancholia, a work

    made in 2005 was an overt

    expression of those experiences, a

    nod to both the existence of an

    abstract sadness, an unresolved

    grieving for the intangible, and for

    the necessity of a degree of such

    emotions in order to be a complex,layered human being. Its form is a

    mockery of the bright rosettes that

    adorned the anointed at the

    gymkhanas and village fetes of my

    youth. In a roundabout way, the

    work connects with my gravitation

    towards those canonical artists

    who dealt with the shadows in the

    pleasure garden; exemplified, for

    me, in works such as Embarkation

    To Cythera (1717), and Pierrot (also know as Gilles) (1718 19), both by Jean-Antoine Watteau(1684 1721). John

    Berger, in his essays on drawing, points out that although he mostly painted clowns, harlequins, ftes and what we

    would now call fancy-dress balls, his was [...] the theme of mortality. Silks and satins were the fragile cloak of a corrupt,

    narcissistic, oppressive and doomed regime. (By 1789 the guillotines would be falling, and the bloody journey towards a

    problematic republic begun).

    Black Pony. Paper, map pins, blue screen light.

    Emma Bolland. 2007

    Melancholia. Rosette. Fabric

    and printed card.

    Unnumbered edition of 100.

    Emma Bolland. 2005

    Pierrot (also known as Gilles)

    (1718 19). Jean-Antoine

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    Some time after the making of Melancholia, against a backdrop of severe depression, a reassessment of

    psychoanalytical thinking as something more nuanced than I had previously considered it to be, and an interest in the

    pervasiveness of Romanticartistic and literary narratives of the criminal, the abject and the mad, (from the sublime to

    the ridiculous, seeThodore Gricaults portraits of the insane, Cesare Lombrosos pseudo-scientific physiognomcal

    theories, Robert Louis Stevensons Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, and Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubars excellentThe

    Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination), in short, the histories and

    possibilities, both empathic and intelligent, and reductive and discriminatory, for thinking about psychic complexity, forthinking about struggle; I came across Platos Phaedrus.

    Phaedrusis everything I should hate. Classical, rhetorical,

    knowing, overly authorial, yet its simple metaphor for the

    human soul (however one chooses to interpret the word) is

    to me, whilst problematic, both brilliant and rich. Plato

    visualises the soul as tripartite. A man holds the reins of a

    chariot with two horses, the biddable and the unruly,

    sometimes translated as the white and the black. (There isan obvious, if partial correlation in Freuds imagining of the

    Ego, Superego and Id). The biddable horse kept a steady

    course, whilst the vicious steed bolted and bucked,

    dragging the chariot from the road, refusing the commands

    of the rein and the whip. Plato articulates the white and the

    black, though harnessed together, as separate entities

    good and bad, noble and ignoble but I saw them as

    irrevocably entwined, harnessed or no, fluid, permeable


    The little horses were carefully cut from thin white card, their

    forms taken from a How To Draw Horses book. All the

    movements and silhouettes of the childhood imagination

    were to be found in its pages: galloping, prancing, jumping;

    the graceful palfrey and the buckaroo. I remember sitting at

    my work desk, unwell, the fog of melancholy heavy in the air.

    The work was fiddly, painstaking; here and there a leg was

    crumpled, a head sliced off by a slipping scalpel. A sore red ridge formed on my finger from the constant pressing down

    of the blade. When they were done I delivered them to the gallery, the curator wondering where the large wall work that

    I had proposed was, bemused when I fetched it from my pocket. They were pinned to the wall with map pins (the yokes

    that would bind them to their shadow) and the blue light of a data projector illuminated their dark other. I loved the black

    ponies. I love my black pony. It too deserves care.

    (Postscript: About a month ago the Berlin based poetAlistair Noonstayed at my house whilst in the UK for some

    Black Pony (detail2). Paper, map pins and blue

    screen light. 2007
  • 8/10/2019 John Berger | Emma Bolland


    10/29/14, 9:4ohn Berger | Emma Bolland

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    readings. Alistairs allergies meant that I had to thoroughly clean the house. As a result of this endeavour, like Park, in

    Unearthing #1, Black Pony has been found, the little paper horses discovered corralled into an envelope at the bottom

    of a long sealed box at the back of the studio. Somewhat appositely, Alistair is a translator ofPushkins The Bronze

    Horseman, published by Longbarrow Press)

    Posted in Uncategorized| TaggedAlistair Noon,Antoine Watteau,Aristotle, art, Cesare Lombroso, childhood,

    depression, Emma Bolland, John Berger, Longbarrow Press, Phaedrus, Plato, Pushkin, Robert LouisStevenson, Romanticism, Sandra Gilbert, Socrates, Susan Gubar, Thodore Gricault, The Bronze

    Horseman, The Madwoman in the Attic| Leave a reply