This Analog Life posted a painting from the Palmsonntag series, by Anselm Kiefer (via History of Our World). I came to it through Mrs. Odradek and Petitchou. It’s been more than a year since the last time I posted anything by Kiefer, whose work I like a great deal. This Analog Life also posted this, from the same series:
Palmsonntag means ’Palm Sunday’ in German, and many of the individual paintings are arresting. Kiefer’s visibly intelligible interrogation of and immersion in religious metaphors is both seasonally appropriate to mention and relevant to something Hungry Ghoast mentioned in reply to this post:
Something I read recently while trying to do some cursory research on “rational” vs. “post-rational” thinking: By allowing space for metaphors to expand, poetry taps into the wisdom of post-rationality in ways that allow our rational minds to glimpse that higher level of knowing.
Increasingly, I think of art as a space which allows resistance to whatever modes of comprehension are socially dominant at a given time, not as some formal experiment but to permit other forms of intellection, other forms of knowing. This is what art has in common with religion: an emphasis on escaping the strictures of prescribed analytical methods, whether they are political or materialistic or social (at times, they are religious, and religion rebels against itself). As the link Hungry Ghoast sent notes, “Post-rational awareness is beyond words: paradoxical, mysterious, and powerful. If post-rationality could be easily conveyed in words, there would be no need for the strict meditative practices of Zen…”
But it is not words so much as the logic of ordinary language, crushing cliche, camouflaging banality, all the wanting which distracts us, all the routine that confines us in the future and the past and within ourselves. All sorts of alternative forms of thought, creation, and experience exist to enable our escape, and while the term “post-rational” might seem to suggest that they supersede the empirical or scientifically-objective view of the world, I tend to think of them rather as complementary. For whatever transcendence paintings, novels, songs, rites, and rituals bring, science alone brings medicine. I consider neither at all disposable.