There are characters in Japanese aesthetics that most people know to the concept of objects that are beautifully aged, the character implicit in use, authentic decay, honored “wearing out”, rustic simplicity and things that are made better, richer, and filled with more character as they “wrinkle” in their time. I’ve written about this a little, in the work of those that reach to that space. But a friend pointed out the beauty that can be found — with the right eye — in the squalor of dissolution. Not so much the arrogant idea of beauty in the tragedy of loss, but more so the transitions of “what happens“. Things change time, light burns, waters rise, moisture impedes, mould congregates in — perhaps — those places that it was not meant to. So in further reflection, I find these meditations of interest. One, the wanderings of Michael Eastman — looking to the beauty of what was once richly displayed, then dissolved — yet still loved?
These, his groupings from La Habana, his large scale C-print that you can find at Claire Oliver on 26th, in Chelsea | NYC. Nice person, Claire is. Everytime I go there, she’s got something to say, to share. I like her for that. And Michael Eastman’s work explores that sense of environmental wabi sabi. I believe that you have to believe, to know it. You have to accept it, to understand it; you have to sense it, to hold its beauty.
Beautiful degradations — and, in that, the utile aged, the rusticated elegance: wabi sabi?
What then of the other forms of dissolutions — and evidenced in the work of Chris Jordan. http://www.chrisjordan.com/
I was sent a link to his work and that was the first thing that I was struck by. What happens in objects that age, but are aging in another, perhaps more perverse, way. They aren’t supposed to fold their time in that way, but instead, they follow a different archaeology. The concretions, the layering of their experience is hastened. I know some people like that. Experience has layered them more quickly, and they dissolve. Chris seems to live in the space of exploring the potency of these calamitous circumstantial change. And I mean nothing, hold anything, but admiration to the character of his seeing. And what stories are told. And what beauty — even in this — might be discovered.