By Joseph A. Amato
People are surrounded by means of surfaces: from our dermis to faces, to the partitions and streets of our houses and towns, to the photographs, books, and displays of our cultures and civilizations, to the wildlife and what we think past. during this thought-provoking and richly textured ebook, Joseph A. Amato strains the human courting with surfaces from the deep historical past of human evolution, which spread out throughout millennia, as much as the modern international. Fusing his paintings on Dust and On Foot, he exhibits how, within the final centuries, our figuring out, production, keep watch over, and manipulation of surfaces has develop into really revolutionary—in either scale and quantity. With the sweep of grand heritage matched to existential issues for the current, he means that we've turn into the surfaces we've made, mastered, and now keep an eye on, invent, layout, and encapsulate our lives. This deeply knowledgeable and unique narrative, which joins heritage and anthropology and indicates new routes for epistemology and aesthetics, argues that surfaces are excess of superficial façades of deep internal worlds.
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Additional resources for Surfaces: A History
We weep, but we are not wounded. We grieve, but our grief is not bitter. … the sorrow with which Art fills us both purifies and initiates us, if I may quote once more from the great art-critic of the Greeks. It is through Art, and through Art only, that we can shield ourselves from the sordid perils of actual existence” (“Critic” 380). Art is a remedy for life; it is a pleasurable, sweet, yet harmless alternative to reality. With regard to Wilde’s comments regarding art’s power and function, it is important to recognize that Aristotle – this great art critic of the Greeks whom Gilbert praises – is certainly interested in the effect of tragedy on the spectator, namely in our natural delight in “works of imitation” (1457).
49)] Here we see clearly the artist’s fear of not being understood or appreciated by the traditional critic (one similar to the critics so famously critiqued by Gautier in the “Preface” to his 1834 novel Mademoiselle de Maupin), and this points to the necessity of rethinking the role and function of both the artist and the critic. Silva’s protagonist admittedly recognizes that “[i]n the public’s mind you have to be something,” and thus the label “poet” reflects how they have chosen to classify him, however erroneous such an appellation may seem to its possessor (233).
And although he admits that the imitative poets whom he wants to banish are certainly more “pleasing” than “the more austere and less delightful poet and taleteller” that he promotes, Socrates nonetheless insists that the former are “ill suited to our polity,” whereas the latter, in imitating the diction of only good men, are alone fit to educate the soldiers of the imagined polis (642–3). For Socrates mimesis is not productively or therapeutically cathartic, as it will become for Aristotle; instead, it brings about a dangerous act of contagion in which the fictional infects the real as a result of the acts of narrating, spectating, reading, or listening.