To think of a line of thought one at first might think of how we use language in order to position one’s own ideas or thoughts. To construct an understanding of an idea for oneself and for others that identifies a beginning, a middle and an end. Although this is the basic format for any piece of writing, it is also an approach taken to create an order or to justify our thinking, to make sense of it. In everyday instances the key element is the finale of such a process, so we might consider the line of thought as associated to the preparatory moments. Although we might assume that these moments are based in language, there is a space where the visual is determined by the nonvisual, the moments where a memory is linked to another, when conversation or experience play with our thinking. When approaching a work of art, the line of thought culminates in the final work of art, while the process of making informs our response to it. The line of thought might instead be the gestural action of art-making, the link between the subject to the body of the artist to the surface of the canvas for example.
In literature, language is framed in quotation marks, while the book frames a use of language in subjects and ideas determined by accepted linguistic forms that have been accepted into the cannon of that discipline. The nature of literarure allows for a certain amount of deviation within the structure. So the frame is rather like the line acting as a continuous conceptual guide that creates a method by which to read and within the space we might sort to gain the specifics of a theory or rather suspend belief as we enter an imaginative landscape of fiction. Philosophy might be considered as a form of liberation, having a conceptual intensity that liberates us from the ”extended world of material texts, contexts, historicity and style.” Claire Colebrook makes the claim that this liberation might mean that we are able to read certain theoretical text for a “concept of time”, to allow us to “re-structure the very nature of thinking and subjectivity.” (1) This act of framing is not so far removed from the frame around a painting, or the lines that form a sculpture, to which the eye can adjust its perspective to see something else. We might use such expectations of the liberated text in our approach to free art from the discourse of a thematic art history. I might claim that the use of a seemingly simple subject, the line, only highlights the layers of expectations we have as a viewer, and it is by considering these layers of expectations that might reveal a more complex reading of art……….
Here is an extract from an essay I wrote last year that takes the exhibition Line of Thought presented at Parasol Unit in London as a starting point. I was told I could pretty much write anything I wanted for this, which was very nice of the people at Site95. This essay relates to several aspects of my research and this essay acted as a testing ground for placing some of my reading with something more actual, so to speak. There are certainly elements of this in my thesis, but it also relates to many broader concerns I hope to continue to work with later.
Anyway, here is a link to the article and the Site95 site:
Click to access site95_Journal-01_06e.pdf
All images, “Lines of Thought” Parasol unit, London, February 28 – May 13, 2012
Courtesy Adrian Esparza, photo credit: Stephen White. Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art.