History Informs Interpretation

by Art Fag City on November 6, 2007 Reviews

Vincent Van Gogh, Wheatfield with Crows
Vincent Van Gogh, Wheatfield with Crows, Via PBS

Anyone who has spent any time at all in art school recognizes the above work from a photo essay in Ways of Seeing by John Berger whereby the author asks the reader to consider the painting on one page, and on the very next tells us to do the same thing with the knowledge that Van Gogh painted the picture the day he killed himself. I was reminded of this essay the other day when I noticed a new post by the now deceased blogger and partner of artist Jeremy Blake, Theresa Duncan. Try reading a piece about ghosts, and the possible lack of dogs in afterlife without connecting the piece to her untimely death. In all likelihood, the story and her suicide have nothing to do with each other, except of course, that she’s no longer alive so we’re now reading what amounts to a message from the dead,  about messages from the dead.

Related: LA Fishbowl on Autopost

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