Saturday, 6 October 2007

Beauty has no other origin

"Beauty has no other origin than the singular wound, different in every case, hidden or visible, which each man bears within himself, which he preserves, and into which he withdraws when he would quit the world for a temporary but authentic solitude"

This short statement is from Genet's essay 'The Studio of Alberto Giacometti'. Its enigmatic immobility is certainly related to the essay, but also interrupts it. It neither follows from the preceding paragraph nor opens into the next. Genet does not repeat the familiar notion that beauty is a salve, a respite from incommunicable suffering. After thinking about Giacometti's figures, which are like relics or like emissaries, an idea of beauty stands revealed to him. Thus the general idea is distilled from the particularity of Giacometti's sculptures. These sculptures, too, withdraw from the the world, attain solitude. This is the attained solitude of Beauty. The artist's 'singular wound' and the object created are analogues of one another. And both are equidistant from the world.

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