Sunday, March 31, 2013

Einmal ist keinmal

My Sunday rest, or Einmal ist keinmal. 14"x11". Oil on linen. 2009-2013

Another older vanilla impressionist still life down, another rework. I've actually re-set the same still life today: the same ceramic pitcher, an identical bottle of port (my husband is very consistent in his attachment to this particular one), and the same glass half-filled with brandy. On the same table, yet I've changed the perspective quite a bit, bringing the set-up closer to the easel.

The painting now has two titles, more for me to remember the day than for anything else. "My Sunday rest" came naturally, just because it is  Sunday, and my rest is my abandon. But it couldn't fail to bring with it the whole W.H.Auden's famous poem ("Stop all the clocks..."). The "Einmal ist keinmal" part, an implicit quote from the Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera: Einmal ist keinmal: what has happened only once might as well not have happened at all.

Still life with port. 14"x11". 2009. 
We might never know, in life, whether each step we take, with its numerous untraceable repercussions, was the right one, because we cannot return back and try not taking it, or doing something else. And in painting, each brushstroke takes it in another direction, almost always without a possibility of return. Almost, but not quite. And so, I make my own virtual time machine: I re-set this still-life set up; I take the old canvas with its earlier representation, and so as well as return to that moment in time, more than three years ago. And I end up with a completely different painting. 

I could have saved the older one, but that's not in the nature of my particular version of time machine: the time returns to its natural flow, and the only thing that remains of the older painting is this photo, and the now hidden layer of paint on the canvas, and the memory.  

Post a Comment