Pecking ways & means of apprehend a work of art

Choose a painting, a photograph, a poem, a symphony. You pay attention. But what are the ways and means of choosing, then knowing, apprehend this work of art?

I wrote an article already about the braid between reason & feeling : you can just “I like it”, or begin to dig knowledge around it, and, of course, weave both.

In French we have a verb for “to peck”, like a hen beaklooking for seeds : picorer. Then it begins to be tricky, because we made other words from it :

  • Picorer : to peck.
  • Picoreur : “the one who pecks” -> pecker.

Well, I checked, and found out that a pecker in something else, right? And that “to peck” means also to “kiss lightly”. I appreciated the English metaphors, but I’m embarrassed now to say that a way to discover art is to be a pecker!

I admire those (I call them the divers) who explore a little square. Instagrammers who takes HDR pictures of beautiful lands (or black and white portraits of homeless people in Alabama). Bloggers about vegan food or cheetah high heels. Callas (or The Beatles) only lovers. Crime novels specialists. They dig dig dig like dwarves in the mine. They’re great!

I’m a pecker (un picoreur). Let’s take a picture of the sky, then a minimalist low angled light on a roof, then a golden swan for sale on a table. Let’s listen to Puccini’s Tosca, then Brian Eno’s Apollo Atmospheres & Soundtrack, then Dave Brubeck’s Lost Waltz. Let’s read a short story of Chekhov, Calvin & Hobbes and a whole book about Duke Ellington’s life. In the same day.

I wonder if it’s linked, this way of microdiving in things, with the appetite to know “how it works”, “when it’s been composed”, “who are other artists around”, “what was he thinking at this time”, etc.

Books and the Internet : you can read about Brubeck’s life, watch an Eno interview, buy a second hand poster about Puccini’s opera.

Some will say it’s my sign : Taurus (patient, artistic, methodical) Gemini ascending (fast, curious, restless). I don’t believe in this, but it’s funny, right?

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Tool/Dial : are you a diver, or a pecker?

 

Thanks for reading!

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