Friday, February 03, 2006

A note to self, a useful paragraph excerpted from Brandon Taylor's Collage: The Making of Modern Art:
It is to the brilliant Shklovsky of the St Petersburg Opoyaz group, himself a master of overstatement, literary inversion and ironic play, that we owe the most succinct formulations of the basic idea of creative "deformation" by which cliche is avoided and the world of images and words appears suddenly sharp and unfamiliar. The twin processes of "laying bare the device" (obnazenie priema) and "making strange" (ostraneiya) function in Russian Formalist theory to separate both an image and its material from their habitual contexts. To Shklovsky, "laying bare the device" meant both letting the commonplace infiltrate the sophisticated and vice-versa (examples were to be found in Tolstoy and Lawrence Sterne, as well as in French Cubist collage). The results were explosvie: the invasion of the sophisticated by the simple provided a link with a European pastoral tradition reaching back to Virgil, while the overlaying of simplicity with complexity (of diction, rhythm or reference) brought with it the possibility of parody and the burlesque: a quantum leap from the routine concern with the metaphorical image that had suffused Russian symbolist art and literature for a generation. To Shklovsky, faktura was a quality of both poetic writing and visual art. "Density [faktura]," wrote Shklovsky, "is the principal characteristic of this peculiar world of deliberately constructed objects, the totality of which we call art."


Minal Shekhawat said...

You're always coming up in my search results for my school research. I am writing a teaching philosophy, wanted to look up "baring of the device," and you are the first search result. Thanks for the helpful info.

Josh said...

Cheers, Minal! How are things in New Mexico?

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