Even things become crystallizations of sadness, regret or nostalgia . . . the world is not so much a noun as an adjective.
For several months I repeatedly photographed two pages that depict walls within or along a white washed space in Monica Haller’s Riley and his story. The view is frontal with a glimpse of a dark passageway along the left edge of the left page—a kind of peripheral registration or recognition of a way through or into some other space. Interleaved within this text that alludes to traumatic events that Riley experienced during and following his tour in Iraq, these two pages read as a kind of pause—an ellipsis within the visual and textual narratives of the book. At first glance the walls seem bare, but on closer viewing, many cracks and corners become evident.
The crevices and corners within this fold (itself a corner) become poetic thresholds into a space of the imagination, a liminal doorway opening to a place beyond the collapsing world described in the pages to either side of and beyond them.
the corner is a sort of half-box, part walls, part door. It will serve as an illustration for the dialectics of inside and outside . . . (2)
. . . in many respects, a corner that is ‘lived in’ tends to reject and restrain, even to hide, life. The corner becomes a negation of the Universe.(3)
every corner in a house, every angle in a room, every inch of secluded space in which we like to hide, or withdraw into ourselves, is a symbol of solitude for the imagination. (4)
I follow the line of the moldings which follow that of the ceiling.
But there are angles from which one cannot escape. (5)
Is this corner a haven or a prison? What kind of imaginative space lies beyond this threshold—is it a space for the making or for the unmaking of the world?
1. Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, trans.
Maria Jolas (Boston: Beacon Press, 1994), 143.
2. Ibid., 137.
3. Ibid., 136.
5. Pierre Albert-Birot, quoted in Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, 144.
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