Posts Tagged ‘Roger Scruton’

The filmmaker Raúl Ruiz says that in telling a story, the story doesn’t come first.  Nor the concept.  What comes first is an image and then another image and another and out of these images a narrative emerges.  He adds that this is not a principle for everyone but this is his working theory.  (If you haven’t seen any of Ruiz’s films, you may want to start with Klimt, 2006.)

The English philosopher Roger Scruton, whose conservatism is as unappealing to me as his name, has a worthwhile insight into the process of art making:  “Expression is not so much a matter of finding the symbol for a subjective feeling, as of coming to know, through the act of expression, just what the feeling is.  Expression is part of the realization of the inner life, the making intelligible what is otherwise ineffable and confused.  An artist who could already identify the feeling which he sought to express might indeed approach his work in the spirit of a craftsman, applying some body of techniques which tell him what he must do to express that particular feeling.  But then he would not need those techniques, for if he can identify the feeling it is because he has already expressed it. Expression is not, therefore, an activity whose goal can be defined prior to its achievement. “  (The Aesthetics of Architecture, p.7)

Above, a large painting in progress in my Impressions of Landscape class, by Peter H.

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