Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for the ‘Quote of the Day’ Category

Quote of the Day

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In art, progress does not consist in extension, but in the knowledge of limits…Nobility grows out of contained emotion. Emotion should not be rendered by an excited trembling; it can neither be added on nor be imitated. It is the seed, the work is the flower. I like the rule that corrects the emotion.

Georges Braque, “Reflections on Painting”

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September 26, 2018 at 7:30 am

Quote of the Day

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September 25, 2018 at 7:30 am

Quote of the Day

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I am writing this manifesto to show that you can do contrary actions together, in one single fresh breath; I am against action, for continual contradiction…I am neither for nor against and I don’t explain because I hate common sense.

Tristan Tzara, “Dada Manifesto”

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September 24, 2018 at 7:30 am

The border artists

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If we want to be makers of the culture of the nineties in a country that constantly pushes us to the margins, we have to constantly fight for the right to have a public voice. The European romantic myth of marginality has been shattered. We must try to speak from the center not the margins, and we must do it in large-scale formats and for large audiences…I feel a strong kinship with everyone in this and other continents who is trying to find new forms of interpreting and articulating the dangers and changes of the times: the true border artists; the Latinos, blacks, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, gays and feminists who are establishing cross-cultural alliances with one another, the performance activists, the non-aligned intellectuals and journalists; the post-earthquake Mexico City rockers, poets and cartoonists; the “Third World” collectives in Europe and the Latin American conceptual artists and writers who are so intelligently analyzing postcolonial relations, they all are my brothers and sisters of vision.

Guillermo Gómez-Peña, “The Border as Performance Laboratory”

Written by nevalalee

September 23, 2018 at 7:30 am

The western steam engine

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[The] Western cast of mind [is] a compartmentalizing habit of thought which periodically selects aspects of human emotion, phenomenal observations, metaphysical intuitions and even scientific deductions and turns them into separatist myths (or “truths”) sustained by a proliferating super-structure of presentation idioms, analogies and analytical modes. I have evolved a rather elaborate metaphor to describe it; appropriately it is not only mechanistic but represents a period technology which marked yet another phase of Western man’s comprehensive worldview.

You must picture a steam engine which shunts itself between rather closely spaced suburban stations. At the first station it picks up a ballast of allegory, puffs into the next emitting a smokescreen on the eternal landscape of nature truths. At the next it loads up with a different species of logs which we shall call naturalist timber, puffs into a halfway stop where it fills up with the synthetic fuel of surrealism, from which point yet another holistic worldview is glimpsed and asserted through psychedelic smoke. A new consignment of absurdist coke lures it into the next station from which it departs giving off no smoke at all, and no fire, until it derails briefly along constructivist tracks and is towed back to the starting point by a neoclassic engine.

This, for us, is the occidental creative rhythm, a series of intellectual spasms which, especially today, appears susceptible even to commercial manipulation.

Wole Soyinka, Myth, Literature and the African World

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September 22, 2018 at 7:30 am

Quote of the Day

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Defining one’s own professional identity implies overcoming ethnocentricity to the point of discovering one’s own center in the tradition of traditions. Here the term “roots” becomes paradoxical: it does not imply a bond which ties us to a place, but an ethos which permits us to change places. Or better: it represents the force which causes us to change our horizons precisely because it roots us to a center.

Eugenio BarbaThe Moon Rises from the Ganges

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September 21, 2018 at 7:30 am

Quote of the Day

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In the last few years, I have tried to use the world as a can opener. I have tried to let the sounds, shapes and attitudes of different parts of the world play on the actor’s organism, in the way that a great role enables him to go beyond his apparent possibilities…If we know where to look we can find it at once, in a stick, a cardboard box, in a broom or a pack of cards.

Peter Brook, The Shifting Point

Written by nevalalee

September 20, 2018 at 7:30 am

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