Library: Recent Pieces

The Sense of Movement: When Artists Travel

Hatje Cantz, BMW Art Journey Series | Sunday, Jan 24, 2016


The sense of movement (according to Thom Gunn in a motorcycle poem, the first in his early book of the same name):

— which is to say

the way (the path by which)

movement (“On the Move” being the title of the poem in question)

makes (actively constructs)

sense (both as feeling and as meaning)

— is that (as that poem concludes)

One is always nearer by not keeping still.

Though artists as well have long known this, for, as Cézanne once noted:

“You have to hurry if you are going to see;
everything is fast disappearing.”

Short-story writers, too, for that matter. Eudora Welty:

“ Making reality real is art’s responsibility.”

Which is to say, artists have to be willing to go out there, deep into reality, in order to bring the thing back whole. And artists have indeed been doing so, picking up and setting off, traveling, since time immemorial. 

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