The One, the Set and the Historical

I’ve visited Richard Boston in the foreward to The Guardian Country Diary Drawings by Clifford Harper (2003, Agraphia Press) and focused on the acquiring a “narrative quality”. Here is the passage given more fully

The Country Diary drawings are intended to be seen one at a time, as they appear in the daily paper — and on newsprint, not art paper. By collecting them together they acquire (for me, at least) a narrative quality. They are also changed on seeing them on a different kind of paper, and not surrounded by columns of type but framed on a blank wall or as here in a book. The context makes a huge difference […]

And so I muse that the single object, the one picture, can itself provide a narrative effect. Simple questions arise: how did it come to be; how will it be disposed? A collection of one doesn’t have the same potential of narration by series as does a collection of more than one. Its story telling relies on the experience and marshalling of the involute (which is to be distinguished from the self-reflexive).

We can scarcely navigate the world without a sense of history kicking in.

And so for day 583

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