In ‘The Sight of Death’ TJ Clark says that ‘the distance of visual imagery from verbal discourse is the most precious thing about it’1. He claims that materiality is specificity, and that this generates ‘semantic depth[…] true thought’. He doesn’t mean to say that pictures should not be talked about. I think instead he is trying to say that picturing is another language and we should be cautious about over-translating. Epistemological pluralism comes to mind. No singular way of understanding the world.

As James Elkins says, ‘painting is an unspoken and largely uncognized dialogue, where paint speaks silently in masses and colours’.2

Many connections are possible in my mindmap beyond what I have been able to get down in writing. I am running the risk of incoherence, that it’s not apparent enough how these terms are connected. Can drawing a line on a mind map replace the linear argument of a traditional essay, with its therefores, in-contrasts and additionallys? There’s an inherent tension in this: I don’t actually want this text to be coherent. I want it to multiply, changing with every touch. I am not an academic, I’m an artist, and it’s important that art is expansive, has loose ends and doesn’t make complete sense. So in one way, this text is a get-around, a way for me to dodge distillation and fixity.
1. T. J. Clark, The Sight of Death, (Yale University Press: London, 2006) pp122-3.

2. James Elkins, What Painting Is, (Routledge: London, 2000), p5.