6th Lecture 2016 »The Moments of Participating«

“We who draw do so not only to make something visible to others, but also to accompany something invisible to its incalculable destination.
Drawing is a form of probing. And the first generic impulse to draw derives from the human need to search, to plot points, to place things and to place oneself.
When I'm drawing - and here drawing is very different from writing or reasoning - I have the impression at certain moments of participating in something like a visceral function, such as digestion or sweating, a function that is independent of the conscious will. This impression is exaggerated, but the practice or pursuit of drawing touches, or is touched by, something prototypical and anterior to logical reasoning.
There is a symbiotic desire to get closer and closer, to enter the self of what is being drawn, and, simultaneously, there is the foreknowledge of immanent distance. Such drawings aspire to be both a secret rendezvous and an au revoir! Alternately and ad infinitum.”
― John Berger, Bento's Sketchbook, 2014
(John Peter Berger, born 1926, is an English art critic, novelist, painter and poet)

“I have been in love with painting ever since I became conscious of it at the age of six. I drew some pictures I thought fairly good when I was fifty, but really nothing I did before the age of seventy was of any value at all. At seventy-three I have at last caught every aspect of nature–birds, fish, animals, insects, trees, grasses, all. When I am eighty I shall have developed still further and I will really master the secrets of art at ninety.
When I reach a hundred my work will be truly sublime and my final goal will be attained around the age of one hundred and ten, when every line and dot I draw will be imbued with life.“
Hokusai Katsushika, The Art Crazy Old Man, 1834


When I begin to reflect, my reflection bears upon an unreflected experience.
The subject is given
with two parts of lead, and one of tin, well beaten with a hammer
The real has to be described
with ink, or colours, or clothlet tints (pezzuola: a cloth, soaked with ink).
My field of perception is constantly filled with a play of colours, noises and fleeting tactile sensations
according to the pleasure you take in it, you may draw on paper with a fine-pointed pen.
Constantly I weave dreams around things
as before directed, with a blunt-pointed minever brush.
If the reality of my perception were based solely on the intrinsic coherence of ‘representations’, do you know what will be the consequence of this practice of drawing?
I ought to be ceaselessly taking apart misleading synthesis. But this does not happen;
take a good sharp penknife and cut away about the width of a finger.