Friday, February 2, 2018

Rome Journal: Two Way Street

"Mi Ricardo lll," watercolor by Hallie Cohen
When Robert Rauschenberg photographed Cy Twombly descending the Ara Coeli Steps he might have been filming Eurydice descending into the underworld. Why assume that ground level was the end of a journey eventually leading into the heart of darkness? But modernism is a purgatory filled with damned souls who are condemned to wander aimlessly while reinventing the world in the absence of any handed down notion of how human existence can be represented. Fear and Trembling and The Sickness Unto Death are the titles of Kierkegaard’s essays. "Do lost people really go round in circles?" was a story in National Geographic (8/20/13). Rauschenberg could have shot Twombly’s ascent but he chose the opposite direction to indicate in Yeats’ words, that the “the center cannot hold/mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”

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