Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Post #8: Ekphrasis

The idea ut pictura poesis (“as is painting so is poetry”) has been a philosophical conceit since the Greeks; Plutarch cites Simonides of Ceos (ca. 557-467 B.C.) as the originator of the phrase “Painting is mute poetry and poetry a speaking picture.”  Almost every critic of painting or poetry from the Renaissance through the eighteenth century continued this parallel, arguing that both painting and poetry should have a foundation in image.  Similar to the concept of ut picture poesis is the practice of ekphrasis, a rhetorical device by which one artwork becomes the inspiration or subject of another.

In order to better connect the literature to your imaginations, you must craft a creative representation of one of the texts.  This can be a painting, a series of photographs, a journal “written” by one of the characters, or a dramatic representation (on videotape) of a scene.  You may work in groups for this project, but group work will be judged by a higher standard than individual work.  These representations must be creative, original, and appropriate for the college setting.  On the day these projects are due (June 2), you will present them to the class.  These photographs are examples of what previous students created.  For this blog entry, choose which example you like the most, and briefly explain why.

sculpture inspired by Eugene Ionesco's "Rhinoceros"

drawing inspired by Gabrial Garcia Marquez's "Innocent Erendira"
topographical map inspired by Scott Carrier's "Running after Antelope"

painting inspired by Orhan Pamuk's "The New Life"

puppet inspired by Russell Banks's "Trailerpark"

photo collage inspired by Charles Simic's "A Wedding in Hell"

q-tip sculpture inspired by Anne Sexton's "Transformations"

a song inspired by Anne Sexton's "Transformations"