Singing Reality: Maria Barnas and Renske Janssen

‘Imagination is not, as its etymology would suggest, the faculty of forming images of reality; it is rather the faculty of forming images which go beyond reality, which sing reality’

Gaston Bachelard, On Poetic Imagination and Reverie (1987)

In her essay ‘Singing Reality’, Maria Barnas writes:

There are films that I remember as narratives and books that I look back on as though they were films. There are works of art that I recall as layered poems. And there are poems I think of as short films. 

Work that transcends its genre belongs to the sort of art that I most prefer to look at or read. I suspect that these works didn’t come about because the artists intended to cross the borders of genres, but more through a desire to shake up ideas like a feather pillow. You find yourself in a pillow fight, the pillowcase gets torn and the feathers float around you like snow. Later on you are not certain whether you saw the snow in a cinema or if you read about it. Or did you actually walk around in it? The fact is that it really doesn’t matter any longer. That snow goes on whirling around in your head . . .

Maria Barnas is the curator of Singing Reality, a programme of artist’s films which will be shown at several locations in the Rotterdam City Theatre. She will show parts of the film and elaborate on the choice of her selection. In conversation with Renske Janssen, curator of the Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Arts, she will discuss the relationship between language and visual art.

Read the full text of 'Singing Reality' by Maria Barnas (translated by Donald Gardner) on Poetry International Web.

  •  Monday 14 June, 16.00 hrs, Foyer




photo: The Memory of H.P. Lovecraft © Mike Nelson