Objets d’art

Posting my photographs on the microblog site Tumblr has taught me something cute: some teenage girls like to set up Tumblr pages and decorate them with images appropriated from other Tumblr pages. Tumblr’s nice technical term for the game is “reblogging.” It implies that the girls and the creators are working together at the task of realizing and then furnishing a home space for imagination: a little steel addition to the sensorium, a locker.

My own latest image to be posted in that kind of locker, on December 30, 2011, is a picture of a flower. Tenderly plucked from my own page, it now appears as well in a Tumblr site called “A Room with Color.” There, reblogged into the context articulated by that title, it mingles with reddishness and purplishness, only. The moment the steel door closes on them, my former image’s colors unclothe themselves from the shapes I thought I saw around them and stand forth alone in their new dark. There, all that remains to them is a chaste, autistic beauty. It is color meant to be seen for no more than itself; color as a form that has left behind its non-chromatic meaning. The non-chromatic would include, for instance, any idea.

Click to enlarge.

For whether the chromatic throws its light over lips or Jews, beauty under this regime of pure, unmediated perception has neither object nor subject. It only is; it only is color. Joris-Karl Huysmans, Oscar Wilde, and the people who love Schindler’s List have always been part of the color field. To glow, the images in their sensoria need nothing more than dark.