Re: anti-collector

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Posted by Erol Abit on March 21, 1999 at 05:51:14:

In Reply to: anti-collector posted by Katharine Hawks on March 20, 1999 at 00:54:35:

: One of my graduate school teachers used the metaphor of weaving to describe the experience of knowing -- specifically in the way that art speaks to us. In attempting to describe this, he would speak of Aristotle's commentary on a lost play my Sophocles. In *Poetics*, Aristotle comments on a (since lost) play by Sophocles about the story of Tereus and Philomela. In a nutshell, Tereus rapes Philomena and cuts her tongue to maintain her silence. Philomela begins to weave. She weaves a robe which tells her story to her sister. And this is what Aristotle means by the "voice of the shuttle" -- that art can speak in ways which language cannot.

: Remembering this passage helped me to understand exactly why rugs fascinate me so much. In my imagination, they articulate both silence and the "voice of the shuttle." It matters to me that weaving is a woman's art. It also matters to me that that Afghanis responded to Soviet aggression with war imagery in their rugs and wove that silence/oppression into their rugs.

: It also matters to me that the culture, history, and context of rug weaving is not transparent to me -- that I have to work fairly diligently to begin to actually *hear* the voice in the shuttle.

: IF anything, I want to be an anti-collector. I don't want to be someone who fetishizes my rugs. I don't want to be someone who collects as compensation. I don't want to show off. I am interested in rugs with a "voice." I want my collecting to be about listening to other people -- not shouting "hey, this is ME!"

: Kinda abstract, I know. What can I say. It's late.

: --Katharine

Dear Katharine,

I didn't understand what you meant by "voice" and "listening to other people". Is the rug speaking with a "voice" or is it only "voice" of people who designed, wove, so on? If the latter case, the rugs must be only tools for you to communicate with people who lived in different cultures, in far distances, in the history, etc. In this case you are anyone else rather than a rug collector. On the other hand, if the first case, that is if you feel that the rug itself speaks with a "voice", it is the time to remind one thing to Steve. Steve, are you sure "rug does not have particular aroma?". Look at this it may have a voice too.


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