TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Dimensionality of rugs
Author  :  Erol Abit
Date  :  08-29-1999 on 01:22 p.m.
Dear Sam, a part of your text: >>"Isn't the Venus de Milo a great work of art even if it has lost its arms?" I consider this question irrelevant because the Venus is three-dimensional art and the Oriental rug is basically two-dimensional. It would be much more fitting to compare a rug to a painting. Have you ever visited an art museum or exhibition and seen faded, worn and holed fragments of paintings?<< Painting seems to me to be 2 dimensional as you implied but I think it is not same for rugs. A full not-worn rug may seem to be 2-dim like a painting. But if we consider a rag of a rug is not equivalent to a rug which we think as 2-dim object, a rag can be considered as an object with more than 2-dim. Indeed it is physically more than 2-dim. This tells me that rUg itself too is more than 2 dim but the third dimension is hidden. Maybe I should not call it as a 3-dim. object but, let say, 2.5 dimensional. In mathematics (fractal geometry), there are such noninteger dimensions which we are not familiar in our real or physical world. It would be a good research topic for mathematicans on dimensionality of rugs. Regards, erol1999@altavista.net

Subject  :  RE:Dimensionality of rugs
Author  :  Steve+Price
Date  :  08-29-1999 on 02:25 p.m.
sprice@hsc.vcu.edu Dear Erol, You make an interesting point, but I think we could go even further. Photos of rugs are two dimensional objects, but rugs themselves have a property that is very important to me sometimes, and that is their tactile properties. Tactile properties require a third dimension or they don't exist. Going even beyond that, the changing appearance with changes in the position of our eye and of light can be important, too. The magnificent Salor trapping on the cover of Mackie and Thompson's book comes to mind. It's in the Textile Museum collection, and was shown at one of their rug conventions a few years back. The method of showing it was to have two people hold it, one at each end (it's about 7 feet long), and walk across the front of the audience with it. The changing appearance as it was being moved was enormously attractive, and I can only imagine what some Turkmen stuff must have looked like on the sides of animals in a procession. And this could bring us straight to another problem faced by collectors of tribal arts (not just rugs): the objects are out of context and this affects their appearance. In that sense, they are all only fragments. African masks on pedestals are quite different than African masks being worn by a dancer in full costume. But that's another topic for another day. Steve Price

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