Seek to Yield to Find
Brisbane City Council Vibrant Laneways, Edison Lane, Brisbane, Australia
April 21 – March 2014
“Thus the lover of universal life enters the crowd as though it were an immense reservoir of electrical energy. Or we might liken him to a mirror as vast as the crowd itself; or to a kaleidoscope with consciousness, responding to each one of its movements and producing the multiplicity of life and the flickering grace of all elements of life.”
Baudelaire’s lover of life is the flâneur (or ‘stroller’), for whom the built environment of the city, together with its flows of traffic and people, are understood as resources for the construction of a text – the city may be built by others but its meaning is determined by our interactions with it.
Reuben Paterson suggests that memory is also a kind of kaleidoscope, that the past cohabits with and informs the present. Fragmenting our view of a forest river, the arcadian past of our river city, he evokes the dynamic force of history passing through the landscape. Negotiating our own refractory experiences and memories to bring interpretation to light, we illuminate this image with meaning.
This is a critical social act because, as we evolve together with the artwork, it is we who circulate this inspiration and knowledge; we are the coming of light into the world.
Charles Baudelaire, The Painter of Modern Life, trans. and ed. Johnathan Mayne (London: Phaidon, 1995), 9-10.