Drawing and Time

Hiraku Suzuki

Drawing is an art of time. Firstly, drawings are trace evidence of gestures, the motions of thoughts themselves (them=motions) as process, rather than any fixed result. These motions imply time. However, drawing doesn’t only include a single linear time axis in which this one-time movement happens, but rather encompasses alternative time(s) that occur within viewers who encounter the resulting evidence.

And yet, drawing is elemental, and asynchronous. Just as there is no point in discussing the contemporary drawings seen at DRAWING NOW taking place today in terms of whether or not they are newer or older than the line drawings of Cro-Magnons in the caves at Lascaux in France from 20,000 years ago any more than it makes sense to consider contemporary Chinese calligraphy as newer or older than the master calligrapher Wang Xizhi (303-361). The temporality is essentially reawoken inside viewers following those inscribed lines. When those trace chronicles of embodied motion are evoked anew, the act (of drawing)’s nominative and predicative phases invert.

Drawing is thus a kind of recording device, like a vinyl record, which can be replayed anew, afresh, time and again, by triggering the (record) needles within us, which seek to traverse those lines. As Keith Haring said, “Drawing lives through magic.”

January 2019
an essay contributed to the exhibition catalogue “ART MIYAGI 2019” published by The Miyagi Museum of Art

 

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