After the Art – Issue 2

Welcome to After the Art’s second issue!

We hope you enjoy these four essays:

“Imagine That You See the Wretched Strangers” by Luke Whisnant

“Reading Kristín Ómarsdóttir’s Poetry After Visiting The Visitors” by Rebecca Fish Ewan

“Awakening to Art” by Kate Lemery

“Inside the Ruin: A Pair of Gilded Aftermaths” by Sarah Ann Winn

Three Rothkos at the National Gallery of Art
Three Rothkos at the National Gallery of Art.  Photo courtesy of the editor.

Continue reading “After the Art – Issue 2”

Reading Kristín Ómarsdóttir’s Poetry After Visiting The Visitors

by Rebecca Fish Ewan

My first impression of Iceland formed in 1980, my college freshman year, when I learned in geology class that Iceland was the youngest land on Earth. Young in the sense that new ground emerged from a molten womb all day and every day without end. I yearned to visit this infant place. It took thirty-six years to realize this desire and by then I had heard that people lived there too.

To prepare for my trip to Iceland, I bought a map and a small stack of books—The Sagas of Icelanders, Halldór Laxness’s Independent People, Oddný Eir’s Land of Love and Ruins, Eva Heisler’s Reading Emily Dickinson in Icelandic, Alda Sigmundsdóttir’s The Little Book of Hidden People and The Little Book of Icelandic, as well as the Iceland Pocket Guide. I listened to bits of books read in Icelandic, tried to learn phrases and words, hoping to find an occasion on my travels to say bergmálor sindrandi, words for echo and shimmering that seemed to emerge from the landscape like magma. I was convinced that the best way to get to know a country was through its landscape, literature and language.

Continue reading “Reading Kristín Ómarsdóttir’s Poetry After Visiting The Visitors”

Inside the Ruin: A Pair of Gilded Aftermaths

by Sarah Ann Winn

I’m not a fan of escape rooms, mainly because I want unlimited time to explore all the clues, to discover mysteries and answers that maybe have nothing to do with the goal, but which have something to do with plot, or connections the designer tries to make. I like well-thought-out red herrings. I love the idea of Sleep No More, the New York City production loosely based on Macbeth, staged in an elaborate and immersive environment that the audience members are “free” to explore, to open drawers and read letters, to smell bottles of perfume on nightstands, to flip through the books on the shelf. I never went, because something about the cast members being able to pull people away from the group, out of their exploration was a little too creepy for me, in what is an already gruesome play. That and the mask requirement.

Walking into Darren Waterston’s in Filthy Lucre at the Freer Sackler Gallery in Washington DC in May of 2017 gave me the same sense I wanted when I read about “Sleep No More.” The viewer enters a world where something has gone terribly wrong Continue reading “Inside the Ruin: A Pair of Gilded Aftermaths”

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