Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Dancer Nijinsky & Artist de Kooning Have Message For Liberals, Bloggers And All People

On a very nice winter’s day in Houston yesterday, I sat outside and read de Kooning—An American Master. de Kooning was an American painter who died in 1997. On page 187 I read something of great note. 

In the early 40’s, de Kooning studied pictures of the dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. De Kooning observed that Nijinsky “understood the expressive potential of the area between two bodies or forms…” 

In other words, the distance between two things can be a creative force. And, also, our actions are impacted and maybe even defined by the objects and things around us and by our distance from those forms.

This made full sense from a liberal perspective. All things and all actions have a context. No thing and no person stands alone. 

As another example– Our place on the political spectrum is defined by distance from others. How could one be, say, a “moderate conservative” if there were not others elsewhere who held differing views to be measured against?

Beyond the ideological affinity I found for de Kooning’s observation, the idea that even seemingly empty space had meaning heightened my awareness of my place in the world and of the place of other things in the world. In this view, nothing in existence is without purpose.

A friend of de Kooning, a dance critic named Edwin Denby, said the following about Nijinsky, “The space between figures becomes a firm body of air, a lucid statement of relationship.” 

I think we can translate this assessment of Nijinsky’s dancing to the electronic age. Bloggers use distance to form relationships. Or at least to communicate.

We are alone at our computers and away from the people we wish to reach. This distance is part of what is driving us to express our thoughts. Distance is key to the relationships we seek to establish and to the way in which we communicate.

At the top of this blog it says “All People Matter.” Yesterday I came to a better understanding of the idea that “All Space Matters.”

January 1, 2007 Posted by | Art, Best Posts Jan.-June 2007, Books | 1 Comment