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- The Best Reviewed Books of the WeekMay 25, 2018
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Edmund de Waal and Paul Holdengraber discuss the uses of darkness, the necessity of bravery in art, and much more.
Edmund de Waal on why anxiety matters…
Anxiety matters enormously because it is a shared experience. I think that to try and efface it or blank it away with easy solace does us no help at all and if we can’t be made to encounter our anxieties then what’s the point.
Edmund de Waal on beauty and terror in his work…
Beauty and terror are very closely alike because they stop you. They can stop you breathing actually. What I wanted to do was a sense of removing things from the kinds of homogenous contexts of which they’ve been and allow them a space and a darkness around them. There’s lots and lots of shadows in this exhibition. It’s mostly dark. There’s some light, so your eyes have to shift. You have to move with care from the exhibition. Things come out of darkness and you find them as if you’re finding something in the middle of a dark wood.
Edmund de Waal on the importance of being exposed…
That’s the whole bloody thing, isn’t it? Everything that really matters, everything that really works out there—as a writer, as an artist, as an interlocutor—everything you do is about whether or not you actually are going to be exposed. If you choose not to be, if you choose to be defended, if you choose not to go there, if you choose not to risk it, then that’s your choice and that’s fine.
Edmund de Waal on different kinds of silences…
There are different kinds of silences. I have one when I’m with clay and making which has a rhythmical, iterative return of movements, and that allows a kind of space in my head, my heart, my hands to range quite widely. When I’m making my vessels I’m all that and everywhere, simultaneously in one place at my potter’s wheel. But when I’m writing it doesn’t have that repetitive kind of rhythmical flow, and so I have to be in a fugal state to write.