Andrew Warstat



Michelangelo’s Laurentian Library (the thing about this, for me, is the blank windows).

Laurentian library Michelangelo

More references..

Sort of shameless self-publicising this, but I’ve just written a thing on art education, the impossibility of art education and… Kafka’s short story ‘The Burrow’ (Der Bau in German). It’s obscure, so I won’t go into details… but the interesting connection to the show on agoraphobia & why I’m thinking about it now is that it’s about a narrator who builds a space (the burrow) that they can’t really inhabit. Sort of a metaphor for making art & images… maybe? I think I can explain…

Der Bau

Early Ideas…

Ok. Agoraphobia… complex idea. Where to start?

I’ve been thinking a lot about spaces that don’t lead anywhere: dead ends, trompe l’oeil spaces, illusionary spaces, things that make you believe there’s a ‘beyond’ (an outside space, a better place etc.) when there isn’t one.

…And, of course, I’ve been thinking about the fear generated by this kind of space (after all, we’re dealing with phobias…).

I’m thinking, too, about the illusionary promise (if that’s the way to put it) of things like the ‘blank page’ or ‘starting afresh’ – those sort of illusions that you need to believe in in order to get started on a project (e.g. the belief that when you open a new page of the sketch book you can start ‘at the beginning’; that when you move somewhere new, you’re starting a ‘new life’ etc.).

It’s a bit abstract at the moment, but maybe some images would help…

 More references…

Working on the draft/correcting draft/fear of the empty page theme, I keep coming back to this crazy image of Marx’s draft of the German Ideology… More Marx Brothers, of course, because it shows Marx beavering away in the British library, analysing the horrors of capitalism and… doodling.

Marx German Ideology draft

Also thinking about the ‘space of the page’ & white space. So… Mallarme’s & Un coup de desjamais n’abolira le hasard or A throw of the dice will never abolish chance. This is an image of Mallarme’s corrections for the version of the printed script. Think ‘white space’, and the attempt to control that space etc…

mallarme Un coup de des jamais n'abolira le hasard


In case the Laurentian library was a bit too OTT, I’ve also been thinking a lot about Jim Jarmusch’s film Down By Law, especially the scene in the jail where Roberto Benigni, Tom Waits and John Lurie finally meet. This part of the film is essentially a ‘jail break’ – so it’s about a very particular type of escape from a space. The key bit is when Roberto Benigni is bored and starts drawing on the walls: he’s dreaming of getting out, of course, so he draws a window. Benigni’s character is learning English, so he asks Waits and Lurie “In English, do you say: ‘I look at the window’ or ‘I look out the window’?” In this case, of course, it’s only possible to look at the window…

Down By Law_10 Mar 2013 16.46.27

Down By Law_10 Mar 2013 16.46.34

Down By Law_10 Mar 2013 16.46.58

Sketchbook pages relating to some ideas about space.

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