“But the causality of smallness stirs all our senses…”
Why are we so fascinated with miniatures? What makes miniatures useful in artistic work? In this ‘Why Miniatures’ series, we explore these ideas through quotes from various articles and books. Today, we look at The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, Published in 1958.
Chapter 7: Miniature
In this chapter, the only one I will discuss here, Bachelard is musing over the literary/fairytale ‘miniature. In this he means a poetic narrative that describes a miniscule space or object. However, with his analogies I argue all visual art is miniature as it is a ‘cropped’ version of the world.
- “…the tiny things we imagine simply take us back to childhood, to familiarity with toys and the reality of the toys…But the imagination deserves better than that. In point of fact, imagination in miniature is natural imagination which appears at all ages in the day dreams of born dreamers. Indeed the element of amusement must be removed, if we are to find true psychological roots.”
- “Representation becomes nothing but a body of expressions with which to communicate our own images to others.”
- “The cleverer I am at miniaturizing the world, the better I possess it. But in doing this, it must be understood that values become condensed and enriched in miniature.”
- “But he entered into a miniature world and right away images began to abound, then grow, then escape.”
- “The botanist’s magnifying glass is youth recaptured.”
- “…the miniscule, a narrow gate, opens up an entire world. The details of a thing can be the sign of a new world which, like all worlds, contains the attributes of greatness.
- “Is there any reason, either, why these ‘extreme’ images, which we should be unable to form ourselves, but which readers can receive sinccerely from poets, should not be virtual ‘drugs’…”
- “Also one must love space to descibe it as minutely…”
- “… I feel more at home in miniature worlds, which for me, are dominated worlds…Here the imagination is both vigilant and content.”
- “A bit of moss may well be a pine, but a pine will never be a bit of moss.”
- “He lay down behind the blade of grass to englarge the sky.” – Noel Bureau
- “Distance, too, creates miniatures at all points on the horizon, and the dreamer faced with these spectacles of distant nature, picks out these miniatures as so many nests of solitude in which he dreams of living.”
- “I plunge into the tiny dimensions that distance confers, for I am anxious to measure the immobility in whihc I am confined with the reduction.” – Joe Bousquet
- “Everything is small because he is so high. And since he is high, he is great, the height of his situation is proof of his own greatness.”
- “But the causality of smallness stirs all our senses…”
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Categories: New Photography