Last Thursday, the Dutch artist Joost de Jonge paid a visit to the classroom of Visual Art and the American Poet (MA). With easel and all, he illustrated how he got contemporary American poets, such as Dinah Berland, Norman Dubie, and Joy Harjo, interested in participating in his fascinating twenty-first-century ekphrasis project.
What did the students learn? A lot about de Jonge’s vison on art — a self-acknowledged Romantic’s quest –, tidbits of Jacques Derrida, Clement Greenberg, and Ernst Gombrich, some canine asides, and how this painter resists “academic schemata”; painterly ones but also the ones that our students and their instructors erroneously see as their true canvas.
Yet, mostly (and most refreshingly), they learned, as one student remarked, that when “trying to represent an image, we are invariably reflected in its representation. Just as the poem promises us that if we engage with the painting, we temporarily of course, reveal our own desires to find out something about ourselves.”
For more on Joost de Jonge’s project, click here.