Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Thinking About David Jones
Like the figure of his Aphrodite, David Jones intended his art to have both a sacrificial and ecstatic function, a synthesis for which only wartime, it seemed, could provide the necessary conditions of intellectual emergency. The name for the highest form of art in Jones's lexicon was ‘sacrament’. In his essay ‘Art and Democracy’ Jones wrote that if only the beaver would add one superfluous twig to his dam it would become ‘a font’, and ‘the creature would enter the “sign world”’. The form of this ‘sign world’ is the artistic sacrament or anathemata, ‘the things set up’ to affirm and exalt ‘the gods’.