Lindsay Blair (UHI) – 'Where Words and Image Collide: Will Maclean's Intertextual Collaborations'

Lindsay Blair (UHI) – 'Where Words and Image Collide: Will Maclean's Intertextual Collaborations'

28th May 2020 - 4:00 pm, Edinburgh


Abstract

I am going to address the issue of word and image, the much-contested possibility of the generation of meaning from a combination of these two different types of representation. The words of Michel Foucault in The Order of Things epitomises the perceived and generally accepted dichotomy: “it is in vain that we say what we see; what we see never resides in what we say. And it is in vain that we attempt to show, by the use of images, metaphors or similes, what we are saying” (Foucault 1970: 9). The ‘impasse’ between the two forms of representation is reinforced further by Rosalind Krauss in her definition of the Modernist ‘grid’. She identifies a kind of rhetoric of the grid which eschews any link with literature, narrative or discourse. This paper examines word and image through the collaboration between contemporary Scots artist Will Maclean and a number of poets. The relationship between word and image in these poetic collaboration sits in sharp contradistinction to the Modernist grid as defined by Krauss. I consider specifically the collaborations between Maclean and the poets: Sorley Maclean, Angus Martin, Kenneth White, Douglas Dunn, John Burnside and his artistic response to two particular poems in the Scots/Irish word and image publication, An Leabhar Mòr.


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