Tuesday, 11 January 2011


The Flood Tablet part of the Gilgamesh Epic
courtesy of Wikicommons
I was captivated when I visited the British Museum recently by the cuneifirm tablets. These beautiful man- made abstract works are incredibly sophisticated means of communicating, describing and defining. The structure appears almost unreadable. On some tablets the marks are so small and fluid the definition of forms looks almost inseparable from one and other. It is stunning that these digital like abstractions carried complex stories and detailed instructions. There is even a dictionary of synonyms! I find it humbling to think that these were made as far back as 3000 bc, the skill to make and read them was lost and then thousands of years later these intricate works were deciphered. I was also struck by the time that was readable in the marks. I could experience the speed at which the indentations were made and sense whether they were formal or personnel.  Beautiful marvels.

1 comment:

  1. bonjour Mister Monk, voilà encore un point que je partage avec vous, ces oeuvres me fascinent pour cette impresssion que l'auteur serait toujours vivant, qu'il est là, bien présent et cela nous porte à réfléchir au monde de la modernité au sens baudelairien du terme, sens qui me hante et qu'aujourd'hui on confond avec la mode de l'éphèmère, cela doit aussi nous faire réfléchir sur la défense de la presse écrite, livres ou journaux dans le monde, la typographie a inventé notre Liberté moderne, elle est notre liberté et celle de la peinture;;; je suis un peu long,pardonnez moi:thibault