“…Retinal pessimism is not simply the failure of the phenomena of perception, the physiology of the retina, or the science of optics. Nor is it the conviction that whatever one is seeing is the worst of all possible things that could be seen. Both are intriguing options. But, retinal pessimism is something else, and it is encapsulated in the strange status of black: at once present and absent, at once a fullness and an emptiness, at once the absorption of all light and the total absence of light. Black is at once the foundation of all colour and, in its absence or emptiness, it is also what undermines the substantiality of all colour. If one is willing to go down this path, a retinal pessimism is not just about the non-colour that is black, but it is about the perception of colour itself. It is, ultimately, the suspicion that all colours are black, that all retinal activity is retinal inactivity. Retinal pessimism: there is nothing to see (and you’re seeing it)…”
Poison (1991), Todd Haynes.
I think that Poison was the first film I watched by Todd Haynes, many years ago. I’ve seen all his films and I like all of them, but Poison and Velvet Goldmine hold a special place in my heart (Velvet Goldmine is probably on my top 10 favourite films of all times).
“Dreams getting worse. Usually in nightmares you see what you’re scared of. Not in my case. No image. No color. Just blackness and then in the distance, getting closer and closer, beginning to pierce some strange ever-present roar, sounds, voices, sometimes just a few, sometimes a multitude, and one by one, all of them starting to scream.
Do you know what it’s like to wake up from a dream you haven’t seen? Well for one thing, you’re not sure if you were dreaming or not.”
House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski.
What silence reveals, all sounds, the voices of things, the musical world… All of this becomes active, a kind of disjointed rebellion, a rhetorical device, a genealogy that legitimates the rule of the void.