Charlotte reflecting on her first love; paintings by Charlotte Salomon from Life? or Theatre?, 1940–1942
An exhibition at the Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam, October 20, 2017–March 25, 2018
Jean Honoré Fragonard: Woman with a Dog, identified as Marie-Émilie Coignet de Courson (1727–1806), circa 1769
Diana Ong: Brain child, 2008
Consciousness: Where Are Words?
Words, words, words. With the advent of the stream of consciousness in twentieth-century literature, it has come to seem that the self is very much a thing made of words, a verbal construction forever narrating itself and reconstituting itself in language. In line with the dominant, internalist view of consciousness, it is assumed that this all takes place in the brain—specifically, two parts known as Wernicke’s area and Broca’s area in the left hemisphere. So, direct perception of sights and sounds in the world outside the body are very quickly ordered and colored by language inside our heads. “Once a thing is conceived in the mind,” wrote the poet Horace in the first century BC, “the words to express it soon present themselves.” And we call this thinking. All our experience can be reshuffled, interconnected, dissected, evoked, or willfully altered in language, and these thoughts are then stored in our brains.
Amedeo Modigliani: Nude, 1917
Sylvia Plath: Triple-Face Portrait, 1950–1951
One Life: Sylvia Plath” is at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery through May 20, 2018.
Tove Jansson: Smoking Girl (Self-Portrait), 1940
Tove Jansson (1914-2001)” is at the Dulwich Picture Gallery through January 28, 2018.
A portrait of Nasir al-Din Shah Qajar, signed by Mubarak Mirza b. Mahmud, Iran, late 1850s
Technologies of the Image: Art in 19th-Century Iran is at the Harvard Art Museums through January 7, 2018.