went to the gym
in my brand new addidas trainers
white Primark socks
black short-sleeved M&S shirt
blue JC Sport shorts
spent 3 minutes
on the stationary bike
watching the C4 weather forecast
gusts of 90mph sweeping over the Pentland Firth
2 minutes on the rowing machine
watching the weight-lifting slip of a girl
with a blue and red tattoo
on her left shoulder
expand contract expand contract
2 minutes on the slalom exerciser
with a view from the window
of passing students leaning into the wind and the rain
then sit-ups sitting down on my favourite
the red medicine ball
5 10 20 25 30 35 40 42
then the abdominal exerciser
then the lower-back exerciser
the outer-thigh exerciser
the inner-thigh exerciser
then the torture of the tedious treadmill
5 final furious minutes
watch the Vermeer girl with the white earphones
ignore the left calf pain
Slap Slap Slap Slap Slap
Slap Slap Slap Slap Slap Slap
enough enough enough
10 minutes showering
pause to watch the girl with the tattoo
then out through the revolving door
into the wind
into the rain
Women doing ordinary things take up gracefully balanced positions…
What are they thinking about?
Woman with teacup, cafe, Dundee, 2012
Vermeer’s woman with milk jug, Amsterdam, 1658
girl with ball, Pontedeume, Galicia, 2006
Brandt’s woman cleaning the doorstep, Bethnal Green, 1937
What’s silently said
by that tilt of the head?
THE PINK JACKET
‘Untitled’ is a title. What does it mean? That the artist couldn’t think of a good enough title? Probably Yes.
So what’s a title for?
It states what the artist regards as the main focus of the picture or places the picture in some significant context: Cadell’s ‘The Orange Blind’ or Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ draws your attention to a focal point in the painting; Picasso’s title ‘Guernica’, on the other hand, guides the viewer to see the painting in the context of an exact place at an exact time.
The title ‘Sunset’ adds nothing to the painting of a sunset . ‘Sunset Over New York’ at least provides information which may give the painting more meaning to the viewer.
Man with Orange Cap
This title does not mean there is nothing else of importance in the picture but invites the viewer to start viewing at the unusual cap held by the otherwise very soberly dressed man.
On the wall behind him is Cadell’s ‘The Orange Blind’ so perhaps ‘The Orange Cap’ would be a better title for the photograph, providing a verbal as well as a visual link.
On a purely practical level, a title is obviously a handy way of referring to any painting or photograph – eg Picasso’s ‘Guernica”.(What would we make of ‘Guernica’ if it had been untitled? That it was Picasso’s protest against bull-fighting? Or something even darker and deeper? Perhaps the title limits rather than focuses the viewer’s response.)
Should you sign a photograph?
You certainly wouldn’t clutter a painting or a photograph (as above) with a title. So why put a signature on?
To establish copyright ownership?
In general photgraphs aren’t signed. Why sign paintings and not photographs? And if you do, how and where do you sign?
More questions than answers!
Titles of short stories, novels? Perhaps that needs a separate post.