Engrenage or the Art of Translation

The International Merleau-Ponty Circle invites you to view Engrenage or the Art of Translation, a series of watercolours created by IMPC scholar Donald A. Landes (translator of the 2012 English edition of The Phenomenology of Perception and author of Merleau-Ponty and the Paradoxes of Expression and The Merleau-Ponty Dictionary). This series of watercolours was presented in conjunction with Landes’s keynote address at the 45th annual meeting of the IMPC.

As Landes notes, “The expression carves out that negative space, and the vestige of the expressive act invites an ‘engrenage’ or ‘gearing into,’ a reperformance—that is, a translation. In this series of watercolors, I explore engrenage. The material vestige of the expression (the book, the painting) is represented by the first graphite line, but the fluidity of the metastable virtual transgresses, effaces, or multiplies these edges. Each new reading or translation, expressed materially by the second line, attempts to s’engrener with the original, but not in the sense of material gears. Never fitting perfectly, leaving gaps, activating different parts of the virtual beyond the original boundaries, and reshaping the work in each of its iterations. Engrenage, then, is the art of translation—the art of communicating across difference in the face of the ever-evolving nature of the trajectories of sense we live.”

Those interested in Landes’s other watercolour meditations should also view Curfew, Curfew 2.39, and Edges (for Ed Casey).