From Heron to Herzog

Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski

Two quotes today that seem connected across time by the finest of threads – somehow woven in my head. The first is by Patrick Heron, from his 1958 edition of; ‘The changing forms of art‘. The book consists of a collection of Heron’s writings gathered between 1945 and 1958 (this extract is from Part 1The necessity of distortion in painting).

The second is by Werner Herzog, from the book; ‘Herzog on Herzog’, published in 2002.

“for the most vital of the many functions of painting, in our age at any rate, is its exploratory function. The modern artist is scaling an Invisible wall – he is running down a path which he cannot be sure exists. With his head down he is charging a perpetually recurring screen or barrier (the barrier of reason) which may at any moment prove dense enough to concuss him! In short – the quality of vitality in art is something very closely connected with risk, with pure daring. The artist who never feels, as he starts a new picture that this time he is tempting madness to envelop him – such an artist is no artist at all. In so far as the territory now left for artistic discovery is, broadly speaking, an interior, subjective one (even new forms of ‘realism will be uncommonly subjective ones), it will be seen that the proper exploit of the modern painter is to push back the frontiers of the mind; to conquer psychic territories; to enlarge consciousness itself.” ~ Patrick Heron


“My honest belief is that the images in my films are your images too. Somehow deep in your subconscious, you will find them lurking dormant like sleeping friends. Seeing the images on film actually wakes them up as if i’m introducing to you a brother whom you have never actually met. ~ Werner Herzog

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3 thoughts on “From Heron to Herzog

  1. They are not connected by the “finest of threads”, but by the shared condition of “consciousness itself” and “deep…subconscious”, and how they act on creativity.

  2. Hi Gregory, i guess that was a little disingenuous of me. However, I felt like Heron was talking about the necessary process of making/finding images, whilst Herzog was talking more about the viewers response – two sides of the same coin really.

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