Mise en abyme

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Lately, I’ve been thinking about stories within stories.

Actually, I’ve been thinking about it for a while– as an art model, I occasionally sees photos of myself looking at a painting of myself (a painting done while I look at the painter and the painter looks at me). It’s bound to come up.

But the real reason I’ve been thinking about nested narrative (mise en abyme, or “placed in the abyss”, if you will)  is Ryan Gossling. And Macauley Culkin. (What’s sacred and what’s profound in this theory/movie star confluence is up to you….).

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The Meaning of Meaninglessness

GAUGUIN PAUL. D'OU VENONS, NOUS QUE SOMMES NOUS, OU ALLONS NOUS. 1897. 1897. HUILE 96 x 130

“Dou venons nous? (where have we come from?)

Que sommes nous? (what are we?)

Ou allons nous? (where are we going?”)

…These were the words scrawled in the corner of Gauguin’s  Dou venons nous?

It was it to be his last work: upon finishing it he swallowed a bottle of arsenic.

 But he survived…and painted many more.

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