Tuesday, October 14, 2008


In textiles, fabrics that are woven or knit but not dyed, printed, set, etc. are called “greige goods.” They bear only the natural color and texture of the plain fiber and weave/knit they are made from, colorless, characterless bolts of latent potential, and little else.
As we survey the arts and crafts, Daniel and I often speak of the world going gray. Everything seems to look alike. I expect that of chain stores, but it is frightening in painting, theater, quilts, or restaurants. I have come to view plagiarism as more than just borrowing a good idea and adapting it. I am beginning to see it as a sort of cannibalism, the way a body devours itself when no nutrition is available to it. It seems less sly to me than it seems a sign of distress.

It is tempting to imagine that we are graying from a brighter era; so tempting to think that we just need to get back to the good old days. Hence, I theorize, the endless recycling of vintage (read “old”) ideas, which I am very guilty of. Since the fall of mankind it seems unlikely that things would just be getting grayer and grayer without relief. History does not substantiate such an idea. There have been brighter times, but there have also been grayer. I think it must be cyclical.
So where are we in the cycle? Are we going gray, as in, on our way out, or are we greige, waiting to distinguish ourselves, but unfinished as yet?
Sometimes I think it could go either way, like the moment when you can’t tell if it is sunrise or sunset. What do you think? What would it take to usher in a golden era?

1 comment:

tarasammy said...

The sun looks like a giant bright eye looking through the trees at you.


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