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PRINT January 1970

Brancusi and the Myth of Idea Form

Thus filming is nothing other than apprehending the event as well as its sign, and apprehending it at the precise moment at which, gently in a scene from Lola, brutally in a scene by Fuller, cunningly in a Bunuel image, or logically in a sequence from Rossellini’s Voyage en Italie, the meaning is born freely from the sign which conditions and predestines it.

—Jean-Luc Godard

LOOKING AT BRANCUSI’S A MUSE is like looking at an object in fission, or an object split between two modes of being. It is like looking at water on two sides of the wall of a dam: on the one side the body of water seems stable and circumscribed; on the other it spills over in a constantly dissolving flow.

The dividing line which visually rends Brancusi’s figure into two unequal and unlike quantities is dependent on the vagaries of the body’s surface—on the ridge of the nose, the cleft of the upper lip, the fold between

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