Reconfiguring the 6500 Year-Old Standing Stones as Visual Poetry
by Sandy Kinnee
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About the Book
At first glance, the two dimensional dot constellations on the walls of Paleolithic caves may appear to be nothing more than a grid of polka dots upon a bumpy topography. To me they are more complex and inspiring. These marks transcend the merely descriptive and move to the abstract, if you will, toward a visual poetry. In Brittany, the 3000 standing stones, running across the landscape at Carnac were, to my eyes, analogous to those very same cave dots, now manifest in three dimensions, transported onto an actual landscape in what can best be described as intuitively aligned rows, where each massive stone points skyward, as far as the eye can see. The day prior to walking among the Alignements at Carnac, I had a similar sensation as I walked in a very different but similarly poignant field of standing stones: the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer in Normandy. Looking in any direction, the white marble grave markers lined up, replacing with a sense of bedazzling regularity the hellish and cataclysmic turmoil of a World War. The arrangement of precisely placed grave stones was a human solution to place the incomprehensible into calming order. At Carnac the numerous rocks, some standing since 4500 BC, have no bodies buried beneath them, but seem to me to be the products of the same urge to wrest order out of chaos. Carnac's dot-like boulders and the clusters of dots in the painted caves tell the story of how human culture has instinctively grappled with chaos for eons.
About the Creator
Paris, France / Colorado Springs, CO
Sandy Kinnee is best known for his work on shaped, handmade paper. His work is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, Brooklyn Art Museum, Princeton University Art Museum, Portland Art Museum, Museum of New Mexico, Phoenix Art Museum, University of Michigan Art Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and many private and public collections. Part of each year he spends in France, where he writes and takes photographs. This series of books assembles the poems, short stories and photography into the themes that have gained critical mass over the years.