The Husband's Answers

Rebecca Hazelton

The images don’t explain a story. They are a counterpoint. 

It’s understandable to mistake them for metaphor, but still, a mistake. 

The trouble comes from thinking. I could stop there. The trouble comes from thinking an image is a story. 

This is how painting began. Little glimpses into little worlds. Little glimpses into the faces of the divine. 

But we know that the gods don’t really look like us. 

Yes, all Western art. 

I can’t speak to that. 

Berger says the image, disconnected from a fixed location, proliferates, and changes through new context, strange juxtapositions, reframing. 

What they do to us, yes. The stories they tell us, and how we accept those stories. 

He is less interested in the stories we bring. 

If I show you an image of a bird flying, you might think freedom, or graceful, or wings. You might remember your mother pointing to the sky, naming the bird starling, heron, crow. But all of that is yours. 

The bird is just the bird, flying, following the magnetic fields of the earth home. 

I did not say the trouble was a bad thing. I only said that it was trouble. 

The Husband's Answers

As an abstraction, yes. The way the physical world reminds us that there might be something better, elsewhere. There is a chair, and somewhere, a better chair. There was the image of her in the garden, pulling weeds, and somewhere, a better woman, a better garden.

If you believe in that sort of thing.

I don’t believe in tarot, but I like the art. I have five decks. I bought them all myself, which is against the rules. I like pulling a card as a diagnostic tool. If the card makes me flinch, it’s probably right.

I would start the film here, with these questions.

There was a time when I wanted so badly for my art to speak to others. Now I am speaking only to myself, and it is better that way.

Again, as an abstraction. But it’s not something that can be seen clearly. Like how teenaged American girls giggle at the statues of Vestal Virgins in Rome. They can only understand how they have viewed virginity.

To wield it as power – impossible.

Yes, Rome. I bought gelato and the man handing it to me took my finger and pressed it into the cold dessert, staring at me all the while.

Perhaps because American. Perhaps he wanted me. That was not unusual.

It’s a moment like any other, in that it feels meaningful and it comes to nothing.

There are exceptions.