Instead of the ontological question “what exists?” creative works assert without question that something exists, it is there in the gallery space, the computer screen, or on the next page. When the work is good, it absorbs the reader or viewer rendering the “I exist (seeing, reading, listening)” at best a mildly interesting corollary. The topic takes centre stage and words, images, or sounds are quickly stolen from underneath themselves as if by surprise. This is not about the immanence of the creative act, but about a secret covenant between author and reader, artist and viewer that “there is” indeed something besides ourselves and that it is worth finding out about it and this, without asking any question.
As such, creative works are always openings onto the future, even if the image, the story or the poem is darkly dystopian. This does not mean that creative works have a predicative quality; this only means that the edges they create know no end. Even if it is just a passing memory, there is always more after a story, an indelible image, a personable or unbearable character, or a frustrating finale, for example. In this way, creative works are always necessarily affirmations of reality as potentiality. As William Carlos Williams once said in relation to poetry: “As birds’ wings beat the solid air without which none could fly, so words freed by the imagination affirm reality by their flight.” (Imaginations, 1947)
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