Printing in silver… and Derrida’s interest in white and gold

Printing a plate in silver etching ink has proved to be just a little problematic! The ready made ink dries out quickly, the paper must be printed damper than usual and any extra oil to resolve the drying out of ink reduces the metallic impact. I have attempted to make my own ink using silver pigment as well but that seems to have an even more reduced effect. Below is the best print yet in silver:

In a slightly different direction I am also still looking at how various theorists have considered colour.

Derrida has something quite interesting to say, here are the key areas:

– The very course of his career show that the search for a primary foundation of material themselves – of speech (vowel sounds), writing (paper and ink) and painting (pigments and dyes).

– Differential pairs, including colour and line,  are the main instruments of his theory. Two signature tones, the white of paper or canvas and brilliant gold of Van Gogh, coins and picture frames. White and gold share the qualities of elemental purity and marginality, belonging to the borders of texts and works of arts.

– Both of his books ‘Dissemination’ and ‘The Truth in Painting’ draw a thematic link between writing and painting.

– The essay titled ‘White Mythology’ is adopted from a dialogue by Anatole France ‘in which the retreat of metaphysics into abstraction is lamented in terms of all philosophy becoming white mythology. The essay is an attempt to build a “general taxonomy of metaphors” on the premise that the very concept of metaphor is deeply ingrained in the practice of ancient fables”to “produce “white mythology”. This blank, so lovingly prepared for Derrida by Mallarme and other proponents of the Modern “aesthetic  of purity” is the primed canvas on which the design his theory can be traced.’ p.64 (Riley C A 1995)

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