Writing an editorial is the wankiest part of making a magazine. I think so anyway. But that’s not really fair cos some editors write poignant, incisive, important editorials that circulate for months or years. These editorials circulate with such gravity that writers and members of the public are compelled to respond with their own vitriolic appraisal of the situation at hand or the issue on the table. Once an issue comes together—and this one took literal years—I feel like I no longer have fingers to type, because my fingerprints, and the markings of everyone involved with the process, are all over the delightful rag that you’re holding. So why hear more from us?
Following what Lucas Smith writes, perhaps editorials, like art, are “necessary because we can’t read minds.” Maybe it’s important to point out, in Caroline Anderson’s words, the “Smart Casual Connecting Principles” that link all the individual of fragments of this special Art Issue of The Lifted Brow together. Maybe the multiple pages of images and text need an overarching mono-brow to spell out the elements that extend beyond the idea of “art”—a word that is wanky to some, this time not me.
Ekphrasis is the poetic tradition that interprets artwork through descriptive analysis, putting image into words. The word “ekphrasis” comes from the Greek “out” and “speak”. The ancient Greek play, the Oresteia, is about confronting the public and private nature of war and violence. In her review of the Oresteia, Jane Howard considers how our nation is as active in its own silence as it is in silencing so many. While we often feel unable to articulate such injustices, due to psychic or literal incarceration, art offers a way for voices to be heard and minds to be read; the therapeutic outlet of to which the Critic refers. Once you come out the other side of expression, art helps make sense of the personal and political messes we’re all in—even if it’s not a solution, it’s a way to speak out.
We’d like to thank all the writers and artists who helped make this magazine and exhibition, especially The Refugee Art Project and The Food Court art space. This issue was possible thanks to the generosity of the City of Melbourne’s 2015 Arts Grants Program.