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Bento's Sketchbook is an exploration of the practice of drawing, as well as a meditation on how we perceive and seek to explore our ever-changing relationship with the world around us.
metres away from Rembrandt, who was twenty-six years his elder. Biographers suggest the two of them probably met. As a draughtsman Spinoza would have been an amateur. I wasn’t expecting great drawings in the sketchbook, were it to be found. I simply wanted to reread some of his words, some of his startling propositions as a philosopher, whilst at the same time being able to look at things he had observed with his own eyes. Then last year a Polish printer, who is a friend of mine living in
same place and at the same moment. Desire which arises from pleasure is stronger, caeteris paribus, than the desire which arises from pain. (Ethics, Part IV, Proposition XVIII) Each spring when the irises begin to flower, I find myself drawing them – as if obeying an order. There’s no other flower so commanding. And this may have something to do with the way they open their petals, already printed. Irises open like books. At the same time, they are the smallest, tectonic quintessence
dominates. Most people are swimming, swimming from one end of the large pool to the other, length after length. Those standing have just taken off their clothes or are getting out of them so there’s little sense of rank or hierarchy. Instead, everywhere, there’s this sense of an odd horizontal equality. There are many printed notices, all of them employing a distinctive bureaucratic syntax and vocabulary. The Hairdryer will be shut off 5 minutes before closing-time. Bathing Caps
the conservation of their body… (Ethics, Part IX, Propositions XXVIII & XXIX) Study the faces of the new tyrants. I hesitate to call them plutocrats for the term is too historical and these men belong to a phenomenon which is unprecedented. Let’s settle for profiteers. Their profiteer faces have many features in common. This conformity is partly circumstantial – they possess similar talents and they live according to similar routines – and partly it is chosen as a style. My diagram is
happened this to herself with the utmost ease. I was with her in what she (we) were doing. We began with her head and worked downwards towards the feet. When freed of the block, the part of her body disclosed did not change in appearance. Yet it changed. It disarmed all comment. It precluded any response except that of acceptance. Or, to put it another way: faster than any possible response, the part of her body which was disclosed, claimed its own acceptance. Although everything was done with