#66: Il deserto rosso

The Cochineal beetle notwithstanding (there is dyed red cloth too beautiful for adjectives) --and there's cinnabar too--we all know that the red that counts is the red inside each of us, the chambers and corridors of the body's blood, and we're happy enough not to see it much. Red blood is mostly an instance of bio-faith.  Tenured wine.  Old Tennyson was frighteningly right about nature being "red in tooth and claw."  

In Lee Ka-sing's photograph, it's as if a red curtain had been drawn aside to reveal a brut architectural theatre set (maybe a modern-dress remounting of something civic, like Julius Caesar), with rising steps, from which a wild difficulty may be introduced into the play from above.

Fire Truck red. Fire Hydrant red.  Stop-sign red.  Streetlight red.  Red means business--broadcast on a life-and-death frequency. 

Here's what poet Rainer Maria Rilke thought of red (it's the fourth and last stanza of a poem called called  "Child in Red"):

It's this dress that she'll remember
later in a sweet surrender;
when her whole life is full of risks,
the little red dress will always seem right