Thursday, October 04, 2007

There is sky in those puddles

This news article about the birth and popularization of the Che Guevara image is fascinating. Part of that image's meaning died when it became a way to make money. And yet another part of its meaning was born at the exact same time.

The fascinating life of an image. In art school we often talked about the life of an artwork. Artworks are born, they enter the public domain, they change people a little bit, they move around, they are used in different ways, and then, eventually, they die. Kind of just like people! They might be remembered and reproduced. Artworks have crazy lives too. As do meanings.

I’ve decided that this puddle painting should be called “The Depth of Meaning.” The puddles are puddles of light and illusion, yes? The sky isn’t really there. It’s only light reflecting on the surface of the wet, solid, dirty ground. You could jump on top of that sky and destroy its image or reality. Similarly, if we look for meaning in this world, whether that is the meaning in a word or book or relationship, we can't find any certainty anywhere. Meaning exists in contexts that are always shifting and mixing and changing. Taken further, the generators of the meaning are seen to be our language and cultural background, as well as our brains and our minds. And when we look for meaning in our own minds, when we look for ourselves, it's like looking behind a mirror. There is nobody really there. It’s only a reflection. It's only a puddle of light.

And the Ground is covered in these puddles of light, all tiny, and yet all reflecting the vast, spacious sky. The puddles represent words, selves, objects, art, stories, dreams...anything that we see around us in our world that we think has meaning. The sky represents meaning: infinitely deep, and yet, infinitely shallow and illusory.

There is meaning in dreaming, but here is also dreaming in meaning. There is sky in those puddles, but there is also puddle in those skies.

That is just one interpretation of this painting. It's not the one and only, "real" meaning. The painting itself is a puddle of sky. I think it is important to remember that art is a beginning to ideas, not an end. That is also true for scientific discoveries and dreams.

Settn' up the show tomorrow. Yasuchika and Emily K. come next Friday. I'm cleaning my apartment like a lazy madman. Last week I had to teach some junior high school students the American National Anthem, and they will perform it on their trip to America this month. My music skills got put to the test.

They will also be put to the test when I drum and bell and sing and do whatever i will do to provide the background music for the famous butoh dancer Yasuchika Konno who will perform next week. (*0*) I'm a little bit nervous.

1 comment:

Abigail said...

Wow. That painting looks so real it makes me want to stomp in those puddles and giggle like a little girl!

May all beings be Free and in Love.

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