Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Art. Symbol. Life. The primal self.

An impromptu moment among friends. Ad lib art creates a powerful, primal symbol. Image credit PH/CK.
An impromptu moment among friends.
Ad lib art creates a powerful, primal symbol.
Image credit PH/CK.

The photo above is of a friend in my godfather's yard which constitutes an ever growing sea of sun-bleached, scavenged "crap" -- or treasures, depending on how you define these things. 

The photo is an impromptu moment in the lives of some people -- together they are enjoying a Place & special event very dear to my heart & whole being. 

The photo also captures a moment of extempore art.

And this photo presents a powerful, primal symbol.

Over the few days since this image came into my view, I find myself returning to it again & again. It is the sum of it's parts that make it compelling. Were this a photo of the friend, or of the elk alone, it would not have the same power. His placement in the cluttered "wasteland" is also relevant, but the man-body with elk-head is the key

It is the key to an immediate, visceral reaction. I doubt that many humans would gaze upon this without their guts telling them something. However, the reaction & consequent interpretation is up to the viewer's symbolic associations. Folks like to argue that we humans have a set of shared, universal symbols, but I am not sure that we do anymore. I think technology, world religions, cultural dispersion & other things have changed our perception of said symbols.

What do your entrails say to you about this? 

Mine harbour longing. And they wish to see & know something that lies just beyond, around the corner, outside the borders of the camera's viewfinder or, perhaps it is that which one might find through the gateway of the man-elk.


Katy Magee said...

I think that we - humans - have used the same symbols disparately and simultaneously throughout our history (e.g., pyramids in many cultures), but for different reasons. In other words, we are all called to certain symbols, but we also all used them or interpreted them differently. It's a pretty fascinating and complex phenomenon, if I'm not totally off-base about it existing.

Moma Fauna said...

I think that's a very clear way of putting it Katy. Yes, like the pyramids, the man-beast, shapeshifter (or some like to generalize as "shaman" though it would be difficult for me to label Herne, say, as a shaman) is a symbol that pervades across the centuries. And in this way, these symbols are indeed universal. Yet I am not convinced that their meaning to different peoples at different times is universal. Which, I believe is what you too are saying. It is curious and I sometimes I wish that I was better educated in that arena. Yet, I suppose having a psychological or anthropological association with symbols inevitably also alters your experience of them. So, maybe it's fine that I don't.

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