15 de março de 2010

A [be]le(ve)za de ser brega.

Explaining the history of Man and nature, although may sound easy, it‘s a very complex task that few people have done efficiently. Robert Parke-Harrison gives a great insight on the topic, introducing a series of pictures that take the subject to thin deeper layers of this co-existence. “Listening to the Earth” looks very simplistic at first sight: a man sitting on a cliff is using a gramophone-like structure to hear sounds from the Earth. Spending more time with the picture, though, drives the viewer to different directions. A lot of details in the image, such as the triangle-shape structure, the light, as well as how the male character is dressed, evoke allegories about femininity, the universe and culture. The way all these elements contrast and interact with each other reveal a complex and well designed story underneath a simple scheme. If linked to other pictures such as “Windwriting” and “Edison‘s light,” the intention behind this art work becomes more evident; the same pattern is repeated, highlighting the above signs while also adding a sequence of actions. Through telling the story of interaction between Man and nature, Parke-Harrison suggests a new way of connecting, through comprehension, not destruction.
In these images, nature is depicted as yin, the female aspect, the passive, permanent side while humankind is yang, the male, active, transforming part. The high point of their promiscuous relationship is represented by their offspring: rudimentary machines Man built out of the environment’s resources. The “transcriber“, the “light-maker” and the “listener” are the turning point of this affair, a chance of establishing a balance - marrying. The struggle for balance in the Taijitu is beautifully illustrated here. In other words, they are the technology available today that gives a better chance of understanding nature and giving back to it rather than unwisely exhausting its means.
“Windwriting” brings the old teacher-student cliché back to life. The character is sitting on a wood chair by a wood desk wearing a windmill-like hat taking notes on a giant piece of paper; strings link the writing wand to bigger and more flexible posts that are then capable of capturing information. This data is translated from the vast circle that is seen above, the universe, into a small one drawn by the man’s arm, humanity’s
restricted rationality. Accordingly, from humankind’s limited form, that is emotional and instinctive before being sensible, it’s impossible to reach a full understanding of everything that exists, but by flexing this tough set of Man’s qualities, a new way of co-existing becomes viable. Accumulation of knowledge by paying attention to nature’s lessons and using it in practical means is the path to wisdom.
This learning experience is brought into a deeper level in “Edison‘s light“. Here, the learner has acquired some independence, walks by itself but still relies on his mentor as an example; their relation is more ephemeral, happens during the lightening and is over right after. The parallel with the final light bulb project by Thomas Edison is a great parallel of this learning suggested by the picture‘s title. The character is positioned on the same angle as the lightening and energy flows on the inside and outside of him; he doesn’t have full dimension of what is happening, but he is humble enough to observe, experiment and accept. His cross is also his wings; culture is a weight full of prejudices , which demands certain posture, dress code and way of acting, but on the other hand subsides within technological development, which allows him to go further.
From the actions that can be inferred in the pictures, namely transcribing in “Windwritting”, miming in “Edison’s light” and meditating in “Listening to the Earth”, the last is the most tuned with nature. He is on his knees, still, merely absorbing the rhythm of the universe; he is close to a sincere truce. But the structure is very weak and his hearing is not well developed, revealing a very fragile situation that might come down the minute after, as do all the 21st century’s efforts in preserving fauna and flora, and recycling. Even though research on new energy sources and natural environment’s restoration have grown exponentially, capitalism urges are stronger and command industrial production along with nature’s devastation, as the man’s material pursuit infers.
Perhaps if the warning about the environment’s degradation present on Parke-Harrison’s pictures was taken more seriously the world would already be in a better situation. The utopia might finally become a reality: yin and yang can be one, teacher and student can truly learn from each other, and walk together. Unfortunately, as the pictures synthesize themselves, humanity has still to overcome a lot of its weaknesses and open itself to true learning to get to the point where nature and Man will work harmoniously together. Describing this relationship, then, would be as simple as writing the end of a fairy tale.

Essay for English 101.

Um comentário:

Joseph disse...

i give it an A+