The Symbolic Function of Color in the Art of Joan Miró

The symbolic vocabulary of color has many different languages. These languages allow the voyeur to understand their experience of art and the world within a variety of contexts. Color is a vocabulary of communication as well as a process of creating. It can be understood through techniques of degree but also articulated as modes of emotion in the lexicon of psychology. The relationship between color and symbol is particularly strong in the work of Joan Miró. The question of how to interpret art, literature, music, politics, and basically everything is one that has been postulated, revised, and argued for millennia. Strategies focusing … Continue reading The Symbolic Function of Color in the Art of Joan Miró

La Luz y El Campanero: Symbolism in 1925 Burgos, Spain

 “ In the fields with which we are concerned, knowledge comes only in lightning flashes. The text is the long roll of thunder that follows.” [On the Theory of Knowledge, Theory of Progress] Walter Benjamin, Arcades Project The above photograph was taken from the bell tower in Burgos, Spain in 1925. This photo was included in a photo retrospective on Castilla Leon, published in the Spanish periodical El Pais, June 7, 2011. In Spanish, the bell tower is called el campenar and the bell-ringer is el campanero. Throughout Spain, bell towers are found in the central part of each town … Continue reading La Luz y El Campanero: Symbolism in 1925 Burgos, Spain

Man Ray: Nude Dialectics

The Dada movement was founded on anti-war politics and was a direct response to the established standards and manifested these ideas by responding to accepted concepts of art with the creation of anti-art cultural works. The goal was to reveal meaning what was being discarded as meaningless in the modern world. Continuing after WWI, Surrealism evolved from original Dada manifestation. Defined by Andre Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto in 1924, Surrealism is: Pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, the real functioning of thought Dictation of thought in the absence of … Continue reading Man Ray: Nude Dialectics

Joan Didion: Exercising Narrative Rights

C-Span Interview with Joan Didion In a 1996 C-SPAN Book TV interview, Joan Didion speaks about her body of written work. Incredibly the interview lasts for three hours and includes a huge space for viewers to call in and ask her questions. (As a side note, it is incredible to see such a large amount of time, audience participation, and interest in writing being dedicated by a network. What does this say about the change in audience participation and attention spans?) In this clip, Didion speaks specifically about her first experience of being published and her first encounter with the … Continue reading Joan Didion: Exercising Narrative Rights

Fairy Tales: Critical Theory and Archetypal Interpretation

The question of how to read a text has been asked and argued by theorists since the first work was offered to an audience for interpretation. Questions of what should be considered separable and inseparable from the review of the text are many, the stronger of which have developed into schools of critical theory. The initial debate in reading a text is over the precedence of form versus content. Though Aristotle began this debate, it became publicly popular in the 20th century because of the cultural critic Susan Sontag. Taking a firm stance, Sontag argued for the supremacy of form, … Continue reading Fairy Tales: Critical Theory and Archetypal Interpretation

Alchemy and the Hermetic Tradition: Mircea Eliade and Carl Jung

The relationship between Mythology and Religious traditions is an intricate weaving of metaphor. Both Mythology and Religion have a similar function of relating lived experience to a universal purpose. Often, religion relates life choices to divine models, while Mythology creates narratives that contextualize the experience. In many instances mythology and religion function simultaneously. However, a major distinction between the two traditions is that mythology is defined as an adaptive narration, and dogmatic perspective restricts religion to a lived mythic model. Though there is a wide continuum of religious interpretation ranging from orthodox to eclectic, as a lived mythology, religion is … Continue reading Alchemy and the Hermetic Tradition: Mircea Eliade and Carl Jung

Modern Fairy Tales: Archetype vs. Stereotype

Since 1923 The Walt Disney Company has been making animated films, building theme parks, and accessing all other forms of entertainment. Much of the Disney Company’s box office success has come from their re-visioning of fairytales into animated events. Typical childhood memories include Disney’s renditions of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio, and many others. Marie Louis Von Franz describes the position of fairy tales in society in the following statement from The Feminine in Fairy Tales: Fairy tales express the creative fantasies of the rural and less educated layers of the population. They have the great advantage of being naïve (not … Continue reading Modern Fairy Tales: Archetype vs. Stereotype