Thursday, November 20, 2008

out of my mind today

I can't get Seward Johnson's "Unconditional Surrender" sculpture out of my mind today. 

The original Eisenstaedt photograph has been a sacred icon in the lore of great photojournalism. So, why is this giant couple provoking me and is that good?

In the first place, they annoy me because they're so prominent, yet so inaccessible.  Like a gigantic tease. They are a narcissistic, cartoonish giant and they pray on the iconic memories of all passers bye. I feel victimized by their hijacked heat.

The scale is wrong. They make me want what I can't get from here. Who doesn't want to participate in the ardor of that original moment again and again and again? Freedom! Victory! That original Moment was so monumental. These cartoonish lips are so high!

In the second place, the cute title, "Unconditional Surrender", bothers me because, in this context, it suggests sexual domination. It carries subtleties of association that smell like victor's rights. And that kind of thinking just leads to trouble.

In the third place, this huge couple reminds me that I have more work to on myself as a resident of this circus city. But that's OK; it's what I need in order to keep reinventing myself here on the left coast of Florida.

Apparently perceptual shifting happens when nearly sacred art works leave two-dimensional space and enter the 3-D world. I suppose we feel it getting closer to us in our safe realms. And it moves us. Provocative art can really heat up an atmosphere.       

How could life get so good?

No comments: