In Defense of Poetry:

April 27, 2014

Dante (detail), Domenico di Michelino, Florence 1465

Dante (detail), Domenico di Michelino, Florence 1465

Can our thoughts ever express absolute truths, or are they always just an approximation to reality?

 

In his dialogues of The Republic (circa 380 BCE), Plato (428-348 BCE) defined the value of didactic literature, especially the theological and rhetoric values, while, at the same time, citing that “there is an old quarrel between philosophy and poetry” (Republic, Book V, 607b5–6).

By the very use of metaphors, Plato’s Socratic-dialectic purported that poetry could only be a camouflage1; which suppressed the truth of our reality; therefore, poetry was incapable of conveying divine truths. This interpretation extended to the European Greco-Roman traditions and persisted dichotomous in contrast with the development of Medieval-religious literature of the West—paradoxically despite the dominant embeddedness of religious symbolism. It was from the thirteenth and fourteen centuries that the great Italian thinkers Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374) and Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) initiated a humanizing conception of the world.  They identified themselves with a synthesis of Platonic philosophy by which metaphors in poetry were by now affirmed in positive terms.  Although they were always moved by the legacy from antiquity; they were also interested in developing new literary trends that could tear away from tradition. This epoch became known as the Renaissance2: The beginning of the era of modern literature through the metaphysical exaltation of poetry.

In De vulgari eloquentia (circa 1302), Dante Alighieri prepared an analysis of all styles and linguistic registers; but ultimately, he came close only to addressing the tragic or sublime style.  This work focused on the work of the Sicilian School and on the theme of love by the Stilnoviste.  Dante recognizes that poetry could also convey divine truth, that is, that besides being pleasant, the allegorical expression of human passions could be useful–speaking in didactic terms.

Francesco Petrarca also in La Carta X, 4 de Le Familiari (1349) addressed the question of allegory as an interpretative key to the poetry of the Middle Ages; for it established the use of allegory as the main similarity between the theological and poetic styles.  In this regard, in his view, the origin of poetry was found in a special use of language to appeal to the divine.

Then, alongside a biographical attention paid to the poet Dante, Giovanni Boccaccio also established a rigorous defense of poetry. As he put himself in an interpretative tradition of sacred as well as secular texts, he pursued in them a second level of significance.

In his plea for poetry, Boccaccio acknowledged the service it provided by exalting its powers. His treatise in Latin entitled Genealogiae deorum gentilium libri–completed in 1360, and edited until his death in 1374–, was a kind of handbook for poets and readers of poetry, relevant for transmitting classical mythology from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.  His singular defense of poetry was based on different principles; its universality, its antiquity, the respect that it had always aroused among the powerful, its divine origin away from earthly matters, etc . . ., were synthesized in the idea that poetry attracted three essential aspects: truth, beauty and fictionalization. Moreover, the discipline, study and work of the poet which provided indispensable conditions for literary creativity did not hinder a divine origin, or the revelation of that which was sublime. Boccaccio attempted thus to show that when interpreting allegorically secular texts, these were capable to reflect a moral as well as religious truth.

R.F.M. – New York City, April 27, 2014


1 Note: The term "camouflage"--the masking of nature--,which is used in The Republic, Books II, III and X by Plato (circa 380 BCE), differs from the term "mimesis" of the Greek mimēsis--in a laudable sense of imitation--which is not use until 1550.

2 Wikipedia: 'The Renaissance' is a French word coined by French historian Jules Michelet and disseminated by the Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt in the 19th century. This name has been used historically in contrast to 'the Dark Ages', the term coined by Petrarca to refer to what we now call 'the Middle Ages.'

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« Maria Teresa Tortolero-Rivero »

January 21, 2014
Different stages of her life

Different stages of her life

Not long ago, I shared with you the genealogy of my paternal ancestors, originating in the Canary Islands, which for six generations, dated as far back to the early eighteenth century. Unfortunately, I have not developed as complete a genealogical study on the ascendency of my maternal ancestors, but I wanted to share with you all that I’ve learned through biographical memories of my mother

Very little is known about my maternal great-grandparents, Elogio Tortolero and Paula Ojeda, except their being owners of a large estate in the south of the State of Carabobo Venezuela circa the nineteenth century. His descendants, my grandparents, Rafael Tortolero (born in 1893) and Marcolina Rivero (born in 1898), inherited extensive lands which they worked as cane growers and coffee farmers in the mountains, known as the “Fundo (buttocks) of Jorge” [taken after the name of my great-great-grand father]. The lands are officially known as “Banco Largo,” near the village of Bejuma in a beautiful region of Venezuela. Since colonial times, it was known that my mother’s family was of Sephardi Spanish origin, from the Toledo region.

Maria Teresa, as my mother had been baptized, was born near Bejuma in 1927 at a large house, which she used to describe as having seven bedrooms. Since she was a child, she wrote poems inspired by her surroundings as well as the love she received from her parents. At age 11 she lost her mother owing to eclampsia from a failed sixth pregnancy at age 39, and the following year, she lost her father from pneumonia at age 46.  As a result, between 1938-46, she attended boarding school at the Colegio de Lourdes in Valencia as ordained by her spiritual guide, “in locus parentis”, Father Francisco Martínez. At age eighteen, she completed her education as a school hygienist and secretarial accountant. The following year she contracted civil marriage to a Russian dissident, and though the marriage was consummated, her husband had unaccountably disappeared with all of her savings. As time went by, she sought out consultation from a lawyer, who eventually proposed marriage to her and became my father. They met while he was a labor union representative for the same Central Tacarigua Sugar Company near lake Valencia where my mother had started working at age 20.

My mother married my father at age 24, and after eight pregnancies, only five children survived, of whom I am the second. For eight years, between the ages of 49 to 57, she was involved in a hard-fought divorce with my father. Having been married to a lawyer for 27 years, she returned to her studies and became a lawyer at age 64 in 1991, specializing in child welfare.

In 1998 my mother stopped working as an attorney and dedicated herself to her grandchildren. In her late 60’s and early 70’s she made a concerted effort to build a corpus of her poetry. In 1999, she and I had a chance to travel in Europe for a month when she was seventy-two. The following year, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, although, in 2004, she was still well enough to enjoy meeting for the first time my partner David here in New York. She was really impressed by him and my mother-in-law Eva Lowenberger. Later in 2011, my mother dies of related advanced stages of the Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 84 years. Ever since I could remember, in addition to writing poetry, my mother delved in metaphysics and various esoteric subjects, which I believed had preserved her enthusiasm for life. She told me that she had begun to read Jiddu Krishnamurti in her twenties, and I remembered that she used to speak of him with great admiration since I was a teenager. She loved all the arts, and she liked that we were interested in them. Her encouragement led me to become an artist since early childhood. Five years before her death, she wrote:

“Wings In Flight”

Keep up the pace of your escape

in step with your fate

Your way is far and wide

and if at the first try you slide

O birdie so wounded

raise your eyes towards heaven

fear not any longer your destiny

for fleeing is a coward’s way

when it’s love that’s divine.

What is a good sense?

January 19, 2014

One of the best phrases that can be used to define the concept of “a good sense” is certainly “the ability to judge and act with wisdom(1),” but we could also say that it is the result of a logical, albeit elaborate reasoning.

September 21, 2010 by Luca Speranza at Fruttalia.it

Contrary to a good sense, a common sense often times condones the most farfetched ideas as if they were acceptable norms or rules of behavior. And so it is that ordinary men and women with a common sense seem nonchalantly to hold views resulting from a purely stereotypical nature. It may seem tempting to agree with such a habit which would reinforce a judgement bias as well as a sense of separateness. Thus, people would relate to each other as if they were images or the result of a collective phenomenon, rather than as they really are individually.

Although reductive, these preconceptions of preference may also seem practical if they would contain differences between civilizations and cultures in order to establish boundaries. Consequently, conditioned by such beliefs, ordinary men and women will hardly restrain themselves from a myriad preconceived notions rather than looking for qualities in people as they really are individually. And so, they would prefer to attach themselves onto a system derived from forms of inequality.

With the mere comparison between any Latin and any Anglo-Saxon civilization, one implies(14) and manifests such differences as if they were isolated worlds, i.e. for example, Italians are like ‘that’ while Americans are otherwise. The human condition is hence transformed into classifications that are dependent upon physical aspects or historical attainments. Thereby, we reason the systematization of superficially external qualities such as what would be Hellenized, Latinized, Anglicized, Slavicized, Africanized, Sanskritized or Brahmanized, Sinologized, Pacificized or even Aboriginalized, o Indigenized, etc., etc. … Fundamentally, we are speaking in terms of a type of reactionary and traditionalist sectarianism—banal and insular–instead of a common ground beyond linguistic and cultural differences: A common basis of interdependence, not on the ground of habits, appearances or absolutism, but in fact the product of a mind open to examination, inasmuch our reality has no true resting place.

Ricardo Morin 11/11/13

Ricardo Morin 11/11/13

Prayers to a Tyrant

January 14, 2014

Thank heavens! It will be enough if our determination to overcome great obstacles is possible, without letting us be intimidated by the huge challenge that lies ahead. God willing! It can be that our misery may be drowned by the courage to observe it as it is. Let it not be ignored! It seems that in meeting our fears, perhaps fear itself has weakened our resolve, if it were not for an order that has to prevail, notwithstanding any ignominy.

God, let it not be said that, at any time, we have surrendered into servitude. A tyrant can not prevail as long as he does not do what he wants, while rotting in his decay. As far as we know, one’s defeat can only be the result of one’s own blindness. May God help you and hold you to annul the cruelty of your own heart. Let’s keep it among ourselves! Do not be ashamed that we support your repentance. It is just a pity that you do not realize your life is cruel, and that you do not have the interest, passion, intensity, flame, to find an order to it all.

Let it be known that we are all responsible: You are just a reflection of our collective feebleness. I say this, so that you may understand. Can we accept any responsibility if we sink into our own barbarity, our somnolence? No one can be dissociated from this possibility, without the courage of facing oneself. Every day and every moment, we lose our identity as human beings owing to our indifference. Let it not be so! Is it possible that we have hated you? It should be enough for us to wish to proffer the compassion that you have denied us.

Before it is too late, we urge you: All one can do is to see the total disorder that is inside and outside of oneself. Observe it! One could see this disorder all at once, and it may be the only thing that matters, that is to say: to observe all instantly without contradiction. When one sees the danger of disorder, there is instant action, which is the total negation of all the culture that has led to it, which is within oneself. It is easy for it to be true. Well, it shall be true, unless you sink into the lethargy of indolence.

New York City, 01/14/2014

Ricardo Morin, Yale University, MFA ’83

You Are the World, and the World Is You

December 31, 2013

Politics (from Greek: politikos, meaning “of, for, or relating to citizens”) is the practice and theory of influencing other people on a civic or individual level.

Excerpt from ‘Wikipedia’, the free encyclopedia 29/10/13

It is no coincidence that since ancient times, many great thinkers have argued that, without ethics, politics are worthless. In the course of our lives we have had the opportunity to reflect on the inability of politicians to avoid discord and war, as we have also seen laws which can not enact peace and harmony among us. And it is possible to reflect on how our very survival seems to be predicated by this incapacity. One could argue that this condition is due to an inability pervaded by aggression and indolence.

 There is the inability of the United Nations, as evidenced by their own lack of determination. Urgent issues on genocide, on the prevalence of slavery, poverty and illiteracy worldwide are evaded due to the supremacy of greed and the fear to resist it at a level of total indifference.  As a mediating institution its sole mission is, in effect, reduced to organize for the sake of being organized without an effective solution to anything. Just as the political ideologies of all nations (in democracy, fascism, capitalism, communism, socialism, either left, center or right) constantly clash in a vortex that make them all useless.

The real revolution is repressed by our drowsiness, an insensitivity of our senses, when hypnotized by our collective entertainment on the everyday demands we inhibit ourselves from a good understanding of our despair. To this we must add the banditry and corruption prevailing in the world with the abuse of common goods to patent for profit even our own biological cells.

And then we wonder how not to be part of a decaying system, when peace and politics seem so disparate, one in contrast to the other. Although this seems to be an irrevocable fact, when one denies any form of association with this system of duplicity, one can be truly responsible, one can face all iniquity with courage and common sense. But one must be independent of any divisive identity, sectarianism, of all barbaric tribal mentality, ie., without any political ideology whatsoever, of any nationalistic sentiment, regionalism, patriotism, idolatry of religious books and saints, the cult of leaders, human exploitation, greed and all of its obligations. One would have to be devoid of any sense of superiority, indifference and selfishness which divide us violating our sense of humanity.

The real revolution is not a mass movement, but an internal revolution of the individual, within each of us, knowing oneself in peace and harmony with all our relations. When our responsibilities are met, peace exists within, all fear disappears, and the world is the better for it, but when we can not resist fear, greed, anger, hatred, jealousy or envy, quite known from ancient times, the world can also be influenced by such sentiments.

New York City, 11/04/2013

Ricardo Morin, Yale University, MFA ’83

Fidel Castro’s infamy invades Venezuela

December 30, 2013

What virtue can there be in Venezuela today, as one loses freedom, justice, peace and life itself in the name of an obsolete regime like the Castro’s? These are invaders, vampire gangsters, installed to establish a system that has nothing to do with any system, Marxist or socialist, who purport to be justified by virtue of comparing themselves to the alleged failures of other political systems.

A political system should be primarily moral, otherwise is not worth a damn. How many times have we witnessed an idealistic revolution as a neurotic manifestation which invariably results in genocide? This is the fate of the current battle without truce imposed by the lawlessness that grips Venezuelans today, thanks to the Castro brothers and followers.

It may sound respectable to speak of justice when in fact it is an irrational power struggle, when the poor are worse off than ever before, when gangland spreads, a parody of decency, a mockery of human rights. The solution is not in the books or in the time that it might take to educate the masses. The solution lies in purging the ignominious character that has been sown in the heart of the Venezuelans. The victims do not belong to a single sector but everyone at the hands of a narcissist delusional dictator like Fidel Castro in his effort to bring us his latest nefarious legacy. I urge you to join the protest of conscience and oust the Cuban invasion!

Metaphors of Silence

November 24, 2010

An artist’s Manifesto by Ricardo Morin: Viewing of his Jersey City art-studio where he engages with his paintings [2005-10]; some artworks are in progress and some are part of a recently finished hanging scroll series, entitled Metaphors of Silence. http://www.ricardomorin.com/

“The Acts of Individual Talent”

October 2, 2009
Triangulation Series 225

Triangulation Scroll Series Nº 225, 49 x 68 inches; oil on canvas; 2008

  • The usage which the visual arts serve is a complex demonstration of varying dimensions whose expression seeks not to explain meaning but express its intent:  If you will, to bring about a clearly independent act of interpretation, over which the artist exerts no control as creator.  From this, arises the sublimity of the psychological condition that is partly visual delight and passion renewing and nourishing a spirit of partnership with its mode of expression:  The intend expresses  ‘one is what one perceives;’ i.e., a quality of energy and a temperament independent of the intellect, separate from the craft itself and apart from the images’ residue .

RM- Confessions of an Ever Emerging Artist

A harmful but enticing, state of affairs develops in the visual arts when the ethnocentric-artists align themselves with the adjuncts to commerce and their proxies (commercial institutions and art dealers on the one hand, and foundations and curators on the other), all of whom serve as instruments of indoctrination and publicity for the dictation of style, theme and content, and in giving markets:  The entertaining ‘circus’ of mass culture.

The Zeitgeist of multidisciplinarity and the crossing of frontiers seek to justify the relevance of the visual arts–in its sales and resales–through their contortions of its contextualization, validation of its avant-gardism.  The study of the methodological principles of interpretation gauges the arts’ importance and place in the world of gimmickry and fashion, which are far removed from the dynamics of origins.  As such the visual arts find themselves in approximation with the modalities of narrative but expressed in the language of commerce.  The artist now is succumbing to an ethos of expanding academic sophistry (the parcels-for-sale of commercial art-history and the critics from the mass media).  The result is not so much a lack of insight but a desperate impulse to cultivate greed and to strive for status; this indication of a bourgeois, sentimental enlightenment and authority avert any derogatory notion of a therapeutic or hobby genre as anything other than menial and disenfranchised.

And so it is that the ensuing adaptation of analytic discourses into politics, philosophies, semiotics, linguistics, psychologies, and mathematics outline the obvious while absorbing the seeds of self-destruction.  In other words, the universal urge of a visual necessity finds itself transmogrified into commercial success.  Self-expression compares to commodification: Personal fulfillment is to be equated with making money.  Can we suppose this mercantilism arises out of the genre paintings of the 17th century with the emerging power of the bourgeoisie to decorate their homes with this style of painting?  Ultimately, these merchants of taste and consumerism seem to have missed the point that one’s perception of an image cannot be replaced by its description.  To do so would be to substitute a jargon–piece of gossip for the visual intend.  Visual signification derives from internal intend:  For example, an encoded tag of a work of art can never replace the joy of experiencing it.  Art is a manifestation of observation as such is basically immeasurable.  Passion and quality of energy need not require explanation, or, in particular, its manifestation should not be interpreted neither for its pecuniary worth nor for its valuation–or enrichment of a given elite[1].

There is a tendency on the part of any artist in his/her approach to consolidate the supremacy of their egos and minds, with the verbal and the visual in a hieratic creative process; at this very moment this rationalization extinguishes both probability and logic (in other words, it becomes dead!).  The lame allusions to the Conceptual, self-aggrandizing conceits; or to the simplistic Kitsch of popular iconographies, biases turned into cliché; to the orientation of Gender or Identity, affirmations of self-discovery, or to the flaunting of Geo-Environmental Installations, with its fixed dimensional constants; all fall short of their promise to deliver something new or important:  Declarations of approval however abound.

Many of today’s mainstream-artists mythologize the uprooted specimens derived from the trivial and the prosaic.  Coming from a world we know about and live in, instead of a world we don’t know yet; these agents celebrate derivatives of tyrannical forms of erudition.  Rather than enhancing our sense of perception, they extend an alienation that comes out of ambition and ownership, and make ubiquitous desire for the object enveloping our ordinary lives.  This gregariousness and massive consumerism disconnects and makes us slumber in a technological era that purveys everything except sensitivity and human interconnectivity.

Collectors, museums and galleries—today’s greedy usurpers of culture–welcome the glitz by which they turn art into a commodity and their power as plutocrats to satisfy the ignorance created through their Circensian parade of market indices. By definition the mythomania of stardom promotes only the few; every selection of one is a rejection of many [The Rise of the Meritocracy[2]].  The result of complacency fuels the alienation of 90% of active artists and creates therein an artificial paucity of resources, thus giving value to those market indices which ultimately result in the excessive struggle for survival.  Rather than art giving strength to the collective unity, a sense of sectarianism separates everyone into a race of competing ideologies over commerce.  The truth of art is left to search among competing opinions over what is relevant.  These unstable times of ours, of hunters and the hunted, of plunderers and the exploited repeat themselves in the annals of history.  A true analogy might be made, concerning the ignominy of certain Papal legacies or some of the horrors of inquisitorial prosecutions; there come to mind the 15Th–century iconoclasm of bonfires, or more recently the failure to denounce the Third Reich; or the failure of other venues to condemn the despotism of certain States, be they communistic, imperialist, autocratic, under the banner of revolution; or those economic manifestations promoting greed, unbridled political power, genocide, and the suppression of human rights.  Just as those who readily burned and suppressed the great works of humanism as products of heresies and apostasy, contemporary avatars of absolutism and abrogation overwhelm us with a new age of barbarism.  Globalization, investing itself only in economics and not in the diversity of mankind itself, leads societies into the stupor of self-destruct consumerism.  The arts, humanities and sciences, certainly, have become a lucrative ploy for products and technologies that reduce the “meritocracy” of employment, and the access to education; in the worse case scenario they have increased the parameters of extreme poverty.

Whether it be for the sciences or the humanities, history has taught us that the authority of any given period is radicalized by the struggle of an individual or groups of individuals, who were dissatisfied with the status quo ante.

This still remains true.  Yet conformity, indifference, defining ourselves by the supremacy of personal success obscure inquiry on the disadvantaged.  It is an empty gesture for one to defend the free market progress in the arts of today, or of any other given period.There have been innumerable artists whose accomplishments did not depend on a resplendent financial support or an irrefutable explication of competing narratives; sometimes, their ultimate measure of accomplishment came about despite the obstacles they had to endure–as well as the mores and instability of cultural vanities which opposed them.  Their works may have come to have a great deal of recognition either towards the end of their lives (as in the case of a Paul Cézanne, who preempted 20th-century Modernity throughout his first forty years of obscure labor before landing a first one-man-show); after their deaths (as in the case of a popularized Vincent Van Gogh, recognized for his sublimely “outsider” creations); or even centuries thereafter (as in the case of great works by anonymous artists from Greek and Roman Antiquity, plundered, destroyed and stigmatized during the Dark Ages; their interest was not to be revived until the 16th and 18th centuries), when the capricious dictates of fashion made them relevant.  And then, there are those who lose or regain their relevance, as in the case of François Boucher during the French Revolution, whose reformulation awaited until after the fading of a Neoclassicist Age-of-Reason –towards the end of the 19th century.  In the same manner, we have had the banal chasing for “the new” through the shooting stars of the late 20th century.  And finally, there are those who will soon revert to oblivion in our incipient 21st century, dependent on the accelerated whims of fashion and marketplace; and, as they are sifted by a system of valuation and the codification for time-tested relevance!  Whether caused by the destructive qualities of our own cultural care (high-, middle- and lowbrow), this constant striving of our own vanities, our emphasis on pleasure seeking and its discontent, or what is today a manifestation of the Capitalist market-place, this obfuscation with profit margins has demonstrated sufficiently to be an unrelenting allegiance resulting from acquisition powers and schemes:  The root of a dominion of power struggles, competition and divisiveness, a movement far removed from generating social equity in any endeavor.

What is to be done to liberate us from such schism? The answer is not to be found in a newly utilitarian bartering-system or in any bartering system at all:  Monetary or otherwise, in the corrosive belief that competition breeds progress.  The answer could be encountered in the rejection of a collector’s system of greed, or rather, the recognition that the quality of artistic creations cannot be pursued as a commodity to glorify a meritocratic elite or any other historical determinant derived from caste and political power while getting the better of a global community.  The answer cannot be attained by dulling our senses by the taxonomy of the intellect, but by a different kind of enlightenment.  The answer is to be found in the recognition that our own perfidy overcomes us, that any form of exploitation or alienation, either based on excessive power, intellectual hubris or superstitious belief, is not only undesirable but also destructive of our collective well-being.  The answer is to be found in an egalitarian preservation and enduring cultivation of all the arts as a transcendental testimony of our most profoundly sensitive sense of humanity–not in a fixed system derived from extremes forms of inequality, supported by factors of social stratification, hierarchical regulations, fashion modalities, ideological greed, or lucrative obsession.  If support for the arts were to be sought after, would we not need to start by assessing the irrationality of our oppressive system of valuation, perhaps our own cultural irrationality?  Isn’t this internalized and mechanized social and economic miasma outwardly manifested enough?  Where do we project the future of humanity, if it is not merely a reflection of our chaotically obsessive past, our own abandonment? Have we perhaps abandoned, as individuals, our realization of a Summum Bonum, the supreme good from which all others are derived, that the whole of mankind may live in peace and harmony, in simplicity and without distinctions?

Ricardo Morin and Billy Bussell Thompson


[1] It is hard to recognize nascent art forms when they are on the rise, and  by the time they are widely appreciated their best days are behind them= a pertinent excerpt from Blank  Slate: the Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker; 2002

[2] Michael Young, Rise of the Meritocracy, 1870-2033: The New Elite of Our Social Revolution, (New York: Random House, 1959), p.12 [London: Thames & Hudson, 1958].  Young’s pejorative conception, set in a dehumanized [dystopian] future is based on the existence of a meritocratic class that monopolizes access to merit and the symbols and markers of merit, and thereby perpetuates its own power, social status, and privilege.

Triangulation Series 555

Triangulation Scroll Series Nº 555; 49 x 33 inches, oil on canvas, 2008

Destruction of Ancestral Icons

September 20, 2009

The art of the hunter-gatherers, Australian Aborigines, since the early Seventies, has been disseminated, not solely from an anthropological point of view, but through its commercialization; thus disrupting the revelatory paradigm of concealment inherent to its culture.  As such the iconography from their rituals and bodily expressions of temporary characteristics, as well as from impermanent sand drawings—derived from communions with nature– has been translated onto a new protocol of objectification destined to paintings on boards or permanent murals on metal laminates, with the expressed intend to bridge the curiosity of an external audience: a process, which breaches confidentiality through its commodification as art objects.

With a few exceptions, admittedly welcomed by its naive producers, the secrecy of ancestral iconography has been transferred into precious objects of acrylic paintings inevitably to be transgressed and purveyed among Western collectors and their publications; thus introducing a not-so-unexpected consequence for a dilemma. We refer to a dilemma that erodes the indigenous protocols of initiation, as the narrative of their imagery requires viewing and understanding of themselves. Evidently, it is not sufficient to isolate the undesirable Western dissemination from the eyes of the aborigines in the confluence of a global community.

It is no longer possible to maintain the initiation rituals part of the cycle of their communal tribal powers while their objectified iconography becomes appropriated, or rather trapped between pecuniary bemusement and the attraction of a strange collector. In the effort to appropriate with the merits supposedly derived from admiration, an ancestral culture is corrupted with an external force that cements its adverse influence and dominance over their native communities rather than a mere preservation of the indigenous cultural acquis.

A disruptive influence is imposed onto the fragile ecological balance of these cultures by the colonizing destructive powers brought forth by researchers and their acolytes, anthropologists and their funding institutions, collectors and their propagandist entourages, as well as insensitive local governments who are so hungry for international attention, perhaps in a misunderstood concept of atonement for their colonizing powers.

RM

Sept 20, 2009

Cape Cod 2009

September 9, 2009

IMG_0009

On a bright sunny day with temperatures in the mid 70’s, we rambled through the trails surrounding a delta-like Long Pond, after which came the much larger adjoining Mashpee and Wakeby Ponds, first in the morning sun, before lunch, and then in the cooler afternoon from 3 o’clock. On the shores, we saw men and women with their pets at water-play.

The clearing views, unforgettable in the midst of the surrounding forests, were bathed by sun light. They blended verdant patterns rivaling those of timid Gothic structures made by man’s effort to imitate nature. Emerald moss-covered roots stepped up into translucent tunnels where we were led by random colonnades buttressing airy canopies. Freshly aromatic air filled to the exhilaration of the errant heart through gullies and groves; in peace with the rhythm of my accompanying soul.


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