November 14, 2010 § 2 Comments
Tonight I had a new dream in which more foxes appeared. These foxes weren’t red, their fur was darker. Their backs were dark brown, almost black. I watched two of them, as they swam from the mainland to a small isle. When they reached the rocky isle, they quickly disappeared into small cave-like openings between the rocks and cliffs. I had made a drawing depicting this event, and the drawing itself was very life-like! But then I noticed that I had drawn the foxes as they already had partly disappeared into the rocks; one could only see their long tails and their hind legs. I made new drawings, to show also the faces of the foxes and their front paws, but the faces looked like cartoons and the paws would only look bulbous and deformed.
In a dream I had two years ago: There’s an elderly man living on an island. He keeps two dogs; two large black hounds, probably Doberman Pinschers. There is a story about this old man, that he used to collect women, and then lock them up in a room where the dogs would tear their bodies into pieces. I’m on this island, along with another girl: Heidi. We are in a house located right in the middle of the island (it’s not the old man’s house – he lives on the coast). It’s a large old villa, with high roof, and a wood staircase in the middle of the house leading up to the second floor. There are windows in the ceiling. I have keys leading to the rooms of this house. Heidi is hurt, she is limping but she is pretending like there’s nothing wrong with her. Somehow this alarms me. I’m panicking. I can hear the dogs downstairs, letting themselves in, rummaging and rumbling; looking for us. I frantically try to find the right key so I can unlock one room and then lock ourselves into another room, so that the dogs can’t reach us. When Heidi talks of the dogs, she doesn’t use the word ‘dogs’, she refers to them as ‘library foxes’. It is understood that library foxes is a particularly wicked kind of animal.
November 6, 2010 § 2 Comments
“We were still attentive to the trunk, believing that it might wish to say more to us, when we were surprised by an uproar, as one who perceives the wild boar and the chase coming toward his stand and hears the Feasts and the branches crashing. And behold two on the left hand, naked and scratched, flying so violently that they broke all the limbs of the wood. The one in front was shouting, “Now, help, help, Death!” and the other, who seemed to himself too slow, “Lano, thy legs were not so nimble at the jousts of the Toppo:” and when perhaps his breath was failing, of himself and of a bush he made a group. Behind them the wood was full of black bitches, ravenous and running like greyhounds that have been unleashed. On him that had squatted they set their teeth and tore him to pieces, bit by bit, then carried off his woeful limbs.”
Canto XIII, Inferno
November 5, 2010 § Leave a comment
Vogel’s escape (Le Cercle Rouge, Jean-Pierre Melville 1970)
October 19, 2010 § Leave a comment
Nicolas Poussin: Landscape With A Man Killed By A Snake (1648)
Landscape with a Man Killed by a Snake is by some described as “a study of fear”. In fact, another title that has been used for this painting is The Effects of Fear. Poussin has created a scene where theatrical gesturing, poses and facial expressions creates a drama taking place in this otherwise serene landscape. The way the figures have been placed, and how the landscape have been constructed creates a diagonal movement in the painting, showing the workings of fear.
There is another way to look at how space is constructed here. The drama that has been described is connected to a diagonal movement on a horizontal axis: From the corpse and the snake in the foreground, via the terrified man and frightened woman, to the oblivious or indifferent fishermen in the background.
Looking at the vertical axis, however, we could regard the water surface as a divider between above/below. The mirroring water surface becomes a divider between the visible world above the surface, and the invisible below. The serpent, a harbinger of death, crawling over the corpse, could be seen as coming from the realm below the surface, from the underworld. The dead man is already on his way down to the underworld; lying next to the water he is “in between”, his body is still above ground, but his arm and his leg are partly submerged in the water, crossing the boundary between the world above and the realm below.
The reflecting water surface, both hiding what’s below and creating an inverted world through mirroring, becomes a reminder of that which is hidden or invisible, yet always present.