Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

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Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

Post  eddie on Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:45 pm


Brueghel's Landscape with Fall of Icarus

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Re: Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

Post  eddie on Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:47 pm

Musee des Beaux Arts

W. H. Auden

About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.


In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

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Re: Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

Post  eddie on Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:52 pm

^

I've been mulling over the theme of indifference to the suffering of others after I stupidly fell down the station stairs at work the other night. I was in the process of painfully and bloodily picking myself up from the floor, winded and cursing ("Bollocks!"), when a contractor asked me some stupid effing question or other.

My response to this untimely inquiry is unpostable on a family board.

You'll find a much more tragic example of the same syndrome in the post below.

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Re: Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

Post  eddie on Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:56 pm

The meaning of 9/11's most controversial photo

Thomas Hoepker's photo of New Yorkers apparently relaxing as the twin towers smoulder says much about history and memory

Jonathan Jones

guardian.co.uk, Friday 2 September 2011 13.47 BST


Thomas Hoepker chose not to publish this photograph in a book about 9/11. Photograph: Thomas Hoepker/Magnum

In the photograph Thomas Hoepker took on 11 September 2001, a group of New Yorkers sit chatting in the sun in a park in Brooklyn. Behind them, across brilliant blue water, in an azure sky, a terrible cloud of smoke and dust rises above lower Manhattan from the place where two towers were struck by hijacked airliners this same morning and have collapsed, killing, by fire, smoke, falling or jumping or crushing and tearing and fragmentation in the buildings' final fall, nearly 3,000 people.

Ten years on, this is becoming one of the iconic photographs of 9/11, yet its history is strange and tortuous. Hoepker, a senior figure in the renowned Magnum photographers' co-operative, chose not to publish it in 2001 and to exclude it from a book of Magnum pictures of that horribly unequalled day. Only in 2006, on the fifth anniversary of the attacks, did it appear in a book, and then it caused instant controversy. The critic and columnist Frank Rich wrote about it in the New York Times. He saw in this undeniably troubling picture an allegory of America's failure to learn any deep lessons from that tragic day, to change or reform as a nation: "The young people in Mr Hoepker's photo aren't necessarily callous. They're just American."

In other words, a country that believes in moving on they have already moved on, enjoying the sun in spite of the scene of mass carnage that scars the fine day. Indeed, I can't help thinking the five apparently unmoved New Yorkers resemble the characters in the famous 1990s television comedy Seinfeld, who in the show's final episode are convicted under a Good Samaritan law of failing to care about others.

Rich's view of the picture was instantly disputed. Walter Sipser, identifying himself as the guy in shades at the right of the picture, said he and his girlfriend, apparently sunbathing on a wall, were in fact "in a profound state of shock and disbelief". Hoepker, they both complained, had photographed them without permission in a way that misrepresented their feelings and behaviour.

Well, you can't photograph a feeling. But another five years on since it surfaced in 2006, it seems pointless to argue about the morality of the people in the picture, or of the photographer, or his decision to withhold the picture from publication. It is now established as one of the defining photographs of that day – with the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Centre's destruction approaching, the Observer Review republished it this August as the 9/11 photograph.

It is the only photograph of that day to assert the art of the photographer: among hundreds of devastating pictures, by amateurs as well as professionals, that horrify and transfix us because they record the details of a crime that outstripped imagination – even Osama bin Laden dared not expect such a result – this one stands out as a more ironic, distanced, and therefore artful, image. Perhaps the real reason Hoepker sat on it at the time was because it would be egotistical to assert his own cunning as an artist in the midst of mass slaughter.

Today, the meaning of this photograph has nothing to do with judging individuals. It has become a picture about history, and about memory. As an image of a cataclysmic historical moment it captures something that is true of all historical moments: life does not stop dead because a battle or an act of terror is happening nearby. Artists and writers have told this truth down the ages. In his painting The Fall of Icarus, the Renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel depicts a peasant ploughing on as a boy falls to his death in the sea beyond: it is a very similar observation to Hoepker's. WH Auden's lines on this painting in his poem Musée des Beaux Arts apply perfectly to the photograph: "In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away / Quite leisurely from the disaster …"

Stendhal similarly captures the dissonance of history in his novel The Charterhouse of Parma. A young man volunteers to fight for Napoleon at Waterloo, but instead of a defining moment of courage all he experiences are random, marginal, meaningless accidents on the edges of the great day.

History is not a heroic story, nor memory a block of marble inscribed with imperishable words of grief and rage. As Tony Blair – whose own response to this act of inhuman cruelty was to have such historic consequences – says of that day in his book A Journey, "It is amazing how quickly shock is absorbed and the natural rhythm of the human spirit reasserts itself … We remember, but not as we felt at that moment."

Personally I remember the shock of that moment perfectly. I have nightmares about it, which is strange, considering I am not an American and witnessed it only on television in Hackney, London. But I had come to love New York deeply and it felt like – it was – an attack on everything I held dear. Yet arguments about the meaning and, urgently, the response to this colossal act of violence started immediately. For every horrific account you can read of that day a horror has been caused, either directly or indirectly, by the "war on terror" that resulted: 12,000 killed by suicide bombers in Iraq …

And so, 10 years on, the meaning of this photograph is that memories fade fast. The people in the foreground are us. We are the ones whose lives went on, touched yet untouched, separated from the heart of the tragedy by the blue water of time, which has got ever wider and more impossible to cross. A 10-year-old event belongs to history, not the present. To feel the full sorrow of it now you need to watch a documentary – and then you will switch to something lighter, either because it is painfully clear that too much blood has been spent around the world in the name of this disaster, or simply because changing channels is what humans do. The people in this photograph cannot help being alive, and showing it.

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Re: Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

Post  Yakima Canutt on Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:31 pm

eesh, i spose Icarus isn't that different from those 2 kids in your high school who souped up and exploded across blacktop in a Daewoo four-on-the-floor rice-rocket hotrod; and and they were so gnarly 'n' bitchin that they rocketed right off Junipero Serra Boulevard smackadoodles into The Old Judkins Quarry ... btw no one does open caskets like St. Anthony of Padua Church.  last time i visited St. Anthony of Padua Church, Father Chori got to talking about Olympian epistemology-

and i was like "the greek gods were so immature, i bet a lot of greeks in those days maybe didn't even believe in them, or if they paid attention to them, it was because perhaps they were nervous about them or that they wanted to use the powers of the various gods to make a buck or, for example, get revenge against their topmost rival, my point is, i bet most greeks from those ancient ancient days didn't like the gods one bit, i am almost certain about this, honestly i really am, it's a subject that practically speaking isn't even up for debate, in my opinion anyway.  wow, i am thinking about it now and the greek gods seriously were jerks ... it makes you wonder so much if the greek people were a bunch of jerks too because ther gods were like that!  ancient history can be super nuts when you think about it in a certain way!"
stenographer: Lisa Shappsky



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Re: Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

Post  pinhedz on Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:02 am

^
He's got a point there (thinks the pinhed geek ).

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Re: Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

Post  blue moon on Thu May 29, 2014 12:40 am

and i was like "the greek gods were so immature wrote:

O I don't know. It was us who made Cupid immature.

The Greek representation of Cupid:



Modern representation. Probably devised by an adman to  promote chocolates.  Rolling Eyes 


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Re: Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

Post  pinhedz on Thu May 29, 2014 2:01 pm

I always thought that Zeus was as immature as any of them.  

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Re: Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

Post  Yakima Canutt on Thu May 29, 2014 2:51 pm



interesting picture, to make it more marketable they gave Perseus a robot sidekick. i like the part when Kalaboss stabs the decapitated Medusa head with the blade stuck into the stump of his arm, and then the Medusa blood drips on the ground and turns into dog-sized scorpions. i also like how the gods have toy action figures corresponding to each human and they can fuck with them, voodoo doll stylin. proper



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Re: Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

Post  yoder on Fri May 30, 2014 2:09 am

Though I agree with you on many points, this game is probably even more fluorescent in it's colors than Devil May Cry.

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Re: Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

Post  pinhedz on Fri May 30, 2014 8:07 am

This scene is an excellent example of the childish peevishness of the ancient immortals. Rolling Eyes 

Yakima Canutt wrote:

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Re: Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

Post  Yakima Canutt on Fri May 30, 2014 12:26 pm

 

triskaidekaphobia triskaidekaphobia triskaidekaphobia triskaidekaphobia

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Re: Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

Post  yoder on Fri May 30, 2014 7:02 pm

how do you distinguish the real trek clips from the fan mixed ones?

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Re: Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

Post  Yakima Canutt on Fri May 30, 2014 7:47 pm

It helps if one has seen all 726 episodes.   Shocked Cool Sad

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Re: Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

Post  yoder on Sat May 31, 2014 2:00 am

I'd have thought that would make it more confusing, that would make everything more confusing

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Re: Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sat May 31, 2014 8:14 am

not if you balance things out by also watching every episode of LOST



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Re: Brueghel's Fall of Icarus, Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts etc

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