The other day I took myself on a hot date to see Godzilla at Plaza Theatre. I entered with the usual assumption: I'd see a classic, old movie and indulge a little nostalgia for recent human past. I was excited to find that elements of the movie actually tie nicely together some of the ideas I am trying to work through in my paintings, as well as further solidify and connect interests I haven't formed informed explanations for. For example: I have always felt a pull towards Japan. I am interested in ritual and process and find these attributes are a bit atrophied in USAmerican culture where emphasis on quantity and speed overwhelms quality; I am still seeking sources to justify and support these claims. Anyhoo, Godzilla shined a light on a whole other aspect of Japanese philosophy//other phenomenon I had no idea I was headed towards. Check out these pics I snuck...
POINTS IN GODZILLA I'M EXCITED ABOUT:
- gender and family issues - that whole love triangle between Emiko, Hideto and the scientist Daisuke - The self sacrifice of the scientist Daisuke at the end. He destroys his notes, knowing that his discoveries could be used for good, but their potential for evil and dangerous applications make them unfit to share with mankind. - anti-H bomb propaganda and morality of the sciences was a delightful and unexpected enhance my own personal claims. - Japanese philosophy about the balance of the masculine and the feminine. The bomb as a symbol of masculinity, nature as the feminine - the disruption and retaliation of nature on man. Ultimately the feminine restores balance.
WOW! NEW POINTS OF INTEREST TO EXPAND UPON: Mutations, monsters, archetypes and evolving myths in the modern world
A lot of the ideas that struck me, gender-issues, ideas of family structure, etc, are all further discussed in this article by Jerome Shapiro (http://serdar-hizli-art.com/symbolism_in_art/symbolism_in_japan_movies.htm). Reading through this has helped shape and inform some of the points mentioned above and also have got me wanting to rip apart monster movies.
MY WORK AS IT STANDS TODAY: Agitated nature-scapes in contrast to the serenity / majesty of historic depictions of landscape in painting, photography and drawing. I reflect on a landscape interrupted by human "progress" - technology, strip-mining, clear cutting forests, irresponsible agriculture, pollution, trash, waste, consumer culture. I am trying to depict a space that is unbalanced and victim to the indulgence of the masculine (if we're relating it to the philosophy of harmony and balance of the dual forces: feminine and masculine) and judeo-christian notions that nature is at our disposal. Maybe I will take the ideas of the feminine, represented as silk, weaving and healing acting as calming balance to these landscapes. But then what are the gender role stereotypes I am indulging in doing this? How can I see "masculine" and "feminine" as compartmentalized concepts that exist in relation to one another in duality, but also have attributes of the other with in themselves? ...THE YING YANG lol. The cocoon may be a place for incubation, the womb a place where change and growth can be made, but it is also a sort of prison, isolated. I want to emphasis and explore the ideas of gendered constructs in their extremes as unbalanced, not that the feminine is inherently positive and the masculine negative, or the opposite, which is a bit more ingrained in our language and in our tradition, at least in the Western world.