Friday, December 2, 2016

Found Art Friday 215

Dear ones,
The Art Ranger wants to know - why does the dental hygenist always try to talk to you?
This week, while dealing with the "storage full" error message, we fixated on this shot from a visit to Crystal Bridges museum in Arkansas (where our dearest 102! year old aunt lives). The painting by William H. Beard (1824-1900) is called "School Rules":
titled "School Rules".  We've been drawn lately to all the great satire in the world.

Which goes quite nicely with our latest book search:

"Well Glory bee!" as our grandmother used to say, and "Life is the most interesting thing on earth":

During this time of national reckoning (wreck)oning) we thank our lucky stars to know some literature and art, full of ripe, healthy parody and satire that lays bare the truths in a creative and timeless way. One that comes to mind (again) is the farcical play, Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry, produced in 1886. First written to make his school mates laugh,  a few years later performed with marionettes, then as a short play (pre-Dada, Surrealism or Absurd Theatre), Ubu Roi points out the buffoonery of self-inflated power in a very direct and bawdy way.  And the first word of the play is "Merdre" loosely translated as shit! but with an extra r added to make it extra coated with it and ever more full of poop and pomp.
Jarry's Woodcut.

Amazingly, we saw Ubu performed in 1979 inside of a trash incinerator facility in Switzerland.  Not kidding.  Foreign exchange student sitting on folding chairs with makeshift risers amidst very clean machines, pressure valves and gauges colored green yellow and red.  "Merdre!" bounced against the surfaces boisterously. This was the traveling  "circus" that came to the small catholic town.  We think we were baffled and smitten.
Back to William H Beard.
 And you can see now how seductive the offer was for some, what the making it "great again" pretend nostalgia was grasping for.  A big blond man on a horse with an expensive coat directing his own TV show.  A show of farce of epic proportions.
Art Ranger attends her first Peace Rally in Monterey, California with founder of Open Ground Studios
and creator of sign in foreground.

Our art can not help but take action, as we must live life intensely like a raw sponge.  Perhaps the absurd theater of our country rolling itself in "merdre" in front of our weary eyes can have an unforseen salve.  That is, really noticing what matters to you. 
What is on your mind? or what intersected with your visual-temporal panorama of existence?  Please send some to:
 When in doubt, we look at the adoptee baby streaking through the mint or playing paw hockey with a pistachio shell, a coffee bean, a slice of celery.

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