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Sunday, March 30, 2008

A picture worth 1000 words

When I first took a glimpse at the painting Landscape with the Fall of Icarus by Bruegel, I noticed the little worker wearing the red shirt. The red shirt was the most vibrant color throughout the whole painting. I also noticed the very bright sun in the background. I believe it is nice the way Bruegel made the sky bright and then where all the people are located dark, since it shows how the sun acts as a god while everyone else is just humans. Afterwards, I noticed the sheep with the peasant working and looking up at the sky since it was near the worker in red. In addition, I noticed the sheep that is the close to our view rather than all the other ships and then realizing that the feet in the ocean are Icarus. Just like how Bruegel personifies the sun as a god, he makes the ship block the sunlight from where Icarus has fallen. Next, I noticed the fisherman near Icarus at the bottom right of the picture. After seeing all of the big and bright objects of the picture, I realized the ships in the background along with the two mountains, one located to the left of the picture and one located to the right. In addition, I noticed the town in the back faded out from the picture so that we can’t really notice it. There is also a cave in the middle of the ocean. I have also noticed the colors that Bruegel uses with all his objects and people. For example, the sky is black, pink, and yellowish giving it a dull background that is kind of in a condition of darkness roaming over. Then there is the sun which is huge with a yellow and orange mix of color to it. I then noticed there were a few sheeps that were black instead of white. In addition, I noticed that the darkest part of the whole picture is the bottom right part where Icarus’ body lies. The ocean where Icarus landed at is pure black expressing his death and since no sunlight is there, the work of the gods. After noticing the colors of the picture, I noticed the way the workers were dressed. For example, the mill worker has a grow coat with the vibrant reddish orange shirt that was the first thing I noticed in the painting. In addition to the hat to block the sun with. The mill worker has a horse pulling the cart he is holding to lay fertilizer on the ground. The mill worker is also dressed up old fashion just like the time period was. Moreover, the sheep worker is also dressed in an old fashion manner. He is wearing a blue shirt and holding a stick while looking at the sky. The next worker is the fisherman who is fishing right near Icarus’ corpse. I believe he is fishing near the corpse because he is probably curious to what happen to the man who he assumed was a god who just fell down to the water and died. He is wearing a fisherman hat with a white coat. After looking at the whole picture I decided to try to understand why Bruegel used the colors he did, put the people and objects where he did, and fade all the colors that he did. I believe that the black ocean on the right bottom of the map signifies the death of Icarus and that is why the ship is there. The ship is used to block the sunlight which is personified as a god from Icarus’s corpse. Next I believe the cave in the middle of the ocean signifies how Icarus and his father were trapped onto the island and couldn’t get out so they flied out of it. Then the sky being black, purple, and yellow is to signify a depressing mood to what has happened which is Icarus’ death. In addition to the whole painting being dark and gloomy where only the sun is strong and vibrant since it signifies a god. I also noticed how the top of the picture is very bright due to the sun and the bottom of the picture is dark and gloomy. I believe it represents how Icarus should have stayed in the middle and not fly too high or too low, because of how the sun would melt his wings and the bottom the oceans would get him, so that is why the middle of the map seems the perfect blend of color which is not too bright and not too dark but in the middle. I then noticed a turtle where Icarus’ dead body lies. I believe that signifies new life and a rebirth since there is a living animal swimming around Icarus’ dead body. After all the backgrounds and colors that I tried to figure out why Bruegel did it, I thought about the significance of the workers. The workers are in the painting to show the natural side of the picture as in the human side. There is a god side to the picture which is the nature part as in the sun. Then, there is the human part where they look up to the sky to be astonished by the gods and since they are all working to get their food and nutrients from nature, I believe it is significant. Since the human workers are doing their jobs to get their source of nutrient and food from nature, it shows how powerful nature is and how powerful the god is. For example, how easily the sun melted Icarus’ wings to cause him to fall into the ocean and die. The ocean is also another god since it is nature. The sun melted Icarus’ wings to cause him to not be able to fly anymore however the ocean is the element of nature that kills him. Overall, Bruegel uses a very unique style of color, texture, people, and objects to subject the viewer to many components of the picture such as the vibrant red shirt, or the bright sun.

"The Wedding Dance in the Open Air"

The Deeper Meaning of ArtArt portrays many aspects of one’s life such as social status, ideas, and even history. In the poem, “The Wedding Dance in the Open Air”, by William Carlos Williams, social status is displayed by the peasant’s type of clothing, ideas of what the peasants dream and hope for is displayed, and history of how people acted and what it meant is shown compared to how we would see it as now. Williams writes his poems in a haiku form of three line stanzas and with his lack of punctuation, emphasizes the important words of the poem. Williams starts out with showing the dreams and hopes of the peasants. He begins his poem with describing how the peasants are dancing, “disciplined by the artist/to go round/& round” (1-3), explains how Brueghel, the artist, expresses the way the peasants have a never-ending work cycle. The peasants finally have a time where they are celebrating other than working. In the painting, we see the peasants dancing to the music playing, swinging their arms around, and having fun. Usually we see peasants working and being excluded from civilization as their social status are the lowest of the people and they have no connections other than between themselves and taking orders from other people. Williams expresses how the peasants dream for escape of this cycle of working and to be away from civilization saying, “they prance or go openly/toward the wood’s/edges” (15-17). Williams continues his poem with expressing the simplicity of the peasants. The clothing of the peasants is described by Williams, “ample-bottomed doxies/fills/the market square” (7-9) and “rough shoes and/farm breeches” (17-18). In the painting, we see the peasants wearing the clothes they go to work with, showing how poor the peasants are because they can’t afford formal wear. Moreover, we see how uncivilized they are with their bewildered dancing rather than proper dancing such as ballroom dancing. In addition, Williams’s expresses how uncivilized the peasants are with expressing how the peasants act, “mouths agape/Oya! /kicking up their heels” (19-21). They are acting almost like animals rather than normal human beings as they are so caught up in the moment of freedom from work and being able to let themselves go. The simplicity of the peasants on how they dance, dress, and express themselves portrays how different we judge society. In the painting, we see the peasants dancing and touching each other with music playing which is a sense of order for them. Nowadays, we see order as precise and exact. However, back then, they see order as balanced with the music and dancing being in complete harmony with one another. The history of how we looked upon order and society is shown with all the little details that Brueghel presents in his painting.In conclusion, this poem reveals the simplicity of the peasants and how they are trapped in a never-ending work cycle which they hope to escape. In addition, to the history of how we looked upon order compared to how we do now. Williams’ use of haiku reveals the deeper meaning of the ideas and images that Brueghel presents in his painting.

James Joyce

Blindness/Eye SightJames Joyce uses blindness and eye sight to cleverly help the audience realize the downfall of a character. Eye sight is the act or fact of seeing. Being blind completely strips you of your eye sight leaving you helpless. Blindness is someone unable to see; lacking the sense of sight; sightless. In addition, in an abstract manner, blindness is someone unwilling or unable to perceive or understand. In any form it is used, blindness is a handicap that affects a person to have a hard time to distinguish or solve their hardship. In the novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Stephen Dedalus is the main character that undergoes many changes as we see him mature throughout the novel. We see Stephen gradually mature little by little such as during his first years from a sheltered little boy to a bright student who understands social interactions and can begin to make sense of the world around him, and another time where Stephen sleeps with the Dublin prostitute. Throughout the whole time Stephen matures, he goes through many phases where he is in confusion or is helpless. This is where Joyce uses blindness and eye sight to show the troubles that Stephen is going through. In the beginning of the novel, Joyce expresses how child-like Stephen is by the way he starts out with words like “moocow” and “baby tuckoo” to explain how Stephen was. The narrative is limited to Stephen's consciousness, so his misperceptions become part of the story. Joyce also portrays what it means to be a young man growing up in a confusing modern world. In the passage, “Pull out his eyes, Apologise, Apologise, Pull out his eyes.” (Dante, P.21). Dante speaks of what would happen if Stephen didn’t apologize for hiding under the table in the Vance’s home. He claims that if Stephen does not apologize then the eagles will come and pull out his eyes. Joyce uses the pulling out of Stephen’s eyes as an abstract example of the consequences that Stephen would go through if he did not do what was right. Back in Egyptian time, one of the evil penalties inflicted on robbers was of vultures picking out their eyes. Joyce uses this passage to express how badly punished Stephen would be had he not apologize just as if he were a robber like in the Egyptian times. During the end of chapter two, Stephen has sex with the Dublin prostitute. Joyce portrays this significant part of Stephen’s life where he loses his innocence and turns it into corruption by using the lack of eye sight. “He closed his eyes, surrendering himself to her, body and mind, conscious of nothing in the world but the dark pressure of her softly parting lips” (Joyce, P.99). As Stephen loses all eye sight by closing his eyes, he performs his act of corruption because he is unwilling to perceive what is happening. “Conscious of nothing in the world” (Joyce, P.99), shows how after Stephen closes his eyes he is not aware of anything going on around him. Losing his innocence in such a way as to a prostitute obviously shows how badly Stephen has sinned and that is why Joyce uses the lack of eye sight to express Stephen’s downfall in his maturing stage of his life.James Joyce wants the reader to be able to identify the occurrence of the downfall of someone. Stephen makes many bad choices during his growing up stage. After undergoing each mistake, he falls into a state of unconsciousness of his surroundings or lack of understanding to what he is doing which is portrayed by Joyce with blindness or lack of eye sight such as the closing of eyes.

Tom Philips' Humament!!! =]

On page 200 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips portrays his feelings through his artwork and rich detail in color, shades, and texts. even the most unique occurrence can be shadowed by other perceptions around similar to it. Phillips uses streaks of bold dots, colors and contrasts dark and light imagery which shows the different perceptions of reality within the human mind. The light imagery is where everything seems holy and beautiful with the opera lady singing and her hand reaching out to the sky, where as the dark imagery seems mysterious and cloudy with a shadow of a person in the background. To start, the texts are defined with bold black borders as well as the painting itself. The painting cuts such as a puzzle with missing pieces and there is especially the biggest cut in the middle of the painting where it also resembles the biggest font of text which is a name, “Irma”, which I believe to be the woman who is singing in the opera and reaching her hand out. The text boxes itself are also in the shape of puzzle pieces connecting to each other to make one full sentence. Phillips does this to express a feeling of being incomplete and wanting more such as the hand reaching out or the puzzle pieces being separated rather than being together. “In the street studying sound”, represents the noises around the world or from both the light and dark imagery and how its loud everywhere. “The opera”, is the noises from the light imagery, the beautiful sound from the opera with its soothing music from the lady. “..had yet no heavy salmon-coloured tone;”, represents how the dark imagery is clashing with the light imagery making everything sound the same and the beautiful sound from the opera lady isn’t getting through due to the noises around the whole world and how the dark imagery balances with the light imagery. The text explains how the world is balanced with good and evil no matter how beautiful the good is or how ugly the evil is.Phillips uses many distinct colors to resemble the good and evil. For the dark imagery he uses olive green, a very disgusting evil type of green such as the swamp. Then he gradually shades it in to turn from olive green to complete blackness. In addition, he makes the shadow of a character all sketchy as if it were fading to portray how sneaky it is and hard to find. The dark imagery blends in with the light imagery in the middle where from the dark colors comes light colors. The light imagery has yellow which is the one of the brightest color of them all along with light blue and a tint of orange. The opera lady’s hand which is reaching to the sky has the orange tint around it as if I were a glow along with the light blue lining which goes around her whole arm and then around her body. The dots around the whole background make the drawing seem blurry and makes everything seems as if its fading away, almost like the image is being created by the vibrations from the sound. Then there is the buildings at the bottom of the picture which represents the street that Phillips was talking about, or the world. It is a shadow showing how with both the good and evil side combine everything is blank due to everything evening up. A positive one and a negative one added together is zero, just like good and evil.The texts and colors together form the message that Philips is trying to express. His abstract meaning of good and evil is represented so well with his indirect meanings through the opera lady‘s beautiful singing to the darkness of shadows and mystery, perhaps the protagonist, could also be used to describe simple objects to create a beautiful piece of art. People find happiness from hearing the voice of opera and go to the opera to be soothed and feel peace and serenity. The shadows from the outside is scary and make you wonder what is going wrong or make you stress about everything around you. The night and its mysteries and darkness makes you almost incapable to perceive what is going on around you. On the other hand, with the light and daytime, you are able to comprehend everything around you and with the sun helps sooth you with heat and happiness. In conclusion, Phillips uses his great art expressions and abstract meaning to portray his message. He uses great blends of colors, imagery of light and darkness, rich detail on objects such as the shadow, opera lady, and buildings, and great fading effect with the way he does his painting with dots. Phillip’s emotions and message is perfectly portrayed through his art.

Hamlet's Soliloquy Act 3 Scene 1

Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act 3 Scene 1as portrayed by Laurence Olivier is the best out of the three videos with how it delivers Hamlet‘s interpretations. The elements that the director use in this clip portray exactly how Hamlet would have acted perfectly. Everything from the camera angles, color and lighting, symbolic scenery, and actor’s movement make this piece much more entertaining and realistic than the other videos. In the video the camera starts out with showing us the ocean. The massive waves seem to be uncontrollable and unpredictable. They represent Hamlet’s agitated feelings and everything going on inside of him. In addition, Hamlet says, “to take arm against a sea of troubles” (line 58), which compares the sea to his feelings. The sea is compared to the vast amount of problems that Hamlet is going through. Moreover, everyone thinks Hamlet is a lunatic and is crazy. Lunatic literally means possessed by the moon and the moon controls the turbulence of the ocean which is a perfect connection to how Hamlet is. Afterwards, we see Hamlet sitting on a rock. In the background is dark clouds which embrace the confusion and melancholy that Hamlet is going through. In addition, the way Hamlet is sitting doesn’t seem like he is comfortable at all which shows the distortion that Hamlet is going through. The black and white colors add depth and gets you to focus more on Hamlet and his words rather than what is going on in the background. Also, the colors add to the current mood of what is going on in the video which is to be portrayed as melancholy and confusion. As the film progresses, we see the camera zoom in at Hamlet’s forehead into an extreme close-up from a medium shot to portray how disoriented Hamlet is from the sweat dripping down from his forehead. Hamlet says “To die, to sleep- No more, and by sleep to say we end” (lines 59-60), which is very essential as it explains the feelings Hamlet has about how he has been thinking about death and whether or not he should die because of he went to “sleep” forever he would be able to end all his troubles. The scenery and deliverance of lines is in unison to what Hamlet I saying and doing. As he says that line, he also takes out a knife and plays with it as if he were to stab himself with it. However, in a sudden movement, the actor suddenly put down his dagger and switches his facial expression of being scared to being disappointed, since Hamlet knows that dying might not grant the dreams he wishes to come. Hamlet then says “in that sleep of death [we don’t know] what dreams may come.” (line 65). The acting and lines in this video work perfectly together to deliver the message of what Hamlet is trying to get across about his troubles and confusion about everything going on around him.As the video comes to an end, the actor delivers the lines “Thus conscience does make cowards of us all” (line 82), as he tails away from the camera and walking away into a fog. The fog represents how Hamlet is lost and doesn’t know where he is going but is trying to make things inside his head make sense. Hamlet keeps with this idea about how humans act when determining their fate after dying; stating things about one’s conscience will always make one look scared, because everyone is scared of death. Hamlet realizes that his thoughts are weakening him and that is when he begins to walk into the fog.Laurence Olivier’s video portrays Hamlet’s soliloquy perfectly with every single detail that he puts into the video to make the audience understand the deeper meaning of Hamlet’s obstacles. The details gave a much clearer interpretation about everything going on. From every camera shot and color/lighting arrangements, to the perfect acting that went along with the lines that the actor was saying, this video made it much more interesting and easier to understand than any of the other videos.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

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