member of:Observers of the Interdependence of Domestic Objects and Their Influence on Everyday Life

This group has been active for a long time and has already made some remarkable assertions which render life simpler from the practical point of view. For example, I move a pot of green color five centimeters to the right, I push in the thumbtack beside the comb and if Mr. A (another adherent like me) at this moment puts his volume about bee-keeping beside a pattern for cutting out vests, I am sure to meet on the sidewalk of the avenida Madero a woman who intrigues me and whose origin and address I never could have known...
--Remedios Varo

(Slideshow is of Artwork by Remedios Varo)
By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.
--Franz Kafka

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Art of Crossing Great Expanses of Treacherous Waters


"El Llanto"
--a despair so great, it overwhelms all the umbrellas of the world...but down below, a small paper boat navigates the treacherous flood of tear-waters--the idea of a boat, which will become a boat, an arc perhaps, to begin a new world. All you need is one boat...Even in the dim, green-grey light of overwhelming despair, if you look slightly up and to the left, you will see the vivid red of the flowers left on the balcony, just out of the weeping man's line of sight. If only he would change his vantage point!

From his blog:
être égaré

"Siempre he tenido la idea del ser humano como algo muy incierto, como algo muy liviano y pienso en este mundo como un sueño; como un sueño que navega en una botella en alta mar, être égaré, al garete. Jamás sabremos si llegará a alguna playa, pero soñamos con ello, tal vez para imaginar, y para desear, que alguien leerá lo que un día dibujamos y no sentirnos tan solos.

La promesa de ilustrar libros es justo esa botella que hace flotar nuestra vida."
--Gabriel Pacheco

In English: (an attempt, anyway):
I have always held the idea of a human being as something light, and very uncertain; and I think of this world as a dream--a dream that navigates in a bottle on the high seas,être égaré, adrift. We cannot know if it will ever arrive at some beach somewhere, but we dream that it does, we imagine, we hope, that someone will one day read the lines we have drawn there, and we will not feel so alone.
The promise of illustrating books is just that bottle that buoys up our lives.

Another snippet from his blog:
"Ella dijo:
en esa caja se colgarán los días y las nubes, entonces de su lápiz te dibujaré una carta, y una mañana una hermosa ballena vendrá por nosotros."
She said:
in this box will hang the days and the clouds; then, from its pencil I will draw you a map, and tomorrow a beautiful whale will come for us."


Please don't miss the lovely constellation chart (map) on the blackboard...


These 4 images are from a book by Anna Castagnoli, calle "El viaje increíble," the Incredible Journey.


At this size, I don't know if you can see it, but there is a huge head passing by the window. It's worth it to see the image large, which you can do on his blog, or by clicking on the image to my picasa folder...




"Swan Lake"

The story, lifted from Wikipedia:
Act 1 - A magnificent park before a castle.

Swan Lake begins at a royal court. Prince Siegfried, heir to the kingdom, must declare a wife at his birthday ball. Upset that he cannot marry for love, Siegfried escapes into the forest at night. As he sees a flock of swans flying overhead, he sets off in pursuit.

Act 2 - A mountainous wild place, surrounded by forest. In the distance a lake, on the right side of which are ruins. A moonlit night.
Siegfried aims his crossbow at the swans and readies himself for their landing by the lakeside. When one comes into view, however, he stops. Before him is a beautiful creature dressed in white feathers, more woman than swan. Enamoured, the two dance and Siegfried learns that the swan maiden is the princess Odette. An evil sorcerer, von Rothbart, captured her and used his magic to turn Odette into a swan by day and woman by night.

A retinue of other captured swan-maidens attend Odette in the environs of Swan Lake, which was formed by the tears of her parents when she was kidnapped by von Rothbart. Once Siegfried knows her story, he takes great pity on her and falls in love. As he begins to swear his love to her - an act that will render the sorcerer's spell powerless - von Rothbart appears. Siegfried threatens to kill him but Odette intercedes. If von Rothbart dies before the spell is broken, it can never be undone.

Act 3 - An opulent hall in the castle.
The Prince returns to the castle to attend the ball. Von Rothbart arrives in disguise with his own daughter Odile, making her seem identical to Odette in all respects except that she wears black while Odette wears white. The prince mistakes her for Odette, dances with her, and proclaims to the court that he intends to make her his wife. Only a moment too late, Siegfried sees the real Odette and realizes his mistake. The method in which Odette appears varies: in some versions she arrives at the castle, while in other versions von Rothbart shows Siegfried a magical vision of her.

Act 4 - Same scene by the lake as in Act 2.

Siegfried returns to the lake and finds Odette, where she forgives him after he apologizes intensely. Von Rothbart appears, trying to pull the lovers apart. The two realize the spell can't be broken because of Siegfried's accidental pledge to Odile. In order to stay together, Odette and Siegfried kill themselves by leaping into the lake and drowning... This act of sacrifice and love breaks von Rothbart's power, and he is destroyed. In the final tableau, the lovers are seen rising together to heaven in apotheosis."

--The word apotheosis refers to deification, or the attainment of a godlike stature. So I was thinking, perhaps one of the lovers becomes the northern constellation Cygnus, found on the Milky Way, whose name is Latin for swan. That could connect the (German/Russian) story of these two lovers to the Chinese myth about the lovers Niu Lang and Zhi Nu. Zhi nu's mother, furious that her fairy daughter had married a mere mortal man, dragged her back home, and when he came to the sky realms looking for her, she took a hairpin and scratched a massive river into the sky--the Milky Way--to keep them apart. But once a year, all the magpies of the world join together to form a bridge, in the Cygnus constellation, to allow them to rejoin. This is the night for lovers.


PASSAGGI D'AMORE (Passage of Love)


(a star map from wikipedia, showing the swan cygnus)

You are aware by now of my tiny obsession with the little Alice and her ability to navigate past the world of logic and into a world which allows for at least one impossible thing by breakfast time...

The message is: "..the right to ask to hear the same story told 1001 times..."
a sentiment much appreciated here...

Some others of his work which I adore:



"Doña Gata"

1 comment:

  1. I've been delighted by this post from the first time you shared it on Imeem. It's filled with magic, just as your whole Wonderland is. Thank you, dear zoe!!