Thursday, February 28, 2013

27 February 2013

I like this trend of surreal children’s shows over the past 40 or so years. It seems an adequate place for the final and canonical resting place for the legacy of Dali and Magritte and Bunuel. One’s childhood should be surreal or, said better, childhood is, by its very nature, surreal and the art we give to children should match it. Peewee’s play house, many of the cartoon network series, often the Disney movies, starting (I’m sure and sorry to relate) with Alice way back when. The surreal seems to derive from the learning process of childhood, the trail and error, the weeding out of laws of reality until the most ‘low-energy’ are found. The ignorance of the hard and fast laws which take time to determine and that funny period beforehand where they seem to not apply. A shame really that we are not able (without of course the aid of drugs) to slip into our previous ignorance, the pre-learned period the preaware period. How much fun (enlightening even) it would be to be able to see the world through broken laws, to learn the world all over again through ignorant eyes. To revert to that childish surreality we once had for a minute, an hour, a day, a second just so htat we may. Then to watch Le Chien Andalou or the Saragossa Manuscript and see a little bit of out natural world, our natural vision in it Of course we may do this, we may emulate it on our own. It is fun, for a while t revert to this state as we sometimes may, but there is always the objective reality lurking in the background, calling us from the distance like the hunter’s bleating horn, the trains plaintive cry. I am heeeere it says, and we sigh. What a way to escape, to the pre-rational, as if rationality is a muscle that we work with and exhaust and must replenish by resting it through disuse. If only one could let rationale atrophy, let it sit in rest for days, immobilize it so that it shrinks and thins and then stays that way, unable to lift the weights we had before and thus never able to return to its original tone and forever we wallow in the surreal, in animals and objects which speak and vast barren landscapes with no horizon which represent our lives and yet which stretch before us wildly.  And children even do not respect, do not appreciate (do not challenge) the surreal meal we feed them, they lap it up and take it as given and maybe laugh but most likely sit staring in bored disbelief. To watch these as an adult may be an enjoyable event, other times it can be horrifying or grotesque or nauseating for us. What is the problem with it? Is it the return to childhood? The regression to that strange, faraway, ignorant, unformed state? Is it a dissonance  An unmatching between what we see on the screen and what we know? It these works, these shows and movies and sometimes books were taken seriously how would they stand against the surrealists, magical realists, and bizarros of today? Would Disney sit with Abe?  Herman with Marquez?

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