My travel blog 2011-3

My travel blog  2011-3 - by P.K.Odendaal 1 Augusust 2011
... about InHumanity and .... InArt - or - I've got a little list.
I am presently in Ottawa (pronounced awddewha in Canadian - a language distantly related to English). But more of the travel side a bit later. I first need to come clean from my previous blog.
When writing the last part of my previous blog, I got so upset about the Inhumanity of us humans, that I stopped it short in order to recover my pose ... and to recover my normal aloofness. In fact I have decided to go to the other extreme and recomposed myself into a lighter mood to address Inhumanity. This is a normal reaction when one feels that one becomes emotionally involved ... a very bad omen ... so one throws a smokescreen and addresses the opposite  notion.
If I cannot be humane, then at least then I can be satirically inhumane. Someone once said that the better he gets to know people, the more he loves his dog. He may be right and sometimes it becomes quite farcical to dwell in that mode of thinking - or rather unthinking.
There are quite a few peopIe I do not like myself, but I would rather let the Chief Executioner (from the comic opera - the Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan) deal the death blow from his little list.
If someday it may happen that a victim must be found
I've got a little list, I've got a little list
Of society's offenders who may well be underground
And who never would be missed, they never would be missed.

There's interior designers, window dressers and that sort
And grubbers who retire in strings the minute they get caught
Or those who have their noses pierced, or men who dye their hair
Or idiots who host chat shows and disc jockeys everywhere
And customs men who fumbling through your underwear insist
They'd none of them be missed, they'll none of them be missed.
He's got them on a list, he's got them on a list
And they'd none of them be missed, they'll none of them be missed.


There's people with pretentious names like Justin, Trish and Rob
And the gynecologist, I've got him on the list
Or muggers, joggers, buggers, floggers, people who play golf
They never would be missed. They never would be missed.

Or waitresses who make you wait, accountants of all kinds
And actresses who kiss and tell and wiggle their behinds
And poncy little singers who to entertain us try
By dressing up as women and by singing far to high
And who on close observance must be either stoned or pissed
I don't think they'd be missed, I'm sure they'd not be missed.
He's got them on a list, he's got them on a list
And they'd none of them be missed, they'll none of them be missed.


There's the beggars who write letters from the Inland Revenue
And the gossip columnist, I've got him on the list
Comedians and weightlifters and opera singers too
They'd none of them be missed, they'd none of them be missed.

Or traffic wardens, bankers, men who sell Venetian blinds
Or people who wear silly ties, Australians of all kinds
And nasty little editors who's papers are the pits
Who fill their rags with gossip and with huge and floppy.. er.. wrists
But anyway I think by now you must have got the gist
They'd none of them be missed. They'll none of them be missed.
He's got them on a list, he's got them on a list
And they'd none of them be missed, they'll none of them be missed.

Ottawa was a disappointment for me. Why, I did not realise at first, because whilst my physical self observes as best it can, it cannot observe on behalf of the other travellers travelling with me - my mind, heart and soul. So I had this gnawing feeling until I realised that its the almost complete absence of tasteful architecture in the city that bothers them.
I had to balance myself between the old almost Romanesque buildings, designed and built by someone who never saw that style, even though he did that 700 years after that style went out of fashion, buildings built to the now stale and defunct modern style and government buildings of the Gothic revival style, also some 800 years after that style went out of vogue.
Yes thats it - I have not seen art in their architecture - that is what I am missing. I miss the almost normal spread of Classical, Gothic, Romanesque, Renaissance, Baroque, New Classical, Art Nouveau and other building styles. Ok - I admit - Ottawa was only established in the 1850's and the first five mentioned styles were out of vogue by that time, and the city has fortunately escaped the plaque of the cold New Classicism which infested so many other capital cities like Paris.
Then I got to the last stop of the city tour which was between the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica and the National Arts Centre and everything changed.
In the Basilica, I refreshed my soul with the extravagant Baroque architecture and art. Baroque is beautiful and excessive and I love  and admire it. Started by Italian artists like Borromini and Bernini, I still think it was the summit of western cultural revival. After the Reformation, the Catholic Church had to revive themselves from that deadly wound and they duscussed this at the Council of Trent for about twenty years. The result was that they decided to go to even bigger extremes in luxury and art and the Baroque era was so started as a stage on which the Church and its actors, the artists, played before the world in a show of unabashed luxury and opulence.
The second surprise was my rediscovery of Caravaggio in the National Arts Centre. After the unemotional strictly two dimensional and often misformed images of the Renaissance era, Caravaggio came as a fresh breeze with his paintings showing light and darkness, the portrayal of emotion on human faces and a realism of form which is amazing. Paintings like the Offering of Isaac and John the Baptist in the desert is a joy to look at and study.
You think I was not an art critic ? I think so as well - and indeed I am not. I am rather a critic of artless or nonart things which I like to call Inart, similar to my naming of Inhumanism as an opposite of humanism. I love art and will never criticise it - and therefore I can never be an art critic. I detest things which are the opposite of art and consider myself a critic of that, so that you can call me an Inart critic.
After studying Balzac , a sculpture by Rodin (pronounced ruduh) , I was healed from Sculpture for a lifetime. But it so happened that I inadvertantly entered the sculpture hall in this Art Centre, and it was with difficulty that I constrained myself from giving a very loud shriek when I saw those Increations, which is of course the opposite of creations. It is howewer totally acceptable to walk through a hall with paintings of Renoir, Monet and Cezzanne, provided that you keep straight ahead, don't look to the sides, but only at the  exit.
This specific gallery, like all other galleries, also have a few halls for Inart - the artstyle that is incorrectly known as Contemporary art. Nobody will however admit that the king is naked, but my own theory of how this art form became popular is as follows :
The camera was invented in 1826. The realist art movement started to dissipate just after this, as one could not make a living out of realist paintings, as the camera became more and more realistic than paintings. This movement, apart from the arts and crafts movement of the era deteriorated into hallucinations these inartists saw while under the influence of drugs.

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