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The bright hair uplifted from the head of some fierce Maenad - The Ex-Communicator

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November 11th, 2010

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09:25 pm - The bright hair uplifted from the head of some fierce Maenad
I liked this article in the Guardian by their art guy, saying that the image of violent protest excites and arouses, as (let us say) The Rolling Stones or The Sex Pistols did, or DH Lawrence. Perhaps exciting most those who deplore them the most.
A picture like this appeals across the spectrum and has a thudding emotional, visceral power even if you are revulsed by the actions it portrays. In British cultural history, the Dionysian appetite for a rumble seems to be deeply engraved, as the shadow, the mirror, of our usual placid self-image. The very tranquillity of the way we so often portray ourselves ... calls for a daemonic underside of national identity.

I have blogged quite a few times about this aspect of British identity, the massive attraction of self-dissolving irrationality beyond the framework of suppression in which we live. I think that's the point that interested me - that Jonathan Jones has picked up that same theme of dissolution, rather than the whys and wherefores of this particular image. I think it will be overtaken by others in the weeks to come.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:November 12th, 2010 12:18 pm (UTC)
Yes. And, like many things, much more potentially dangerous in people who deny it's there at all.

What does Cally say the first time she appears ? "To destroy till I am destroyed!"
[User Picture]
Date:November 12th, 2010 12:38 pm (UTC)
Good point. Jung says "Everyone carries a shadow and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is."

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