Sunday, 4 July 2010

Day 185, on which John only just remembers Independence Day [4.7.10]

Dag hundrede fireoghalvtreds. Yeah, I don't live in the US, so I have an excuse for forgetting about Independence Day. It's a very American thing, we don't really talk about it much in the UK, even though it isn't a piece of our history. In fact, if you asked an average Brit what Independence Day was, there may be a chance of them saying that it's a movie starring Will Smith and Jeff Goldbloom. Speaking of movies, I watched Snakes on a Plane last night. What a funny movie that was - it's what we'd call a Samuel L. Jackson vehicle, ie. the only selling point is that it stars Samuel L. Jackson being a badass mo-fo.

Let's return to Eduardo Chillida. Remember him? That Basque sculptor who experiments in concrete and steel? Remember the Comb of the Wind? Well, here's another piece of his:

This massive sculpture is called Eulogy to the Horizon. A eulogy is - if you want the official definition - something which praises something highly; usually something which has died. For example, a eulogy is usually a poem which is in memory of someone who's died. So this is a eulogy to the horizon... what could that mean?

Why would the horizon die? Perhaps the cityscapes of noisy, polluting cities have killed it. They've dirtied it and destroyed its natural beauty. So how is this sculpture memorialising the horizon? I like to think that it's an archway, showing a segment, a frame, of the horizon. Saying: look, see this beautiful landscape, framed by an ugly concrete arch. Maybe it's saying that if you see through the concrete, the buildings, the cityscapes, then you'll find the landscape still there. In a way, this sculpture is self-contradictory, because it's showing the beauty of the landscape yet does not fit in to it. It is itself a concrete block, a sign of dirty, polluting human culture.

So what about the shape? My interpretation is that it's there to show that the landscape can be enjoyed with any frame around it, be it a square one, a circular one (through the top of the sculpture), or a strangely shaped one (at the back, from this picture). It's so large that people want to go up and interact with it, and in doing so they move to a place where they can see the landscape through the sculpture - and see that it is still the same, even through a concrete frame.

Hmm, interesting stuff.


1 comment:

artichoke artgroup said...

Hello, the sculpture has a much brighter title...The correct translation from Spanish is 'Complimenting the Horizon'.