24 January 2023

Mondrian in an upside down world

Now without getting too heavy about the following saga, I cannot help but point out that it does reveal one of several cracks which weaken the strength of the Post Modernist foundation over the past 80 years. 

Objective and scientific reliance upon truth has been eroded in almost all aspects of modern life, from the way we receive information to the way we impart it to others, (both our own, but also our entire collective cultural histories too, that have been opened up like autopsies for all to see). One cannot argue with things like this anymore than one can dispute a giant river through the Alps. However in the political world, in a powerhouse like America, the concept of an objective truth has all but evaporated, or at the least, been severely damaged by recent politicians. Feelings are not fact, or so we have been taught to believe, and to push this infantile narrative is mendacious. But, curiously, in the realm of Art, yes, feelings do become facts in this world of creative invention specially when it is convincing. For Art is a world of poetic contrivance, its an inspired state of imagination in contrast to politics and science even. Though to place politics and science in the same sentence would be unfair to scientists.

I am not alone in believing that the culprit of misinformation has been groomed by the internet, perhaps the greatest invention since the printing press back in the 15th century by Johannes Gutenberg. But this has been elevated to an even higher state of alert by the search engine Google and others. The speed of any information circling the globe today is mind-boggling. It is a Yin-Yang situation because  all its fortunes are coupled with equal misfortune. 

Why do I bring this up? It's not exactly  rocket science, but in this venerable world of experts and know-it-alls, there are concrete clues reminding us that these experts are sometimes clueless. For example, This Mondrian had been hung upside down for eighty years before anyone realised it (See below, or better yet, google the story).

The following two gentlemen are looking at the version that is upside-down. The correct version is at the very bottom in this post and this includes a double set of dark blue lines at the top which seem to anchor the image and giving it a sense of gravity when correctly hung (though this is my own random observation). 

Although I prefer it the way he intended it, it is only because I feel better the weight of the picture due to the dark blue line that runs up and down the left side of the painting and  appears to hold everything together. Visually, also, my eyes gravitate more to the left, and they run up the blue line like a heavy column to the imaginary heavy roof that once covered the Parthenon in Athens. 

But hey! It's not the kind of picture that would draw me in enough to really look at in the first place.

{Addendum} this painting is in fact made by using  rolls of coloured tape which have disintegrated to such a state that curators have decided to leave it in its current state for fear of further decay. Thus it will continue to be hung upside down.

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