24 January 2023

Mondrian in an upside down world

Now without getting too heavy about the following saga, I cannot help but point our that it does reveal one of the several cracks that I believe weaken the strength of the Post Modernist foundation that has reigned over us all these past eighty 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 opened up like autopsies for all to see). One cannot argue with things like this anymore than one can deny 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, it's an inspired state of imagination in contrast to the world of politics and science even. Though to place politics and science together in the same sentence is 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 by Johannes Gutenberg back in the 15th century. 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 smartypants 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).

In the following photo two gentlemen are looking at the version that is in fact upside-down. The correct version is at the very bottom in this post, and in it, are a double set of dark blue lines running horizontally at the top which give the picture weight. They also give the work a sense of gravity when correctly presented (and the way the artist had originally intended, though this is my own feeling). 

I also prefer it this way because of the single blue line running up the far left side of the picture, and this too, appears to anchor the image. Visually, also, my eyes gravitate more to the left, and they run up the blue line as if 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} Because this painting was principally made by using rolls of coloured tape that have so severely disintegrated the curators have decided to leave it in its current state. So thus, it will continue to be hung upside down.

No comments:

Post a Comment