in je ogen waait de wind
there is this german radio show i sometimes listen to and they always treat a specific subject and discuss this with children. they go on air and are interviewed. the other day the question was "what is the difference between animals and humans" and the little kid said "humans wear sunglasses and animals don't". it's just a little example of how brilliant children can be. i want to know, what role does the child play in art? is it true that we lose a certain talent and ability to see and perceive the world at one point? is this culturally? is this biologic? what examples of art can you come up with when thinking of the child? some quotes to start with:
rimbaud said:I like the way stuff like graffiti re purposes these places, reminds me of skating. It completely changes how you view the environment, I still see stairs, ledges, banks and so on in terms how you'd skate it. You often get people skating sewage pipes, reservoirs and stuff too.
edward j. ahearn said:Man of ordinary constitution, wasn't the flesh a fruit hung in the orchard, O childhood days! the body a treasure to squander; O to love, the peril or the power of Psyche? The earth had slopes fertile in princes and artists, and lineage and race pushed us to crimes and mournings: the world your fortune and your peril.
picasso said:Such ambitious and ambiguous poetry, extraordinary in itself, is on the evidence of Rimbaud and the others a culmination of the poetic fidelity to childhood. The tradition, from Wordsworth to Baudelaire and Rimbaud and beyond, sees poetry as outgrowth, persistence, preservation of the child’s vivid perceptions, which are at once sensuously more acute and more liberated from the limits of sense than adult vision. Thus the great poet of nature, Wordsworth, ultimately conceives of the mind as sublimely superior to the world of sense, with the deepest experiences of childhood opening onto a celestial radiance and a mysterious abyss beyond the solidity of the normal world. Hugo’s poem on Palestrina depicts the child as seeing through sense to the spiritual, and Blake’s apocalyptic imagination glimpses a world of transcendent energy. Even Baudelaire, oppressed by the weight of time and the sordid burden of human existence, appalled in “Le Voyage” by the submission of the child to the immortal ennui of life, nonetheless stresses in the child (and artist) the tendency to the spiritual, immaterial, abstract, imaginative — in sum, the revolt against nature and the real.
raoul vaneigem said:It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.
Economic necessity and play don't mix. Financial transactions are deadly serious: you don't fool around with money. The elements of play contained within feudal economy were gradually squeezed out by the rationality of money exchanges. Playing with exchange means to barter products without worrying too much about strictly standardised equivalents. But from the moment that capitalism forced its commercial relationships on the world, fantasy was forbidden; and the dictatorship of commodities today shows clearly that it intends to enforce these relationships everywhere, at every level of life.
The pastoral relationships of country life in the high Middle Ages tempered the purely economic necessities of feudalism with a sort of freedom; play often took the upper hand even in menial tasks, in the dispensing of justice, in the settling of debts. By throwing the whole of everyday life onto the battlefield of production and consumption, capitalism crushes the urge to play while at the same time trying to harness it as a source of profit. So, over the last few decades, we have seen the attraction of the unknown turned into mass-tourism, adventure turned into scientific expeditions and the great game of war turned into strategic operations. Taste for change now rests content with a change of taste...
Contemporary society has banned all real play. It. has been turned into something only children do. And today children themselves are getting more and more pacifying gadget-type toys rammed down their throats. The adult is only allowed falsified and recuperated games: competitions, T.V. sport, elections, gambling... Yet at the same time it's obvious that this kind of rubbish can never satisfy anything as strong as people's desire to play - especially today when game-playing could flourish as never before in history.
The sacred knows how to cope with the profane and deconsecrated game: witness the irreverent and obscene carvings in cathedrals. Without concealing them, the Church embraced cynical laughter, biting fantasy and nihilistic scorn. Under its mantle the demonic game was safe. Bourgeois power, on the contrary, puts play in quarantine, isolates it in a special ward, as if it wanted to stop it infecting other human activities. Art is this privileged and despised area set apart from commerce. And it will stay that way until economic imperialism refits it in its turn as a spiritual supermarket. Then, hunted down everywhere, play will burst out everywhere.
It was in fact from art that play broke free. The eruption was called Dada. "The dadaist events awoke the primitive-irrational play instinct which had been held down an the audience", said Hugo Ball. On the fatal slope of plague and mockery Art dragged down in its fall the whole edifice which the Spirit of Seriousness had built to the greater glory of the bourgeoisie. So that today the expression on the face of someone playing is the expression on the face of a rebel. Henceforward, the total game and the revolution of everyday life are one.
The desire to play has returned to destroy the hierarchical society which banished it. At the same time it is setting up a new type of society, one based on real participation. It is impossible to foresee the details of such, a society - a society in which play is completely unrestricted - but one could expect to see the following characteristics:
- rejection of all leaders and all hierarchies;
- rejection of self-sacrifice;
- rejection of roles;
- freedom of genuine self-realisation;
- utter honesty.