Monday, October 1, 2012
These Days, Fall, 2012
We like to come here every year, especially to see this row of petroglyph stick people, who seem to be holding hands. They may be 1500 years old. Someone may have crouched in the sand, right where I am crouching, making this design, 1500 years ago.
There are many more recent carvings here, the most recent since I was here last says Adam Eve. It is a federal offense to carve into ancient petroglyph panels, but many people don't understand this.
I'm always afraid, the next time we come, someone will have carved over them, or hammered them away.
On the other hand, thinking of image obliteration, an elderly Spanish woman who felt the call to remake a religious fresco, brightened my day. It's no secret that the history of art is a history of men's art, and no art more represented than religious art. There's a boatload of other religious paintings like the deteriorating, unremarkable, fresco that the 80 year old woman named Celia Gimenez felt a need to add her brush to. She was not trying to ruin the work, but felt an artistic impulse to add her own expression to history. Truly, she lacked skill, but I believe her artistic intentions were pure.
Which reminds me of the young Russian women in the punk band, Pussy Riot, who took on Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church, for their collusion to marry religion to state power. Wearing neon balaclavas, singing and dancing, at the altar, they implored the Virgin Mary to chase Putin out of her church. Women artists making big noise, making big waves, makes me feel hope.