Seismometric Bride

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3 svar på Seismometric Bride

  1. MF skriver:

    This is a very effective and somewhat painful romantic picture, and here is probably not the place to suggest what it might be an allegory over.
    Everybody can recognise King Kong’s cave, but it is not King Kong but Frankenstein’s monster who guards the opening, a different ideal of the masculine. Or maybe not an ideal at all but someone who, regardless of how sensible, still fails to see the longing of the bride in the cave, regardless of whether for him or for someone else or for some far-off civilised place. Nine frogs in the frog-choir, we know frogs means poets/artists (Gifts of compensation), but they are also general noisemakers and particularly makers of an apocalyptic noise, and being nine they look like helper-spirits: are their chants encouring her, warning her, or simply making sure to drown her voice so that the hard-of-hearing monster outside won’t notice she’s there, or she’s awake, or she doesn’t love him, or she loves him? If she really is seismometric, does this just mean that she channels the atmospheric electricity, and the frogs are Duchamp’s bachelors conducting it into her? No, the fact that she keeps looking out the cave opening I think indicates she has a subjectivity and is not just an additional instance of the bachelor-machine.
    Probably, she’s waiting for someone else, and the monster is the clumsy public eye, and nothing will happen as long as he is there to watch. But he may be the lover at the same time. And she may not be as pure of heart as we assumed. That depends on how we interpret the ambiguous bouquet in her hands, which looks like either a quickly shuffled handful of parts of wildflowers or a particular exotic poisonous plant which even already has enchanted figurines or parts thereof in it. And she is hiding the monster’s crotch from our view with it (that seems like a vote on the bachelor-machine interpretation).
    For all I know, she may be on the verge of giving up. Rising from her knees, throwing the bouquet at the cave floor, and reassuming the exploratory walk down the cave system (she’s actually a speleologist) after this weird interlude.

    • Niklas skriver:

      Good observations. A working title for the image was Green Velvet, since the design was inspired by Zizek´s lacanian triple analysis of female depression in Blue Velvet, where the part played by Isabella R is in turn read as a victim of masculine brutality, as an accomplice in a s/m ritual, and as subjected to a revivifying “electric shock therapy”. Never thought of the King Kong theme however, although that ties in nicely with the first reading, and also suggests the cave allegory as “it was beauty that killed the beast”. The third reading is of course (Bride of) Frankenstein: life-giving shocks and sensibility to feel the earth move. The speleology here is very much about subjectivity, and draws on the Hegelian paradox about identity of the subject being constituted beyond the standard dichotomy of subject and object. In the structure that definies the identity of the subject through various imaginary scenarios the subject is, in Lacan´s terms, an empty place, much as caves are, in Bachelard´s terms, preferred places for dreaming. As for the bachelor machine, the frogs were lifted from a photo of an actual antique chinese seismometer that upon registering an earthquake releases a metal ball that drops into one of the surrounding ceramic frogs´mouths, thus indicating the direction of the quake. I found it satisfying to recontextualize the frogs inbetween bridesmaids waiting for the bouquet and blunt admirers of her green-pearled necklace, likely resembling warts in frog-umwelt.

      • MF skriver:

        That Chinese seismometer sounded amazing, and I found the picture at – somewhat similar to Duchamp’s bachelors of the large glass, but less than I expected (I don’t know whether this has any bearing on similarity between your redhead bride and Duchamp’s cloudlike bride). But then, isn’t a seismic wave a wave motion, so that the movement finally putting the ball in motion might not be specifically the one that indicates the direction of the epicenter? I don’t know, I don’t know basic mechanics…

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