Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Repellent (Contemplating Enigma - Part III)

On the wall, a painting, a very large painting. Standing before it is a man dressed in tight black clothing, his arms folded, clasped hard, the muscles bulging in an exaggerated manner. One would naturally think that he is the guard of the painting. Yet, his body is tilted significantly to the right, and stands thus unmoving, suggesting a large degree of stamina and purpose.

It is a wonder whether the light hanging from the gallery's ceiling - with a brightness that seems to fade in and out, but this is uncertain - is also a necessary part of the artist's vision, for the shadow of the man cast by the light is far more alive, far more expressive, and far more vibrant than he. The shadow flickers behind his unmoving back. And this flickering is in unison with the letters that strobe on and off in the painting.

One feels inclined to come closer, and, despite a growing sense of embarrassment, so that one almost begins to flush, one feels almost drawn forward by the unyielding hands of fate to ask the man the ever tired old question: "What does the painting say?"

And upon finally fixing one's gaze upon the man's face, one finds the pupils missing, replaced by the picturesque scene of a blue sky with white clouds, inviting one to travel deep into that open sky upon realizing that this is the centerpiece of the artist's work. But, then...and then instantly, the inevitable deep and fierce growl of the man bellows forth: "It says nothing!" - like a slingshot that snaps one back home.

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