Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A. Legend and Myth

Legend and Myth seem a more instant and immediate way for me to enter a land which was both known, to the extent I have already pointed out, and yet completely unknown to me at the start of this journey.

For an artist, or shall I say, for an individual who often doubts the possibility of any kind of objective reality in the chaotic and unpredictable world through which he finds himself tumbling, legend and myth seem a path less turbulent and less obstructed by tiresome fact than many of the other ways by which it is possible to enter the severely magical realm of the picture plane. These ancient forms, wherever they may be unearthed, have the advantage of being already unconsciously familiar and so are never completely alien when first encountered in somebody else’s culture. From the fairy stories of our own childhood, imagination has walked hand in hand from the very beginning with evil kings and saintly queens, with spirits and witches and with wise women. This is our common past and I suppose our pre-Christian heritage as well. It is a snug affirmation of our shared pagan ancestry and this familiarity provides some comfort as I step for the first time through my Slavic neighbour’s front door. It is like the succour the presence of Latin words offers to a traveller through an unknown language. As I arrive in Poland, even though the tongue and the customs, the clothing and the details may vary, I am already broadly familiar with King Popiel and Queen Wanda, Jadwiga, the Tatra Witches and the Rósalki. These archetypes are already a part of me. I do not have to start from scratch.

No comments:

Post a Comment