Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ancient Amnesia, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

I've been jamming to this new Dead Can Dance album in the studio. Please listen to it as you read this. If you like it, find the DCD playlist on Youtube, it is great.

It reminds me of when I was first getting into music and my older brother gave me a mixed tape that had a DCD song on it. It helps me to think good thoughts about him.

Since I've been teaching Art History Survey I've had to catch up on two different time periods at once. In one class we started out with Mesopotamian history, Sumerian, and very early art for the entire human civilization. At the same time in the next class I'm teaching about Renaissance Art...which is a huge subject as well...where artists and scientists are making huge discoveries and many of these discoveries are from looking back a few centuries at what the Greeks/Romans were doing. Very interesting stuff.

Dead Can Dance sort of works with both these time periods. It is described as medieval, new age, and ancient-sounding. I just curated a sculpture show called "The Ancients Made These" that incorporates this sort of sound, but in a sculptural way.

I'd like to think of the artwork I make as being new and old at the same time. Which brings me to my next point.

I've been reading Carl Jung's autobiography called Memories, Dreams, Reflections, in which he describes having a split personality. One Jung is the old one that is full of wisdom (and all the things that go with old age). The other Jung is the young one, this one makes mistakes,  says stupid things (and does all the things that young people do), but is more in the present moment. These two parts of Jung have to learn to deal with each other and learn, over his lifetime, to work together to make a decent person. If one personality is ignored, Jung less Jung I suppose.

Or at least that is what I'm getting from the book. This is a book that I feel I have a very personal connection with. Several people over the years have told me that I need to read it. It may be because of my father being a therapist and, having grown up in his household, many psychological philosophies are built into my head, sort of hard-wired in. OR maybe Jung is simply a very good storyteller that is able to draw me into his head. Nonetheless, Jung writes about therapy in a very fresh altruistic manner (even humorous).

It is good music to study art history and to build sculpture to. I've been listening to it as I start a new project that will keep me very occupied in the studio for the next few months. If you listen to the lyrics, you may hear things in it that reflect Jungian themes. Or perhaps its as simple as the styles of music that DCD use that reflect the Jungian idea of archetypes (another subject that interests me).  Ancient + New.