David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

22 September 2011

Rhinoceros! Rhinoceros!

Today is World Rhinoceros Day. It's true - we heard it on the radio this morning.
read article here:
WWF Calls for End to Rhino Poaching on World Rhino Day
Which is quite a coincidence because, following a tip-off by the Black Bats, we've been researching the history of one of our favorite plays, Rhinoceros (1959) by Eugène Ionesco.

As part of that research, we talked with members of a local Theatre of the Actors of Regard tableaux troupe. Ionesco's Rhinoceros was well known to them also. Discussion about that lead us on to Pietro Longhi's Clara the rhinoceros (1751).

Many of his paintings show Venetians at play, such as the depiction of the crowd of genteel citizens awkwardly gawking at a freakish Indian rhinoceros (see image). This painting, on display at the National Gallery in London, chronicles Clara the rhinoceros brought to Europe in 1741 by a Dutch sea captain and impresario from Leyden, Douvemont van der Meer. This rhinoceros was exhibited in Venice in 1751.[2] There are two versions of this painting, nearly identical except for the unmasked portraits of two men in Ca' Rezzonico version.[3] Ultimately, there may be a punning joke to the painting, since the young man on the left holds aloft the sawed off horn (metaphor for cuckoldry) of the animal. Perhaps this explains the difference between the unchaperoned women.

from Wikipedia : Pietro Longhi
Apparently, this painthing was one of the key inspirations for the founding of Theatre of the Actors of Regard.

As is stated in the Wikipedia extract, Pietro Longhi was a Venetian and the scene above is Venetian too. Thus link-by-link we return to our ongoing consideration of Australia's Venice Solution: the proposed AUSTRALIA(N) PAVILION~OFFSHORE

The tip-off mentioned earlier is that Melbourne's mischievous Black Bats have organised with a group of Venetian umbratects (UV) to present today, among the crowd who increasingly gather around the AUSTRALIA PROCESSING FACILITY in the Giardini Pubblici, an umbratecture performance after Ionesco' Rhinoceros.

AUSTRALIA : Doors Closed _ file photo

While that is happening in Venice, in the Australia(n) Parliament the Gillard/Labor Party government will attempt to amend the law that the High Court recently ruled illegal, the sending of asylum seekers to places Offshore for Processing.
Asylum bill due for vote today
Michelle Grattan
THE AGE, September 22, 2011

Black Bats/UV poster : black hide/silver horns
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...