Tangible Revolution

The concept of a revolution is an abstract thought only recognized through the actions that carry it out; in this regard, it is very difficult to construct a cohesive picture of revolution according to definition. Given the commentary of Richard Price in A Discourse on the Love of Our Country, Edmund Burke in Reflections on the Revolution in France, and Thomas Paine in The Rights of Man, however, it seems that a tangible photo is achievable–unfortunately it will not make sense at first glance. I believe that Photo 3 (displayed above) best captures the spirit of Revolution encompassed in the writings of Richard Price, Edmund Burke, and Thomas Paine. It best captures the “irrational liberty” despised by Burke, gloriousness championed by Price, and the “renovation” described by Paine in an abstract yet grounded image.

At first glance this work captures the spirit of revolution in the way that it draws your eye around the photo, no seeming end or beginning, no proper way to view the work. Recognizable images are placed in an incohesive plane displaying that it is grounded somewhat. The work possesses the “glorious” nature of revolution and a flame that is “catching and spreading” ideals in colorful depiction. It possesses the qualities of the unnatural that Burke claims as going against the law–against the “partnership…in all perfection.” This photo is not perfect as there is no clear meaning (a river with musical notes, a fountain, a flame, and a maiden weeping without eyes), one doesn’t instantly recognize what is being depicted but must think and imagine the possibilities–a necessity for revolution. Revolution is an intangible thought, abstract and infinite and cannot be ‘accurately’ portrayed in reality, only conveyed. And finally, the work, like revolution, does not seek to literally portray the words of Coleridge’s Kubla Khan, but rather strives to make something new and original as Paine describes: “a renovation of the natural order of things, a system of principles as universal as truth and the existence of man.” The work exhibits elements that are not in Coleridge’s original, but that came about through the original in minds of the creators.

Revolution  is not meant to be easily described or accurately portrayed, but rather conveyed through a number of various lenses, interpreted differently through separate minds. It contains multiple meanings as this work (above) does.


~ by frightenedinmate2 on September 19, 2012.

One Response to “Tangible Revolution”

  1. frightenedinmate2, you make a convincing argument for your image choice, but your post suffers from over-summarizing and lack of direction. Most of your first paragraph could be reworked or even deleted save the comment about revolution only “recognized” in action. I really liked that point and you could have taken it further to make an interesting commentary on the “action” of the written word. Are Burke, Paine, and Price really participating in Revolution if they’re simply writing about it? If not, then what right do they have to write about it? The rest of your post provides a good analysis that is perhaps too filled with unnecessary quotes.

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