Revolution – To Revolve

A revolution stems from the Latin, to revolve or roll back. It intends that there is a cycle – you start one place and you move and change until you end up somewhere again. While revolutions intend to be things of complete change and redesign, some revolutions end up circling so far around that the revolution ends right where it began and the status quo no longer changes.

In this sense though, to be something truly revolutionary, you have to diverge away from the status quo and move into something idealized. While the apocalypse is an abstract concept that is gradually creeping towards us and promises the end of the world, a revolution is something with an end that we imagine is positive and will better for us. The change that is occurring is something that people want, not that they dread.

In addition, an apocalypse, by definition has religious undertones, whereas a revolution simply has to have futuristic overtones. In this sense, they way an apocalypse was felt and primarily emotional, a revolution is much more intellectual and philosophized. With the apocalypse, you had to truly feel it to understand its presence. With a revolution, you have to consciously think about the revolution in order to understand the cycle.

In this sense, the third picture represents to me a revolution. My eyes are immediately drawn to the fiery drawing on the far right, they then cascade down the river and end on the girl. This is a revolution because it is a cycle, representing change. However, this third picture is also breaking the status quo. If the status quo is a picture that is meant to represent an image from The Prelude, I would not be able to place this image because there is nothing wholly representative of any one scene. This picture is much more symbolic and is the artist’s interpretation, rather than a representation of a section. Thus, this breaks the status quo because it is not the norm. Finally, the third picture, while it does have emotional undertones is a much more intellectual and philosophical picture than the other three. There is much to be said here about the interpretation of the different symbols drawn here, and to truly understand the movement and why my eyes would start on the fire and circle around to end on the girl, you would truly have to delve into the meaning of the symbols. This picture is less interesting if you explain it by feelings, and much more when you dissect it. It is a revolution.


~ by dianawitless on September 20, 2012.

One Response to “Revolution – To Revolve”

  1. You’re very right. A revolution is what we dissect and what we theorize, whereas the apocalypse is an experience that must be had by the individual. I very much enjoyed your interpretation of “revolution,” and you explained it in such a way that I began to experience the revolution in the picture. Revolution is linked to its roots in the cycle, and the apocalypse is a complete and chaotic break from all that we’ve known before.

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