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Sunday, 29 January 2012

Bi-Polarity Portrayal [Self Portraits series 4]

First Bifurcation of the Self Portrait series into Apollo/Dionysos.

In the furnace of reality

Apollonian self portrait as Pagan Devotee [below, left]. 
The Apollonian is continually striving towards perfection, and it does this in a completely amoral/supramoral way. 
That *is* its danger - hence it is often called 'evil'. 
But that is a moral evaluation and therefore is of no consequence to Aesthetics.

Dionysian rapture
Apollonian self portrait as a pagan

Propaganda self portrait - 
The Apollonian drawing also tends towards 
The monumental, 
The dictatorial.
Apollonian prayer
Dionysian intoxication
The Dionysian - paradoxically - seeks
The Real: 
"The mirror, above all, is our teacher". 
[Leonardo Da Vinci]
Apollonian Drawing does not only seek the Dorian Ideal, it seeks the Pharaonic. 
In that sense it seeks to purge the persona of all psychology. 
It is therefore an inner striptease.

"Apollo appears not to all" [Callimachus]. 
"We never knew his legendary head/ nor saw the eyes set there like apples ripening" [Rilke]. 
This Appolonian self portrait is simple and linear and yet it was painstakingly drawn until the Apollonian image was sweated out. It emerged youthful, androgynous, idealised and beautiful. I had been guided by Apollo for it is clearly a likeness - I am guided by both Apollo and Dionysos - the golden sun and the black sun. Amen.

Apollonian portrait with runic inscription - 'the spirit is strengthened by wounding', [Nietzsche]

Sheer Apollonian Drawing
 Dionysos overwhelmeth me and I plunge into the infernal abyss!
Blessed by the hissing blistering bliss of dionysos ...

The power and freedom of expression have to be continually re-discovered - that is the Dionysian quest. 
It leads to many disasters: each overcoming of a disaster is a rebirth. 
The capacity to heal is one of the great wonders. 
Here as elsewhere Apollo and Dionysos continually intersect.

Dionysian work is essentially about energy and the complete suspension of doubt and questioning. 
It is of course extreme intoxication: anti-Socratian and anti-Apollonian, but it never formulates antitheses - it does not formulate. 
It rather walks the tight rope, drunk.
Sheer Dionysian
Pure Apollonian
In Dionysian drawing the pencil is wielded less like a scapel - as in Apollonian drawing - but like a brush, or rather like a *whip* - one flails the pencil in rapid strokes using the whole of the upper body.
Following from the bifurcation into the bi-polarity of Apollo/Dionysos, we now have emerging that of Self/Other. The Other is now encroaching on my solitude - first erupting from my Self, and now standing beside me, in front of me, behind me.
The two roads are now converging as to a vanishing point.

Am I in the dock or in the public gallery ... on the jury?

The self portrait project has gone on for a month now, and some interesting things have emerged. 
The Apollonian self portraits, for example, have got further and further away from a 'likeness'. 
The 'Other' has been knocking on the door of my Self. 
Now it is time to embrace 'Other Portraits' alongside the self portrait.

Is the man behind me actually there, or was the room empty? Perhaps he is a figure from a past life which imprinted itself during the soul-dragging act of drawing - like a ghost on a photo.

The Other has been rejected by my plunge into sheer dejection. Melancholia has rescued me from the clutches of the Other.

I am ready now to enter the realm of the Underworld!

Nothing matters, and everything hurts

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