Monday 4 April 2016

Picture Post No. 11 The Playground

'Because things don’t appear to be the known thing; they aren’t what they seemed to be neither will they become what they might appear to become.'

Posted by Tessa den Uyl and Martin Cohen

'Playing'. Original photo, title and date unknown, by Alexsandr Malin
In this deceptively simple image a simple gesture accentuates not only a perception of an optical play about reality, but also leads on to a vision about a virtual world.

We enter the paradox of pick and choose.

The shift between figure and background position produces contradictory responses. The object - the car being used as a kind of toy - transforms and breaks the coherence between the object and ourselves. Evidently, one value must have another value.

We can be flexible: the playground is free to enter. Humour has the capacity to reveal ‘our will of absence’ - to guide things beyond their ascribed function. We laugh alongside our own rigidity.


Thomas O. Scarborough said...

Thank you Tessa and Martin. Seeing this image, I wondered whether moments of play paradoxically represent the desire to regain control. Yet like the 'player' in the image, it eludes us.

Tessa den Uyl said...

Dear Thomas,

Maybe, generally speaking, when we are awake we try to stay in control all the time and fortunately we received dreams! (A time out, or: 'a time in'). I think play (in the sense to discover) is at the basis of being, we only forget to play (or see the play) for we have to control all the time. I don't know whether we are too busy controlling and do not play or play serves to control. Sure is that play will more easily show errors in our understanding than control does. When play is understood as entertainment, I think it equals to control, thus desire.

Unknown said...

This reminds me of a Chinese poem, “A Broken Chapter”, by Bian Zhilin:

You stand on the bridge appreciating the scenery
A person who appreciates scenery up-stairs is appreciating you
The bright moon decorates your window
You are decorating the dreams of others

Chrissy Philp said...

Clearly this is not reality. If it were I would not be laughing, I would be terrified. I live on the seventh floor looking down on the road. Looks like this - without the man. Luckily I understand how this illusion was constructed but it is good to realise there may be illusions around that I would not recognise, so thanks for this.

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