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MoDeRn LoVe :: what THEY have DONE to IT ! essay III

In 1924 the Viennese Art Historian Max Dvorak juxtaposed the painters Oskar Kokoschka and Claude Monet as each had arrived at the presentation of a "series" of works as "Variations". Kokoschka did a series of sketches in 1921 of Kamilla Swoboda he called "Variations on a Theme". Claude Monet had started a series of paintings of Poplar Trees in 1891; followed by another series of the Facade of Rouen Cathedral and then a series of variations of Haystacks. Dvorak pointed out that the works in "series" by Monet represented the triumph of an AGE that placed its faith in the ability to interpret NATURE with the impliments of SCIENCE.

The long century of the 1800's or the nineteenth century is the GREAT CENTURY of the LANDSCAPE PAINTING. Beginning with TURNER, the BARBIZON School, The HUDSEN RIVER School, The DUSSELDORF School and onto the development of the genre to Plastic Artists as varied as HODLER, CEZANNE, and Van GOGH; then The IMPRESSIONIST and into the next century with The FAUVES.

The psyche' came to be seen as the organ of a perception that transcends the sensory. What is to be represented was no longer the evanescent effects of LIGHT and ATMOSPHERE but the stirring of psychic emotion. As early as PHILLIP OTTO RUNGE at the beginning of the century, through to the SYMBOLISTS and then the POST-IMPRESSIONISTS ; the depiction of Individuality and it's IMAGINATION began to profoundly place it's marks onto the beautifully created character and illusions of NATURE's reflection seen through the EYE's of PAINTERS.

Going back again to the Father of Philosophical-ROMANTICISM :: K A N T's 1766 essay "DREAMS of a SPIRIT-SEER" ; Dvorak used his antithesis between Monet's resignations and Kokoschka's "Variations" to focus more on that inner transformative factor which elevated the subject of the centuries old focus on sensory importance, from LOCKE and DESCARTES. Sensory perception has been utterly, subjectively, as well as arbitrarily Transformed. Throughout the MODERN Industrial - Scientific - Human Social Revolutionary Nineteenth Century; all HUMAN HABITATION thru technology has completely Transformed our life experience in ways we can not take for granted, although MODERN man somehow does easily take all these Transformations for granted on a daily basis. The undeniable SOUL of man's psyche' deeply and richly finds great significance in our perceptions of looking through the keyhole of NOSTALGIA for our occasional embraces of these manifestations of our past.

Kokoschka took this new plateau of psychic awareness of Transformed MODERNITY a step further in his clearification for a twentieth century "supersensible experience". Kokoschka wrote "On the Nature of Visions" in 1912:

"The awareness of VISIONS is life itself, which chooses among

the configurations that come to it, and can hold aloof from what

it dislikes" -Oskar Kokoschka-

That to have VISIONS is more than passively being stimulated by sensations and VISIONS by intelligent individual minds :: our minds are more than cameralike impressions the eye equally experiences. In fact filmmakers of VISION constantly Transformed the NAKED EYE of there camera's to follow their IMAGINATIONS and their VISIONS to adapt and transform what a camera can do (oddly enough the masses have always seemed to just passively accept any image created by a mechanical camera because of it's sheer mirroring of found reality). To have VISION does NOT mean becoming aware of objects, but, of BECOMING AWARE of ONESELF IN OBJECTS. Here reality becomes open to question and precisely in a way that Friederich NIETZSCHE meant in his clearification to his term :: RESSENTIMENT ::

...on the one hand; it is possible to remain oblivious to the fact

that you are being compelled to interpret the world and your-

self in terms of a socially restricted understanding of what is real

and what is possible...on the other hand; you may recognise that

your self-fulfillment as a unique individual is being obstructed,

but then become so fixated upon the battle with the oppressors

that you still fail to cultivate and realize your unique potential...

in this latter tendency NIETZSCHE terms :: RESSENTIMENT::

and sees it as one of the most serious threats to an AWAKENING


Years later, one of the fathers of Twentieth Century Psychology : Carl G. JUNG will call this process his "INDIVIDUATION PROCESS". These perceptions of Kokoschka's "supersensible experience" or a MODERNIST sensibility, was further expressed in Kokoschka's painting "STILL LIFE with LAMB & HYACINTH" :: a painting of a rejected meal : the cadaver of a lamb that was to be eaten for Easter Dinner and instead OSKAR set it aside to paint. He painted the dead meat with objects of decay and discarded his Easter Feast. All objects of dissolution making an emblem of dissoluted existing relationships. The writer of Richard Strauss's operettas' HUGO von HOFMANNSTHAL also felt Kokoschka's psychic grasp, ten years earlier when he wrote "The Letter of Lord Chandos" in 1901. Hofmannsthal had the sensation of veiwing even words and our daily language as it crumbled and became unsuitable for expressing his/our most pressing and meaningful expressions through words.

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