Nov 3, 2008

Indescribably Cool, But I'll Try

Some wise man once said, describing something extraordinarily surreal in a poem of his, that it was "as beautiful as the chance meeting of an umbrella and a sewing machine on a disection table."*

This is what Art is, to me. Incredible things, designed only to take your breath away, to make you gape in astonishment, to fill your heart with child-like glee. To wring tears from your eyes and laughter from your soul. Art solely for the sake of art.

This could have been what that long-ago poet saw, if it hadn't happened some 80 years later.

If you'll forgive me taking liberties, it's as beautiful as the chance meeting of a giant little girl marionette and a steam-powered 40 ton elephant in a London street.

* That would be Andre' Breton, in 1924.


Rudi said...

The elephant is just plain cool.

That marionette has some beautiful fluid movements. The juxtaposition of her lifelikeness against her rigging fit for a schooner is wonderful. No silken threads trying to maintain an illusion. I find myself looking past the rigging because I don't want it there. Does Malkovitch know about this?

Clowncar said...

Gotta love those crazy surrealists!

Rudi is right,that marionette has incredibly lifelike movements.

What is this? Street theater? For a movie?

Irrelephant said...

Rudi, I feel the same way--I've never been a big fan of marionettes, but seeing all those guys working so carefully around her, dressing her and such (there's tons more video on them both on YooToob) my mind wants to believe. Same with the Sultan's Elephant--it's too beautiful, too surreal to see the cab and the wheels and all the little workers.

CC, I'm honestly not sure. I know the Sultan's Elephant is part of the Steampunk movement, and as such is entirely steam-powered. William Gibson blogged about seeing it at Nantes, France at the international Science Fiction Festival. I followed the link there and started exploring. Haven't had much time to go further, unfortunately.

Gordo said...

I LOVE art for art's sake. Especially something so incredibly unlikely as these.

Irrelephant said...

They ARE wonderfully improbable, aren't they Gordo? Exquisite in the fact that they do nothing productive for the society, they make nothing, they have no other use except to bring joy.

Todd said...

It's mesmerizing! You know it's not real but you find yourself so intrigued by the life-like, fluid movements that it almost becomes real in your minds eye!

Great stuff!

Irrelephant said...

Isn't it marvelous, Todd? I can't imagine the sort of teamwork that goes into that effortless movement.