Salt Crystals / Rock Art Research Rumble
Overall size c. 42 x 42 x 20 in
Strathmore 400 drawing paper, glue, acrylic paint, ink and acrylic paint markers
(Photo: Rick Lightbody)
The quotes on this piece come from a section of comments following an article by Oscar Moro Abadia in a 2013 issue of Rock Art Research titled “Rock art stories: standard narratives and their alternatives”. In this article, Moro Abadia assesses the situation in anthropology where the “narrative” that art developed from simple to complex leading to realism, which had been assumed for many decades, was finally agreed to be untrue. Because various artifacts had been dated using this false narrative, the floor has fallen out from under sections of accepted anthropological dating.
While the article itself wasn’t particularly groundbreaking in my opinion, the comments, by people from various fields, suggested the existence of numerous worlds I hadn’t heard of before. I’m still finding inspiring stuff due to those comments.
Moro Abadia’s article with accompanying comments is inRock Art Research 30(2): pp. 139-173.
The link between the text and the salt crystals involves wordplay: “rock salt”, “salt in a wound”, etc.
The text on the piece is as follows:
“Rock art cannot be credibly interpreted by either archeologists or art historians and their respective humanities are not sciences.”
“Phenomenology…specifically disowns personal experience (Erlebnis) as a guide to understanding. Phenomenology is essentially analytic and anti-psychologistic. Heidegger’s celebrated being-in-the-world is, thankfully, not about ‘embodiment’, the kind of ‘feeling bodily’ (think luxurious body lotion ads) which comes as a revelation to some of us in the age of virtuality. It is about human activity, our practical projects which generate human spaces, i.e., constitute ‘places’ our of merely inert space, a ‘home’ as distinct from a house”.
–Dr. Livio Dobrez
“…what literate scholars had been assuming to be universal cognitive attributes of contemporary humans, including scientific thinking and analysis, abstract thinking, logic, etc., depended on whether or not that individual came from an oral versus a literate culture. Cognitive archeology has yet to come to terms with the effects of literacy on the cognitive capacities of contemporary peoples.”
–Dr. Patrica A. Helvenston
“…rock art theory needs to…recognize that underlying the traditional subject matter of iconology, visual studies and so forth, there is the activity or behavior of making and experiencing images, representations, and marks. In other words, ‘art’ is the residue or result of this activity.
“In my scheme, artifying refers to the evolved human behavioral predisposition to make ordinary reality extra-ordinary in biologically important circumstances about which individuals and groups care….The concept encompasses not only visual images but the artification (making extraordinary) of surroundings, bodies, body movements (dance), vocalisations (song), words (poetic language) and so forth—that is, all the arts.”