The Fountain of Ruse

Political propaganda makes a parasitic use of our mythical heritage; it is "mystagogic" rather than "mythopoetic" (Gillo Dorfles, Naturaleza y artificio, 1977). The ruse is not difficult to discover, because, in order to achieve that, it resorts to myths symbolizing the opposite of what propaganda tries to hide: i.e. eternal youth vs. radioactivity.

Image after Lucas Cranach the Elder's Der Jungbrunnen (The Fountain of Youth, 1546) [pd], Charles Levy/US Federal Government's atomic bombing of Nagasaki (1945) [pd] and Tomás Lorente Abellán/La Vanguardia's Spanish minister and American ambassador bathing in Palomares (1966) [fu/fd].


The Sack of Rome

In the same way that beauty is inseparable from the physical strength of the body, the aesthetics of each time would be also based on the corresponding forms of barbarismMannerist and Baroque canons would owe much to the sacking which mutilated the heritage of Antiquity. And the aesthetics of our time would be being cultivated in the anti-personnel mine fields rather than in the academias.

Image after Giovanni Antonio da Brescia's engraving after the Belvedere Torso (1500-20) [pd], Peter Paul Rubens' copy after the Belvedere Torso (1601-02) [pd] and Alex Smithing's design of AT-AP Mine [fu/fd].


Fishbowl Transparency

To see always involves to be seen. Even for those who believe that they see and are not seen. The glass curtain wall -- one of the bigger myths of modern architecture -- is nothing but a sublimated form of the medieval fortification.

Image after Julius Shulman's Stahl House (Case Study House #22, 1960) [fu/fd] and Sebastião Salgado's Coal Mining, Dhanbad, Bihar, India (1989) [fu/fd]. 


Pornographic Dismemberment

Pornography is one of the contemporary activities in which the sacred appears more alive. In fact, it is the latest version of the dismemberment in which many cosmogonies of origin consist, as well as the saintliness of martyrs or the exemplary moral of the tortured transgressors.

Image after Dieric Bouts' Martyrdom of St. Hippolytus (1470-75) [pd] and Jean-Jacques Lequeu's various drawings (1757-1826) [pd].