Sabtu, 16 September 2006

Al Magnus: taking children seriously

For Al Magnus, it all started with having children.

How surprizing is that? Of course, these are images of fairly tales. Some actually ring a bell. Most are rather fairy tales in themselves. But to start off, remember they were not meant for us, but for the little ones. Hopefully, that can be a good enough excuse to enjoy, as we usually enjoy the things that weren't meant for us.

Then, of course, there is more. The above image, called Paisagiste II (Landscape Designer II) has two versions. The first one is in color. This one, however, is quite different. By taking away the color, the general atmosphere becomes heavier. But there is another change. The boy pulling on the rope all but disappears. (Yes, there is a boy pulling on the rope). Suddenly, we discover the designer is not quite the one we thought it were. Maybe, because in the tales we know, we can only think of one designer.
But isn't the designer someone with the power to reinvent? To construct, but also, to make a Very Silly Thing (La Grosse Betise)?
Maybe, the power of attraction of children's tales is not that they're far-fetched, incredible, fantastic, but that they design things in such a way that we feel this world-changing design on every step? This is a big difference, since we rarely associate children's stories with the creation of order. Come to think of it, it is an order that they have in common with some, maybe not all, art. And so, the trivial idea that artists are the adults that remained (or went back to being) children can be understood in a whole different way. Artists treat designing seriously.


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