Friday, November 28, 2008

Animal economy...

"The spirit of an artist's gifts can wake our own," says Lewis Hyde in The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property. Such a simple, but important idea. He explores how resilient an artist's non-material creative gifts are to the forces of the marketplace and to the physical journey of an artworks as an object. He posits a dual co-existing system of a marketplace and a gift economy. I'm reading it now. Really interesting.

Hyde's ideas are close to something I believe about animals. Their spirits can interact with our own and trigger our psyches into higher realms. I believe that living animals and animals depicted as art are separate but equal currencies in the economy of the imagination. While being in the presence of a living animal is an experience capable of igniting our core existential being, a rendered animal, interpreted, enhanced, and processed through the artist's personal vision, is something capable of unlocking many psychic doors at once. Both are essential to our survival in an increasingly sealed bubble of so-called modernity.


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