Andre Malraux’s The Metamorphosis of the Gods. It was a daring venture of the intellect…
…This Christ is not Jesus- or not yet. His message is love- but of a certain kind. Later ages, looking upon the figures of medieval faith, tend to ignore the distinction. “What our time understands best about the Romanesque and Gothic faith are the things that are not, properly speaking, faith: exaltation and brotherly love, those imperceptibly rationalized images of Saint Bernard and Saint Francis, everything that permits us to confuse the charity of a saint with the devotion of a physician, the construction of a cathedral with that of a giant dam, the Crusades with the Revolutions…
“Before bringing the promise of heaven, salvation demands the rebirth according to the spirit, the knowledge of God…The martyrs did not throw themselves to the beasts to win a kind of permanent holiday in the country…The fundamental emphasis of Christianity is not paradise, which Christian art scarcely represents. Nor the moral preaching of Jesus. Nor even the Crucifixion. It is the secret of God, as revealed by Christ. This revelation is contained in three lightning words: God is love. However, it is not human love, but sacred love; it is part of the very mystery of the Eternal. Revelation does not bring the elucidation of that mystery, but communion with it.”
The same is true of Romanesque art. To begin with, at least, its Christ is still a majestic, Biblical, even Byzantine Christ. The figure that dominates the great tympani of Moissac, Beaulieu, and Autun is Christ in His aspect of the Eternal, the Pantocrator. But gradually, a major metamorphosis takes place. Perceptibly, the features soften, the severe and austere masks give way to increasingly human traits, the love that is at the heart of the eternal mystery gives way to to love that is in the heart of man. “As Christ turns increasingly into Jesus, God recedes. …In art, as in faith, Christ detaches Himself from the God of Abraham, in tympanum after tympanum, from Moissac via Chartres until the last cathedrals.”
(see link at end)…Dudley Andrew writes: By taking unto themselves the flesh and blood of earthly existence, these inventions released painting to pursue its loftier spiritual mission. Bazin leapt past the more traditional Malraux, for whom art was a voice from beyond the earth. In place of the voice, Bazin believed in the trace, the remnants of something real recorded by photography and cinema. Fruit of science and popular culture, these technologies affect art certainly, and may be used in artistic creation, but their uses go well beyond it, or, if you prefer, slip beneath it.
Despite their different sensibilities, Malraux, Benjamin, and Bazin shared a democratizing vision of culture which they developed from the early 1930s to the late 60s. It is puzzling to note that their hopes and ambitions for an intelligent and responsible mass culture regrettably remain unfulfilled even to this day. This goes to show that technological changes alone are not enough to develop solutions, because a popular education in the guise of an audiovisual literacy of different kinds of moving images is still in the making and is urgently necessary.Read More:http://www.palgrave.com/PDFs/9780230272927.pdf