keeping hansel and gretel on a short leash

They exist. And we know that this invisible architecture of the labyrinth can be very real and almost impossible to get out of. In the mythical Greek tale, Icarus was able to fly out on some crafted wings, but still died by flying too close to the sun. So,labyrinths have always presented the potential for the impossibility for exit, like Hansel and Gretel, the gingerbread house in the forest was not what it was seen to be; the wicked child devourer inhabiting the home being akin to the minotaur at the heart of the Greek labyrinth.

In any event, death was always lurking in conjunction from freedom, and the deeper issue of anxiety and trauma of being lost, fearful and a long way from home; the dangers of tapping into occult forces which once out of the genie’s bottle risk to lead through trap doors and secret passageways without hope for escape as in the mysteries of the Egyptian pyramids.And the seeming complexity in which individual fragments of a labyrinth do not seem to be governed by any secret unity; there is instead, a chaos of appearances, an absence and sacrifice of identity beholden to a spider web of complexity in which the center of the labyrinth is an illusion, or is constantly changing.

---Mazes and Labyrinths by W.H. Matthews (1922) ---Read More:

Marcel Duchamp: To all appearances, the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing. If we give the attributes of a medium to the artist, we must then deny him the state of consciousness on the esthetic plane about what he is doing or why he is doing it. All his decisions in the artistic execution of the work rest with pure intuition and cannot be translated into a self-analysis, spoken or written, or even thought out.

Pieter Bruegel The Elder. read More:

Physical architecture such as the Berlin Wall are just marked examples of labyrinth like constructions that exert a control on the individual but the examples from gardens, to hospitals to education, to the military, are also part of what is essentially a non-democratic construction outside the purview of elected officials and run at will by those who truly walk corridors of power.

( see link at end)When he writes The Trial and The Castle in the 1920’s, Franz Kafka reinvents this notion of labyrinth by creating a maze that escapes the control of its developer, the giant administrative system. This maze will find a space in 1941 through Jorge Luis Borges and his Ficciones in which space is composed both by the notion of infinite and the random. Eventually, during the 1950’s, Constant Nieuwenhuis brought an architecture to this labyrinth by the creation of his New Babylon, the territory of the Homo Ludens’ continuous drift. Those three labyrinths, whether they are administrative, spatial, or architectural, all own the characteristic of not being controlled by their creators….

Marcel Duchamp. Read More:

… Just like the wall, this labyrinth is defined by a single line; however it considerably increases its thickness in order to allow a roving in the line. In fact, one transgression towards the line consists in walking on it, in the way of a tightrope walker experiencing spatially what Marcel Duchamp calls inframince. This labyrinth is an uncontrollable growing entity comprised of a forest whose use depends exclusively on its appropriation by people. The creation of a new environment that needs to be colonized in order to acquire a function implies the invention of a new architecture that adapts to its new conditions. Its violent architectural vocabulary is not innocent nor is the potential danger its experience implies. In fact, Italo Calvino’s dream of remaining for a lifetime in the three dimensionality of the forest entails a refusal of comfort, convenience and safety. Read More:
The labyrinth, Benjamin said, has many entrances leading into the interior through what he calls primal acquaintances. Again and again throughout our lives we are guided through passageways to certain types of people until everything contracts to a figure, a symbol.Read More:

James Frazer, The Golden Bough: that we were led to plunge into the labyrinth of magic by a consideration of two different types of man-god. This is the clue which has guided our devious steps through the maze, and brought us out at last on higher ground, whence, resting a little by the way, we can look back over the path we have already traversed and forward to the longer and steeper road we have still to climb. As a result of the foregoing discussion, the two types of human gods may conveniently be distinguished as the religious and the magical man-god respectively. In the former, a being of an order different from and superior to man is supposed to become incarnate, for a longer or a shorter time, in a human body, manifesting his super-human power and knowledge by miracles wrought and prophecies uttered through the medium of the fleshly tabernacle in which he has deigned to take up his abode. This may also appropriately be called the inspired or incarnate type of man-god. In it the human body is merely a frail
earthly vessel filled with a divine and immortal spirit. On the other hand, a man-god of the magical sort is nothing but a man who possesses in an unusually high degree powers which most of his fellows arrogate to themselves on a smaller scale; for in rude society there is hardly a person who does not dabble in magic. Thus, whereas a man-god of the former or inspired type derives his divinity from a deity who has stooped to hide his heavenly radiance behind a dull mask of earthly mould, a man-god of the latter type draws his extraordinary power from a certain physical sympathy with nature. He is not merely the receptacle of a divine spirit. His whole being, body and soul, is so delicately attuned to the harmony of the world that a touch of his hand or a turn of his head may send a thrill
vibrating through the universal framework of things; and conversely his divine organism is acutely sensitive to such slight changes of environment as would leave ordinary mortals wholly unaffected. But the line between these two types of man-god, however sharply we may draw it in theory, is s

m to be traced with precision in practice, and in what follows I shall not insist on it.

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