STILL LIFE IV

Shaun Motsi (CAN)

March 8, 2014

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..Within the language of 17th century Dutch and Flemish still life painting, the most common flowers and their symbolic meanings include: rose (Virgin Mary, transience, Venus, love); lily (Virgin Mary, virginity, female breast, purity of mind or justice); tulip (showiness, nobility); sunflower (faithfulness, divine love, devotion); violet (modesty, reserve, humility); columbine (melancholy); poppy (power, sleep, death)..

..The rules of language are analogous to the rules of games; thus saying something in a language is analogous to making a move in a game. The analogy between a language and a game demonstrates that words have meaning depending on the uses made of them in the various and multiform activities of human life; The meaning of a word is it’s use in a language..

..Consider the proceedings that we call “games” - card games, board games, reindeer games, games like ring-a-ring-a-roses. Similarities among them crop up and disappear, we see a complicated network of resemblances overlapping and criss-crossing..

..The language is meant to serve for communication between builder A and assistant B. A is building with building-stones: there are blocks, pillars, slabs and beams. B has to pass the stones, in the order in which A needs them. For this purpose they use a language consisting of the words "block", "pillar" "slab", "beam". A calls them out, B brings the stone which he has learnt to bring at such-and-such a call. Conceive this as a complete primitive language..

..I set up the picture by placing the (cloth) above the (bottle), and the (bottle) atop the (shelf)- yet only in conjunction with the rest of the objects can these ones be called "cloth", "bottle" and "shelf". Removed from it’s position the "cloth" is no longer a cloth, and the "bottle" is no longer a bottle- these things could really be anything, or absolutely nothing..

text: Shaun Motsi

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