Thursday, November 24, 2011

Portraits & persons

I have fallen in love with the library of university. Yesterday I spent whole day there studying English. Ellen and I arrived at 12 and left at 19, such a efficient day. There is more pleasant and silent. In Turku City Library there is a lot of noise and somehow I found it quite restless place. And in the university's library there are lots of fascinating books! I borrowed two books: Cynthia Freeland's Portraits & persons and Jean-Paul Sartre's Saint Genet. Both appear very promising. 

 Cynthia Freeland considers portraits in philosophical way. She starts with definitions and asks can we have portraits of animals, too. She discuss that do animals have consciousness and can we reagonize animals as individuals. Of course they who own some kind of pet think that they can regonize their lovely dog or some other pet whenever. But if your lovely dog runs away and comes back after a year much more thinner and dirtier, do they still regonize their pet only by appearance?

One problem is also that can animals reagonize theirselves in artist's portraits because they perhaps don't reagonize theirselves even in mirror. And because animals doesn't make art, art as we understand that, it can be quite hard to find out how animals experience art and being as a model for artist.

Freeland also thinks about do animals pose in pictures (for example while taking photos) and do they like getting attention (zoo animals, do they pose when zoo visitors come to watch and take photos of them?).

I have read only twenty pages and I'm very excited. That book is written in English which gives little bit extra challenge. Still I'm trying very hard to develop myself in English. Today I have English exam and I think it went quite badly. Let's see. I'm hopeful haha.

1 comment:

ellen said...

i think the question of animals' individuality is an interesting one. of course we can recognize animals from their distinct colouring or patterns of their fur etc. but do they have a "face", or are they distinguishable by expression of their eyes for example? Hard to say. I could easily believe though that things like that are not always purely the imagination of the adoring owner.

But when it comes to animals recognizing themselves in art and being aware of the camera... well, for me it sounds generally speaking very unlikely, even silly. Perhaps they can be aware of people looking at them and be delighted or disturbed by it (with dogs I think this is apparent), but how on earth could they spot a camera or understand the concept of a photograph? But maybe I'm just being narrow-minded? :)

What do you think?

PS. you express yourself very fluently, even with such an abstract and intellectual subject! This is a perfect balance between theory and examples which makes the text pleasant to read. You could easily extend this into a full-length essay with your own analysis of the topic if you like :) i would like to read it for sure.