Monday, November 09, 2009

Where Did My Art Come From? (part five)


This is my childhood understanding of history.

When I was in elementary school, we used to walk home to eat lunch. My sister and I would make the trek quickly in order to have lunch heated up early enough to be able to watch the Flintstones on a tiny black and white TV.

This TV puzzled me quite a bit, my mother told me that it was old fashioned, so that is why it was black and white. I knew that old movies as well as photographs were also in black and white. At some point in time, colour photography and movies came into existence, in my mind a long, long time ago. I knew my mother and father were old enough to remember this change.

I then reasoned that it wasn't actually photographs and movies, but everything was in black and white. My thoughts felt nice and complete with this theory, so I never asked about it, I just assumed that is how it worked - I figured that film always captured what it saw.

One day I was looking through some things on a bookshelf. I found this tiny leather bound book that was encased in a zipper, it was a Holy Bible. I knew this book was my mothers and that it was somehow special. Now, not being a particularly religious family, my only indication that this was a unique treasure is that my mother stored locks of her children's toddler haircuts, wrapped in plastic inside this little book.

I can remember being quite curious, I knew that Bibles were supposed to be old. Old from when God made the world (again, it never occurred to me that this book I had on my lap was not almost 2000 years old but a reprinted translation) I opened up the book and noticed something right away....

This old book had colour pictures. I can remember being fixated on a picture of Adam naming the animals. I can remember the classic Anglo Saxon depictions of Jesus. All in colour. This threw me off a little.

After I replaced the locks of hair and zipped up the book and returned it to the shelf, I started pondering this schism to my theory.

A few days or weeks later, it hit me. That must have been what they meant by the Dark Ages. All the colour was lost in the world. I also figured it had something to do with Jesus dying. Then, at some point in time for some unknown reason, colour returned a few years after my parents were born.

Simple. (I believed that for a few years too)

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