Nemesis: She's a big, German-looking lady with a double chin and a pot belly and she's standing on a ball and riding it like a circus performer. In her right hand she has a chalice and in her left she has a bridle. Also she has wings. The ball is pressing down upon whatever barrier it is that keeps her scary supernatural world from breaking through into everyday reality. Just under the straining fabric is a little medieval village. Heavy weather they're thinking, not knowing that Ten-ton Tessie, the Goddess, is pedaling overhead. Rumble, rumble, rumble, rumble. That's my girl!
The Knight, Death and the Devil: Think what Millais would have made of this. Yeah, quite. Think soulful; think big, liquid eyes raised to heaven. Durer's knight is a stoic. He looks straight ahead. He is not going to be distracted. Bergman must have had this guy at the back of his mind when he made the Seventh Seal. Death is not just a skeleton- he's a rotting corpse. And the Devil is kinda fun. A comical monstrosity with wavy horns and a pig's snout and little beady eyes. Then there's the alpine castle towering above them all on its hill. What's the word for this? Magic realism? Super-realism? Surrealism? What counts is that everything is utterly real - as though every detail had been studied under a magnifying glass before Durer would trust himself to draw it. It's a lucid nightmare- more real than real.
Melancholia. She's like a Michelangelo sibyl- but haunted. The northern winter has entered into her soul. She is surrounded by the tools of science and creation and she's thinking, 'what's the point?' Her eyes shine in the light of a falling star. She is divine. She is fucked-off divine. She is the greatest single image in western art.
From Mammary Hill
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