Archetypal Africa

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In this work, Bigelow takes everyday objects (stapler, chair, spoon) and elevates them to archetypal status through several strategies:

* short, looping background videos (with audio) of natural scenes, usually focused on animals or plants, intercut with brief images of the object being discussed.

* A poetic description of the object, using metaphor, personification, and other figurative language to highlight their function or role.

* A scheduled set of fake historical events involving the object, often absurd and hilarious, including the location and the date in which they happened.

This level of attention to everyday objects is parallel to Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons, but with a different approach to its language choices. While Stein chooses language that belongs to the same semantic frame of the objects she describes, Bigelow breaks (or blends) the frames to take a twist towards the absurd. These objects become archetypal because they are presented as tools that shape their creators as much as the world around them, connecting them to nature and humanity at a global level.

The final choice given to the reader is a surprisingly effective Turing Test.

(Source: Leonardo Flores, I ♥ E-Poetry)

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alan bigelow