So I started my blog for my project like two months ago, and some poor confused people have followed me without realizing that it was a school project. It’s kind of crazy that we’re all more than halfway through fall term, especially since it almost feels like June and Paris happened only last week. I apologize profusely if the title of this post makes the song get stuck in your head, but I was listening to Les Mis in my dorm last night, and it should be stuck in my head for at least this long weekend. Now you all get to share my pain.
Anyway, the other day, I was at a Gelb Gallery presentation. The exhibit was a collection of artwork from high school seniors in Botswana, but the presenter began with an image of a cave painting. He then asked everyone why we thought the person had made the picture. Everyone gave the expected answers that I would have given before the trip, and I realized that it’s actually quite easy to forget how important these answers really are. We expect the paintings to be spiritual because we assume that ancient people must have worshipped something. We assume that they painted them to be seen by others because we can’t imagine creating anything without getting credit for making something beautiful. We assume in many ways that these people must have been just like us, even though no one in those caves would have been able to see the whole animal at one time, let alone the whole cave.
Eventually, I raised my hand and said just that, but the presenter wasn’t completely happy with that because I think the whole point he was trying to make was that even ancient people tried to communicate through art. So, I tried, but it was a funny experience and it made me want all of you to be there so we could all raise our eyebrows.