Monday, October 03, 2005

what we know

I painted this back in 2001. It hangs inside my office cubicle but nobody takes notice of it. I entitled it What We Know, to symbolize the little piece of knowledge humans have against the vastness of uncharted and possibly unknowable information, realities, and truths in the universe. It’s my stand against absolutism, my critique against those who have a predilection to generalize, to peddle absolute truths without knowing that what they actually see is just a fraction of an infinite sky; their knowledge as tiny as a quark against a heaving, evolving mammoth organism. We merely see things through this tiny window, and perhaps it is not humanly possible to see more than that, not in one lifetime, not even in one millennium.

When I showed this to my French teacher during our bring-a-picture-and-describe-it day in French class way, way back, he asked in French why I chose to paint a gothic window like those found in churches. I said I had no particular reason for choosing it. He then posited another explanation. The window, he said, can represent the Church or organized religion that blocks reality/truth and allows only a portion of it to be seen by the people. I never thought of it that way before. I must say his interpretation holds water.

What do you see?


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23 Comments:

At 6:29 PM, Blogger dulceamore said...

ang ganda ng gambaran/lukisan mo! -->sabi namin ni joyce... may katotohanan ang sinasabi mo kaibigan...

 
At 7:45 PM, Blogger Sidney said...

For me it has a sinister meaning.
It is a window looking straight into hell. Probably because of the yellow/red colors.

 
At 8:07 PM, Blogger cosmochiq0011 said...

hmm..if i was standing on the side of the window, i guess i'd only see the sky...and i'll see what i only want to see...and if i put my head outside the window, i'll realize that there's much more to be seen than what the window presents in our eyes..

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger sojourness said...

Wow. It's lovely. Excellent interpretation by your teacher, too.

 
At 1:29 AM, Blogger Saint Eroica said...

my first impression? a vaginal opening... dilated cervix, ready to give birth... it's true... am i sick?

 
At 7:39 AM, Blogger dionne said...

nice! i was wondering nga why a gothic window. good interpretation by louis (?) though. have more of these? maybe you should frame it and have a mini-gallery somewhere. i'd sure visit. =)

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger slim whale said...

DULCEAMOR--salamat, kaibigang akbar. gambaran is not a cussword, i hope. hehe.

SIDNEY--yeah, it could be. portal to hell. a friend told me it might have been quasimodo's window in the belltower of NOtre Dame while paris was burning.

COSMOCHIQ001--hey, i deleted your other comments cause they just replicated this one. you must've pressed the publish button thrice. :)...yup, we all need to stick our head out of the window to be able to see more of the world. or better yet, jump out of it. thanks for dropping by.

SOJOURNESS--thanks. i thought his interpretation is apt, too.

SAINT EROICA--haha! it reminds me of vagina monologues. remember the "I was there" piece? when she talks about the magic of a vagina giving birth? wonderful. i should've painted some pubic hair around the window.

DIONNE--i think you were in class when i showed this. oui, c'est louis qui l'a dit. he asked me why a gothic window and then he gave his interpretation, remember? or were you absent then? i'd put up my own Louvre some day, hehe.

 
At 1:46 PM, Blogger Abaniko said...

i didn't even see a window initially. i saw a painted bullet against a dark background. i feel like being subjected to an ink blot test.

 
At 2:41 PM, Blogger slim whale said...

ABANIKO--lol! is that how bad i paint? maybe i should forget painting altogether.

but yeah, it does look like a bullet at first glance. burning bullet smeared with dried up blood.

i love ink blot tests.

 
At 4:42 PM, Anonymous kaisertom said...

i see hues of reds and orange: i think of flowers. same hues, split second: flame, hate, cynicism. later, i see onrushing flame-like wind which can hit you like a million piercing orgasms.

i see a window, i immediately think of "opportunity" masquerading like what others did see: a vaginal opening sans the clit. i can't distinguish goth from juan, but there's a certain arabian mideast feel to it. and i wish that waiting outside that window would be my harem, inviting me to a fuckathon.

from such angle, i wonder: if i look up higher if i would see the golden arches of McDonald's like the kid in the TV ad? I sure will. i see what i want to see. what i choose to see. when i want to see. and i have the power to change my mind as to what i see.

the window itself would be a great place for some bang-on-the-wall. wonder what partner would see while we're busy.... heehah!

great blog! thanks for letting me peek...

 
At 5:38 PM, Blogger rmacapobre said...

i thought i saw a fish while scrolling up and down the page. but on a closer look .. hmm .. i think there is something brewing from behind those grim looking clouds.

nice artwork.

 
At 10:07 PM, Blogger bing said...

first glance - a vagina wide open... but then, when you look at it longer, it is a window and it is like i am looking at a fiery bush and i am inside that dark room. likewise, we are sometimes like full of darkness inside and the light is just within our grasp but we are so hesitant to be burned by it.

 
At 1:52 AM, Anonymous Elsa said...

Moi je vois une fenêtre d'un château hanté s'ouvrant sur l'enfer. Glps.
C'est peut être parce que je suis Française et que le gothique rappelle un château (ou une église comme le prof le disait) :)))
Voilà. Bonne journée
Elsa

 
At 8:13 AM, Blogger slim whale said...

KAISERTOM--whoa, that's quite a lot! i agree, a fuckathon would be superb, whether in bed or on the wall, or on the window sill while the red clouds swirl in ecstasy. thanks for dropping by.

RMACAPOBRE--a fish? you just saw me then. yup, there's definitely something brewing up there on the clouds, it's god's divine ass, farting.

BING AKA JULIET--"light just within our grasp but we are so hesitant to be burned by it"

good point. if only we would dare go nearer, we'd find out that it won't burn us at all.

ELSA--mon prof est francais aussi, naturellement, il a vu une fenêtre de l’église, comme toi. Peut-être tous les fenêtres des eglises s’ouvrent sur l’enfer…

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger rmacapobre said...

d'un vagin à une fenêtre d'église. ton dessin a de beaucoup niveaux(?). peux-je voir tes autres dessins? ..

from vagina to a church window. your drawing has soo many levels.

^_^

 
At 3:18 PM, Blogger Nelson said...

oh god, without reading the rest of the comments here, the first thing that came to mind upon seeing this is the vagina spread wide open, and the birth [amniotic] fluids flowing within.

i can say it's a subliminal metaphor for both birth and rebirth, of fertility and creation. this represents something more primal than whatever representations of the church [which i don't really see].

to sum it up: it flows with vibrant creative energy.

 
At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ang nakikita ko po ay bintanang gawa sa bato o kaya's semento o clay na hindi napinturahan. di pang pilipinas ang design nito.

sa labas ng bintana ay mistulang apoy na pwedeng mangahulugan ng iba't ibang bagay para sa marami, ngunit ang nakikita ko po ay mga bulubunduking namumula at tila ginintuang taniman na epekto marahil ng oras (sunset) o baka tint ng sunglass noong nakatingin. wala po akong nararamdamang sekswal o kaya'y kademonyohan sa inyong magandang naipinta. kung kepyas ang tingin ng marami, ala e ang pangit na kepyas naman nito!

sabi ng art teacher ko, tell it like it is daw po.... kaya eto... in the meantime, sisilip at sisilip pa rin po ako baka dumaan sina Aladdin na naka flying carpet.

sana po matuto akong sumulat tulad niyo.

salamat.

liwayway

 
At 12:35 AM, Blogger bismuth said...

i see a great day. ok. might not be the answer right for this philosophical discussion. but i'll think about it and then i'll get back to you one way or another.

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger slim whale said...

RMACAPOBRE--je suis timide de te montrer mes autres dessins. tu dessines trop bien pour moi! tes dessins nu me manquent. je les adorais. Quand dessines-tu encore?

NELZ--birth and rebirth, fertility and creation. fluids flowing and vagina wide open to usher in life. i like that. or it could be the other way around, this is the inside of a vagina we are seeing it from the point of view of an infant about to be born. everything still burns with life and vitality outside the vagina.

LIWAYWAY--natawa naman ako sa comment mo. medyo pangit na kepyas nga ito, masyadong patusok at kwadrado. tint ng sunglasses? o baka naman sabog lang ang timingin kaya ganon. minsan, pula talaga ang tingin ko sa bundok at dilaw naman ang kalangitan. dala marahil ng pagpipilit kong magkaroon ng poetikal na pagtingin sa mundo o marahil, talagang malala na ang color blindness ko.

salamat sa pagbisita mo. sana bumalik ka ulit.

BISMUTH--in the darkness of that one-window room, it definitely is a great day. yup, there's no rush, go think about it if you want. this painting can mean anything, really. vagina, penis, or pickle.

 
At 4:40 PM, Blogger Abaniko said...

"burning bullet smeared with dried up blood."

that's exactly what i saw. you're such a wordsmith, slim whale. poocha! idol!!!

 
At 8:25 AM, Blogger slim whale said...

ABANIKO--glad i got it right. i should start re-thinking the meaning of this painting for me.

world peace, perhaps? shit, parang beauty pageant contestant.

 
At 8:21 PM, Blogger bismuth said...

oh. a vagina (tilts head a little-for some weird reason another perspective becomes obvious that way). an over-used one. perhaps one that belongs to one of the dimwits pregnant year and year out, littering this country with urchins. poor babies.

still not the right answer no? all these corporate shit i'm doing are doing me in. i'm going to burn in that fire outside that window. on a beautiful day. brings to mind a picture of a middle eastern man who doused himself with gas and lit himself. a protest against something. i wonder how much conviction or belief i need to go that way. some people willingly die (to kill is another discussion) for beliefs that may not even be true. but becuase they believed strongly, perhaps they understand the whole deal of living.

 
At 8:10 PM, Blogger slim whale said...

BISMUTH--every answer is right, as far as i'm concerned. wide-open vagina and poor babies. it pains me to see street urchins begging in the streets because their parents forgot to put rubber.

"becuase they believed strongly, perhaps they understand the whole deal of living."

or perhaps they did not see the point of living at all. two ways of looking at a coin.

 

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