From Thou Art That by Joseph Campbell:
Picture a little Bushman boy being nursed by his mother, weaned very late, a little boy already, but still nursing on his mother. That little boy, unlike the little girl, will never become the life-body himself. He must learn to relate to that. The woman need not learn to relate to the man because that is not the problem. The problem concerns how the man relates to the woman. She is Life. He is a way of relating to Life.
So what happens with the boy? Nothing ever happens. He must, therefore, be beaten up and converted into a vehicle of social function. The woman is the vehicle of nature in the tribal societies and man is the vehicle of the social order. The adult men take the boys out and they beat them up, they carve up their bodies so that they will not have children’s bodies anymore and so they enter the service of the society. If they do not go with it, they are killed and eaten. There is no mercy, but from these rites come civilized human beings ready to serve something greater than themselves.
When Catlin, the wonderful artist, was among the Mandan Indians in the upper Missouri in 1832, he attended many of the initiation ceremonials. The young men had wooden spikes put through the pectoral muscles, and were suspended from the ceiling and beaten around until these spikes pulled out. One of them said, “Women suffer and we must suffer, too.”
In Brazil, some tribes refer to the men’s rites as the men’s menstruation. Through these rites they are turned into vehicles of a force that is bigger than themselves. And they thus enter into service to these societies.
The Books // “Take Time”
From the Wikipedia page of Juan Muñoz:
(dude did sculpture of two dudes munching on peeps)
His first exhibition was in 1984 in the Fernando Vijande gallery of Madrid. Since then, his works have been frequently exhibited in Europe and other parts of the world. At the beginning of the 1990s, Juan Muñoz began breaking the rules of traditional sculpture by sculpting works in a “narrative” manner which consisted of creating smaller than life-size figures in an atmosphere of mutual interaction. Muñoz’s sculptures often invite the spectator to relate to them, making the viewer feel as if they have discreetly become a part of the work of art. His slate-gray or wax-colored monochrome figures create a sort of discreetness due to their lack of individuality, but that absence of individuality questions the viewer, perhaps even so much as to make the viewer uncomfortable. When asked his occupation, Muñoz would respond simply that he was a “storyteller.”
Muñoz’s sculptures were created primarily with paper maché, resin and bronze. In addition to sculpture, Muñoz was interested in the creation of auditory arts, creating some works for the radio. One of his more recognized auditory works was a collaboration with British composer Gavin Bryars in 1992 called A Man in a Room, Gambling, which consisted of Muñoz explaining card tricks over a composition by Bryars. The pieces, ten segments all shorter than five minutes, were played on BBC Radio 3.
In one unpublished radio program (Third Ear, 1992), Juan Muñoz proposed that there are two things which are impossible to represent: the present and death, and that the only way to arrive at them was by their absence.
In 2000, Muñoz was awarded Spain’s major Premio Nacional de Bellas Artes, about which Muñoz said, “I think I’ll buy a watch.”
Juan Muñoz died suddenly of cardiac arrest caused by an aneurism of the esophagus and an internal hemorrhage at the age of 48 in his summer home in Santa Eulària des Riu, Ibiza, in 2001.
The Books // “Smells Like Content”