In this piece for our section #scratch, #itchysilk writer Lorna May considers the latest bit of promotional genius from Banksy. In his work Girl With Ballon, he raised that ironic dichotomy of destruction and creation- creation and destruction.
As You Always Hurt the One You Love (1944) plays on my Existential Nihilism playlist; I think I’m entitled to surrender to the fact that the world is ruled by sadistic creatures.
“Another lover hits the universe. The circle is broken. But with death comes rebirth. And like all lovers and sad people, I’m a poet.” Allen Ginsberg (Kill Your Darlings 2013)
Men eat men. Everyday. If not literally – then symbolically. Men eat men by means of power, fear, sex. Men eat men. The Moon gets bigger and bigger as it eats men’s energy on Earth. The Sun gets smaller and smaller as the planets around it suck-up its verve.
The Moon eats people. People eat the Earth. The Earth eats the Sun.
Some black holes can eat entire galaxies with blazing energy. Will a black hole destroy the world? No need for black holes when there are people for the job. It’s funny that way.
Yesterday, I used the words “creative destruction”, to explain to a friend what love meant to me. I did not realize that this phrase was originated by Karl Marx when he claimed that economic development arises out of destruction of some prior economic order.
After destruction comes creation, after war comes peace. After an argument comes reconciliation. Progress means turmoil. For centuries we’ve built civilizations destroyed by wars of all sorts, to then build new ones upon ruins.
That’s our story. From evolution to supernovas.
The story of little boys picking on girls they like. A sweet human plot.
Consider destruction as an act of love.
Recently, the anonymous street-artist Banksy, taught us a lesson on destruction. His artwork Girl with Balloon– now known as Love Is in the Bin, shot to notoriety when it was shredded seconds after being sold by Sotheby’s for £1.04 million. Since the destruction of the piece, it has now been valued as being worth twice as much. Many have argued on the authenticity of the stunt, although it doesn’t really matter. What Banksy is saying, or even better, what he’s claiming is the artist’s right to destroy as much as create.
Look into the darkness that defines the halo around the new, and you’ll see the slow undermining and ongoing multi-faceted destruction of the old. Watch closely, and you will feel the actual pain. You will participate in the tragedy.
If you happen to be part of a new exiting growth, recognize this. One day, a brighter light will put you in the shadows and you will have to face the mortality of your creations.
Consider destruction as an act of love. Grenouille (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer 1985 by Patrick Suskind), approaches a crowd and pours the entire bottle of perfume on himself. A scent he created, a perfume that causes awe and adoration in others. The people are so drawn to him due to his scent, and eat him up, tearing him to pieces. It is obvious that this is a suicide. The story ends with the crowd left embarrassed by their own action, but they are also left “uncommonly proud”. For the first time they had done something out of “love”.
In Indian philosophy there are three gods acting as one. Brahma the creator. Vishnu the preserver. Shiva the destroyer. They’re all equal. They keep the balance of the world. That makes a lot of sense, right? Shiva is a destroyer of evil. He comes to the world to replace the evil with something better. In a way, he is a transformer. Could destruction just be a form of transformation?
Look into the darkness that defines the halo around the new, and you’ll see the slow undermining and ongoing multi-faceted destruction of the old.
Think of the creation of a butterfly. The cocoon must be broken before the butterfly can slip. The aspect that is often forgotten is the time span that can lie in between the process of creation and destruction. A burnt field for example, won’t be able to bear crops in the following years. But in some years later the ashes will have a positive impact on the nutrients in the ground and a new landscape will have been created.
What can come out of a big piece of wood? A guitar. How about a big piece of rock? Michelangelo’s David (1501-1504).
Just as a candle must burn itself down to produce light in the world, the artist sacrifices himself, so people can value life.