Marja-Leena Rathje
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Stirring my love of both art and history is this wonderful essay by Gary Geddes called The mirror of history shows us who we are - Ancient works of art that reflect life, hardship and the 'yin-yang dance of human relations' have much to tell us about how we live today.

Added June 27th: In the comments below I mentioned the Terracotta Warriors. Now you can enjoy an audio slideshow of the exhibition that just opened at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

Marja-Leena | 23/06/2010 | 13 comments
themes: History, Nature, Photoworks


Your scan is beautiful and I'm glad to know about Gary Geddes and to read this piece of his. Now I want to read his book "The Terracotta Army"...

Beth, I might have missed this article in our newspaper but for a huge photo of some Terracotta Army figures that caught my attention. I'm looking forward to seeing the Terracotta Army exhibition coming to Victoria late next year. Did you know it will also be in Montreal? It would be a great time to read his book.

Geddes mentions the phenomenon called "ventriloquism of history," which I had not heard before. That's a wonderfully descriptive phrase! The light in your scan accentuates the individuality of each pruning. Very nice, Marja-Leena.

R, I too love that phrase and it's the first time I've seen it as well.

These scanned prunings look like beautifully crafted works of art. Which of course they are. The art is in the scanning.

I look forward to seeing that exhibit when it comes to Victoria.

Your scannings are beautiful. So many ways to capture and preserve the past. And the past is really all there is.

Joe, thank you!

Anne, yes, I guess that's what photography, including scanning, is about -- capturing a fleeting moment in the present to preserve it as the past.

Beautiful prunings and a fascinating article, Marja-Leena. I wish my local paper ran to such erudition! I was particularly taken by the notion 'of the responsibility of the artist to witness and record, to serve as a barrier against forgetting and false narratives'.

Dick, thanks! This article is certainly a rare gem even in our paper. I love that statement too, it obviously strikes a chord for artists!

Just got around to reading the article you linked to. I loved it and, like Beth, will be looking for Gary Geddes' work.

and the scan is exquisite.

Jean, thanks, and I'm glad you liked the article. I must read more of Geddes' work too!

Great video, thank you for posting it. I saw these warriors and more in an exhibition in Seattle Washington-1978/79? Breathtaking works.

Hi SueAnn! I saw them in Seattle too! I was going to mention that in a future post after seeing the exhibition when it comes to Victoria. Also I have photos from my sister-in-law who visited the site in China.