There’s no bottom to creativity

by Irina Slav

The quest for originality, for uniqueness, has claimed numberless victims. It’s sad enough when such victims are thrown in the deepest pits of depression upon realising that true uniqueness is  unattainable to them, but it’s equally sad to witness someone’s efforts in this respect, efforts that all too often lead to the loss of all meaning. Yes, yes, meanings are all around us, anyone can read whatever they want into anything, but please, look at the picture above and tell me what meaning you find in it. I’ll tell you what the artist himself says about this performance of his:

“A performance about contradiction in terms.
In a search of different oxymorons,which generally is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms. Oxymora appear in a variety of contexts, including inadvertent errors such as ground pilot and literary oxymorons crafted to reveal a paradox.
Taking this grammatic phenomena,the aim of the performance is to create a plane of contradiction in both physical ,visual and mental level of perception as well as in its execution.
Going through various oximorons, the performer is using them as script for his narration of a new born story .this new narrative of possibilities carries in itself the grotesque illustration of concrete realism of the body in space supposed to the ever failing rhythm of sustainability of an image in display.
The paradox here is looked as a declaration of acceptance to all the schizophrenic effects this game reveals.
Coming closer to reality is like getting closer to next horizon…”

Ready? I was so wonderfully fascinated by this piece of, well, text, that I’m now going to take it sentence by sentence and see what I can do with it. Now, I must admit that if I was feeling generous I might have admired this text as an instance of total deconstruction. Unfortunately, it wasn’t planned as such, so I won’t. I will also try to ignore the minor errors related to the author’s all too imperfect command of English.

In a search of different oxymorons, which generally is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms.

Is it me or is there something missing here? It could be construed as an introductory piece, a sort of warning even, setting the scene for what is to come and making the reader hold their breath in excited anticipation. Um, no, because of the next sentence which offers us some kind of background for oxymora. So, there’s an important syntactic structure missing: it could be the subject, or it could be a predicate to come after the short definition of oxymoron. Enough grammar. May I say that I simply love the ‘generally’ bit? Oxymora are generally a figure of speech. And what, pray, are they particularly? Alas, I could hardly expect an answer. And what about the search for different oxymora? That was news to me — that I’ve been living in a world plagued by the same old oxymora. And to think that oxymora are a flexible figure of speech and one could oxymoronise (I just thought it up, seemed natural) almost anything? Shame on me. Let’s move on.

Oxymora appear in a variety of contexts, including inadvertent errors such as ground pilot and literary oxymorons crafted to reveal a paradox.

I just don’t know where to start. Should I first discuss the reference to inadvertent errors as a type of context or jump straight to the definition of ‘ground pilot’ and then go back to contexts? The sentence feels like it’s come straight from a stylistics textbook whose author doesn’t know much about his subject. No, I give up on the contexts, it’s not even funny and it’s making me angry. Although something like “In the context of this inadvertent error, I believe we have much to learn” sounds kind of great, doesn’t it? Contexts as occurrences, yum! As for the ground pilot, I hadn’t heard the phrase until today, so I naturally googled it. If we are to believe the Economist — and let me say I don’t believe anyone 100% anymore, after coming across stupid typos and worse in reputed news sources — a ground pilot is the guy who controls a drone (not the male bee, the aircraft. I know you knew, but still, I don’t know, you know). I strongly suspect that the author of my chew toy did not check the meaning, he just assumed that ground and pilot don’t go together. They don’t generally, but in this particular case they, obviously, do. Onwards.

Taking this grammatic phenomena,the aim of the performance is to create a plane of contradiction in both physical ,visual and mental level of perception as well as in its execution.

Take five, I need a cigarette.

Right, I’m back. Now, I’ll do as I promised and will not mock the confusion of categories like number and person (not to mention the confusion between grammar and stylistics), though the editor inside weeps. Neither will I point my finger at the apparent inability of the author to count, unless of course he considers visual and mental to be one thing, which would be scary. I would, however, express my wonder at the plane of contradiction created for these levels of perception. I mean, how exactly do you create a plane of contradiction for the level of physical/visual/mental perception? What, the bloody Hell, is a plane of contradiction? Do we get one plane for each level or is it some cross-level construct? Or does he mean that the plane he creates will cause contradiction among the three levels? Physical perception contradicting visual and mental contradicting physical? Fancy. Let’s look at the picture — does the octopus (This is an octopus on his head, I have it on very good authority) physically contradict the cobbles? Or his sneakers? The coat? I give up, I really can’t fathom the idea that is being expressed in this sentence. And the execution? Whose execution (I’m sorry but my first thought was about execution=murder, not execution=performance, I wonder why) and what about it? How do you contradict your performance? Jeez and Jesse! Onwards.

Going through various oximorons, the performer is using them as script for his narration of a new born story .

Where goest thou through the oxymora… Here the editor shouted “Lose the ‘his narration of’ bit, lose it, lose it!” Oxymora script. Fine. Newborn story. Finer still. Let’s move on because we have an even bigger jewel.

this new narrative of possibilities carries in itself the grotesque illustration of concrete realism of the body in space supposed to the ever failing rhythm of sustainability of an image in display.

I just googled ‘suppose’. I’m so open-minded and good-natured that I allowed myself to suspect that the word might have a hitherto unknown to me meaning of, I don’t know, ‘suspend’? Or that’s just my collocation-plagued, limited thinking. Who needs collocations! Away with them! Yes! Grotesque illustration sounds good, meaningless, yet good, but I really want to know what is ‘concrete realism’ — is it concrete in the sense of cement, or concrete as in solidly physical? It’s the cobbles, it’s their fault. And how does a rhythm — of sustainability, no less, and that sustainability of an image on display — get to be ever failing? What, in other words, the fork, is he forking talking about? Can you imagine what would happen if the EU hears that sustainability has a rhythm and it’s ever failing?! They’ll suspend (or maybe suppose) their funding projects for the betterment of poorer member-states, that’s what! And don’t tell me he’s talking about images on display — we are all images on display in a way, and in a concrete realism! On, on, on, we’re getting nearer to the end.

The paradox here is looked as a declaration of acceptance to all the schizophrenic effects this game reveals.

Which paradox? What game? What is a schizophrenic effect? No, seriously, I want to know. Is the paradox of the body supposed to the ever failing rhythm of sustainability, etc. a declaration of acceptance of the schizophrenic effects that sprout from the newborn story about possibilities and are revealed by the game of formulating oxymora? Oh, wow, this actually sounds good. No, I’m lying.

Coming closer to reality is like getting closer to next horizon…

Now that is a great oxymoron — coming closer is in fact going further away. Weak ending, I’d say. After all the marvellous mind twisters above, now this — coming closer to reality, and which reality is this, eh — and reaching for horizons. You could’ve done better, author, much better, but I guess the main body of the text drained you completely and I fully understand it. Just reading it exhausted me too, but analysing it brought some life back.

I admire creative people. Even more than that, I admire people who are capable of conveying their complex thoughts in a beautiful, yet comprehensible way and I’m inclined to look down on those who are incapable of saying things simply and preferring to hide the lack of coherent thought and idea behind abundant, and totally empty, linguistic decorations. Sorry if I’m hurting feelings but that’s that. I like content more than I like form, though the former cannot exist without the latter, while the latter can and too often exists without the former. Pity.

You can find out more about this artist here. I may be cruel but I’m not unfair.

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