Blind Man Achieves Immortality
By Phillip Somozo
Metanarrative in Metamorphosis
(Conclusion of a Three-Part Series)
Eve’s biting the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden was not original sin but the first disobedience. It is today something for her descendants not to be repentant of, but one worth celebrating.
So spoke the body language of more than 100 surrealists during the grand costume ball that opened the art exhibit and stage performance attributed to the 400th birth anniversary of John Milton, author of the greatest English epic poem, Paradise Lost.
The notion of Original Sin is the metanarrative by which Jewish, Christian, and Islamic believers see humankind as fallen. Sin, guilt, and restitution constitute the plot of these major religious traditions since time immemorial. It is because of our progenitors’ original sin that humankind is in deep shit: pain, disease, old age, death, not to speak of greed, corruption, and destruction. There is reason for everyone to repent and believe in the Messiah, or the Prophet, if we want out of the hole and go to everlasting bliss.
Not so. Artists, poets, writers, musicians, composers, stage performers and other followers of Surrealism, from all over the world, converged, threw open the portals of collective Subconsciousness, and revealed its stuffings of fantasies and absurdity. If you are a mediocre person your sensibility will most likely suffer. But these people are different. For the time being, they turned WAH Center into a vortex of a dream—not solely theirs but humanity’s.
You cannot really blame them if they so accurately portray your worst fears for they are just holding up a mirror. What you outwardly see also lurks in the innermost recesses of your mind. Amazingly they are not ridden with guilt, but joyful!
After more than 3,000 years, Israel’s savior is its warheads. All of Christendom for two millennia remains waiting for the Second Coming. The Quoran is being served to justify terrorist activities. Are we serious about accepting the burden of original sin and then pass it on to somebody else? Are we joking?
Supposed to be no, not after millennia after millennia; the rationale is clear.
Hey, it’s the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge that the first woman, mother of us all, sank her teeth into. Why then should we now eat each other? If God were anti-science, bigots and hypocrites are welcome to get themselves off this modern planet.
There is something else to Adam and Eve’s fall from the Garden of Eden. And it is shrouded in Miltonian mystique and semantics, some scholars suspect, while purists disagree. What do you think is the reason why Rich Buckler made Milton’s portrait a la Mona Lisa (see photo 10)? Why would a Ph.D. react antagonistically to Arthur Kirmss’s sculpture of Milton’s head as wearing a crown, looking like his nemesis, King Charles I (photo 9)?
If writers of The Bible suffered oppression, physical torture and death, blind Milton did not do less mentally, emotionally, financially, and visually. He too was as much inspired. His is the new plot of the story; a mini-narrative brewing, developing silently, steadily, in human thought. What it is is still taking form, and the surrealists in WAH Center last September 27 are putting it down in history: the Judeo-Christian metanarrative is transforming. Along with transformation are fresh possibilities.
The only Filipino featured in the visual artsfest, Davao surrealist Bienvenido Bones Banez, says, “My visions are all at once religious and mundane. I present these visions through harmonies of line, shape and color that bring the other realm into our own reality, our world of experiences. Satan was full of wisdom, perfect in beauty, and faultless in his ways until unrighteousness found a vessel in him. That’s why Satan is a good model for my 666 art world because people of the world borrow his style and ways.
Humankind is verging on unprecedented self-liberating discovery.
– End –
Davao surrealist Ben Banez with descendant of John Milton, Clive Milton, the grand costume ball’s special guest in the physical absence of his great great grandfather.
Banez with WAH Center founder and master artist Yuko Nii
Three surrealists: Terrance Lindall, Bryan Kent Ward, and the only Filipino in the show’s international cast of 60 visual artists, Ben Banez of Davao
Multi-awarded New York citizen Yuko Nii speaks to audience
Olek’s models in surreal fashion caused a sensation during the ball
Artist Troy Frantz with two Italian beauties
Artwork by Jesse Forgione
Cutting-edge dancer Yana Schnitzler performs before the impressive mural of Joe Catuccio
If you know Captain Marvel, you also ought to know his creator, Rich Buckler, who made Milton’s portrait for the 21st century, a la Mona Lisa, and unraveled during the ball.