Follow this by Email if'n you like

May 18, 2010

Austrian Ad Poetry

In Austria I saw a beer ad with this copy: "Ohne Bauch Geht's Auch".  Literally that translates as "without stomach it goes also".  I tried to make sense of it for a long time before I caved in and asked two German-speaking friends who scratched their heads about the meaning, which they agreed is more like: "You can have a good life without getting fat" though couldn't say why that is.  Amazingly, none of those words or concepts except "without" can be found in the phrase! Though composed of very simple words that make absolutely no literal sense, it is still rich with meaning, having many interpretations. You can see even without understanding the language that the phrase is pretty complex just because the explanation is so long while the phrase is extremely concise.  Poetry!

 I won't go into the details, interesting as they are; the point is that language has this richness that can be used in nearly endless ways.  I have thought about this phrase for weeks now.  It constitutes good poetry in the sense not that it is full of important meaning, but of richness.  How this phrase, so opaque to an outsider, can reveal such depth to an insider is the story of culture.  Add to that layers of meaning and you get the story of art.
Post a Comment

Blog Archive

Tim Holmes Studio

My photo

I'm a sculptor/filmmaker living in Montana, USA. I am using art to move the evolution of humanity forward into an increasingly responsive, inclusive and interactive culture. As globalization flattens peoples into a capitalist monoculture I hope to use my art to celebrate historical cultural differences and imagine how we can co-create a rich future together.

I see myself as an artist/philosopher laboring deep in the mines of joy. I've had a good long career of exhibiting work around the world and working on international outreach projects, most notably being the first American to be invited to present a one-person exhibit in the Hermitage Museum. Recently I have turned my attention from simply making metal sculpture to creating films and workshops for engaging communities directly, tinkering with the very ideas and mechanisms behind cultural transformation. I feel that as we face tragic world crises, if the human species favors our imaginative and creative capacities we can cultivate a rich world to enjoy.

For me the deepest satisfaction in making art comes in engaging people's real life concerns rather than providing simple entertainment or decoration. Areas of conflict or tension are particularly ripe for the kind of transformative power that art uniquely carries. I invite any kind of challenge that serves people on a deep level.