Medium and Technique of Artist
Inscribed and Gilt Polychrome Wood Buddhist Votive
More often than not, this symbol has been depicted as a symbol of hatred since WWI. My personal experiences lend my mind and heart the ability to evoke a sense of victimization and cruel remembrance of the pain and suffering my ancestors endured in the Holocaust. Upon seeing this sculpture not only displayed but romanticised birthed in me such an intensely inexpressible anger; until I realized that this symbol was once one of peace. The Swastika means "Good Fortune", and is not only a representation of the sun but a depiction sacred to Hinduism and Buddhism. This wooden sculpture is actually a plaque that was originally made in order to receive donations within the temples. I found the entire display intriguing simply due to the dual meanings of the symbolisms; modern-day arrogance compared to ancient inscriptions.
Throughout the wings and exhibits of the museum, there was one particular instance in which I found a resounding peace within myself. When I walked into the water garden, the tranquility of the persona of nature enveloped me, and I found myself smiling despite the mixed emotions that the previous exhibitions had caused. The running water instilled in my mind a presence of solidarity, the foliage caused me to breathe deeply and lean back against the railing of the bridge in pure ecstasy. I have a thing for natural beauty, and this "exhibit" was certainly my style.
As I walked past this exhibit, I kind of rolled my eyes in disgust. Eww, feminism. Amirite? But I guess somewhere, deep down, the version of me that likes to pay the check kind of emerged and said "Wait, this could be interesting." So, I watched the video. I got angry at what societal conformity had done to my opinion. I found strength in what I saw, and a lot of things became clear to me. I came to the conclusion that No, woman and men are NOT equal. I came to the conclusion that feminism, while misrepresented by the radical minority, is somewhat ridiculous. The radicalists find pleasure in crying foul in every ambiguous situation that makes itself known, claiming that the patriarchy is impending on their rights. The truth is, we can't do the things that men can do. And society needs to understand that that's okay. We weren't built the same; we don't have the same emotions or bodies or even minds. Our rights are very evenly matched to those of men. But our abilities are not.
The video depicted a woman in a kitchen who was explaining the names and uses of common cooking utensils. As the video progresses, her demeanor grows ill-tempered and a bit violent. She begins to abuse the utensils upon introduction. Her demeanor is meant to demonstrate the suppression felt by women who stay at home to cook and clean and child-rear, yet whose hard work is overlooked. It was this video that helped me gather my thoughts and understand that our rights are not what is unfair- the expectations of women are the things that need some major adjustment.
All my life I have struggled with feeling okay about my body and what I look like. When I saw this picture, I wanted to break down. The sole purpose of this photograph is to depict self-consciousness and the struggle of appearing natural and comfortable. It reminded me that, in order for us to truly lead a good and healthy life, we must be accepting of who we are. This instance made me think of Kevin Connelly's "Double Take." It is indeed a struggle, and one that I know very well (personified by my closed-off posture in the second picture). But it is one we must overcome if we want to achieve true happiness. That is what this picture told me.
"UF Named Facilities." Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art - UF Named Facilities - University of Florida Foundation, Inc. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.