Archive | September 2016

Knowledge, Wisdom, and Pride

After attending the lecture about Virginia Woolf, there was a very interesting question that made me ponder.

Are knowledge and wisdom the same?

Quickly following after, it was stated that the two could be different, or they’re linked.  For instance, wisdom may be considered as applied knowledge.  Knowledge can be seen as information that the brain has processed and kept in memory.

But what was put forth is what can be considered as knowledge?

Knowledge can honestly be considered anything and everything.  Even something as simple as “chairs are there for sitting” can be considered a piece of knowledge even if basic.

Upon the notion of wisdom, it was mentioned that there are many people out in the world who do not even have an educational background, or have had any education of some kind, yet they can be quite wise.  Again, this alludes to the fact that knowledge can be anything and is technically everything, and thus you do not really need something like a PhD. to show that you are knowledgeable and wise (though understandably having one would be helpful for certain situations).

So, I do believe the two are definitely linked.

However, following that, the critical point of not necessarily having too much knowledge, but rather believing that you have a lot of knowledge is brought up.  To be specific, the statement was also brought up during the lecture:

“If we really had so much knowledge, we wouldn’t be having any wars.  If we really had so much knowledge, then there would be no need for the current election in America.”

Because as mentioned before: knowledge can be about anything and everything.  Human concepts like emotions and empathy included.  Awareness of pride and thus, humility, would also be part of that encyclopedia of what constitutes as a piece of knowledge.

On the other hand, having too much knowledge and being aware of it is also quite dangerous.  Though again, that also links to an inflation of pride.  Except here, it is because of this wisdom where the knowledge is applied to the situation.  If someone uses this knowledge wrongly, then it could end with things such as more efficient forms of propaganda and criminal activities.

So whether the person believes they have a lot of knowledge and wisdom but lacks it, or the person does have a lot of both and is dangerously aware, it is still dangerous.  Though knowledge and wisdom are great and important tools , they are also dangerous and potentially destructive.

You just need to not have pride swallow you.


Peer Review #5

Peer Review – Natasha Hart

“I like the subject matter being a soldier who’s gone through war, and the suffering he feels. The final stanza really stands out to me the most, namely these two lines: “I am no longer who I thought I was before/Become have I War’s battle whore ” Namely because the word “whore” is usually associated with a woman. However here it’s associated with what I assume is a man, anyway. It’s a good display to show how harmful war is, along with the whole stereotyping of soldiers needing to be indifferent war machines and how a man has to play his role in society.

Though I notice with this line: “To hide and cry next to my mothers breast”, shouldn’t there be an apostrophe for mother?

That saying so, a really nice little poem.”

These fragments I have shored against my ruin

Nude in a Rocking Chair

Pablo Picasso always had a strange kind  of perception when it came to art.  Either way, they all display a dynamic feel to them.

It is clear that Picasso’s cubist style shines through as seen by the strange shapes of the subject on the seat.  Looking at the painting at the Art Gallery of NSW, it was offered that the chair’s armrests look like ram’s horns.  Ram horns are typically seen as symbols of strength, supremacy, and sovereignty.  Probably due to how rams tend to lock horns with each other to display dominance.  Perhaps that meant Picasso was whipped man since the figure leaning back is female? Picasso was known as a playboy back in the day, so that would not really be a surprise.

However, looking closer, her lower body actually looks like a face.  With her breasts being the eyes, the neckline as eyebrows, the stomach is a nose, and her womanly parts as the mouth.  Adding to that the smooth white skin, the painting’s subject has now gained a grotesquely amusing appearance.  Amusing namely because of the strange placing and how the face looks angry.  The reason as to why the face is angry could be because of people viewing the nude.  “What are you looking at?” that expression seems to say.  The simple, coloured sections that make up the room just makes the figure stand out even more.

Picasso always dabbled in styles that were against the norm of the time.  This, in turn, makes his paintings modernist.  Modernism in art is when the art rejects and goes against traditional styles in favour of experimentation.  Needless to say, that also made him stand out quite a lot compared to other artists due to this bizarre yet captivating style.

Peer Review #4

Peer Review – Brendon Johnson

“The insight of Bowery was a really good piece of information. Namely, because when I first saw the artwork by Freud, I wasn’t so captivated or drawn in by it. Now, I do have a bit more respect and interest to Freud’s painting namely because of more information about the subject matter, that being Bowery, and how he, the artist, became the artwork. He is the subject and all eyes are drawn onto him.

This particular phrase also caught my attention: “At least I have a reaction to his pieces which is the main thing!” Namely because if an artwork has achieved a reaction of any kind, positive or negative, then it has fulfilled its core purpose. At least, that is my opinion on what I feel is the core purpose of creating an artwork: invoking a reaction.”

Ich Bin Kunst…I am Art


Throughout the visit to the Art Gallery of NSW, we went to see a work called Manifesto by Julian Rosefeldt.  Actress Cate Blanchett plays twelve different roles in twelve different scenarios.

For a different unit, I actually came to the Art Gallery of NSW a week or two prior, and saw this work with a friend after we finished going through the Archibald and Suliman prizes.  So, I took the chance to look at the scenarios I wasn’t able to.

Last time, I was able to watch four of the twelve scenarios.  They were the following:
1. A grade school art teacher giving sinister advice to her young students.
2. As my friend so kindly put it, a “Lady Gaga” rip-off.  But in more seriousness, Blanchett is a choreographer during a rehearsal.
3. A woman giving a eulogy during a funeral.
4. A homeless man in what appears to be an abandoned factory.

This time, I was watching carefully some of the others.  In particular, a rocker, a puppetmaker, a housewife, and a researcher in a hazard suit.  Something that all of the scenarios share is that they end in a monologue.  A rather confronting monologue since Cate Blanchett looks directly at you with a very serious expression.

It was very unnerving the first time I saw it.  It was with the grade school teacher, and it was very disturbing not only because of Blanchett’s expression but also because of what she said prior.

The scenario of the grade school teacher previously had children running around and having fun in slow motion.  It soon shifts scenes to the classroom where Blanchett gives drawing books to the children and starts her teachings with art…

…except she’s teaching the children things you really should not do in art.  In particular, to copy, that it was okay to steal, and to take what you have stolen and see what you can do with it.  The words were very familiar: reminding me of Dadaism in a way.  Dadaism was a movement that was against avant-garde artworks and was meant to proclaim that art was not meaningful.

The housewife was noticeably saying things that were from pop art since she mentions, “I am for the art of dead birds.”  This was amusing considering that this was said during grace over the food and pop art being named so after popular culture and mass media.

However, on this second visit, something happened that I really did not expect and had not happened during the time I was there with my friend.  This was all between the rocker, the woman giving the eulogy and the puppetmaker.

They suddenly spoke their monologues, all at the same time.  Truthfully, it was rather frightening when the same three faces stare right at you and speak.

Something notable of that was how despite the monologues being different, the tone of the voice became the same.  It became monotonous.  It was drilling into my ear and confronting me.  The voices were droning all around me.

When it was done, I was still a bit stunned from what just happened.  Did it really just happen?

But after thinking about it and learning that the monologues for each of Blanchett’s personas were manifestos, I felt I had a better understanding of the work.  Manifestos are declarations with motives, aims, objectives and intentions for a movement or political opinion.  Though all manifestos stem from different movements, they ultimately all sound the same as their intentions are, in the end, the same.

They are there to try and convince you or, at the very least, make you aware or pay attention to their movement.

Peer Review #3

Peer Review – Paul Nguyen

“Hey Paul, I really like how you start the letter off a bit light in tone, then things get more serious once we settle in. It’s good for breaking the ice, yet there is also a tone that’s reassuring. Particularly when you point out the glaring point and truth that really, war is something made just because of an unacceptance of different opinions. Because it seems nowadays, sadly, people cannot accept that they can be wrong, it’s okay to be wrong, and that there is nothing wrong with it. What indeed matters most is that fundamentality of just being a human – being empathetic and kind.”

Week 4: Blog 2


Gloom and Doom

5/ Construct a topic of your own (in poetry, prose) that reflects on war in our times.

The first time I’ve written a poem.  Quite short, but I decided to give it a try.

Gloom and doom
What you feel when you see the creeping grey
Bang, bang, boom
The rapid firing in the fray

Sticks and stones
This is not at all for glory
Break my bones
This will destroy my body.

Out of breath
Should I turn left or right?
The door of death
Is it in front or behind me?

Chaos and ruin
A boiling pot of confusion
Trouble’s a brewin’
Red splashes grey

Horror and shock
What just happened? Did it really happen?
The pieces then lock
And I realize at that moment…

Who is the true winner in the end?