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At a dinner for new members, our minister said something along the lines of, "I didn't want to do this, but I have to make this into a show and tell session, because I just found this..."

He picked up a painting--a little crude, but effective, showing an elephant's face, very bold lines, rather stylized, but obviously an elephant, in gold paint on red paper. It was ever so slightly haunting as an image, in the way it suggested elephantness.

He paused a moment. "This is a picture of an elephant...that was painted by an elephant."

He paused a moment more. "It's not as good as the picture of a flower bouquet, though it's amazing as a communication between species."

He paused again. "I'm saving this one for sunday school, because the paper is made of elephant poop, and I just want to say that in front of the children."


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 30th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
Such smrt aminals.. so well trained *nodnodnodds* Go huffalumps
Oct. 30th, 2008 09:46 pm (UTC)

That's interesting and kinda funny. Silly elephants.
Nov. 3rd, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)
I've seen videos of the elephant in question, actually. I don't mean to be a terrible cynic, but there's still the question of whether or not it's the result of training and muscle memory or of actual synthesis and expression.

In that case, I'd be inclined to lean toward the former, although there are a decent number of people who are involved in so-called non-primate art as actual expression. If you or your minister is interested in that, then you can find some more information here.

Like I said, I'm still somewhat skeptical about the elephant, but the study of non-human expression is definitely interesting.
Nov. 3rd, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC)
No, it deserves some cynicism. That's fair, elephants have been a domesticated species in thailand for quite some time, this isn't a 100% illogical extension.
Nov. 3rd, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
Although, I will say that what it represents is really interesting. What I would want to see is whether or not the elephants in question start varying things like their subject, perspective or style if you just gave them the brush and let them go to town. After all, most artists seem to start out by copying to a certain extent, and then cross over into synthesis once they have a certain amount of usable technique.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )