Consider a piece of art, music, or writing that has been “revised” and turned into something new. How do the differences between the original and the “revision” represent the shift in values across time and culture? Compare and contrast the period characteristics of these two works.
Surrealist Salvador Dali painted “The Persistence of Memory” in 1931. It was a painting which had several melted clocks in what appears to be some sort of desert or open plain. Also, in the center there is a piece of a person’s face with long eyelashes. The meaning behind this painting from what I have read is that Dali was inspired by dreams and the unconscious mind. When you dream, nothing has an exact form and cannot be fully interpreted. Dali also was concerned with time and how when a person dreams, they are not aware of time; it is not fixed and can be very hazy. The orange clock in the lower right corner of the painting is covered with ants which Dali commonly associates with death. Maybe he meant this as a death of time, in a sense because time isn’t certain when dreaming. Dali studied Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity and used that also as a basis for this work. Einstein’s general theory contains the statement that “a clock runs more slowly in regions with low gravitational potential”. Hence, the open space which I now can associate with the moon and outer space because of the shift in gravitational pull from earth to there.
As a newer aged painting, I chose a Volkswagen ad for the new 2010 Polo BlueMotion automobile created in 2008. It’s a car that is said to have very low gas consumption which, in this century, is a big deal because consumers are searching for ways to save money on gas with the rising gas prices. The ad has the same open plain concept as “The Persistence of Memory” and has an oil company owner crying with his hand extended against a fuel gauge of the Volkswagen car which is on full. There is also a “closed” sign on his arm symbolizing the companies being put out of business by this car. Also, there is an oil truck near the middle that appears to be deflating. Just like in Dali’s painting, there are ants near the bottom carrying a gas can, and staying with the concept that ants were used to suggest death, this could be death to running out of gas.
The two works are centered on different views. When the Dali painting was done, there was a focus on the imagination and being free from conventions and reason. Also, many tried to interpret dream and reality together. When the Volkswagen ad was done, economic problems were being portrayed such as the rising gas price.