Dichotomy

In this exhibit of, "Dichotomy," art pieces will illustrate how there is good and bad in every circumstance. Dichotomy means the division between two opposing parts. There is good and evil, heaven and hell, love and hate, and so on. Even when we looking at these art pieces, we have our own interpretation of viewing it as "good art" or "bad art." Yet, since it is our own opinion we cannot truly define each art piece as good or bad. This division we come across in every situation is an incredible factor in our lives and is illustrated in literature like these art pieces as well as the stories we have discussed in class. When connecting the art pieces to the author's we've read in class, we can see that in situations involving relationships, money, time, etc. it is clear that there are positive and negative ways of understanding them. Nietzsche says, “What first comes to my mind is that, in this theory, the origin of the concept ‘Good’ was mistakenly identified, and thus sought in vain, for the judgment ‘Good’ did not originate among those to whom goodness was shown! Rather it has been ‘good men’ themselves, that is, the noble, the powerful, those of high degree, the high-minded, who have felt that they themselves were good, and that their actions were good….” Dichotomy fits with this quote as well as this exhibit because it suggests that even the meaning of good itself has been made up. So truly what can be seen as good to someone may be seen as bad to someone else. In life we face these conflicts and these art pieces express these conflicts. Art represents the emotions that the artist was creating through different mediums. It is up to the viewers to decide how aspects of good and bad love and hate, heaven and hell, etc. can be interpreted from the piece. Thus, this exhibit exemplifies dichotomy because every piece demonstrates that there can be different understandings of it. 

The picture resembles an ancient Chinese fortune that talks about how some individuals fall under the Tree of advancement, good fortune, and prosperity while others do not. This picture fits in the art gallery because it demonstrates how poverty can be good or bad for people in different social classes and how many wish they were on one side of the tree and not the other. In Thoreau’s, Walden and Civil Disobedience, he says “Above all, as I have implied, the man who goes alone can start to-day; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready, and it may be long time before they get off” (60). In this quote, Thoreau talks about two young individuals traveling the world one with money and the other without. The one must wait for the other to reach its economic status before they can become companions again. This shows that having the possession of money is a good thing but you may leave other close individuals behind because they cannot earn the same things you can. Thoreau proves money can be good or bad in any circumstance you might face. This relates to the overall theme of good and bad as Thoreau interpretes poverty can be viewed both ways by wealthy and poor people.
This picture demonstrates how individuals that view your time running out in the world as a good or positive experience. Time is another subject that Thoreau discusses in, Walden and Civil Disobedience, and fits with the theme of human nature interpreting a certain item good or bad. Thoreau is quoted on this matter by saying, “Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains” (Pg.80). This quote depicts how time can be looked at as a good value in our lives or bad. Some individuals believe that we should appreciate the time we have in the world while compared to others who are afraid to live life to the fullest. Thoreau goes on to say that depending how deep we walk into the stream of water is the more time we’ve wasted and how time is slowly fading. People die everyday and run out of time while others keep living until eternity and different people have their own views on time being considered good or bad. This picture fits in the art gallery because it shows both spectrums of time and how people distinguish this valuable asset.
Death is a touchy subject for everyone and is another activity that people think about positively or negatively. Many individuals live life scared of dieing and prevent themselves from certain activities afraid that they will harm themselves. Lucretius talks about this in, The Nature of Things, saying ““Sometimes the phobia of death can grip a man so tight he comes to loathe his very life and looking on the light, and in his mournful heart resolves to die by his own hand” (Pg. 74). This quote is relating to the theme of good or bad because of individuals having different reason of being scared to death or not scared of death at all. In some religions and practices, death is considered a celebratory event and many people look at dieing as a privilege. This picture fits perfect after, Fiona Hall Wrong Time portrait, because of Thoreau and Lucretius philosophies of time and death going hand to hand. The picture shows on the left death and on the right life and how many people shy away or unaware of how easy it is to die.
Personal relationships and doing business causes people to interact and exchange valuable possessions with one another. Sometimes these transactions go smoothly while other times individuals do not always fully compensate other individuals. This fits into the photo gallery theme of good and bad as people or companies can interpret it either way. Nietzsche brings this concept into play when he says, “The feeling of guilt, of personal obligation, as we saw, has its origin in the oldest and most basic personal relationship that there is, the relationship between buyer and seller, between creditor and debtor” (Pg. 56). This quote is determining that the feeling of guilt will always lead to individuals paying back others for losses but that is not always the case. Nietzsche also mentions that this was the first way people would judge or measure each other to see how much honor or respect each individual had for one another. Although a image of a fish market does not summarize the whole sequence of a creditor and debtor it is one example of human transactions being made resulting in positive or negative endings.
A huge discussion in this class was on women’s rights and how woman should fit in the workforce. This picture shows two woman helping out in the fields, which before a certain time was unheard of. This fits into the theme of the gallery because of different individuals thinking women should not have the same rights as men. Anna Ancher’s painting brought this issue up as she believed women could contribute in the workforce just as much as men. In present day, we see women working side by side with men.
Continuing with the previous picture, Epictetus stresses the impact of the desires we crave in life. He says, "If you like something, do it regularly; if you don’t like doing something, make a habit of doing something different" (pg. 112). This quote connects with this picture because our desires come from ourselves and we have the control to change these desires. This picture shows a building, which represents our own minds and as we enter our minds we can see our truest desires, whether they are good or bad. It all depends on how we perceive them.
There are two different types of morning people: those who enjoy them and those who don't. This picture follows the previous one because our desires are a part of what gets us up for the day. Thoreau expressed mornings like this: "The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night" (73). Although mornings can be considered a disturbance to a deep slumber, Thoreau shows the good side of mornings where it is the beginning of something new and we have the power to dictate what kind of day we are going to have.
In order to achieve what we desire, we must consider the consequences. We sacrifice some things in order to reach a medium or accomplish what we were working for. Arendt states, "The soldier during the war is deprived of his right to life, the criminal of his right to freedom, all citizens during an emergency of their right to the pursuit of happiness, but nobody would ever claim that in any of these instances a loss of human rights has taken place" (36). Each example shows that something was accomplished with the sacrifice of their human rights. Our desires may lead to something positive, but there still is that negative side of having to let something else go.
There's dichotomy with what a woman's place is in the world. Some cultures see women as inferior, while others see women as equal. Wollstonecraft engaged in feministic values and said, "I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness, and that those beings who are only the objects of pity and that kind of love, which has been termed its sister, will soon become objects of contempt" (8). Women should learn to be strong and over come gender prejudices. This picture illustrates a girl at a young age admiring the tall large mural of an older woman as she holds her arms in the air to show strength. This follows the previous picture of sacrifice because equality between men and women means both have to sacrifice power to meet in the middle.
The dichotomy on women's rights reminds me of Charles Darwin's notion of the survival of the fittest. The idea is that the strongest survive. Therefore, there needs to be things that are inferior so that stronger become stronger. Nietzsche says, "It is not surprising that the lambs should bear ill will against the great birds of prey, but that is of reason for blaming the great birds of prey for taking the little lambs" (32). The circle of life plays a part in Darwinism because it is simply a part of life. Darwinism can be seen as good because how can we progress if we are not eliminating what is inferior, yet the dichotomy of it is that that is unfair and all things should be given a chance to progress and survive.
For the last piece there is a split figure to represent dichotomy as well as all of the books we read as a whole. Dichotomy is represented by the split sculpture. Mosaics is supposed to put the broken pieces together. Whether we are trying to find the balance of good and bad, love and hate, heaven and hell, we need to connect the pieces together in order to make one whole. Although every aspect of life comes with two sides of it, there are ways to connect the two opposites and create one solution.
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