DESTINY

Destiny is an underlying factor in the texts conveyed through the various art forms in this exhibition. In The Epic of Gilgamesh it is the foundation of Gilgamesh’s quest for immortality and the guide towards his purpose as king. Sigmund Freud debates on whether civilization’s pre-ordained path for man’s conformity is at all beneficial for mankind. In Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand Of Darkness destiny is mystified in the rituals of the Foretellers and the conviction gained by Genly Ai’s hearing that Gethen would form an alliance with the Ekumen urged him on to the completion of his mission. Socrates’ ordainment by the god to be Athens’ philosophical guru is what kept him focused on his vocation and gave him the will-power to stand for his beliefs even in the face of death. An Ideal Husband subtly hints at how women’s enlightenment on the issue of higher education was destined to cause a revolution in women’s rights and England’s political arena. Finally, Laozi teaches how the supernatural, nature, and mankind are forever intertwined.  

"['O mountain, bring me a dream, so I see a good sign!']" (Tablet IV line 9). The women in the painting represent the many dreams of Gilgamesh in which his destiny was revealed.
This skull in it's engravings represents Gilgamesh's life juxtaposed with his impending death. Gilgamesh said, "'and wherever [I] turn, there too will be Death.'" (97)
This sketch of a king conveys his authority and watchfulness over his subjects. Freud says of man, "he once more bows to the parental representative in his super-ego" (Freud 119).
This sculpture depicts two men in a brutal fight. Freud explains, "Now, I think, we can at last grasp . . . the fatal inevitability of the sense of guilt." (Freud 127)
Civilization, like the mountains, evolves as man "pursues his own path in life" (Freud 142). The sky represents the ever changing dynamic of one's interaction with the world as he does so.
"Indeed I was answered. Five years from now Gethen would be a member of the Ekumen: yes" (Le Guin 70). This engraving depicts a council like that of the Ekumen with the missing Gethenian pieces.
This bridge vividly illustrates the Old Bridge of the keystone ceremony "and will distinguish Argaven XV's reign in the annals of Karhide" (Le Guin 4). It's completion was a metaphorical prelude.
"O man of Sheney, I know too where your grave is: I see you lying in it" (Le Guin 175). The poor man of Sheney, though made rich by his treasure, is doomed to death by it too.
"But if, when the god stationed me here, as I became thoroughly convinced he did, to live practicing philosophy" (Plato 43). This painting depicts Socrates being placed in Athens as an instrument.
"For, even if it seems ridiculous to say so, I've literally been attached to the city, as if to a large thoroughbred horse" (Plato 46). Socrates' divine mission was to open the eyes of blinded Athens
"It's clear to me that to die now and escape my troubles was a better thing for me" (Plato 60). Thus he was carried off into the afterlife by the jury's verdict leaving behind affliction and poverty.
"Sooner or later we have all to pay for what we do. You have to pay now" (Wilde act I). Destiny uses karma like a boomerang. Years passed since Sir Chiltern's treason but it came back to haunt him.
"Her past is always her lover, and her future invariably her husband" (Ideal act III). Women were bound to a life of servitude but before hand enjoyed freedom like the woman shaking her tambourine.
"And returning to one's roots is called stillness. This is known as returning to one's destiny" (Laozi chapter 16). Once focused on the fated self, one's passion is continuous like the water in roots.
"There is always the killing done by the Chief Executioner. The Chief Executioner is the greatest carver among carpenters" (Laozi chapter 74). Man is destined for death at whatever time it decides.
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