Happiness is a warm gun….

It has been commented that violence is not so much an act, as it is an attitude, a sentiment, or even, as one fictional character put it, like an atmosphere of possibility. Gil Vincente’s works speak to me more about possibility, than about any notion of genuine violence, but whether that’s because his works are so far removed from reality, or because they seem almost comical, satirically over the top and even a touch juvenile, is another matter.

Or perhaps I read these images as acts of desperation. A number of recent articles I’ve read speak of the failure of democracy, the failure of the electorate to engage, the failure of various and sundry forms of “democratic” representation…..so is it so odd to see such direct, unequivocal “fantasies” make it to the light of day?

More of Gil Vicente’s work here: and amidst all the rhetoric of it being “offensive”, we might remember that he has caused no deaths, invaded no states, and covered up no scandals, and abused none of his very little power. And should we speak to the elephant in the room that images can be hateful, but actions – as Vicente doesn’t choose neutral figures here (no Canadian PMs, for example) – are more “complicated”?

 

But I’m sure some people will feel that this work is “hateful”: I imagine that if he had the same verbal skill, and less integrity, Napoleon would have said the same of Goya…..