Sunday, January 13, 2008

Prehistoric Ramble

I have to teach art history next semester. Can you believe it? I can’t either. And not just any art history. The first-half survey, known as Caves to Cathedrals—Prehistoric to Gothic. Double f***in’ yikes.
So I’ve been noticing and thinking about primal behaviors lately. How certain things satisfy me on a deep level that must be residual of life in caves and huts. For example, I love organizing a full pantry. I also like using up food stuffs so they don’t go to waste. I don’t really like food shopping, but I do like cooking. Lately I’m into meat.
I also enjoy watching plants, especially edible ones, grow. I like to groom myself and my kids, plucking hairs and cutting nails and cleaning ears (yes, like a monkey).
I think my visceral enjoyment of painting is also a primal behavior. And that’s one of the basic art historical questions, why did early people paint on caves? Was it only for religious reasons, to insure a successful hunt? Or did even prehistoric artists need to express themselves visually?
No doubt Kloe is going to learn a lot this semester.

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