عنوان مقاله [English]
Imagination is one of the essential characteristics of human beings from which creativity is originated. In a sense, it is a quality without which art would be hardly appreciated. It is the source of thought as well as the origin of artworks creation and symbolic motifs. In this respect, the studies carried out by Gilbert Durand, a French cultural anthropologist and literary critic, are particularly noteworthy. Durand's studies are well known to scholars in the areas of philosophy, psychology and psychoanalysis, literary and cultural studies, sociology, history of religions and anthropology. Symbolic hermeneutics has an important role in Durand’s approach. Main studies of Durand deal with imagination and myth in artworks creation. According to him, they are involved in the creation of nearly all artworks and cultural activities. The two terms are the key concepts in Durand’s works. Imagination and myth are in fact like an intersection where historical, social and philosophical issues and psychological motives encounter. In Durand’s literary criticism approach, appropriate reading of a myth is the key to appreciating literary, artistic and even scientific/technical works. On this basis, the works made by humans are in a sense the act of recreation of myths. To Durand, myth is the manifestation of imagination: Myth is a prime example of the structures of imagination and the dynamic mechanism of symbols, archetypes as well as motives. Durand has laid the base of his criticism methodology on the assessment of the imagination and myth. In his stance, myth is the key to perception artwork. Artwork is the answer in the world the human being is looking for; the answer to the anxieties against time; the space in which a rebellion against time and death takes place.
Unlike dominant western thought which has traditionally depreciated the ontological status of the image and validated historical facts instead, Durand without totally rejecting that validation, revitalized the values of myths and images. The classical western thinkers reduce the imagination to the fringe-area bordering of sensation. However, Durand considers that Reason and Imagination interact with each other. so, he defends a multidisciplinary approach in his authorship. He believes that the imaginary is born from conscious thought. Durand considers a triple structure for a myth including a drive, archetype, and symbol. each of these components might be revealed when analyzing artworks. In formulating his imagination approach, Durand maintains that all human being’s imaginations are inspired by the concept of time. All imagined forms, therefore, are essentially rooted in time. Accordingly, Durand tries to formulate the concept of time, its impact on human beings’ awareness, and how this awareness is represented. He also strives to prove the role of time in imagination. Durand holds that human beings, by imagination, become aware that existence is bound and limited to time. Human beings are defined by time, when they look at themselves, they find themselves alive and recognize that time exists penetrate their existence. In fact, through demarking the existence of humans, time declares its emergence. Life is defined by a limited period lasting from birth to death. Short life brings regret, and long life brings admiration. Nonetheless, everybody knows that the time we live is not in our control forever. Over time, feelings such as fear, boredom, weakness and oblivion appear and one experiences new senses such as anxiety, hopelessness, and sorrow. Lay people are not able to combat time passage but artists, poets, and writers can. Presuming that time is an integral part of human beings’ existence, Durand tries to delineate the impact of time on the human mind and awareness in his works. He believes that time represents itself through images. In a sense, nearly all the structures of imagined forms are based on the time axis. Accordingly, Durand marks the visual frameworks in artwork by this approach. As such, he maintains that pictures imply the fear of time, in that, behind each picture exists the fear of death and behind each death, the fear of time. Meanwhile, in order to classify archetypes and symbols, Durand distinguishes between two regimes: diurnal and nocturnal. Durand's study deals with the structure of the human imaginary, within which it establishes a typology of figures, organized structurally according to several archetypes and focusing on man's subjective experience of space and ultimately time. Accordingly, among the various forms of artworks, Persian carpets are the major media in which imagination and creative motifs have been manifested most remarkably representing the national and vernacular art. Moreover, as the pivotal elements of cultural representations, myths have been the products of imaginative artists; Myths represent symbols. In the present research, Durand’s imagination approach has been used to analyze the visual content of Sangeshkou Carpet in Mayhou Museum and particularly its diurnal and nocturnal pictorial patterns. In the first part of the article, Durand’s imagination approach has been addressed. In the second part, the visual structure of the carpet has been analyzed based on the mentioned approach. That is, the visual components of the carpet have been examined in terms of mythical and imaginative aspects. Interestingly, the carpet designer has managed to apply this mythical and imaginative language most suitably to express his feelings and emotions. He has depicted his fantasies, feelings, emotions and concerns (fear of time passage, of approaching death rooted in his unconsciousness) in the form of symbols as well as mythical and imaginative pictures. The carpet ground is replete with mutual conflicts of symbolic and imaginative pictures of diurnal and nocturnal scenes originated from the unconsciousness of the carpet designer. In forming the symbols of both diurnal and nocturnal scenes, three elements seem to have been got involved: the language of emotional functions, aesthetic imagination and imaginative pictures. These three elements have been employed so skillfully that a sense of dynamism and vitalization is flowing through the carpet. The main question of the research is that how it is possible to read and interpret the mentioned mutual visual conflicts in the carpet giving a review of its internal-external pictorial organization. The findings of the research include the imagination element as well as the main visual themes depicting mutual conflicts well-rooted in the carpet designer’s unconscious mind. The carpet designer has represented his unconsciousness (the fear of the passage of time) adroitly in the forms of mutually conflicting visual designs and patterns. This research is conducted based on a qualitative descriptive methodology and the data were mainly extracted from library sources.
Durand, G. (1979). Figures mythiques et visages de l’œuvre. De la mythocritique à la mythanalyse, Paris, Berg International.
Durand, G. (1992). Les strctures anthropologiques de limaginaire.
Durand, G. (1996). Introduction à la mythodologie. Mythes et sociétés, Paris, Albin Michel, 1996.
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