Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sustainable Purification?

This doorway is on O'Connell Street, much of which has seen better days. Particularly at the north end, there are many closed buildings - even a hotel where I once stayed seems quite derelict! The message is aimed at the banking sector and naturally many members of the collective are rather angry about the behaviour of those in whom we were encouraged to trust. Symbolically though, it is the method suggested by the graffito that interests. Fire is about many things. Yet we can be clear that in this case it's about change. Purification is in the very nature of fire and cleansing is what is suggested here. My philosophy hero, Gaston Bachelard would smile at this one. When he wrote the Psychoanalysis of Fire, one of the things he had in mind was the overpowering, elemental force of fire and the dramatic change it produces. When a fire starts it produces a chain reaction by which it sustains itself. Combustion brings fire and a process of change that both continues and is somewhat difficult to stop. Certainly it cannnot be reversed. Although the graffito doesn't go very far - graffiti never can - it's suggesting sustainable change. Change imples some kind of loss and in recent times, losses have been high.