Friday, January 17, 2014

Facing Artifice - the Periscope and Dreams

Well of course I thought it looked like a face with little arms. It's a submarine periscope viewer in its housing and it belongs to Cinecittà Roma Studios. It's part of a submarine set available to film makers that sits in a cradle so that it can be rocked, as if at sea. I did a bit of ferreting. This sub was used in Jonathon Mostow's second world war film, U-571 (2000). I liked the periscope viewer so much that I wanted to give it a name. So the face's name is Perry. Of itself, the face is quite a symbol and if you're looking for the sign of the ego, look at the face. The face means so much more than merely the housing for the senses. In China "loss of face"is a serious business. It's often forbidden to look at the face of a deity, because it is divine. Danger lies there too. No-one can look on the face of God without damage (... for there shall no man see my face and live: Exodus 33:20). But we can look at Perry, he's just metal and optics. And if we do we can see above water without being seen ourselves. That's the stuff of dreams. A submarine is a boat - it's a U-boat not a U-ship - and the boat voyages around, often in the underworld. If you dream of being in a submarine, it could be part of a voyage of discovery, a transition perhaps. But the vessel itself is womb-like with the sonar pings standing in for the heartbeat of the mother - or maybe you just watched "The Hunt for Red October".