In the Time of Plague

Cate Blanchett in Manifesto

What is going around now? I do not know, but we got it. We are sick, again. Anne went to a concert Saturday night and awoke the next day feel ill. Yesterday, it was all-day couch-potato-land for her. Today, I have begun displaying some symptoms too. We must have a good marriage, because we share everything. Looking for a graphic to accompany this post, I delved into the archives. Searching for “plague”. I found this photo. It is from 2019, taken at the Hirshhorn and features the actress Cate Blanchett.

It is a screen grab of a segment of the 2017 movie Manifesto, in which she stared. A movie that I have not seen. In the museum, this movie was displayed as a video artwork. Blanchett is featured, in thirteen different guises, as thirteen separate films, which were running simultaneously on monitors strew around the gallery. The movie and this artwork explore how artists use manifestos to engage with the political and social issues of their time and how contemporary practices still employ art as a tool in the making of history. 

In this scene she is seen wearing a bunny suit and a pained expression. I do not know why I translated this image into being sick, except that I first used it during the pandemic. What little notes I have about this picture describe it as being a manifesto about Supernaturalism¹ and Constructivism², two -isms that I know nothing about. Rereading this post, I am amazed at the rabbit hole that I have traveled. There may be another couch, one with my name on it for today. 

  1. Supernaturalism holds that existence itself is miraculous, that life contains elements of wonder that cannot be defined or eradicated by science.
  2. Constructivism is the theory that says learners construct knowledge rather than just passively take in information. As people experience the world and reflect upon those experiences, they build their own representations and incorporate new information into their pre-existing knowledge (schemas).

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