8 thoughts on “Nous Sommes

  1. Terry – love how you use the visual medium to communicate at an emotive level. What I really like about this (as much of your stuff does) is that it:
    – invites exploration. I came here from your tweet, which didn’t say much except to offer this link. I looked at the images and puzzled at them for a moment, knowing there was more to it than simply a series of images with cryptic references to the charlie hebdo story. I clicked on the images. Brilliant.
    – encapsulates emotion and a ‘feeling’, a ‘mood’ that is impossible to describe in words but communicates more about something than a thousand words of text could.
    – like all good art, doesn’t necessarily clock you over the head with an opinion but leaves you questioning, curious to look within and inquire about your own personal feelings and opinions on the subject.

    I need to explore your work more often : )

  2. Thank you for sharing this, Terry. I agree with Tanya that it invites exploration. I am still new to the idea of communication through gifs although I have always been drawn to visual expression. So from me, as a newbie without any experience or study, firstly your post comes across without judgment, secondly without explanation which leaves it open to many possible interpretations (even beyond the intention of the author). I love the shift from ‘je suis’ to ‘nous sommes’. That’s an invitation to me, and as I stare at Chaplin standing and blinking, with his cup of tea, it makes me think of two things: firstly, that we can’t be included in ‘nous sommes’ if we just stand there idly; secondly, that Chaplin represents the victims of the recent tragedy who are unable to act now, and rely on us to take up the pen, so to speak, or to comprehend the serious implications of this tragedy, and act to preserve our precious freedom of speech. To me, personally, it also invites me to look deep into myself to pluck out any prejudice that would preclude me from being part of the ‘nous’, because I think that although it’s necessary to rise up visibly together and shout out that we believe in freedom of speech and respect of different opinions, if we don’t work on ourselves, we are hypocrites. Thanks for creating something that made me think, Terry.

    1. Thanks back to you for making me rethink the whole issue again in light of your comment. Reminded of Hamlet’s injunction to the actors of the play within the play where he directs, “For anything so o’erdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end both at the first and now, was and is, to hold as ’twere, the mirror up
      to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure.” (3.2.1-36) If we are very lucky the mirror speaks true. Your mirror speaks true.

    2. BTW, Tania, did you click on each image. They are animated gifs and that is not apparent at first blush. It was especially important for me to do it this way. I wanted to end it with the prompt…serves as an invitation to do something.

    3. Tania – Love the layers of meaning you have extrapolated from the imagery. The choice & dichotomies between silence vs speaking out freely, joining the fray vs introspective internal inquiry, and not quite knowing what to say or how to say it in the aftermath of a shocking event were all thoughts and feelings generated in me by Terry’s work. You have taken the interpretation a few steps deeper – the Chaplin representing recent victims is brilliant.
      The one that spoke to me the most was the final end prompt, flashing cursor on Je Suis Charlie. This is like a question mark at the end of a statement, inviting exploration and inquiry. But because it reminded me of old computer terminals the imagery of the flashing cursor also brought to mind terminal / termination of life associated with the event.

      1. I would love to hear your Rorschach interpretations ;). I think the Chaplin was one of those images that I went looking for but not knowing consciously that would be the one, but I think you are right about the lonely self-expectancy of his cuppa and eyes. Sometimes I think of animated gifs as the rebirth of silent films. What I really like about your comment is the ambiguity of the computer prompt–it has become a universal of the same sort of expectancy we see in Chaplin. God I love how you all have driven me to think longer and deeper on this. Gratitude to all.

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