This blog will comprise a collection of ephemera, mess and miscellaneous artifacts reflecting on the writer's life.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

it is a rhinoceros

You have to inspect the feet. but I didn't give you the top so its not your fault. Well done Dr Joolz for her inspired suggestion.
The thing about this, is that it is demonstrating the affordances of the medium of China finishing, and the makers of this particular brand wanted to show the full range of options to their customers. But they decided to put rhinoceros' feet on it so it then became a rhino.
This reminds me of Dickens' characters who are often described as rhinoceri:
Both as to his dress and to himself, he was of an
overlapping rhinoceros build, with folds in his cheeks, and his
forehead, and his eyelids, and his lips, and his ears; but with
bright, eager, childishly-inquiring, grey eyes, under his ragged
eyebrows, and broad-brimmed hat.

I also like the way that this china piece (to be found in the Clifton park museum at Rotherham) is about affordance rather than its content, but then the meaning is not what you think.
There is an element of the rhinceros china object and the description of the person in Dickens' Our Mutual Friend which is uncanny, or unheimlich - things are not what they seem.
This comes from Freud's essay on The Uncanny and Vic Carrington has written about it with respect to computer games and digital literacies.

The Great Exhibition was another place where things were exhibited with animal-like tendencies.

Here is another puzzle for you.

There is a clue in this post.

1 comment:

david gilbert said...

Another truly hideous object. It is worth looking at the fantastic Museum of Bad Art ( A friend of mine, Graeme Murrell, maintains an Institute for the Preservation of Bad Art at, which is excellent. He is into Psychogeography - also look at Superimposed Cities on his website, which I commissioned when I was working for Pavilion in Leeds.