Sunday Musings: A matter of Context

I saw an odd thing when taking the dogs for a walk

  and I found it oddly disturbing.
It's not like I am not used to seeing road kill, but somehow seeing a squirrel gently placed on a settee on the side of a road put it into a different context, into the unexpected. I wasn't seeing a piece of road kill anymore, I was seeing a beautiful little animal in deathly repose and felt a sadness for it.

What artists do
It reminded me how powerful it can be when the ordinary can become the extraordinary simply by virtue of context. Artists do it all the time. It can be as simple as a painting of a pear, or as bold as a dissected cow.
When I was growing up butcher shops always had posters of a cow dissected into a visual map of each cut and the name of each cut. You don't see those posters around the meat department at the supermarket. How many visualize the whole cow or what part the cut comes from? It seems we have become so removed from the actual animal that seeing a dissected cow in an art gallery is incongruous and shocking. Would it have been so shocking if we were used to seeing meat as it was once displayed in butcher shops/window displays?


Abraham Lincoln said…
The sofa kill is a disturbing picture. Not so much for the content but rather the person who put the two together.
emm said…
Simplicity and beauty together, always have little heartbreak. Don't know why.
Jafabrit said…
I wonder though abraham if it wasn't a child or a caring soul that couldn't bear to leave it in the road?
dinahmow said…
This post has had an effect on mine today!
HMBT said…
Wow, that is...well, disturbing is a good word. Interesting how people will put things together when left on their own. I do think it must have been done by someone who cared (for the furry friend)and has a morbid sense of humor? I mean that couch needs to be buried too.
Margot Potter said…
Wow, that is disturbing!

Yes, who on earth put the squirrel there...or is it possible that the squirrel crawled up there to die in relative comfort?


Jafabrit said…
I don't know margot, but it did invite a lot of questions.
That is SO bizarre! I got a chuckle but it really made me think.
Sherry said…
The squirel on the sofa brings tears to my eyes... It makes me sad to see any innocent dead.
andrea said…
"The ordinary can become the extraordinary simply by virtue of context" -- so very true. The photo itself generates a whole host of ideas just because of the incongruity. And it's so simple.
Jafabrit said…
thanks for visiting sharjaycar, even though I made you sad.

Yes true, a simple act andrea that has perhaps served to remind the world (those who care anyway) that even the little creatures are deserving of some thought. Now I am rambling and need to shut me gob.
Sunil said…
Great picture... From the road to the sofa.
Anonymous said…
ohmygosh theres a quarter on the left side of the pic. You can't see it unless you enlarge the pic. I must be the only sicko who enlarged the pic. Now thats sad!
Jafabrit said…
anon,I hadn't noticed it, so I enlarged the pic, and yes, there it is. lol!
Susie Q said…
Sad but sweet all at the same time. Like someone did feel the little creature needed to *rest* in
comforted peace.
It does bring about many questions as to how and when and if and...well..
I always ask too many questions anyway.