Mortality and Immortality, Essay Example

  1. Compare and contrast Dogon Cliff Dwellings with Granaries, Mali, Africa, 13th century with Soldiers from Pit 1, Shaanxi, China, 221-206 BCE, painted ceramic

The Dogon Cliff Dwellings are hillside villages composed of houses, shrines and granaries.  As seen, the cliff dwellings are built with an angular shape in order to contrast with the rocky mountain texture of the hillside cliffs.  The shape of the hillside villages illustrates its use for shelter and the need for protection through its camouflage type architecture.  In addition, the illustration shows how the villagers used the space as efficient as possible by building the dwellings at different levels and creating a vertical pattern within the cliffs between the houses and granaries.  The Soldiers from Pit 1, Shaanxi, China, 221-206 BCE are armored infantry from an army.  The soldiers are illustrated with descriptive details in the ceramic pieces, such as braids in hair and dressings on the armor.  In comparing the cliff dwellings with the soldiers, the two pieces are similar in that they represent protection, the dwellings with the cliffs and the soldiers with the armor.  In contrast, the soldier piece has more details such as braids in the soldier hair, giving more insight to the culture at that time.

  1. Compare and contrast Studio Daniel Libeskind, Computer-Generated Design to Rebuild the World Trade Center Site, 2004 with Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England, c. 2000 BCE

The Design to rebuild the World Trade Center is a huge tower with three towers created in a circle.  The height of the tower and its antenna were contrasted to reach a symbolic height at 1,776 ft in order to represent the year of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence.  The Stonehenge in Wiltshire England from 2000 BCE is represented by large erect stone structures placed in a circular position.  Although, the meaning behind the purpose of the circle of stone structures, it most likely represented some sort of symbolic cultural event, such as the World Trade Center tragedy.

  1. Compare and contrast the Reclining Etruscan couple  With the Primordial Couple of the Dogon of Mali

The Reclining Etruscan couple shows a smiling couple sharing a banqueting couch in the afterlife.  The Primordial Couple of the Dogon of Mali shows a freestanding couple, posed in the same direction and at the same height.  The two pieces of art are common in that they represent equality of the sexes. In the Etruscan piece, the couple is both on the banqueting couch and in the Dogon piece; the couple are of equal form and height representing equality during that time.  The difference in the pieces is the form.  The Etruscan piece is more relaxed in form; whereas, the Dogon piece is more structured and demanding.

  1. Compare and contrast the view of Washington D.C. by Currier & Ives with the Mandala of Samvara

The view of Washington D.C. by Currier & Ives depicts an illustration of the Potomac River, showing the capital building, other government buildings, as wells as streets, railroads and waterways.  The Mandala of Samvara is an illustration of the universe made into a pattern.  The pattern contains important structures, such as palace entrances, with a central figure as Samvara himself.  This piece compares to the Washington D.C. piece in that the focus point is on the governmental structure.  In the Washington D.C picture, the focus is the capital building, which is strong government influence; whereas, Samvara is the focus, the strong government influence at that time. The differences in these pieces can relate to the time period and the difference in beliefs, such as mythical rulers versus a structured government.

  1. Fertility Goddess. The Venus of Willendorf, the Idol from Amorgos, God Te Rongo and His Three Sons, and the Ashanti Akua’ba Dolls  are all fertility gods/goddesses/figures. What are their similarities? What are their differences? Create your own fertility figure. What features will you accentuate?

The Venus of Willendorf, the Idol from Amorgos, God Te Rongo and His Three Sons, and the Ashanti Aku’ba Dolls are all fertility gods/goddesses/figures and are similar in that they all lack details to the face regions, as well as appendages.  In addition, each figure illustrates the sexual body part.  There are however differences observed in the Venus of Willendorf and idol from Amorgos.  In this figure, the woman is shown to have hips and a larger bust.  The Idol from Amorgos was made more elegant.  If I were to create my own fertility figurine in this day and age, the features in the face would be more detailed, showing eyes, cheek bones and a mouth, as well as accentuating the hair.  In addition, the figure would be clothed, but the bust still emphasized; however, the woman would be slender and elegant and shaped as a normal female.  I think the lack of hands and feet should still remain as the focus is fertility and therefore, fertility structures on the female or male should be the focal point.