Sculpture by Beth Stichter ‘The Four Humors’
Sanguine : Too much blood - Passionate, Bold,impulsive
Melancholic :Too much black bile - Depressed, anxious, moody Choleric : Too much yellow bile - Irritable, hostile, bitter
Phlegmatic : Too much phlegm - Passive, introverted, rational
The Four Humors is a body of work spanning 2009-2010 which examines the history of scientifically categorizing human behavior, specifically the particular theory of understanding human psychology invented by the Ancient Greeks.
“Essentially, this theory held that the human body was filled with four basic substances, called four humors, which are in balance when a person is healthy. All diseases and disabilities resulted from an excess or deficit of one of these four humors. The four humors were identified as black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood.
When a patient was suffering from a surplus or imbalance of one fluid, then his or her personality and physical health would be affected.”
In Greek, whose color lexicon did not stabilize for many centuries, the words most commonly used for blue are glaukos and kyaneos. The latter probably referred originally to a mineral or a metal; it has a foreign root and its meaning often shifted. During the Homeric period it denoted both the bright blue of the iris and the black of funeral garments, but never the blue of the sky or sea. An analysis of Homer’s poetry shows that out of sixty adjectives describing elements and landscapes in the Iliad and Odyssey, only three are color terms, while those evoking light effects are quite numerous. During the classical era, kyaneos meant a dark color: deep blue, violet, brown, and black. In fact, it evokes more the “feeling” of the color than its actual hue. The term glaukos, which existed in the Archaic period and was much used by Homer, can refer to gray, blue, and sometimes even yellow or brown. Rather than denoting a particular color, it expresses the idea of a color’s feebleness or weak concentration. For this reason it is used to describe the color of water, eyes, leaves, or honey.
Suzanne Harris-Brandts did a residency with DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency), an art and architecture collective and a residency programme based in Beit Sahour, Palestine. DAAR’s work combines discourse, spatial intervention, education, collective learning, public meetings and legal challenges. DAAR’s practice is centred on one of the most difficult dilemmas of political practice: how to act both propositionally and critically within an environment in which the political force field is so dramatically distorted. It proposes the subversion, reuse, profanation and recycling of the existing infrastructure of a colonial occupation.
An excerpt from her thesis and some of her work can be seen from this article : Considering the Political Agency of Residual Landscapes in the West Bank.
Her closing arguments for alternative Design Tactics:
*see full article for full development of research and idea
In the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Israeli ‘closed military areas’ confine vast amounts of prime agricultural and grazing land -over 40% of the total West Bank- away from Palestinian use. The tactical design of Extraterritorial Appropriation therefore, seeks to introduce another layer of meaning and function to these highly restricted closed areas through the exploitation of their residual and neglected spaces.
Extraterritorially planted wildflowers turn large swaths of previously unusable lands into honey bee feeding grounds, which in turn re-activate Palestinian apiaries and contribute to the stimulation of the local Palestinian economy. By using ‘cultivation capsules’ as a proxy form of agricultural planting and honey bees as proxy agents for their cultivation, trespassing restrictions are obviated. Such planting resists military destruction by enlisting Israel’s own environmental protection laws (issued by the ‘Israeli Nature Reserves Authority’ and the ‘Israeli Society for the Protection of Nature’) which prohibit the uprooting of native protected plant species.
The proposed process of apiary re-invigoration moves beyond its role, contributing to economic stimulation and social cohesion to re-enforce the biodiversity of this scarred military landscape and symbolically reinstate a Palestinian claim to lands which have been unilaterally-seized as a result of the occupation. The simultaneous blooming of thousands of wildflowers in the West Bank’s derelict closed military zones is further intended to produce a rapidly legible visual register, rendering visible the spatial contours of Israel’s occupation and broadcasting the underlying confining conditions of Palestinian land access and use hidden within.
*It’s very ambitious of me to try to post something like this on tumblr when it’s best left to the professional bloggers, but it’s inspiring and this is where I put my inspiration.
I have never blogged before. I never really felt like I had anything to say, until today. Today I feel completely slighted by the anti transgender policies of Google and I just had to vent. Being born male bodied, I was forced to conform as male for the first part of my life. Both professionally…
Once again, “your stable identity is our profit margin” costs lives.