Monday, September 20, 2010
Embracing ambiguity, paradox and uncertainty was certainly a core theme in Leonardo da Vinci's work. However, such contemplation of opposition was not a popular goal in America during the early 1930s. It was important at this time to address the things that were believed to be out of control, such as the Colorado river, and controlling it, regulating it, limiting the uncertainty of its force and direction.
Those that endorsed Secretary of the Interior Wilbur's sentiment for "balancing nature" with "New Visions for a New West" were likely to find the building of the Hoover Dam nothing less than an inspiration. It would be a testament to forgetting the past and whatever horrors lurked there. Yet forgetting the past would also mean overlooking the lesson that might be learned. And as we know, history teaches nothing.
We yearn to forget how old promises have failed, we seek security, look towards a shore of hope especially when we feel we've been drowning. And thus, in the seemingly fretful times of the 30s, a new working class was born. Glad for the job which just afforded the grub many had forgotten they could grow in their own backyards. Glad to be off the streets, with something to do, working towards something, anything.
Never mind their own inspirations. Too much ambiguity. Rather compose the senses working for a vision known.
To study, to embrace the unknown, or as Leonardo da Vinci contemplated as the great "tension of opposites," would be too intense for these times, due to a shared "belief" easily clouding perceptions. A belief that this was an intense time in American history, and what people needed and wanted was relief not more tension.
Build. Employ. Don't look back. The precepts for five years as the dam went up.