fear of calendars.

fear of calendars. gil corral. 2003

I painted this piece in 2003. It has to do with my observation of how tied in, and to some extent, beholden our culture is to the calendar — time stuff, clock stuff. I’m always amazed at how most of our civilization just falls inline with this time measurement thing, rarely questioning it, and even more infrequently, transcending it. I get the larger natural rythmn of things: tides, day, night, seasons…all that. I just don’t get “morning commute” for your “work week” when everyone and their grandmother react to their alarm clocks roughly around the same time. Make and drink the proverbial same pot of coffee, bump car asses with our neighbors as we all pull out of our driveways at the same time, then collectively race to our time ruled workplace or other time structure. I often wonder what the birds on the telephone wires think as they watch our insipid ritual — like we’re the ones on exhibit in a zoo.

Calendar year: time passing, economics, insurance, future, 401k, birthday, birthday parties, meetings, past, appointments, goals, future, past, funeral, funding, forecast, past, obligations, future, holidays, getting older, botox, birth, life insurance policy, resolution, retirement, agenda, goals, future, past.

Fear of Calendars is painted on a partly collaged October 2003 desk calendar. A desk calendar I doodled on during my work week/ desk/sales job.
Somewhere on this page was the date Elliott Smith committed suicide, or died, totally bumming me out. There also dates with dentist / therapy appointments, deadlines, product codes, etc.

The painting’s focal point is a man kneeling worshiping the Aztec Mayan calendar, which is painted and superimposed over the collaged desk calendar. I also included a box of Animal Crackers in the painting.

I was not aware of the 2012 Mayan prophecy when I painted this — again, I was interested in exploring the idea of this powerful ruler of human life..time.

As I sat back and reflected on this painting January 1st, 2012, I couldn’t help but feel that this piece of work has a frequency also aligned with the 2012 prophecy. It’s an interesting circumstance of converging concepts (sorry about the three c’s). My observation of the expansive experience of life somehow being widdled down to a square on a graph with a number on it, incrementaly attempting to make all moments understandable, accounted for, and reducing the possibility of surprise.

January 1, 2012 took partial ownership of this painting, in its own way. A way I hadn’t conceived of or attempted to express, so I really don’t have any words to try to explain this other component. I don’t know. It’s relevance may seem obvious, but it’s inception contained only part of its story. I find this interesting, I am also curious as to how much more of a story it will unveil.

fear of calendars can be found here


in the studio


One response to “fear of calendars.

  1. Clocks and punctuality are largely the product of Calvinism and his Swiss theocracy. It stems from a Reformation theological stance that deems the world to have ‘fallen’ after the event of original sin (adam and eve). Jean Calvin felt that it was one’s Christian duty to redeem a fallen world, and therefore structure was imposed lest we revert back to a primitive and godless state of affairs. So clocks became primary in ensuring nothing was left wandering, listless and shapeless. The natural world was seen as full of demons and dark mystery.

    To me, one of the worst things is when people actually mark a big ‘X’ through past days on a calendar, as though they were expendable and worthless.

    I enjoy your postings.

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