[The] unconventional aspects are deliberate pointers to a hidden poetic structure, accessible only to the initiate. This deep structure is a system of interrelated parts conveying a unity of meaning. Although the links uniting these parts exist on the visual level, they are predominantly a function of subtextual narratives and symbols operating below the surface and realized in the educated viewer’s mind. The iconographer relies on the viewer’s silent co-participation in his creative process to uncover a mystery beyond words.
I had you convinced for a second that this was about some experimental comics, didn’t I? This is actually from the abstract for a study of a 500 years old, Russian icon depicting the biblical “last judgment”.
Let this be a lesson that a) I interpret everything as pertaining to comics, and b) everything pertains to comics.
On the last leg of my seemingly endless commute to the art school where I teach comics at the moment, I recently noticed signs like the one pictured marking pathways into a large area of tenements.
The Danish text (which I believe English readers might get a kick out of) translates as “- on a leash” which is a pleonasm; the dog is quite clearly shown to be leashed.
Or what exactly is that thing standing straight out and backwards from it’s neck?
There is no hand holding the loop at the other end, which is hanging limply in the air, trailing slightly after the moving dog (from the not quite horizontal angle of the loop and the gait of the dog, I would guess that it is trotting at a brisk pace).
The only dogs that I know to wear such stiff wrangling gear on their backs are seeing-eye dogs, but I don’t think I have seen a terrier used for that purpose before.
Perhaps it is a seeing-eye dog for blind children? Or small people? Or slightly bigger, blind dogs? Either way, the image of the stray paints a heartbreaking perspective:
Somewhere, its underage (or vertically challenged, or canine; but very definitely blind) dependant is left to fate by their mutt! Alone in a world of eternal darkness and, hopefully, only recent despair!
The burning question of HOW? WHY? is answered by the pictured dog’s lack of eyes. Although many terriers have magnificent eyebrows that need to be trimmed ever so often, we can rest assured that they are not the reason for the invisible eye.
As a helper dog for the blind (and short) it would be certain that the tufts of hair are trimmed regularly. Nor would the creature be of any service if it was one or both eyes short. No, this dog is clearly asleep.
This brings into question the language of the blurb below: even though the signs are posted in a Danish rural town, the surrounding five-floor buildings are commonly held in low status, and are quarter to many friendly foreigners.
Is this image in actuality *not* the polite reminder to restrain the dog, but rather a “wanted” sign for a missing friend, servant, and invaluable assistant?
If the latter is the case, the message “I snore” suddenly makes sense even in this form, garbled by the non-English writer’s deficiency in the only common language of the local populace!
All the more touching is this desperate cry for help, rendered as it is in neatly set type by a visually impaired child (or low-statured adult, or retriever).
If you see this dog roaming the larger Holbæk area, please report to the local police. It should be easily recognizable: it gives off a loud sound akin to the sawing of wood, and is a dark green.