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Additional info for A Natural History of the Bestiary
Art not as imitator of the world, but referring to itself, self-consciously aesthetic. Where does perception and representation begin, the world end? Collage draws in the world as aesthetic material. A surrealist searches the flea-market for the ready-made artobject. An object world no longer secure and familiar but strange and shocking, though media saturation dulls the sharpness. With the death of God as the omniscient narrator comes a many-sided world, secret and unconscious worlds, paradox and ambiguity as opposed to single objective reality.
The festival was suppressed in 1984, violently prevented from gathering in 1985, abolished since in the name of archaeology. The Ancient Order of Druids was formed in the late eighteenth century, a mystical and at first secret society. Taking its image from the ancient Celtic druids described in Caesar, the order harks back to an antique era of initiated knowledge. Since 1905 Druids have also held summer meetings at Stonehenge (Chippendale et al. 1990). Stonehenge signifies. The monument, with its astronomical alignments, with theories of its relation to esoteric knowledges of earth and heavens, an order of archaeoastronomy, and being the grandest of so many stone circles, alignments and tombs of its prehistoric age, speaks to some as testament to the inadequacies of the present’s understanding.
These judges were arbitrators to whom disputes were brought. Often judging on panels, they gave interpretations of the dispute which could be accepted or disregarded by the disputants; they judged and in turn were judged themselves. The particular event of the dispute illuminated the ambiguity of the law. Both judges and disputants were subjects of the law which was recreated in the event of arbitration. The law was simply the way of life and all the cultural, political and psychological baggage it carried.
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