Modernization Through Militarism and Globalism As a Nuclear Blast In Slow Motion

MIRO - Violent End of Still Life As a Genre of Painting

For centuries the transformation of life into still life (using nature and its fruits for our life and joy, celebrating nature’s fertility) was seen as nature’s natural support of human life, as man’s peaceful and prosperous collaboration with nature. Our consumption of nature was healthy; it didn’t contradict nature’s sustainability. “Still life“as a genre is a trace and a reminder of those happy days.

In this painting Miro demonstrates that while traditional still life reflects man’s relaxed life style and harmony of country life – technologically armed war is rapacious/voracious over-consumption (to the point of destruction) of the energy of nature and human world’s. War by high-tech weapons in Miro’s painting is seen as a destruction of traditional way of life fixed in still life. It is a violent modernization in three aspects: military, economic and technological. In the context of today’s life war becomes a global-corporate tool of processing and conversion of not only nature (natural resources) but human life and lives.

We see that everything in Miro’s still life – the wine bottle, fork (mutated into a predator), apple, chunk of bread and a shoe that has lost its pair and is mixed with the food items, are suspended from their usual identity which they once had when they belonged to and had a place inside the gestalt of human life. They are as if penetrated, irradiated and suspended by the energy of an unknown intensity. They are as if forced up into the air and became a part of an ungraspable, chaotic environment.

This transforming and disorienting energy is the violence of war (here the Spanish Civil War initiated by the Spanish conservatives and victoriously won by Franco with the support of Hitler) that consumes human life like the technological hurricane. Life is instantly transformed into fodder for the giant monster of militarism and economic predatoriness.

Today the Military-Industrial Complex in US became as strong and wealthy as it never has been in history including the expansionistic (and already globalist) period of Nazi and Fascist ideologies. Miro’s painting becomes even more actual and relevant today than when he made it in the thirties.

Economic globalism with militaristically imposing style is a pre-apocalyptic phase of modernization. It overwhelms the world and human life like a nuclear blast in slow motion. Today life of the whole planet is as penetrated, irradiated and suspended as Miro’s “Still Life”.

If military force, economy and technology are not oriented by the democratic principles they become weapons of mass destruction of an unseen might.