Fighting the Enemy As A Fabrication Of Enemy As A Human Habit

Oscar Domingues, “The Bull’s Anima”
Oscar Domingues, “The Bull’s Anima”

As Karl Jung has been teaching us, every man’s psyche has anima, the feminine part of the man’s soul, the feminine perspective of perceiving the world. According to Oscar Domingues’ painting, the bull is a male, therefore he has anima. It is a gaze of the anima we encounter here, the gaze full of horror, the gaze of appeal.

Anima closes the right eye of the bull (with her fingers), the gaze of the bull’s animus (masculine perspective on the world) which is full of fury – what else the animus of the bull selected for the bullfight can feel – the bull is a macho male. The animus of a macho male is that of a fight-hero. It can react to “provocation” only with belligerent answer. It makes bull to clash with those who is challenging him, to smash and crush, to fight and kill, to fight and be killed. The animus makes the macho male more fearless when he fights, and less sensitive to death.

But every fight/war-lover has anima that is usually kept shut up in the basement of even the highest-ranking generals’ psyche. It is this anima came to the surface of the bull’s face in Domingues’ painting – to express to us its horror and its grief about what humans done and continue to do with bulls by transforming them into target of human cheerful mass obsession with bullfighting. Is bull’s anima appealing to people for mercy? Is she asking us to wake up and to stop the killing bulls (by using their cognitive limitations as an excuse)? In comparison with a human being the bull is a child, a big hairy child. Why don’t we feel shame for abusing this child, this awkward and proud inhabitant of our mythology?

We see around the bull’s head three pairs of horns, in one pair to the right one horn is smaller than the other, as if, it belongs to the anima of the bull. But why Domingues needs to have in his painting so many horns? Is it to make a point about how many bulls are already slaughtered by human innocent (not mediated by any self-reflection) and vain bloodthirstiness? Why are we continuing to force the bulls to be pans in our belligerent game of bullfighting, which we use to boast to one another about our fighting skills and courage?

It is, as if, the bull-anima is talking to us through Domingues’ painting from the cemetery of the murdered bulls. Her words through her weeping are trying to reach us between the darkened sky and the blood of spilled life covering the circus arenas of civilization.

Oscar Domingues
Oscar Domingues