Cave Of Forgotten Dreams

Werner Herzog was granted exclusive access to the Chauvet Cave in the Ardèche Gorge in southern France. The caves are not normally open to the public. They were discovered in 1994 and found to contain the earliest known paleolithic cave paintings, now estimated to be 30,000 years old. Herzog made a beautiful and moving film, illuminating the paintings hidden so long in the dark. Continue reading “Cave Of Forgotten Dreams”

Frames of reference

The Vision Thing


What first strikes you about these Ice Age objects, suspended on transparent plastic stands in glass cases amidst crowds of 21st-century humans, is that they are absolutely tiny. The largest works are approximately the span of a man’s hand, the smallest the size of a child’s fingernail. For a big show it’s an intimate experience. There’s a lot of squeezing about, bending down and peering in, the peculiar sensation of having to adjust your perception to match their scale, as if squeezing yourself down through the same narrow aperture that leads to the wonders of Chauvet and Lascaux. What you’re experiencing is time travel. You adjust yourself to the conditions, and when you become accustomed to what you see, it’s as if you’re looking back to your own time through the wrong end of a telescope, the one that makes everything far away but pin-sharp. Continue reading “The Vision Thing”

Frames of reference