Bosch’500: History and the futures

It looks like everything around is under the umbrella of Hieronymus Bosch these days. The world decided to celebrate the 500th anniversary of his death (?!) and the native town Den Bosch is the epicenter of this hurricane of remembrance.

This is stand in a local bookshop with the books and other stuff related to Bosch, his art and his time:

There is also a large exhibition of his works in the Noordbrabant Museum in Den Bosch which we will try visit later (it’s not guaranteed, though, since all the tickets seem to be sold already! But we hope there will be some extra tickets offered.)

Bosch is an incredibly interesting artist for us in Summ()n, and in a number of ways.

To start with, he was an amazing ‘summoner’, or a conjurer, of totally unrealistic (surrealistic, some say) yet very believable and powerful worlds. Some of his imagery even include ‘portals’, the favorite Summ()n’s metaphor when exploring the future 🙂

But on a more pragmatic level, in many of his works we find this amazing – and amazingly paradoxical – combination of a very realistic depiction of people’s life and a very daring exploration of the possible futures, both utopian and dystopian.

His Garden of Earthly Delights is, perhaps, the most obvious example of this dichotomy (which is also the reasons of the wild popularity), but many other of his works could be mentioned here as well.

Bosch’s own version of the possible futures had been understandably framed within the Christianity paradigm, but with a minimal reframing we could also read it in much more opened, and less predicable way. Similar to the Boschian puzzle below, we don’t have to aim at putting all the puzzles in a pre-defined order and instead may seek inspiration and insights in the new recombinations, and perhaps also in the new ‘open spots’ that we will create during the process.

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