Thursday, February 9, 2012

Max Ernst, ritual magic and UFOs

Overt UFO image from Max Ernst in 1929

The artist Max Ernst (1891-1976), was a prolific German Dadaist-Surrealist. And he seems to be much more. The image (above) is from a collage-based graphic novel titled The Hundred Headless Woman. It has two disc shaped UFOs, a nearly naked woman being abducted and an apocalyptic scene of destruction; all reoccurring themes in the modern abduction lore. This was 18 years before Kenneth Arnold saw his [first] set of UFOs.

Christopher Knowles has posted a genuinely ground breaking post about Max Ernst (linked HERE). I found it this morning in The Secret Sun. Knowles writes:

...every time I look at UFO photos and read about recent sightings or abductions I get trapped in the letters and the pixels like I'm encased in amber. When I start to look at UFOs through the prism of Synchronicity, Symbol and Strangeness, it all opens like a flower and thousands of puzzle pieces start falling into place like a Tetris game played by an invisible hand.

And then things start to happen. In this consensus space-time. Lots of things. Lots of really strange, sometimes impossible things.



Anonymous said...

Great post. I definitely think there are huge overlaps between the UFO paradigm and the hermetic-alchemic worldview, I think both are describing the same thing with different symbol sets. Part of the hermetic worldview is trying to get you out of that idea of all those cutesy renaissance pictures of angels and reminding you you're essentially dealing with aliens that operate with motives completely different than humans.

Christopher Knowles said...

I discovered Max Ernst at the same time I started getting serious about psychedelics. It's also the same time a lot of doors started opening up that had been closed for some time. Inspired by Ernst I began doing a lot of collage illustration in that same automatic style which was very useful later in therapy.

Red Pill Junkie said...

Well, I interpret the illustration as a protest against mechanization and the Industrial Revolution, which seems to trap man into a series of grinding cog-wheels --I kinda suspect Chaplin might have been inspired by Ernst when making that famous scene in Modern Times.

But in the end, the UFO phenomenon is also a protest of sorts, with all these beings reminding us to live in harmony with Nature and so on. And all contactees/abductees been subjected to images of barren post-apocalyptic wastelands.

Regan Lee said...

Great post Mike and the comments are as interesting as well! Linked to it on alien art genre. Ernst has always been a favorite artist of us both, but particularly my husband, who is an artist and paints in a surrealist style.

I agree with what red pill said about the imagery, it very well could be that -- but I love that you took that further rpj when you wrote: "But in the end, the UFO phenomenon is also a protest of sorts, with all these beings reminding us to live in harmony with Nature and so on."