The Absurd 5

Monty Python

Frank Spencer

Faulty Towers

Spike Milligan – My part in his downfall

Rowan Atkinson


Laughter is a way of dealing with the meaningless of the universe…


The Absurd 4

Choosing an essay question:  The problem with this was that the lectures have been on such a broad and complex topic that I have found it difficult to narrow down an idea. I have therefore decided to look into literature and exploring the links between Existentialism and a play (An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestly).

The Absurd 3

Heidegger – anxiety is a lack of understanding.

Sartre – anxiety produces a vivid experience of the enormous responsibility of absolute freedom.


Discussing the human condition how humans physically exist before they begin to think about what is to. The philosophers individually discussed ideas during times of war, thus attempting to find humanity because nothing is more absurd than war. Those discussing these ideas needed to find a faith in humanity that have been lost, thus argued that it is human nature to be good but through development within society this has the potential to change, although arguing that this is self-deception and inauthentic.

These philosophers opened up a new world, collecting literature and art in order to develop their ideas. Within the theatre of the absurd plays such as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead can be seen to have profound meaning through complete nonsense.

The Absurd 2

This week we explored humanity and the debate of existence and essence. Sartre was quoted to say “man first exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world”. Therefore it is clear that we must develop through engagement with the world and take ownership for the self within that world. But this responsibility naturally creates anxiety and fear, therefore, it could be argued that religion is humanity’s way of dealing with the responsibility of free will.

The combination of facticity and transcendence can lead to a positive mental attitude we work in harmony, but it is a fairly accepted that when these two factors do not fit together a person’s perception of themselves extremely  negative and damaging. Combining this with a need to remain authentic, by the existentialist definition, humanity’s purpose becomes the balance the aspects of oneself into the most positive outcome. However when these are not working in harmony a feeling of nothingness can often destroy the essence of the person.

Through all of this there is a repetition of consequences, and the constant personal debate and conflict of decisions. We can only know ourselves and our own existence, but we must always be aware of those surrounding us. This is also involved in the “look of the other” whereby the fear of judgement plays a part in decision-making.

In relation to my own work, I find it difficult to create authentic pieces due to the fear of judgement. I believe that the pressures of university grading systems can potentially halter creativity, however this does not university and so to better develop maybe I should work towards piece that I believe to be personal in order to begin to reduce the feeling of anxiety when creating this type of work. I can definitely see how these philosophical theories are important to better ourselves within humanity, the same way others turn to religion.

Constellation – The Absurd

This lecture began as a introduction to existentialism. Definitions given included illogical, inharmonious, unreasonable, ridiculous, and silly. Looking at the hyperreal sculptures of Ron Meuch, which in photographic form easy to understand until a real-life human figure is placed in the photograph due to the oppressive size of the sculpture. The absurd is often considered the twist away from the expected, or a attempting to find humour and meaning in an illogical world.

Fashion, art and chance meeting or a sewing machine and an umbrella was also discussed during this lecture.