Guernica – Interpretation

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‘No, painting is not made to decorate apartments. its an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy.’ – Unknown

Guernica from Katie-Marie Lynch on Vimeo.

Guernica by Picasso was intended as an Anti war response to the bombing of Guernica in spain painted in 1937. In order to tackle transferring this iconic but complex painting into moving film we split it into five main sub-narratives all of which had thematic links to destruction and chaos.

The bull|

A symbol of rage and masculinity
A symbol of rage and masculinity perhaps. The film became an icon of a guardian within our film whom looked after at the violence around him, eventually filling him with more rage.

The head|

"Some see in the smashed bust, severed arm and broken sword, which frame the base of the painting, distant echoes and memories of the horrific earthquake that rocked Malaga destroying 10,000 houses in Picasso's early childhood. "-BBC
“Some see in the smashed bust, severed arm and broken sword, which frame the base of the painting, distant echoes and memories of the horrific earthquake that rocked Malaga destroying 10,000 houses in Picasso’s early childhood. “-BBC

Three women|

We felt there to be many possible interpretations of the three anguished women. Women are often used to represent vulnerability and felt this was an important thing to represent within our representation.
We felt there to be many possible interpretations of the three anguished women. Women are often used to represent vulnerability and felt this was an important thing to represent within our representation.

Mother and child|

The grieving mother and her child is a haunting image. The repetition of this image  within our film was important; The destruction of innocence, not just of the child but of the after effects this causes.
The grieving mother and her child is a haunting image. The repetition of this image within our film was important; The destruction of innocence, not just of the child but of the after effects this causes.

Wounded horse|

Even in its last moments the horse, a symbol of strength refuses to show its weakness within war. Perhaps Picasso wanted us to form empathy with this horse as everyman in war. We will never know but this does make us think about human strength and defiance in times of tragedy.
Even in its last moments the horse, a symbol of strength refuses to show its weakness within war. Perhaps Picasso wanted us to form empathy with this horse as everyman in war. We will never know but this does make us think about human strength and defiance in times of tragedy.

The greatest post production stylistic decision was the overlay of dramatic clashing of lights on the subject. This became an attack ; the colours of fire surrounding the vulnerable mother and her child, her child’s cries growing quieter. Not only did this create a similarly uncomfortable viewing in parallel to the picture itself but distorted parts of the frame to create an abstract picture. If you can only see a pair of eyes in the dark then you are forced to think. I believe this is what Picasso wanted to achieve through this painting and I am confident in our interpretation.

When we first received the picture we would be representing this week to say I felt challenged was an understatement. I have been forced to open my minds to the literally infinite amounts of interpretations to the picture and although at first this picture overwhelmed us, finding my own take on something so busy has ultimately raised my confidence in my analytical ability and how to think outside the box with what I see around me.

Picasso gives us an infinite amount to think about.
Picasso gives us an infinite amount to think about.
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