Sisyphus Is Ulysses and I Am Involved, Too
Robert Longo’s (Untitled) Adam is a portrait of Albert Camus’s idea of Sisyphus as the absurd hero. American neo-expressionist Robert Longo’s series Yingxiong (Heroes) is a collection of large-scale charcoal drawings of fighter pilot masks and Untitled (Adam), a fighter pilot named after the first man, is one of the best of the series because this image, more than the images of the other pilots, connects with the profundity of breaching the horizon. Albert Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus concludes that one must live in contradiction to the absurdity of life in revolt to that contradiction and Robert Longo’s Untitled (Ulysses) is the artist’s allusion to the power of the understanding one has when he is conscious of existence’s absurdity.
Albert Camus “tries to affirm life” in The Myth of Sisyphus; beginning at philosophy’s “one truly serious…problem,” which is “whether life is or is not worth living,” Camus introduces his philosophy of the absurd by asking if suicide is proper upon realizing the meaninglessness of life. According to him, suicide is a confession – “[suicide] is confessing that life is too much for you or that you do not understand [life]…It is merely confessing that that ‘is not worth the trouble.” Suicide implies that one has “recognized the ridiculous [or absurd] nature of [living].”
Camus concludes that suicide is unreasonable because the contradiction of a man living in absurdity must be lived and man must constantly confront it. Having acknowledged his hopelessness, meaninglessness, and purposelessness, man passionately “enjoys freedom with regard to common rules.” Common rules meaning: societal constructions, or self-imposed rules. Man is completely free within his consciousness but must live in accordance to common rules because there would then be
Fate Of A Life Suicide is still an action that takes many lives every year. Alternatives are open for people with this mental disorder when they contemplate this action. The question is how affective are these alternatives. My life has been revolving around suicide for almost five years. Here is my story, one that shows little to no hope on the issue. It s truly a feeling that nobody will ever ...
In the final section of Albert Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus, he applies his reasoning to the actual myth of Sisyphus. Sisyphus is Albert Camus’s absurd hero; his “scorn of the gods, his hatred of death, and his passion for life won him that unspeakable penalty in which the whole being is exerted toward accomplishing nothing.” Because he had trapped the goddess Death at the request of a man whose daughter had been taken by Apollo and caused Pluto to ask Mars, the god of war, to free her and tricked Pluto into allowing him life after death, the gods condemned Sisyphus to eternally roll a rock up a mountain at which point the rock would fall back upon its own weight in the underworld.
“One must imagine Sisyphus happy,” says Camus, though, because Sisyphus, regardless of his punishment, is the master of his fate. He understands that in his eternal, divine torture his fate has become a human matter or his matter – he controls the rock and he controls himself. The gods, in their effort to chastise him, have freed him with torture. Camus says that this imposed torture is, though, the opposite. It is freeing for Sisyphus. Within his eternal struggle the man who had trumped the gods has found passion and freedom. Sisyphus finds his passion within the boulder he moves. It is part of him according to Camus. Sisyphus and mud encrusted hands are part of the boulder that he pushes and in this manner the struggle and the man who struggles have become one. Sisyphus’s freedom in his struggle comes from the freedom of consciousness that he enjoys. Having realized that he is in an absurd situation, he is free in the banality of his struggle by his consciousness of the struggle.
Untitled (Adam) – one of a series of large-scale graphite and charcoal drawings of fighter pilot masks made by American Neo-Expressionist Robert Longo – is an illustration of Albert Camus’s idea of the absurd hero Sisyphus. This pilot lives within a void and is looking up at a breaking horizon and is serene within his void. He appears like Sisyphus and like any absurd hero – conscious of his purposelessness and confronting the absurd.
Albert Camus is a very hard man to figure out. He puts very complex thoughts and emotions into his writings, and you have to draw them out strategically. His thoughts of how everyday people live and think are genuine and you can see that in his writing. I am basing all my knowledge here on Camus book, The Stranger, and his essay, The Myth of Sisyphus. Camus said in his essay on Sisyphus, Sisyphus ...
Robert Longo’s image grows out of an abyss, which compares to Albert Camus’s idea of man’s surrounding meaninglessness and necessary recognition of absurdity. Untitled (Adam) rising out of the black background comes to the breaking horizon or the setting horizon in a conscious revolt against the absurd and an assertion of his conscious self. Whether the sun is falling or rising does not matter; either way Untitled (Adam) is able to look at the horizon and understand what the light is showing him. The breaking horizon is a projection of happiness or understanding and an awareness of the struggle against absurdity. Sisyphus and Untitled (Adam) are meant to be happy. They are free and they are passionate and they know that they are masters of their lives because they are aware of and revolting against the absurdity of existence or living and have found a passion within their existence within their absurd lives. Untitled (Adam), although shown as a fighter pilot, is also an allusion to the faceless and nameless workers. He is one of a hundred million men and women who work at the same tasks in the same job for their entire lives and gain nothing. He is an allusion to the moment at which one of these workers realizes the absurdity of his constant toil. This is the moment that Sisyphus stands atop his mountain and watches his boulder fall back to the base, says Albert Camus. Untitled (Adam) is at the point of the realization. This piece is the artist’s affirmation of his consciousness of the absurdity in which he lives and is his passionate revolt against that absurdity. Robert Longo, in the creation of Untitled (Adam), depicts the idea that Albert Camus described in The Myth of Sisyphus in an effort to illustrate that idea to his audience.
Comparing these images of absurd heroes made me realize that I want to be Sisyphus and I want to make an allusion to my conscious revolt against absurdity. Sisyphus pointlessly toiling away for eternity with a smile on his face for having conquered the gods and loved life and found passion in his struggle is my hero. I want to see as Sisyphus sees; I want to stand atop my mountain and watch as my boulder runs down to the pit from where I had just moved it and realize that I am in an absurd situation as a living being and revolt against it with passion and in happiness by this passion. From this passion for living in contradiction with the absurdity in which I live, I will make my own series of Yingxiong (Heroes) and my own Untitled (Adam) will be the centerpiece and I will have passed on Albert Camus’s idea that living contrary to living’s absurdity is where one finds passion and happiness.
Comparing “Dolor” and “A Hardware Store as Proof of the Existence of God” Happiness in life is seen through the little things we do and the small stuffs we usually took for granted like the little flower blossoming at the edge of a busy road, the pancake that our mother have lovingly cooked, and the sparingly blue sky in the morning. It is like a fire that keeps on burning with passion. Sadness, ...
This manner of living, the one described by Albert Camus and illustrated by Robert Longo, is one that I had not considered before because I had always thought that there would be or should be a great or grander meaning to life. Although I am still new to the writing of Albert Camus and afraid of the lack of a larger picture in which I am a smaller piece, I will, I think, eventually be a Sisyphus.
I already would like to be Sisyphus; it’s becoming Sisyphus that is the problem. Revolting against the absurdity of existence after having realized existence’s purposelessness is difficult. Unlike Sisyphus and unlike Robert Longo’s image, I have not yet realized that the absurdity of existence is an affirmation of my consciousness’s freedom – I have not yet stopped at the top of the mountain and watched my boulder fall and been happy as the master of my own fate. . I have never believed that I have the freedom to pursue any passion and fulfill it within a pointless existence and that that passion within a pointless existence is meant to give my existence personal meaning and that I am supposed to be satisfied with that personal meaning. When I will believe that, I do not know; it’s extremely hard to let go of the big picture.