Jun 15, 2011
Shorpy posts this image with the following tongue-in-cheek captionâ€¦
In this work, the photographer presciently foreshadows the essential dialectic that was to become the touchstone of the nineteen sixties.
The polarities of the cultural rift that was to come is limned by the stark juxtaposition of iconic figures: one, a near-Kerouacian embodiment of the rejection of middle-class bourgeois values and mores, confronts his antithetical archetype, himself a veritable paradigm of conventional managerial-class affectations.
Note also the seemingly aleatory disposition of deceptively mundane objects: the “bullet” lamps, an allusion to the violence intrinsic to the enforcement of conformist societal imperatives; the desk with no legs, an unconscious admission of the illusory foundations of work-ethic mythologies. Most tellingly, a copy of the Declaration of Independence is inexorably detaching itself from the wall, an ironic metaphor for the impermanence of superficial obeisance to culturally-imposed eschatology.
The more I read thisâ€”which I can’t stop doing, for some reasonâ€”the more sense it’s starting to make.
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