The Lap

Another famous painting in Chauvet Cave is “The Venus and The Sorcerer“. It consists of a bison and an exaggerated depiction of a pubic triangle and a vulva, painted on a conical pendant hanging from the cave ceiling. Such exaggerated depictions of female genitals are common in prehistoric art, as evidenced by the large number of Venus Figurines uncovered all over the world.

The Venus and The Sorcerer. Photo by Yanik Le Guillou

While working on the last post I remembered some other images that impressed me in Guy Maddin’s “My Winnipeg”, mainly the recurring images where the narrator compares the confluence of the two rivers ( The Forks ) around which Winnipeg was built  with his mother’s lap.

"the Forks"

"the Lap"

"the Fur"

The images appear in this exact order, and repeated a few times:

The woolly, furry, frosty lap.
The Forks!
The animals, hunters, boatways,
trains and Mother.
These are the reasons we’re here.
These are these reasons we’ve stayed.
These are the reasons I’m leaving.

These are the very things that are going to
help me get out of here.
The forks, the lap, the fur.
The forks, the lap, the fur.

Also worth noting that The forks were at times a meeting place for hunters, trading in bison fur.

My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, 2007)

 My mother. A force as strong
as all the trains in Manitoba.
As perennial as the winter.
As ancient as the bison.
As supernatural as the Forks themselves.
Her lap, a magnetic pole,
a direction from which I can’t turn for long.

(Note: the above quotes are all taken from the film)

Categories: Guy Maddin, Werner Herzog
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