Kamis, 20 Oktober 2011

Indonesia: “Monkey Mask Show”

When I saw this picture, my first reaction was `this is simply wrong`. Then I started thinking about it – not about it being wrong. But upon seeing other pictures, I realized that people who were watching the trained monkey looked as if they were having fun.
Yes, I know I know. I can hear you saying, `but they are just kids`.
I dont think it is so simple though.
Why does an animal, chained to something, miming something or someone he is trained to replicate, is so entertaining to us? Is it because we find the animal simply silly and the whole miming expression so out of place that the animal and his actions become ridiculously funny? Or is it the nervousness when faced with something (or more precisely in this case someone) we cant comprehend that makes us laugh?
You tell me. At this point, it is possible to pull the issue at multiple directions. So I am going to throw some questions out at you:
Can we talk about an animal aesthetics? Do you think animals have a concept of aesthetics?
Given the pictures below and above, what could be the dynamics of ethics and aesthetics in this particular type of entertainment?
In couple pictures, the monkey is wearing a human mask. How might this modify the dynamics of the entertainment?
Do you also think that it is wrong? Would you have been fine with it if the monkey wasnt chained to something or someone? Or, is there something more inherently wrong about all this?


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