Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Art History 101: Kirk's Classic Pose

[NB: Don't miss the fuss over the Gorn in Minnesota's political life, over at Momo's Lizard Voter! I hope Ben Stiller's paying attention.]

The contrast between the body language of the old and the new Captain Kirk was in the back of my mind as I rifled through thousands of ST screencaps for my Virgil vid.

Kirk (Shatner) rarely adopts the pose of that representative American male authority figure, the cop: legs spread, weight balanced squarely on two feet--so rarely, it is strikingly noticeable when he does. (E.g. right, in "Who Mourns for Adonais," where, interestingly, he is facing down a Greek god.)

More commonly, he stands contrapposto, or "counterpoise" : with his weight shifted onto one foot (below, left, from "The Devil in the Dark"). This pose is famous in Western art history, from the classical example of the Greek "Doryphoros," or "Spear Bearer" (below, center, made by Polykleitos in about 440 BCE) to Michelangelo's "David" (1504, below, far right).


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[Kirk in Art History, II, here.]

2 comments:

momo said...

Fascinating!

bink said...

I think many of us prefer to stand contrapposto because one leg is longer than the other--a very common trait. And a very common trait for "healing" in evangelical circles. I've had my one leg lengthened by faith healing and by various chiropractors over the course of my life and it never seems to stay the same as the other leg for long...

Just checked...both legs are actually the same length right now. So now's the time to practice my cop stance.