No need for a paternity test, Laterna Magika is indeed the illegitimate child of socialism! Yes, Laterna is a healthy, thriving, baby boy… with split personality disorder and a mild case of OCD. Highly functioning, but not your textbook definition of normal. He is brilliant, but destructive, he is easily frustrated and distracted… he probably has ADHD too.
In this way, Laterna Magika is a perfect mirror of the social conditions under which it was born, for socialism is tornado of contradictions and chaos, thoughts of brilliance muffled by shouts of propaganda – it is a renegotiation of reality and society that succeeds only when certain aspects of that society are oppressed and manipulated into submission.
As Suzanne Langer bluntly puts it, “there are no happy marriages in art, only successful rape.” And while I cannot say that I wholly agree with this statement, I do see its insight into the treacherous process of redefining well established or normative notions of culture – be it within art, or any other medium. The challenging of the regular is always questioned initially, it is the nature of progress to be stunted by fear. Consequently, it makes a great deal of sense why Laterna Magika retains such niche standing within the art world today – it’s fragmentation, its imbalance, is as frightening as the system it belongs to.
It may not be a rape, but it’s a rocky marriage. the highs are high, the lows are low, and the only thing you can count on is that anything is possible. When you combine your influences the combination of creative copulation grow exponentially.