Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside (Or Outside?)

This week’s photo challenge is to illustrate the concept of “inside.” 

For the past few months, I’ve logged in quite a bit of time inside my house while recovering from medical treatment.  Sometimes when I sit near the large windows in our living room and look out at the river and skyline, I can feel the sun as it streams into the room and the cold as it seeps through the paned glass.  At those moments, the physical line between “inside” and “outside is blurred.  As I looked through my photos for this challenge, I selected  images which reflect the fuzzy, indistinct boundary between the physical states–inside and outside.   Coincidentally, I picked photos of controversial works of art.  The first is a statue of the Egyptian king, Ramesses II who is credited with building more temples and fathering more children than another other Egyptian king.  

Sphinx, British Museum

Ramesses II, British Museum

Originally located in the ancient city of Thebes, the giant statue was hauled to London in 1816 by Giovanni Belzoni, where it created an artistic and political sensation.  It was the first Egyptian piece of art declared as a masterpiece by art connoisseurs, who up to that point favored works from Ancient Greece.  The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley immortalized the statue  in the poem “Ozymandias:”

… My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.’

Originally at home in the desert, the statue now fills a gallery inside the British Museum.  It is flanked by windows that overlook an interior courtyard.

The second work of art is the Arch of Titus in Rome, in walking distance of the Roman Coliseum.  The arch is so massive it can shelter a small army, thus creating the illusion of interior space even outdoors.

Hadrian's Arch, Rome

Arch of Titus, Rome

Like the statue of Ramesses, it has a rich and fascinating history.  A model for Napoleon’s Arc de Triomphe in Paris, this Roman arch immortalizes a famous victory by the warrior king Titus.   The north side of the arch depicts the triumphant leader in a chariot pulled by four horses.   He is crowned by the goddess Winged Victory.  According to art historians, this is the first time a work of art portrays both human and divine subjects.

It’s only when I looked at the south side of the arch, that I realized that Titus’ victory occurred in the Middle East.  In the frieze, Romans are carrying off the relics from the Temple in Jerusalem.  The arch took on greater religious significance centuries later when Pope Paul IV created the Jewish ghetto in 1555.  It’s chilling to realize that Jewish Roman citizens were forced to wear yellow badges on their clothing–much like the Jews during World War II–and were required to pay an annual fee to live in the Jewish ghetto, which was walled off from the rest of the city.   The pope also demanded that they take a yearly oath of submission to the city and Christianity by standing under the Arch of Titus.

Do you agree that sometimes the line is blurred between inside and outside?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

For more interpretations of this week’s theme, click the links below:

28 replies »

  1. I love the Arch of Titus great perspective in your shot, I hope you get better soon I know what it is like to be stuck inside as I’ve suffered chronic pain for 2-3 years and is how I discovered my love for photography x

    Like

  2. Agree whole-heartedly Patti, and if I hadn’t agreed before I sure would after this week’s challenge! And remember, inside and outside often change depending on where you are! Creative response to the challenge – well done!

    Like

  3. I like your wonderful intro:
    “For the past few months, I’ve logged in quite a bit of time inside my house while recovering from medical treatment. Sometimes when I sit near the large windows in our living room and look out at the river and skyline, I can feel the sun as it streams into the room and the cold as it seeps through the paned glass. At those moments, the physical line between “inside” and “outside is blurred…”

    Like

  4. I can only work on the outside as of now, it’s a odd situation because plants are usually on the outside, and can be grown ‘inside’ also, but technically speaking in nature there’s no ‘inside’ but caves both inside and out of the ocean. So for me, humans have created the physical ‘inside’ through walls that were never really there (architecture). Inside can also be the womb, the body, or the mind of humans. Nevertheless, they are all headed towards the ‘outside’ again, inevitably.

    Like

  5. That’s an interesting perspective, Maria! Except for naturally occurring spaces like caves, we have created “inside” spaces or at least barriers between inside and outside. Thanks for contributing your thoughts!–Patti

    Like

Don't Be Shy! Drop Me A Line.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s