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Fight With Clubs

Download the game and its documentation - Download (About 1MB)

This game requires the free Scratch player and environment to run.

Commentary

Fight With Clubs is a game designed as an interactive version of Francisco Goya's painting of the same name. Fight With Clubs is part of Goya's Black Paintings series, a group of paintings he composed on the walls of his house in the later years of his life (1819-1823), expressing his pessimism for humanity and disgust at 'what man has made of man,' as it were. While the most famous of these is Cronus Devouring His Son, Fight With Clubs stands as a specific piece directed as commentary on human conflict, specifically the deep divisions of Spain resulting in a civil war he successfully and tragically predicted.

Goya had also become famous for his masterly series The Disasters of War, one of the first damning visual critiques of warfare, far removed from the romanticism of the time and predicting the eye-witness accounts of modern journalistic photography.

Fight With Clubs depicts two men in ratty, mud-spattered clothing beating each other to death with clubs in the middle of a field of thick muck. The original painting was actually set inside a meadow, but was damaged when the panel was removed from the house and was painted over in earthy tones to stress the eeriness of the fighters' setting. The fighters struggle with the quagmire even as they struggle with each other, and the bloody conflict that is about to ensue seems without purpose given the bleak setting. It is a snapshot of man's pointless hatred for his fellow man in a low, most 'ungentlemanly' or 'uncivilized' fight where clubs replace pistols and sabers and muck replaces green sparring fields. All fights are like this, Goya suggests, dirty, tragic, senseless wastes where the combatants fail to see anything but their hatred for their opponent. And while Fight With Clubs is anchored specifically in a deeply divided early 19th Century Spain, the scene could appear anywhere, from the mire of Bosnia to the dusty streets of Israel and Palestine. The weapons, clothing, and settings may change, but the spirit of violence never does.

snapshot of fight with clubs

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