After a fruitful conversation with a friend, I have a new thought to add regarding my 'recent acquisitions'. Perhaps the connection between them is related to the definition of the word 'inane'. It can carry it's common socially known meaning, being an adjective for something silly, dumb or without significance. Though it can also be a reference to a state of emptiness, or to the void of infinite space. So here there is the narrative significance of someone who is perceived to be lacking in intelligence, or behaving as such and there is also the philosophical significance of the representation of a phenomenological abstraction.
Buster Keaton's position at the unknowing center of a world in a constant state of imbalance may result in a degree inane behaviour. When he cuts a piece of wood with a saw, but sits on the end of the wood that will fall off, his behaviour is silly, without a doubt. Yet there is a powerful space created by this scenario. Why does he not know that his action will result in pain? It is absurd. So absurd in fact, that we cannot know it... it exists in a void whilst simultaneously triggering a response of laughter, that comes from our knowing the impending result of his sawing. I am not sure at the moment why this is significant.
The boy in the tree is harder to perceive as being inane, but I see the abstracted nature of his pose triggering a response from me that is lacking narrative significance, due to its inability to be reduced to a finite story. Here, I am the silly one, for my attempts at meaning making are futile. Yet I am drawn to the picture because it seems to represent so many things. Again, there is a simultaneously meaningful and meaningless nature to the engagement.
I am hopeful that these thoughts will become clearer over time.