Wednesday, October 21, 2015

'Fable in Brief'


A fable in brief is simply an extended description of what metaphor accomplishes. It avoids saying 'this' stands for 'that' and allows meaning to remain unfixed. This fluidity is also a displacement, one thing substituted for another. Metaphor like collage is always a disturbance, an enigmatic disturbance. It's illusiveness registers more poignantly what remains absent. Fable in Brief  is a slowly emerging series of drawing/tracings and etchings that will be bound into a collection of artists' books to celebrate the Year of the Print in 2016.
(i)  (ii)
(i) - (iii) Fable in Brief  Graphite on tracing paper

Friday, July 10, 2015

Hand-Bound Mirror Transcripts: 'Waiting for Godot'

Object Poem:Mirror Transcriptions:'Waiting for Godot' 

It's difficult to write any exact descriptions of  this 'bookish' project apart from recognizing that the very process has reinforced the layered absurdest nature of Beckett's play. Perhaps in terms of process it parallels the concept that underpins the outcome of the Gestalt exercise of  making a line drawing copy of any image that is inverted. The copy of an image translated from an inverted  position will often produce a more accurate proportional drawing in comparison to the image copied from its correct position. For the Gestalt theorists understanding comes from presenting the familiar through unfamiliar forms. These pages seem to sway between both. 

                                               Act 1: Mirror Translations of 'Waiting for Godot' 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Godot's transcripts...


Mirror transcripts of 'Godot' pages of  text as drawing...




Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Artist Book: Object Poem: Transcripts of Waiting for Godot written in reverse in black ink.

Title page: Ink and collage

Samuel Beckett's absurdest play Waiting for Godot was a play that sat on the shelves of my childhood home as part of my eldest brothers senior years of English and Drama studies. I was always curious about the title. It seemed to evoke a certain sense of obscurity without ever opening the cover. As a teenager I recall having attempted to read it but the seemingly trivial dialogue and impossible narrative made little connection. In 1981 I had the opportunity to discover a more poignant connection with 'Godot' as I attended an amateur performance in Dublin during a year of hitch-hiking in Europe. Although after a complete night of drinking with some of the cast after the performance in several Dublin bars the play remained as vague as ever. These transcripts written in reverse are not about finding meaning in 'Godot' but are more concerned with an interest in text and in particular how the text of a play establishes a certain thought-space, or liminal space within a continuum of  references between language, performance and the play as a book form.   

Text: pages14-15

Writing instruments: wire strands bound with tape.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Archivum: I-XXVIII

Archivum I-XXVIII (detail)...graphite, polaroid, text and bees wax.

 The notion of an archive often affords the opportunity to engage in the unfolding of an historical  narrative that attempts to construct a specific truth. The play between the methods of gathering descriptions of the past, our personal experience of  the present and how one interprets the varying states of transition between the two is something that continues to interest me. 
This is part of the reason I find visiting a museum environment more visually stimulating than art galleries. It's as if the methods of display and the placement of a diverse range of disparate objects within a blend of textual descriptions opens up a more visually stimulating experience of  free association. The museum environment as a space that re-presents 'history'  often gives one permission to merge the experience of the past and present into a collection of objects and surfaces that dissolve the notion of  any fixed narrative. 
Although there is a very deliberate sense that we are being presented with a singular historical narrative, inevitably the juxtaposition of different objects and information triggers associations that were never intended. It is this heightened sense of things that I find too often remains illusive within the gallery experience. Perhaps it is part of the reason why I believe that 'conceptual overlay' instead of 'conceptual underpinning' is destroying the experience of so much contemporary art. 
This series of collage pieces explores the notion of the archive as a collection where elements of drawing, the photograph and text are deliberately placed in a state of flux.

Archivum: (detail)


Monday, April 6, 2015

Archivum: drawing, text, photograph...

Archivum I: graphite, text, polaroid and bees wax on bound paper.

A new series of small collisions of pencil drawings, polaroids and text...the bees wax bringing a contradiction of muted layers to surface and detail yet in places a heightened transparency. In some cases these feel as if they are 'sketches' for larger works...somewhat tentative and uncertain...perhaps more fully realized as a series of etching and collage pieces...whatever they are they seem to hold a certain transitional state...perhaps that is what they attempt to translate...the dissolving of any fixed 'concept' be honest I'm tired of the word...tired of seeing art works smothered by concept...tired of seeing it but in particular tired of hearing and reading concepts that simply impede the articulations of the visual...all that is ever needed is some kind of stumbling description...beautifully inadequate articulations.

Archivum II: graphite, text, polaroid and bees wax.

Archivum IV: graphite, text, found photograph and bees wax.

Archivum IV: graphite, text, holy picture of the Virgin Mary and bees wax.