5 screens of intensity. Intentionally ambiguous, but to me it speaks of pain. Black & white except for sections of red from where scraps of paper have been left on the walls of the gallery to show up underneath the image projections. Scrappy, in the best possible way.
The exhibition had me entranced and the hairs stood up on the back of my neck when the beat of the marching band-come tribal song came rolling in in unison with the paper doll shadows which followed one another around the room.
According to critics, the work is all about time zones, politics, history, industry and science. However, in this excerpt from an interview with Kentridge, given by Andrew Frost of The Guardian, the meaning is intentionally ambiguous;
The work is an invitation to the visitor to see if they can find points of connection that overlap between their memory, their experiences and desires, and what they see on the screen and hear. It’s not as if the piece is an emotional journey plotted for an audience. That requires a cynicism in thinking on behalf of other people. And a knowledge of knowing who other people are. Neither of those things I would claim.
Full interview here.
Kentridge has got me thinking about endless possibilities of material and light. And about how narrative can be manipulated, torn up, scribbled over, photocopied, enlarged, shrunk, and portrayed in many, many ways in order to (or not to) suggest meaning. I’m particularly interested in how a sensory experience can be devised for the viewer. How they can be encompassed by the work, and how fantastically overwhelming this can be.
Lately I’ve been interested in the practice of automatism in art. In particular, artists like Andre Masson’s automatic drawings of the Surrealist movement in the 1920s.
It is believed that the artists experimenting with automatism in art, would practice a range of techniques which would lend themselves to one’s subconscious dominating one’s reason when making a picture.These included:
Drawing with the non-dominant hand, in the dark, with ink rather than lead (because ink runs more smoothly and consistently), drawing directly into a pad of paper rather than one sheet at a time in order to continue scribbling, allowing only one continuous line without taking the pen from the paper, drawing during hypnagogia (the transitional moment between awake and sleep)..
The idea behind this way of mark making, was that in withdrawing from rational thought and intention, the artist ‘draws’ into their psyche, revealing imagery that might otherwise be hidden.
Automatic drawings here.
“Woos & Whas”
When I was a child I would go through the same routine every night before bed: brush my teeth, kiss the family goodnight, – run through the house throwing punches and kicks into the air yelling “WOO!” “WHA!”.
I had to go down the dark hallway doing this; into all of the empty rooms and especially into my own room. This was my method of letting the night monsters know not to mess with me. I kicked them all in their imaginary chests and heads so that, wounded, they couldn’t come and get me in my sleep.
I don’t do this anymore. I am, however, thinking a lot about monsters.
And am making them too.
Adaptives were objects created by Franz West in the 80s & 90s. The objects were photographed with people attempting interactions with the strange useless shapes, producing documented comedic experience between human bodies and arbitrary sculpture.