Monday, 20 April 2009

JG Ballard


J G Ballard

Sad news to hear the death of JG Ballard. A man of ideas who saw the future in the consequences of everyday actions multiplied and transformed. I wrote a little about his novel Crash in a correspondence to a friend. Although I talk of other artists I suppose this is my own little homage how is work affected me, though his own words say so much more.

"Those poems quite affected me. They made me feel all funny and sad at the same time. The last time any art did that was when I watched Mulholland Drive, I couldn’t sleep for days. As for what I said you’ll have to forgive me I’m not really a literary person. I was thinking of Jacob Epstiens Rock Drill (the one that looks like the creature from Alien) as I was reminded of it by reading one of the poems you gave me. J G Ballard sprung to mind as a Novelist.


In Crash Ballard writes about the possible consequences of a biological and technological synthesis as a kind of transgressional bathos; sex with cars basically. Although that otherness is combined (man and nature) in the likes of Epstien and Ballard, I think a strong sense of alienation or separation emanates like a gaze of purged morality and empowerment. In that lies their ambiguity.


With Bishop it seems to me the ambiguity lies in the abject nature of her body. There is cathartic subjectivity that floats between revulsion and fascination of her flesh, which appears, as you said, categorised between sight (or to be seen - appear as the Other) and touch where physical sensations unify and sanctify.


Maybe versus is to strong an assertion (maybe to masculine) but it seems to me that nihilism seems suggestive of a masculine tendency to transgress beyond nature, beyond God, beyond the function of his own biology. This is reflected in an aloofness which pervades the art of Epstien and Ballard. Bishops tactile femininity is the awareness of her biology as that Other, those naked breasts remind her of her sex and her maternal make up, that rootedness. With Epstien you see the same fusion of culture, technology and biology as in that point in In the Waiting Room but its very form is of the Other, separate and contingent."

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Me & Rodchenko


Rodchenko posters


There's currently an Rodchenko exhibition at Tate Modern. I always thought of him as an inspirational character in his expressive use of different media, in the graphic quality to his works, in the application of ideals and aesthetics. A man who thought alot about aesthetics in an almost pure way. History has possibly tainted the use of political aesthetics but the fresh directness of his approach is something, I think, to admire.

My Banners project have been in some way been inspired by that approach to the graphical arts. Here's some of the exhibition at the NGCA last year.



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