An extract from Matter.
"A red cloud billowed above the monoliths and contoured an apex over the lines of bitumen that rolled and traversed across the landscape like neurotic marks of a pubescent child."
I worked on an idea, for some time, to build a picture through fragments much in the vain of Pessoa did in his writings, particular The Book of Disquiet. And like Pessoa the observations were through a protagonist, an alter ego, who in my case takes a discerning interest in the visual.
Pessoa’s book takes on a cubist like form in its shard like bits of perception that slowly builds a view of Lisbon and the greater world. The overall effect is of man centred, the subject in a tumultuous universe, trying to realise and breach the patterns and structures that surround him. Disquiet is the emphatic understatement of the work where to Pessoa, visions and perceptions are the prison walls of the intellect; the creative mind is the one of dreams and the aspiration of freedom but one that is locked in the prism of reality. The political mind is one of subterfuge to the creative individual, but more importantly the only real mind because its concern is social and its course is action and combative. This romantic concern is at odds to an older attitude of the heroic man, standing above and alone, absorbing the tumultuous nature of the world. Pessoa’s hero, if he can be called that, is a man defeated by other people, retreating into the cocoon and ferment of his imagination. He is swathed in the relativistic universe of the imperial state, of social tyranny, rooted in not in the Byronic hero but instead the everyman of lowly ambition and petty manners. His character is not fallen but the bureaucratic tread on, but like Milton’s (Passoa’s great literary hero) Satan his burdens are the shackles of his oppression. He is the ego defined, social creature of the twentieth century.
That juxtaposition of the Byronic and Freudian were the starting points to this. They impart lend themselves to the heady picture of the rockstar, Men (invariably) of intense passions and physical articulation but must of all to that quintessential Byronic character the Vampire. The channels of neurosis and ego are nothing new but the idea was to here workout fragments that convoluted but expressed ideas of the enigma of perception, the real and illusory in intense subjectivity. What came out was a fetishistic voice of desire and repentance inhibited by words, lost in thought. But both like the Byronic and Milton variations our character is one at odds with the world.
Solitariness of the character is somewhat defined by a second party which acts as a particular vent to the protagonists inert separation and alienation to the world. Now the character is only loosely defined as a lover but I would suggest that he is in fact an alter ego an conflated other which is bounded to a physical materiality which our protagonists wishes to escape but at the same time control it’s vastness and shape. Here we have a psychosis of the wounded man succumbed in his own convalescence, impaled in his own physicality which torture becomes the expression of his own determination and ultimately his presence as a sexual being. Sex is considered as transcendent but ultimately a folly of a closed system which the mind inhabits. It thinks itself into oblivion, the trauma, taking shape in apparent visimilitude to the physical apparatus but instead shaped by the patterns wheeled in psychotic conflation. Our protagonist however is not mad but pursues an extension of himself as the physical universe so that the landscape and the things with in it are the objects of his neurosis. Ego and omnipresence are the real in there effect but the delusion and illusion are the very things which compel his thoughts
In all this is the image, the gothic, is the heightened neurotic architecture of the protagonist. To contrast this literary reality the comic is at first a stylistic representation of the characters and events. It serves not as literal device but as a conceit, to serve illustrative purpose, to inveigh the world in which the story inhabits. It’s place mirrors the marginal dictates of the world in providing a curious sense of plasticity in part due to the way it provides a malleable configuration of word into image. Its guise, however, becomes a singular experience which sides between contemplative abandon and transfiguration. It provides a separate reality in conjunction to the word and the Reader, a natural coded equivalence of time and space, which acts like an archaic form of geometry conjoining narrative and the real through the strip as if it were a stage like parenthesis. Fragments become abstractions, and abstractions the adumbration of ink on paper. The space between naturalistic and material equivalence becomes the point of convergence between thought and event, articulating at that moment.
This all suggests a stage of forms but the veracity of the language is dependent on a reflective relief between image and words. Each has it’s own sense but Where the mirror ends is within the space between the protagonist, the reader, the viewer, the author. The words set a picture which is yet to be framed and the image, fragments of narrative to be divulged. Each is it’s own theatrical conundrum, atrophied and superfluous made up only when the archaic subjective body is constituted as if it were a mosaic of consciousness. Fictions are the very words, images and patterns that convolute, protract, engage and embody existence. Materiality is just another form of mediation. A mental trick which turns the metaphysical into conditions of preambling determinism, rather than the possible figuration of forms and celestial geometries.