The futility of the creative process: scribbling, scraping, re-scribbling, inverting, wiping, dismembering, re-inverting, erasing and again erasing to finally coax images from the brute stupidity of colored dust is hardly compensated by any show of gratitude on the part of these images. Instead they threaten at any moment to dissolve or re-congeal, to stop pretending and reveal the hoax. At best they dust themselves down and loudly proclaim themselves to be clichés, outdated symbols, all too obviously archetypal.
Eschewing their creator’s methodology these images that yet fresh images can’t seem to beget disown the type of originality that might be scoured from the depths of a post-Freudian unconscious, the notion that behind or beneath their appearance there might be a latent content,- what do they care about ‘latent content’? Instead they enact a drama out of the failure of these very expectations albeit at the expense of some of their creator’s most cherished ideals.
Like Hari, the mind-born heroine of Tarkovsky’s “Solaris” they demonstrate remarkable self-awareness, they seek to know themselves and their ultimate ontological status. They wonder if they are “real people” or just the mental chimeras of the artist, if they are constrained by the conventions of a pictorial language or whether than have achieved a measure of autonomy.
These images, now clearly personalities, comprehend their own iconographic precedents and exploit them. The children of Saturn start to bite back, Venus disfigures herself to avoid being stereotyped and the God of Michelangelo’s ceiling refuses to acknowledge his creation and absconds through the upper edge of the picture. The artist himself receives rough treatment, transformed into a piano playing pig-fox hybrid in “Cadenza” and a defunct generalissimo in “Chronos”.
Paradoxically the images’ self-doubt is also their self-awareness and their story ceases to be a fantasy of their creator’s unconscious, and becomes an autonomous universe, in which they are to a large extent the authors of their own destiny, seeking the hand of God in unlikely situations, only to demonstrate his superfluity. For the artist it is left only to wonder if these personalities themselves have an unconscious, (individual or collective) from which they might create their own images and if those in turn might also be similarly endowed, thus creating generations of nested worlds each charting the artistic Odyssey of its predecessors.
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