Towards a Terminal Degree
Get the hell down wi't it!
I like how some of these are set in a space of confession &/or interrogation. But what emerges for me in the top and bottom images is not an ordered, coherent self. Instead of a readable narrative, instead I encounter organs detached from their usual orientation and function, a self that isn't so much a self as a, a what? A conjunction of processes and and changes? An assemblage of impulses (the twitching leg) and receptivities (the scrotal-like hair, so open to the air that nonetheless doesn't stir). Is the round image of sky surrounded by foliage an homage to that church ceiling by an Italian painter whose name I can't remember?The more time I spend with these, the more interesting things I find going on.
In many of these the pit has some attraction as a refuge from the unrelenting clarity of the light.I like how the figures hover (or in some cases totter) between the gravity well of darkness (which, for me, is also kind of rectal)and the unrelenting light. Though the sky circle and cage of symbols, etc. introduce other avenues--at least of vision, if not motion.There's an essay somewhere by Leo Bersani called "Is the Rectum A Grave?" that this makes me want to dig up and reread, though I wouldn't want to overpush or insist on the resonances between pit / gravity well / & orifice.
The ceiling fresco I was thinking of is Andrea Mantegna's"Camera degli Sposi." So many of these images are about containment: closed intestine-like loops, static cages and bookcases, bodily oscillations that move without progression through space. All suspended between a relentless light and a devouring hole. I think the fresco-like circle interested me because it seemed to offer another perspective, though perhaps not trajectory. Looking at these is leading me back to Deleuze on Bacon. Not because your work seems especially indebted to Bacon, but because Deleuze's account gives me new tools to think.