Sunday, January 25, 2009

Opposable thumbs...

Yet more gems in The Australian as Christopher Allen discusses the work of Rosalie Gascoigne at the NGV.
...the crux of the aesthetic experience lies in recognising the image simultaneously as the representation of something in the world and as an object made of pigments, or lines and washes of ink, or coloured pieces of stone and glass.

The aesthetic meaning ... lies in the ineffable tension and vibration between the patches and lines and strokes and the figure evoked; it consists in the way we see the material form become the subject, without ceasing to be itself.

To make something into something else is an act of understanding, as when reasoning shapes intuitions into a coherent structure of ideas and words.

These principles, fundamental to an understanding of Gascoigne's work, are epitomised in the early assemblage 'Grove' (1984) ... Could anything be, on the face of it, less like a grove of trees? ... It is from such distance and unlikeness that likeness surprisingly arises.

Then later...
It was this [Ikebana] training that sharpened her sense of the aesthetic qualities of things and power of assemblage. And Chinese and Japanese theories of painting are more familiar than our own with the idea that a brush mark can become a rock or a leaf while remaining a brush mark.

One of a Kind
Christopher Allen
The Weekend Australian
January 24-25, 2009.

I'm not sure what triggered it, although the article definitely helped, but I've fallen for the idea of exploring an approach with photography as a form of conceptual assemblage. This is not the same of the phenomena of the found but rather explores the idea of that which is imaged as brush as opposed to being an object or collection thereof.

There is an extra element when compared to the work of Gascoigne - the photographer would make the boxes, then destroy them and then reassemble them again - but nonetheless, the approach is as much about manipulating that which you have into what you want via the tools available.

The thoughts are a bit scattered at the moment - as you may have noticed! - but I will sit down and work out a better explanation of what I mean over the next week or so.

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