I’ve returned to the Frankenstein word drawings. I’m drawing on rice paper with water that’s been coloured with a very small amount of ink. The words are difficult to read, they interrupt the surface of the paper.
I’m developing a series of drawings for a new installation that will be part of The Memory Festival at the Roundhouse Community Centre in November. I drew words in many of my earlier installations, but not very often in recent years.
The work that’s most influenced this recent investigation is the text drawing I included in Lorna Brown’s Time Library as part of our SLOW exhibition at Centre A in 2010. That drawing was done with ink on rice paper, this time I’m using watercolour graphite. The drawings will be torn into narrow strips and pasted to the walls of the exhibition space at the Roundhouse. The fragments of text I use will be extracted from all of the other projects that are part of this year’s Memory Festival.
Whether or not the subject is already dead, every photograph is this catastrophe.
I reworked a piece I did a few months ago and showed it in the recent faculty show at Emily Carr University. I forgot to take a photo of the installation, so these are scans of the drawings I showed. They were done with brush and ink on rice paper. The faces are torn out of the larger sheet on which they were drawn. I used cellulose paste to glue them to the wall in a single line, approx 1.5 metres above the floor, with a few centimetres between each drawing.
As I removed the drawings from the wall yesterday parts of the rice paper were left attached to the wall. The scanned drawings reflect this damage and loss.
I’m interested in the psychoanalytic concept of a “reparative impulse” developed within the work of Melanie Klein and described by my pal cultural theorist Jeanne Randolph:
The reparative impulse is altruistic, generous, synthetic. It does not cast out what is impure or ruined. It restructures, reinterprets, illuminates the potential of the impure subject, object, idea or form. The reparative impulse attempts an integration of grief for the lost ideal with the desire to make good for injury done. Reparative action is the endeavour to restore. Rather than hiding the traces of damage, it integrates them with grief for the lost ideal and the remaining qualities of value.*
Details of JR, 2009
*From Jeanne Randolph’s “Influencing Machines: The Relationship Between Art and Technology,” in Psychoanalysis and Synchronized Swimming and other writings on art (Toronto: YYZ Books, 1991), 47.
Although I tried to procastinate again today, I realised my drawing arm just wasn’t working very well, so I surrendered and finished taking the rest of the Family (Yoon) drawings off the wall. Taking down an installation is the least interesting part of my studio practice, but I amused myself by making 34 stacks of each of the faces on my desktop. I also created a single stack with all 680 faces (storage obviously isn’t a problem for me). I’m using a detail of this stack as my new image header (at the top of my blog).