Two Collage Artists Meet
Out of the bafflement of the life I was given I developed an interest in magic early. When I was a child, mixing “magic potions” with everyday items and reading books on the occult I was convinced that the right combination of symbols and words could open the door to the supernatural.
Isn’t there magic in the world? I search for bits and pieces in what I see and read, vacuuming them up from other’s cast off tomes. These sources that have already had their life contain in them, sometimes, gems that are gently winking and shimmering among their brethren.
Out of heaps of black and white photographs printed on a HP card printer, shots made in and around Austin with a small digital camera, I have cut and transposed sections and details using scissors and glue stick composing sets and backgrounds somewhere between theater and reality. To these I have introduced pictures of friends who have individually collaborated as actors for camera. Over time they have become an ensemble or troupe within a range of work numbering more than twelve hundred compositions. Most of these pictures are five by seven inches and horizontal, as they are printed for this exhibition.
They might be stills retrieved from a film that went down with the Titanic. The narrative cannot be reconstructed. Each frame seems a tableau vivant; nude actors arrayed for a suspended moment on a set made of pieces recontexted from diverse places. A makeshift space for an obscure allegory supports a poetics of gestures and postures floated together in a dream. Cut and paste process sidesteps the certainties of waking life.
One set of these photomontages is unpeopled. The setting itself invites exploration. An imaginary architecture entered through a complex point of view would include you. As occupant, inhabitant, or guest you remain invisible while exploring or exploiting perceived opportunities.
The ruins of the future can be yours today. William Blake told us what is now proved was once only imagined. We live in the wreckage of intentions our ancestors manifested. The camera’s most arcane trick is to lift locale from itself, and us with it. We become ghosts having existence independent of impactedness in personal history, including proper identification and home address. If we are not already ghosts in our lives in the twenty-first century, we certainly long to be. Electronic media make it so whether we know it or not.
Two Collage Artists Meet