Thursday, January 31, 2013

{NEW YORK: Partial installation view of “R.S.V.P. I” by Senga Nengudi.}

{“R.S.V.P. I,” 1977 (panty hose and sand) by Senga Nengudi at MoMA in New York.}

pelts + skin

{my work in progress, deer pelt with office clips}
Bodies in a crowd, buildings in a city
What it looks like to be in an airplane and looking down
Deep phenomenological experience, birds eye view
There’s a different order of things – I am so familiar with maps, costumes, and the body. Possibility of projecting knitting onto buildings.
The pelt is shocking, unpredictable. Pelts are more intractable, physically hard to deal with. Already was an animal. A specific smell. It was an animal, it wasn’t for a human to wear, it is the thing it is. Different from clothing patterns in that way, clothing patterns have become a metaphor for human skin to me, but still there is that step of removal. The pelt is the thing it is/was.
System generated modes of working, finding meaning in making
With the map I was figuring out LA, putting an order on something confusing/abstract to me.
Challenge myself more. Skills, ideas, materials, systems.
Hunting is shocking, the volume, when you do it/ see it. Male competitiveness.
Deer: crowds, herds, another kind of collectivity than maps or patterns or city planning. Another kind of collective, another animal, another thing. A world that mirrors ours but is not ours. Another system governing it. Another brain. If one them dies, do they notice? Do they know when its hunting season? Deer’s social organization.
Taxidermy enterprise. Gruesomely fascinating. Bad taxidermy, lumpy.
{Peter Friedl, "The Zoo Story," 2007 - taxidermied giraffe that died due to bombing shock in a Palestinian zoo}
Peter Friedl, taxidermied giraffe, armature made out of 2x4s, crude, wrong. Act of love for the giraffe, beautiful failure. Memorial, travesty, layered.
Importing African animals, Axis deer found in sri lanka, India. Hunting exotic animals. Arid, limited water, Texas looks like Africa.
Chinese artist, taxidermied wolves.
Important that it isn’t the representation of the thing, but a trace of the thing. More intractable, heavier somehow. Messier, even though its cleaned up, there’s a weight to it. There’s a charge to this. Tell us something. Is the X carved into the pelt common to all of them? Skill involved in killing, shooting an animal.
A taxidermist would know where it was shot, the story, like an autopsy. Reading tree rings. Its not neutral like a mass produced map or a pattern; a specific animal. Like how a specific piece of wood comes from a specific tree. Or a fingerprint.
Rituals, putting a piece of grass in the mouth, rest in piece gesture. Beautiful, where did this ritual come from? Blood cross on the forehead for first kill.
Intimacy of interacting with the pelt.
Breckage film, ‘the act of seeing with ones own eyes’, autopsy, morgues. It takes only one  corpse to abstract it.

1 comment:

  1. hi sivie i wanted to write to you about what someone told me yesterday. they told me that for a long time nobody had actually read any of the Roman poet n philosopher, Lucretius, but had only read about him through like Dante n Petrarch n Ovid and other later Italian poets or something of that sort. but eventually some sort of pupil or somebody suddenly brought everyones attention to these pieces of vellum (calfskin) that Lucretius had written stuff on.. but, to the person that was telling me about this, the more interesting part about finding these pieces of vellum Lucretius had written on was that there was a part of the animal skin that looked like some sort of blemish, i.e. a part of the material that wasn't written on because it wasn't a flat enough surface. upon looking closer it was apparent that it was actually a wound the animal had received at some point, possibly even the wound that lead to its skin being translated into vellum. anyways... even more interestingly is that it was apparent that either Lucretius or one of his pupils had actually doodled around the blemish... kind of allowed their writing tool to explore the wound.. a gestural rather than communicative act... or rather reading the wound instead of writing on the skin. I just thought you might like if I wrote you this in relation to your deer pelt which I like so much!