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Showing posts from July, 2012

The Occurence

Walter Sickert, The Camden Town Murder

  ( I consider Walter Sickert one of my favourite painters. Despair and despondence exert their tension through every rough-and-brisk brushstroke, whilst danger lurks. Sickert often capitalised on the outcome or aftermath of an incident, rather than detailing the narrative. Although outward emotions are shown, sentimentalism, I assume, is only playing a bit role in Sickert’s paintings. Therefore they often read more like non-fictions, but with the pathos of a Russian epic.)

As the lamplights grow dimmer each day the sign of an imminent end of everything looms. To economize what precious little the villagers have left, many of them were reduced to raw victuals. But supper is still an indispensible ritual of the day, despite how coarsely the contents are now rendered. When the last trail of a radiant sun is lost within the pervasive blue-grey of the sky, the men can be seen gathering about their equipments and heading home,…

Of Human Nature

* Francesca Woodman, Untitled

  ( Francesca Woodman’s photography is akin to performance art. The performers’ (repeatedly featuring the photographer herself) self-awareness is clear. But they often seem more compelled than voluntary to give their performance. Looking at Woodman’s photographs of bleak, unnerving drama I was immediately reminded of the typical interplay between an abductor-cum-masochist and his prey, in which the former will entertain himself by commanding the prisoner to put on various grotesque (often erotic) poses. It becomes obvious that Woodman was steeped in surrealist tradition, yet unlike Man Ray, the allegedly pivotal figure of surrealist photography, Woodman did not lean on photographic techniques to create the otherworldly effects. The photographs are rather realistic, but the narratives behind each shot are mostly beyond comprehension. Woodman’s work only becomes even more mysterious when she ended her life aged me…