Scans from Prints 74

 Medals for the Gladiator, (i), Berriedale, Orkney, 1984. Platinum-palladium print on 100% cellulose paper (Van Gelder simili japon) from original 18x24cm inch negative.

This is the first (left-hand) part of a diptych. I’ll post the right-hand part tomorrow.

These, along with the recently posted and early ‘Campsite for the Non-Citizen’ photographs, anticipated a later group of works by that same name. And all of these arose from a troubling (to me) sense of a kind of civil order that began to bud with the Reagan/Thatcher era. The West’s reaction to 9-11, the rise of fundamentalist and populist/nationalist  undertows, and this latest madness with the Trump administration, along with neoliberal interludes merrily danced to by centrist, so-called lefties leaves me feeling more in sync with images like the one above than ever before.

There was a time when I really thought this work was fanciful and mannered. Now, I am left scratching my head and wondering how could I have ever done this, and where did it come from. It speaks the kind of truth that only oracles are privileged with, and only occasionally singes the rest of us. I’m burning.

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4 Comments

  1. I have to say I’m liking this series of work, very much my thing. It reminds me that I first noticed your work in the “Through the Looking Glass” catalogue (1989), a piece from Lessons for a Shaman.

    Not keen on the use of “be-gingered” though — the deprecation of, um, physical characteristics, whether natural or acquired, does not raise the level of debate, imho, even if it does feel like turning the tables. There’s a very wise and funny song by Tim Minchin called “Prejudice”, centred on a word, offensive to a minority, containing the letters R,E, G, G, I, and N… It turns out to be “ginger”.

    Mike

  2. Thank you for this! I’ll write more in response to your fondness for the series, and the images themselves. For now, I just want to say, sorry! I agree. The word is offensive and does not help. So, apologies to all, and with that, I will take the liberty of removing it rather than redacting it. I always look forward to your comments, Mike!

  3. It’s an irresistible urge, I know, and one we alI have to fight, given the amount of abuse that comes from the other direction…

    btw, that Tim Minchin song is well worth a listen, if you don’t know it, and there’s a great live performance on Youtube here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVN_0qvuhhw

    Mike

  4. Love the Minchin song! Thanks for introducing me to it!

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