An hundred years of Dada has left art audiences understandably afraid t merely read an artwork itself without consulting an accompanying text. Having borne the brunt of the joke for an entire century has not been so conducive to confidence en connaissant in the viewer. Recognising this, we shall endeavour in this place to offer for those viewers who wish to read them, from time to time, our musings, philosophising’s, and other gerund verbs. Our Viewer shall never be required to consult the Text in order to read the Work, but from time to time, a verbal supplement upon the visual tongue can be of aedifice.
Tiresias happ’ning across Pallás
In buff abathing won himself the curse.
Actaeon follow’d suit with Artemis
And was devour’d by dogs, his own, guts first.
The cursed one tried warning Pentheús
Before it was too late to no avail.
The suff’ring one was torn limb from limb thus
As punishment to dare to don the veil.
And Clodius in turn repeats this sin,
Profaning rites of Maya undeserv’d;
He who transvests insults forbears and kin,
The death of their republic’s now assur’d.
So think before you put on petticoats,
There’s more than one way goddesses demote
We’ve recently formulated a vernacular to describe our work in general; We’re calling it, “Optical Formalism”. People understand what Formalism is. They understand what Optics are. The works generally address formalist concerns of the picture plane, but whereas Formalists proper reject naturalist illustration in an attempt to preserve the aesthetic experience from the viewer’s metonymy, We’re playing with that metonymy as a means to invite the viewer to stay with the work and have that aesthetic experience. And so for us, if we’re making a still-life, then the objects upon the tableau have been placed there for purely formal reasons.
We are interested in notions of trace, both as a physical gesture and as an historical one. We see art as a tradition, with its conventions, that goes through fashions. Right now the fashion is to delight in subversion. So as a formalist, how do we subvert expectations of subversion? Well, if the conventions have been abjected, then convention’s adoption becomes a subversive act. Subversion of subversions; iconoclasta iconoclastarum. The shock value of such work is tosignal to our elder keepers of the tradition that they’re the Empire, not the Rebellion, such that they may finally allow us to pass through the gates and into the guild.
The ambivalence of a term like “optical formalism” also illustrates well, we believe, that ambivalent desire we do have to both critique and to join this tradition. Yes, you are all old fart-smelling candle-blowers. But we like to smell our own farts, too – and we promise we got some whiffers for you if you only do acquiesce to our siege. Yep, we are jaded and do have a bad attitude. If that’s the justification, reading this far into the ugly context and then just forgetting the beautiful work, then you’ve abdicated the tradition to us. Thank you, kindly.
* Yes, We are going to call this a dark age and just carry on as if that’s not a big deal.
Addressing our dark age would be a whole ‘nother essay of its own. For our purposes, it shal suffice to simply gesture towards any corrupted hard-drive or depleted battery.