the present work
the work was intended to form part of the research for the phd and a way of translating the knowledge and experience gained in the ‘excavation’ of the west penwith ancient land-scape through irreducible observation and imaginative re-enactments – the forms the basis of practice project.
in dealing with archaic land-scapes it is important to remember to keep their order in primary focus. this conspicuous arrangement of objects – both in and of the land-scape in their closeness and at their horizon – involves a persistent irreducible observation. it involves placing this experience constantly into question through imaginative re-enactments, walking from one to another, looking for orientation seeing how these archaeological asseblages appear and disappear in the land-scape. watching the sun rising and setting out of the sea and plotting this against this field of action. ever alert of the movement between embodying conditions and the flash of insight – described by benjamin as telescoping the past through the present- in the form of a dialectical image.
allegorical contemplation [konstructive montage’s precursor] aims at the ruination of things so that it can, in its redemptive moment, construct [baun] a new whole out of the elements of the old. the character of this construction distinguishes it from the creative invention of fantasy, since it manipulates and rearranges pre-existing material. to leave an imprint or impression of this construction [konstruktion] is one of its aims.
photography. the camera is the perceptual instrument through which this world is opened up and provides knowledge of how to act with it, and aids insight and insures us an unexpected expanded field of of action (benjamin) this has ben a steady build up material and i’m only at the beginning of bringing this wealth of material into the work benjamin asserts that photography has the ability to bring thing close and place them to perceptual tests and lead to a deepening of apperception – the mind’s eye, through the camera, reconfigures things already experienced.
paint-works against this the paint works are intended to form one part of this active engagement in attempting a contemporary praxis that is ‘innervated’ by the prehistoric. to set penwith’s ‘primordial landscape’ against the grain of ‘modernist’ art practice
constellation. gathering up this material into a constellation – temporally to suspend thinking to allow a montage of past as embodied material (myth) = monuments in all their contexts and conditions = to present itself as a new synthesis, and open the work to new content and the potential to construct new meaning. to let this synthesis emerge through the work. the work shown here is the result of the first run at this mode of working and it is by its nature provisional it aims at the haptic-optic the touch as related to the eye and to say for this reason these images can only give a hint. in showing then i will only comment on the topic of the work.
finally… the persistence of memory revealed in penwith’s megalithic remains is a record of things strangely familiar, simultaneously ancient and modern. the work attempts a conspicuous and conscious juxtaposition of this material, its re-appropriation in new artefacts, forcing an anthropological time jump that attempts a reclamation of the present as strange, mythic and magical.
embedded land-scape. i’ve have become interested in what preceded the constructed stone monument and how these form a world that was as embedded and integrated as any that were created after. it was seen as an integrated landscape in which all its aspects, land form, water, trees, rocks and tors, animals, humans included were as important in shaping the land. all these aspects although not built monuments form the ‘supra-natural’ or super-natural that precedes them. as such they are the ur-forms of the first built stone monuments and are to understood aaas much ‘works’ in the land-scape as any that followed.
as such they form of the extended field that connect my/our world with theirs – the task is for this land-shaping to pass this present through that past.