The Long View

ihet october / november  2017 issue 230

When being kind, I regard my propensity to acquire random junk, as collecting. It’s an infatuation fed through impulse and curiosity, stilted toward harvesting discarded mechanical and industrial minutiae.

The reason I’m bring this up . . . I was attempting to implement a method for organizing my confused jumble of things . . . but what actually happened was an exercise linking the bits and pieces together into a celebration of imagined histories.  Here they are . . . The Monuments. Top Left. Monument for a Machine Painting the End of Time and a Hole to Fall Into. In commemoration of artificial nostalgia, this piece was the first official Monument and established the format for the series as theatrical vignettes. The vintage frame and interior images are photographs mounted on board. The frame stand was assembled with machine parts harvested from dental devices. A photograph taken in 2011 from the Paulina “L” stop on Chicago’s Brown Line, provides the backdrop. All Monuments are presented on an eight by ten inch panel.

Top right. Monument for Into the Wild.  In commemoration of the domestication of the natural world. (with thanks: Salvador Dali Riding In A Goat Cart).  The monument is constructed from locally harvested woods, a billiard ball, chain, brass wire, nylon replica of a quail egg, and bottle cap, on glass.  A photo of vintage paint by number, provides the backdrop.

Bottom Left. Monument for a Prime. In commemoration of organizational obsessions . A number five pool ball and cast metal obelisk balanced on a plinth of lacquered wood, glass, and map cube. The backdrop is a photograph of the prime number list I use to assign numerical designations to specific paintings.

Bottom Right. Monument to the Repudiation of Science. In commemoration of a future of the past. A quail egg with drawn elements, dental machine parts, steel ball bearing and painted wood. The backdrop photo was taken while traveling south on I10 toward Tucson.

It’s not all nuts and bolts, tongue in cheek, or just plain fun . . . the last couple of paintings are killing me. Attempts at progress are abominations. Hopeful in their application, disaster in their effect. A series of events painful yet familiar and reluctantly welcome.  It’s harbinger of change, and as the struggle goes on, I know for certain, this will pass.

Meanwhile, no sense letting the good bits go to waste.

It’s idle hands rendered in black and white, plus this detail, scaled down, reprinted, cut out, and applied. The garden of my secret life reimagined as landscape with beet stems and ribbons of paper, eclipsed by premonitions of transformation.

Thanks for reading.

Charles.

click here – To read November’s entries in the 1999 project piece It Happens Every Tuesday.