Sunday, October 2, 2011

Veruschka and Bolin

Last week, Natalie shared images of Saint Angelo's work with the model Veruschka. These images were very much about the body in the landscape, a theme she explored much more deeply in her own artwork. A few images follow and more can be found on her website. I wonder if the Chinese artist Liu Bolin (pictured at the end of the post), took inspiration from her work. The following quote by Susan Sontag, part of which is quoted on Veruschka's site is affecting:

Susan Sontag
From Fragments of an Aesthetic of Melancholy


Because, first of all, they are a compendium of desires – contrasting, contradictory, impacted, immobilizing.
The desire to become fully visible, to be seen (at last) as one is, to be honest, to be unmasked.
The desire to hide, to be camouflaged. To be elsewhere. Other. The desire to impersonate someone else, but that is not other enough. The desire to escape from a merely human appearance: to be an animal, not a person, an object (stone? wood? metal? cloth?), not a person, to be done with personhood.
The desire to be emblematic. Impervious to age and the distress of flesh.
The desire to accede to the ruins of time, to be reconciled with the depredations of time, to become a ruin.
The desire to punish the self. The desire to place no aim before that of gratifying it.
The desire to dissolve the self into the world, the desire to reduce the world to matter, something one can inscribe oneself on, sink into, be saturated with. The desire to compete with one’s own image, to become image, artifact; art; form….
The desire to be stripped down, to be naked, to be concealed, to disappear, to be only one’s skin, to mortify the skin, to petrify the body, to become fixed, to become dematerialized, a ghost, to become matter only, inorganic matter, to stop, to die.

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