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Which clippings match 'Obscured View' keyword pg.1 of 1
24 NOVEMBER 2013

Using the physical territory of a country as its own map

"'And then came the grandest idea of all! We actually made a map of the country, on the scale of a mile to the mile!' 'Have you used it much?' I enquired. 'It has never been spread out, yet,' said Mein Herr. 'The farmers objected: they said it would cover the whole country, and shut out the sunlight! So we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well.'"

(Lewis Carroll, 1893)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
18 NOVEMBER 2012

The Fallen Easel: an evocative and visually stylish provisionality

"John Baldessari's 1987 work titled The Fallen Easel is made up of nine framed panels containing fragmentary images that seem to add up as a complex non sequitur. The lone diagonal panel shows a grayscale screen print of an easel laying on the ground, while other panels show faces and hands that are sometimes obscured by ovals of bright flat colors. Clearly, we see a rebus of sorts, but its substitution of picture–fragments for a syllogistic circuit remains just outside of the grasp of routine readability. Mentally reassembling them does not help, and the narrative context that would enable the work to be analyzed in the manner of a dream is missing. We can only conclude that the relationship between the work's diverse elements is one of an evocative and visually stylish provisionality, but we remain haunted by it, for it keeps us coming back in search of the key that will unlock its beguiling mystery of allegorical displacements and substitutions. Yes, this is an update of a kind of surrealism, but there is something else going on here as well, something pertaining to the typical psychological distance created by mass media imagery striped of its pretense of narrative coherence. All at once, the linked histories of Surrealism, Pop Art, Conceptual Art and Postmodernism flash before our eyes. We are not in Kansas anymore, but is unclear exactly where we are or where anything else is for that matter."

(Mark Van Proyen, November 2009, art ltd. magazine)

Fig.1 John Baldessari (1987). "The Fallen Easel" colour lithograph and screenprint in five parts printed on paper and aluminium plates. Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer. Photo: courtesy of Legion of Honor Museum.

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TAGS

1987allegorical displacements • allegorical substitutions • allegory • beguiling mystery • colour lithograph • complex non sequitur • composition • compositional practice • conceptual art • diverse elements • easel • flat colourfragmentary • fragmentary images • framed panels • John Baldessari • Legion of Honor Museum • linked histories • mass media • narrative coherence • narrative context • non sequitur • not in Kansas anymore • obscured view • oval • picture fragmentspop artpostmodernism • pretense • print retrospective • provisional • provisionality • psychological distance • readability • rebus • routine readability • screenprintsurrealism • syllogism • syllogistic circuit • The Fallen Easel • unlock • visually stylish provisionality

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 OCTOBER 2012

Rosemarys Baby: editing through frame selection

"Rosemary's Baby is a 1968 American horror film written and directed by Roman Polanski, based on the bestselling 1967 novel by Ira Levin. ... Farrow plays an expecting mother who fears that her husband may have made a pact with their eccentric neighbours, believing he may have promised them the child to be used as a human sacrifice in their occultic rituals in exchange for success in his acting career."

(Zach James and Rich Raddon, Movieclips)

Fig.1 excerpt from "Visions of Light" (1992), Arnold Glassman, Todd McCarthy and Stuart Samuels [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105764/]

[Jump to 7:54 to see Polanski's skilful use of framing to heighten the audience's interest and sense of intrigue.]

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TAGS

1968 • anagram • apartmentbaby • Charles Grodin • child • cinematic frame • cinematographycompositioncultdemonic presencedevil • door frame • editing through selection • Emmaline Henry • expecting mother • frameframed by the windowframinghorror filmhousewife • human sacrifice • Ira Levin • John Cassavetes • Maurice Evans • Mia Farrow • mise-en-scenemysterious • narrative immersion • neighbour • obscured • obscured viewoccult • occultic ritual • pregnancy • pregnant • psychological horror • Ralph Bellamy • raperitual • Roman Polanski • Rosemary • Rosemarys Baby • Ruth Gordon • satan • Sidney Blackmer • tannis root • Visions of Light (documentary)visual designvisual intriguevisual perspective • William Fraker • window frame • witch • witchcraft

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 APRIL 2011

Onscreen discussion of the ontology of the photographic image

"The film commences with a fast moving introduction to the very stylish world of a hot fashion photographer, Thomas, played by that emblematic '60s actor, David Hemmings. This is the world made notorious by magazines like Tatler and Queen as well as all the tabloids of the world, all Pucci fashion, dolly birds (Jane Birkin made her name in this film), drugs, fast cars and rock–and–roll. ...

Throughout Blow Out and Blowup there is always a sense in which recording media themselves are seen as, somehow, treacherous. Antonioni's Blowup forcefully reminds us that even the latest technologies can mislead or betray us. In the computer age, it this remaining element of ontological uncertainty that still troubles the human observer–for we are not, quite yet, masters of information"

(Jonathan Dawson, February 2005, Senses of Cinema)

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TAGS

1960s1966 • Blow Out (1981) • Blow-Up (1966) • Carlo Ponti • casual sexcontextcoolcountercultureDavid Bailey • David Hemmings • diegetic sound • Edward Bond • fashionfashion modelfashion photographerfashion photography • fashion shoot • feature filmfilm grainHerbie Hancockhuman perception • Jane Birkin • John Castle • Julio Cortazar • layeringLondonmake-upMichelangelo Antonionimod fashionmurderobscured view • ontology of the photographic image • photographphotographer • photographers studio • photographic blow-upsphotographic image • Sarah Miles • Senses of Cinema (journal)sixtiessixties cool • swinging sixties • The Yardbirds • Tonino Guerra • transparency • transparent layers • truth of perception • Tsai Chin Gillian Hills • Vanessa Redgrave • Vera Grafin von Lehndorff-Steinort • Veruschka von Lehndorff • whole is other than the sum of the parts • young lovers

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
10 APRIL 2005

The index becomes more important than the territory it maps

"Jorge Luis Borges's story about a map which was equal in size to the territory it represented became re–written as the story about indexes and the data they index. But now the map has become larger than the territory. Sometimes, much larger. Porno Web sites exposed the logic of the Web to its extreme by constantly re–using the same photographs from other porno Web sites. Only rare sites featured the original content. On any given date, the same few dozen images would appear on thousands of sites. Thus, the same data would give rise to more indexes than the number of data elements themselves."

(Lev Manovich 2000, p.225)

Manovich, Lev (2001). Chapter 5: The Forms. "The Language of the New Media", MIT Press.

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