"We have long been familiar with the power of the Chinese to balance colours, but we were not so well acquainted with their power of treating purely ornamental or conventional forms ; and in the chapter in the Grammar of Ornament on Chinese Ornament I was led, from my then knowledge, to express the opinion that the Chinese had not the power of dealing with conventional ornamental form : but it now appears that there has been a period in which a School of Art existed in China of a very important kind. We are led to think that this art must in some way have had a foreign origin; it so nearly resembles in all its principles the art of the Mohammedan races, that we may presume it was derived from them. It would be no difficult task to take a work of ornament of this class, and, by simply varying the colouring and correcting the drawing, convert it into an Indian or Persian composition. There is of course, in all these works, something essentially Chinese in the mode of rendering the idea, but the original idea is evidently Mohammedan. The Moors of the present day decorate their pottery under the same instinct, and follow the same laws as the Chinese obeyed in their beautiful enamelled vases. The Moorish artist takes a rudely-fashioned pot or other object, and by a marvellous instinct divides the surface of the object, 'by spots of colour, into triangles of proportionate area, according to the form and size of the object; these triangles are then crossed by others."
(Owen Jones, 1867)
Owen Jones (1867). "Examples of Chinese Ornament Selected from Objects in the South Kensington Museum and Other Collections: By Owen Jones. One Hundred Plates", S. & T. Gilbert, 4 Copthall Buildings, E.C. Back of the Bank of England.
"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.
"Playing the role of scientist, [Thomas] Allen enlists mid 20th-century books on the natural phenomenon of science(astronomy, physics, electricity, biology) and presents his research as if through the eyes of his 8-year old daughter. How would she understand and portray these theories and absolutes of science?
Allen's signature use of cutting and repurposing book illustrations has not vanished. Instead of the pulp fiction genre, Allen plays with 50's era versions of clean cut youths and domesticated moms. His unmistakable talent for creating the illusion of 3D in photography with his deft cuts and crimps, establishes a magical world in which a boy and girl play tag creating their own kind of electricity, a milkman makes a very special delivery in space, young toughs play marbles with the solar system and a mother busily sews her own version of 'string theory.'"
(Foley Gallery, 2012, New York NY)
Fig.1 Bearings, 2012. Fig.2 Eclipsed, 2012.
"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.]
Majestic Micro Movies: Lloyd Fonvielle, James Lester, Kendra Elliot, Joe Griffin and Jae Song.