David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

10 August 2016

Sitelines (Heide MoMA)

Natasha Johns-Messenger
uses your illusion at Heide

Robert Nelson
The Age (9 August 2016)

When I walk around Enfolder, there is always a man in front of me. When he gets to a corner, his twin momentarily appears in profile, but rapidly disappears. I never catch up with him. If I hasten, he also speeds up; if I tarry, he also lingers and has longer consultations with his twin at the corners.

You too, when you walk around this glassy ambulatory by Natasha Johns-Messenger, will encounter someone in front of you, a taciturn wanderer who is enigmatically duplicated at various moments and mysteriously preserves a regular distance in front of you. Actually, it is you, your image from behind who becomes your forerunner, the person whom you never see in the mirror. Your ghost from the rear leads you without a moment's contact.

 Natasha Johns-Messenger's Enfolder at Heide MoMA
 photo by Christian Capurro

This engaging work at Heide recalls Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte's painting Not to be reproduced, where a man looks in the mirror only to see the view from the back instead of the front. But the installation by Johns-Messenger is not a passive mirror upon a wall but a slick circular sculpture shaped like a Kugelhopf tin, the causeway of which clamps around your head and leads you on the vain chase for your double . . . . 
          Read the full review here
. . . . Reflection itself is a great metaphor as well as a physical reality. The mirror that Johns-Messenger holds up to space and subject-object relations is intriguing; but ultimately it's up to us to supply the last reflection of ourselves between appearance and reality.

 Natasha Johns-Messenger's Encircler at Heide MoMA
 photo by Christian Capurro                       
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...