Monday, March 28, 2005
Pick from Tate Modern
Brightly colored skulls pepper a shiny rock embankment at night. A large photograph appears to be of a real, life sized, subject. Full size rubber skulls and other toys amidst a craggy shore that calls to mind the Alaskan shore after the Exxon Valdez disaster. But then we realize the black waters are a garbage bag and the skulls and toys are tiny trinkets. It is a rich and deep image. And oddly (this is what is so captivating about it) is that our perception hovers between the two ways we see the picture; at once it is a still life diorama AND a life size real place.
From the reproduction posted here (off the Tate site) it doesn't nearly present the alarming fixity I was discussing. But regardless, this piece presents the viewer with an odd image that is difficult to work out. It's subject of skulls and toys on evil rocks is really beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. So it has the creepy cool/foreboding but pretty push pull going on. As an object, the size and presentation of it really make it all hold together and work. A perfect case for how even something like a photographic image, which can be printed and displayed in numerous ways still has must have a certain objecthood to be truly successful.