Thursday, 2 February 2012

Field Study's Man in E17 frottages reflexively

Photographic detail from Work Book 1994

While on a pilgrimage of sorts in 1994, I witnessed a car strike a bird. The unfortunate creature had no chance and tumbled dead to the ground close to where I walked. The bird was still warm when I picked it up, wrapped it in a tissue, put it my pocket and continued my journey.

Later I set about making a visual diary of the journey in the form of a collage to a fellow mail artist. One element of the collage is a 'frottage' - after a technique explored by the surrealist, Max Ernst. I made a photocopy of the hat I wore while making that walk and placed it on the outstretched corpse of the bird, the joints of which had all ready, just a few hours later, begun to set to rigor mortis.

Taking a scouring pad I gently rubbed at the photocopied paper to gradually reveal the skeletal remains and perhaps spirit of the little creature. I then treated the frottage with vegetable oil rubbing it firmly and sparingly into the paper. The bird brain image formed part of an attempt at a darkly comic homage.   

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