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Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Billy William III

Indeed. Previous posts have mentioned the viscosity of flesh and the distortion of the body and the disgust with which people behold it. They have touched on the veneer of respectability and rationality we slather over the supparating masses of flesh that ultimately is the human condition, the bad faith and false consciousness that has us denying the stench and decay essential to our decomposing organic states.

So I should be posting something on John Coplans or Jenny Salville, perhaps return to the contortions of Roger Ballen or the examinations in pain of Doctor Killian or go to the pseudo-scientific experiments of Duchenne or a hundred other physician-photographers and their dark arts of discovering exactly what lies under our skin, and will one day emerge out of it.

But instead we'll return to Bacon's horror of "the meat on the plate" and feature the bones and spleens of Billy William III, the filthiest butcher in town and side-kick of the irrepressible Mr Gum, anti-hero of the fabulous series of books by Andy Stanton.


Darrell Eager said...

Should not Joel Peter Witkin be part of this discussion?

colin pantall said...

He could be but I'm not mad keen on his work, so I'm not introducing it.

Have you seen the Vile Bodies series on photography, Darrell. It's a series of documentaries from the 1990s on taboos in photography - kids, death, ageing, and the damaged body. Features Jenny Saville, John Coplans, Andres Serrano, Sally Mann amongst others - great stuff.

Darrell Eager said...

I did a workshop with Witkin several years ago perhaps his last, but enjoyed him. One of the worlds best printers by far.
My taste does'nt really include the likes of Vile body's. My taste is more toward Roger Ballen and Larry Clark.
I don't like the aftermath it's the uncertainty and danger,the on edge of Ballen and Clarks work that I find interesting

colin pantall said...

Ballen's the man. I like your uncertainty comment because that's always how I feel about him, but I always come round to his way of seeing and being in the end.