I love Hoda Afshar's portraits and videos from Manus Island (it's Australia's Refugee Devil's Island - you go in but you n...
Tuesday, 17 November 2015
My Eyes Are Bleeding!
Oh dear, I've got a headache coming on from looking at the darned computer screen for too long. Let's rest my eyes a little by letting them scan across the pages of a nice and soothing photobook.
How about this one? A Plastic Tool by Maya Rochat. This should do the trick.
Just open the pages and arrgghh,,,, my eyes! my eyes! They're bleeding!
OK, I exaggerate but not too much. A Plastic Tool is not a book of quiet photographs. If you want to be sure of buying a book that isn't quiet, this is the one. It's a Spinal Tap of a book where all the visual levels go up to 11, with pictures that makes the pictures in Bye Bye Photography or A Language to Come seem positively pastoral in comparison.
A Plastic Tool is something of an experiment in printing, so there's a reason for all the noise. The basic idea is that Rochat is taking '...us into her own universe, a world mainly concerned with her immediate surroundings, tinged with mystery and blurring the boundaries between fiction and reality. Working with different media and materials, her work forms a vast web of intertwined images whose energy disturbs our habitual codes of interpretation and perception.'
No kidding. I have no idea what is happening in this beyond a general uneasiness to do with body mud, strange collages and gloomy interiors made merry with the full Rochat treatment. Other things disturbing our habitual codes of interpretations and perceptions are the range of print technologies on offer - offset, stencil print and silkscreen all figure so there's a 'unique materiality'. It's tactile in other words, there's a three dimensional element to it.
It's abstract expressionist, riso-coloured, oil-textured, mud-splattered and much, much more. I don't know quite what to make of it. I haven't got a clue what's going on.
One thing's for sure though. Rochat is playing it safe with this one. She's giving it a go. And as always, that's probably a good thing. I think.
Buy the Book Here
A Plastic Tool, Maya Rochat