'Ephemeral' 005 - Deconstructing a Painting!

Making a video is a time consuming business – so in the interim, and as a useful diversion, I decided to apply some of the ideas that have emerged so far, to one of my paintings.

This is what I constructed as the ‘narrative’:

There are many philosophies available to us when trying to make sense of our existence. The most compelling for me is post-structuralism which concludes that the world we individually perceive is a construction based on language and discourse.
I guess that most of my art plays around with this idea to some greater or lesser extent.
This painting was certainly made with uncertainty as the central idea.
[a] I postulated that there was no way of knowing what had caused the furtive glance, no amount of research, history, deduction, speculation, science, or whatever, could penetrate the subjectivity of someone else.
[b] I painted it on glass to represent the dichotomy between common sense ideas of transparency and the opaque nature of ‘reality’.

However, I soon realised that grand artistic ideas are one thing – but the practicalities of having dangerous glass sitting in my workshop, just waiting to be broken was another. I toyed with the idea of photographing it, then smashing it, photographing it again and then calling it a diptych. I like the idea of fragile, ephemeral art – it is a metaphor for life and everything else. (in addition, it would satisfy my health and safety needs!)
I have recently started an art project on the theme of ‘ephemeral’ – so now seemed like a good time to find a brick………

Before I dropped the brick – I had a think about what it could represent. I soon had an expectation of what it would look like – and the result would be a fusion of Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Michael Foucault.
The classical physics? “Energy cannot be created or destroyed”, it would simply be in a different form – entropy is the principle of increasing complexity – splintered glass is certainly entropic!
The modern physics? E=Mc2. Matter is simply a form of energy. The unity of the painting would dissipate into separate packages of energy.
The French philosopher? The exercise of power creates resistance. Even when the power is highly concentrated and unified, resistance will occur. It may be highly dissipated and difficult to identify – but it will exist. The painting would continue to resist in a highly dissipated form. It would not simply disappear.
I dropped the brick:

Not exactly what I had in mind – but that is what resistance looks like I suppose!
I then took the second (diptych) photograph – this was the final time it would resemble a ‘painting’ or ‘close proximity art object’.

Mindful of the resistance and the even greater threat to health and safety, I donned my gloves and swept it into a cardboard box.

Out of sight – quite ironic for an object whose identity relied on being visible.

Our final parting of the ways.
Gone – but glass takes a long time to decompose! so the wrapped up (pent up) energy could well turn up in a landfill (I know not where) many centuries from now.

I therefore thought this stage was complete…….. until Kafka suggested that it might have been an interesting idea to display the broken glass (between two separate pieces of glass) as an art object.
Therefore, the trigger was there to move it to another stage.
The ‘glass’ stage has been and gone – but the display of the shattered glass certainly appealed. The distinctive property of the original painting (and ultimately the cause of its demise) was its material existence – so the next logical step was to transfer the ‘art’ to the virtual world of the digital image.

So I isolated it digitally:

Then I pasted it onto the original – to achieve the superimposed diptych

Then I played around for an hour or so – and finally settled on a ‘floating’ version. This can represent its continued (but shattered) existence and its ongoing journey through time and space.

This is now the official ‘furtive glance’ – well, until it changes again.

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