IRIS IS A TORSO

 

 

Iris is a torso.  As you might have noticed there are endless versions of linear torsos throughout my work, hardly ever a full human body. 

 

The body fragments, (head, hand, torso, legs) came into my work from the beginning together with the buildings fragments: the ruins, the Bauhaus fragments, the settlers units, the communes, the cities, the landscapes bits and pieces… the whole mapping thing.

 

At a certain point, in the 80's, there was in Frankfurt a big museum exhibition called – I think – The Body and the Fragment, and in it anything from ancient Greece to Pop… Rodin's Iris was there, and it was very striking in its being both a fragment and a whole unto itself. Needless to say; it was also a chosen fragment, not a historical beautiful accident.

 

  Of course, Rodin was not the first to choose a fragment, not in history and not in the FFM show, but of the many examples to what had become of the fragment once it was made a deliberate choice, the Iris sculpture was for me simply extraordinarily brilliant, perfect, captivating and enigmatic.

 

Wholeness of the partial, or vise versa has been a central issue in my extreme linear/contoured drawings before I saw her. The question itself has almost always been a question of Sculpture, not of Painting or Drawing. I made of it a question of a line. 

 

The main thing is the deep difference in the conception of volume and envelope in drawing and in sculpture. (I say this, particular linear one, mine, completely devoid of shadowing)  .

 

So I have been always preoccupied with my one-line 'objects'/'non-objects' until later they became traces of a real act, sorts of 'beings'??, or events??  Or how should I name these whole-parts, both planer-flat, and yet always attesting to 'real' volumes, tried on paper, learned by heart, executed blindfold?   

 

Iris was no exception to my old tasks, except the additional sharp aspect of movement suggested in this fragment and the extremity of both skeletal (anatomical) and surface (material) tensions.

I studied the sculpture. I went to this museum and did round tour drawings (classical copies in different media; sanguine, pencils, chalks, water-colors etc', just to understand Rodin better).  After that, I continued with my regular schedules: only contours, only one-line, correcting only from former drawing, abandoning anatomy, abandoning all former drawings, closing my eyes to perform her blindfold, once again, and then again and again, doing this or that aspect (angel)  of the infinite angles composing Iris in my hand/memory/and own body.

 

As for Iris sexuality:

   Of the many things Rodin and Balzac share, it is clear that erotics belongs with rhetoric long before it is any property of an object 'seen'; it is the act of the writer or the sculptor in and on the material, their 'touch' so to speak. I am devoted to this old notion of high Modernism, forever, probably, even with my dry, chalky, no sugar, no-fat, reduced and minimalized one-line creatures.

 

I think many of my blindfold Iris drawings (especially in the wall-work Der Betrachter, [look in the green book) often become a visage, a distorted one, the countenance of which often painful. I draw fast, so it is not planned or intended in any way, but so it appears.   

 

Yes, I think I read the Diderot reference you mention, is it called: The letter on the blind?

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