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Jm it's a lens but it's dark and i think i see it as marking a problem for the eye, for the gaze. it seemed to be a sort of moebius object that acts to both shield the eye and absent it from the other, to protect it, allow it to see, and create a barrier to vision. it depends on whether you position yourself behind the lens or in front of it, viewing, being viewed. However instead of richocheting or funnelling the gaze, the lens here acts more like a black hole. And then there is the lens and its identification with a whole historical world-view. FW personally, i’m again reminded of those objects in the banquet still lifes that also reveal the reflections of the artists who painted them. there’s an important article by celeste Brusati on these reflections entitled ‘stilled lives: self-portraiture and self-reflection in seventeenth-century netherlandish still-life painting’.5 Jm i tend towards the idea that all art production contains a portrait of the person who made it, no matter how seemingly documentary the approach. Reflecting takes many forms.

Further information on the artist is available at www.janicemcnab.com 1 2 3 4 5

Schama, Simon 1987 The Embarrassment of Riches. London: Fontana. p.161. Kristeva, Julia 1984 Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection. New York: Columbia university Press. Creed, Barbara 1993 The Monstrous Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis. Oxford: Routledge. Foucault, michel 2001 ‘Las meninas’ in The Order of Things: An Archeology of the Human Sciences. Oxford: Routledge. Brusati, Celeste 1990 Stilled Lives: Self-Portraiture and Self-Reflection in Seventeenth-Century Netherlandish Still-Life Painting. Simlolius: Netherlands Quarterly for the History of Art, 20 (2/3), pp.168-182.

AmBiguOuS PRACtiCES 69

Still Life: Ambiguous Practices Exhibition Catalogue  

Catalogue by Frances Woodley

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