Monday 6 February 2017

Patricia Piccinini

When it comes to art I'm quite traditional. I admire classic oil paintings of landscapes, representational portraits of people and statues of famous kings and queens etc. That being said I'm not averse to some non-naturalistic styles. Shamanic and psychedelic art fascinates me; painters like Neil Hague, Pablo Ameringo, and Alex Grey However I draw the line at dirty beds, dead cows and crucifixes in urine. Those famous "exhibits" are some of the milder horrors that lie within the deepest darkest vaults of the Tate Modern. I'm afraid I consider such works tasteless and meaningless. However occasionally a post-modern artwork comes along that makes me take a second look. Patricia Piccinini is a sculptress from Australia who not only has genuine talent, but produces creations that are remarkably thought-provoking; if no less macabre than her second-rate contemporaries. Her sculptures sometimes portray horrific surreal mutant figures; often human body parts arranged in a grotesque way. Seedling (2015) is a good example, see: Often she'll show strange animals that appear to be hybrids of two or more species, very often including human, like The Young Family (2002) The most disturbing of all Piccinini's images are ones which depict these aberrations alongside natural human figures such as Doubting Thomas (2008), and The Carrier (2012)

In 2016 Patricia Piccinini was employed by the Transport Accident Commission of Victoria as part of their "Towards Zero" campaign; to reduce road traffic accidents to the lowest figure they could achieve and make the roads as safe as possible. She had to imagine what the human body would look like if evolutionary natural selection over many generations favoured the ability to survive car crashes. The result was Graham (2016) This being is barely recognizable as human. It has an extremely robust frame, no neck and probably has bigger, thicker bones than natural humans. Such anatomy is necessary to withstand the forces of high-speed road collisions. It reminds me of a TV anti-smoking advert I saw as a child that gave me nightmares; the "world's first natural born smoker", see: I wonder where Patricia Piccinini gets her inspiration from. According to the Art Gallery of South Australia: "Piccinini vividly recalled a simultaneous revulsion and fascination at the time of her first foray into pseudo-eugenics when she created a lump-like creature from raw pigskin... While the impetus to experiment with the creation of synthetic life forms remains... (she) has an ambivalent attitude towards technology and she uses her artistic practice as a forum for discussion about how technology impacts upon life. She is keenly interested in how contemporary ideas of nature, the natural and the artificial are changing our society. Specific works have addressed concerns about biotechnology, such as gene therapy and ongoing research to map the human genome. She is also fascinated by the mechanisms of consumer culture." Does she know that, according to many witnesses and whistleblowers from secret government scientific facilities, entities similar to the ones she depicts actually exist? For example at the alleged Dulce Base, see: I know the existence of Dulce is highly questionable; however organizations like Project for the New American Century talk quite openly and seriously about the theoretical use of biotechnology for their purposes, see: Whatever the government talks about theoretically it is probably doing in secret. "Graham" would not only be the ideal organism to survive a car crash, he'd also make an excellent solider because his body might also be durable enough to survive bullets, explosions and the effects of other weapons. It is possible that Piccinini has come across some kind of information, somehow, about what is really going on in secret underground bases; perhaps at Pine Gap in her own country. Maybe she's even been influenced psychically. Then again, her artwork could simply be the product of her very fertile and clever, but also rather ghoulish, imagination.

No comments: