From The Body of the Image, an ongoing installation of painting, objects, and digital prints.
Sarajevo, oil on canvas 300 x 150 cm
Merapi, oil on canvas, 300 x 150 cm
For additional views of works from The Body of the Image, visit the archive on my website at andreascrima.com.
The Body of the Image is a multi-media installation that sets out to investigate the nature of the contemporary media image and the precarious position it occupies in our collective consciousness and social memory. Digital prints derived from enlarged newspaper photographs and articles form room-sized image ensembles papered directly onto the wall.
The images in this installation stem from a larger group of newspaper clippings I collected throughout the 1990s. Taken out of their daily news coverage context, they exist at a clear temporal remove to the immediate present and are comprised of two basic groups. One of these features people carrying images of people, while the other involves rituals and rites concerning human remains. These two major strains of human activity are commonly considered to be the two cornerstones of human civilization and the criteria by which cultures are compared. Sometimes they overlap; inevitably, many of them refer to war and conflict.
Visible are images of plunderers with the portrait of one of the richest men in Indonesia, the ethnic Chinese Lim Sioe Liong; opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi carried by her supporters in Delhi; an article on an unidentified leg found in the rubble of the Oklahoma City bombing; Pakistani rockets presented at a military parade in Islamabad before the portrait of the state’s founder, Ali Jinnah; relatives of missing Chileans in Santiago celebrating the arrest of Pinochet; a fragment of an article quoting a survivor of the war in Bosnia; and a picture of a Kurdish mother at a demonstration following the shooting of her son Mustafa, one of four PKK members killed in front of the Israeli General Consulate in Berlin in after the arrest of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan.
A series of objects placed on shelf consoles are installed on the digital ensembles. Some of these employ paint as a sculptural material, which enters into a formal relationship with the papered wall and the painted image. For other objects, I worked with various different materials ranging from plaster, varnish, and oil paint to found objects and household garbage.
Due to their extreme enlargement, these images expose the offset print screen they consist of, calling attention to their respective reproduction process and dissolving into an array of dots as the viewer approaches the wall—and finally dots of dots as the offset screen is further interpolated by the digital print. Thus, the intelligibility of the reproduced image and the material languages of the various media used are contingent on their distance to the viewer; one recedes as the other grows clearer, revealing themselves in reciprocal proportion to the viewer’s proximity to the painted surface and wall. Here, in a sense, the body is subtracted from the image and reinterpreted in the objects in a media-reflective inversion, giving rise to a dialogue, or rather trialogue between digital print, sculptural object, and painted surface.