Friday, October 18, 2013

Preserved Memory: A Description of "Flesh Cloud"

Stuck to a wall in the Bucksbaum rotunda is a large photograph. Swedish photographer Anders Krisar took the photograph in 2003 and called it “Flesh Cloud, #1”.

A cobbled street takes up the bottom half of the photo, while the worn brick wall takes up the upper half. The scene looks like an old European neighborhood. The photo is taken at an angle, so that the line created by the point of contact between the street and the building is diagonal. Dark splotches and signs of use and decay are evident on the brick wall. The bricks run horizontal and the cobblestones run in a line coming towards and away from the viewer. The wall and the floor resemble each other, both creating a collage effect--little pieces stuck together to form a whole.

The photograph is printed in chromogenic color, and encased in a glass of medium density fiberboard (MDF). The glass adds another dimension to the photo. The ceiling lights of the rotunda are reflected in the glass; faint, floating bulbs fading into the old, brick wall.

The abstraction of this representational photograph is in the center. The “flesh cloud” is suspended above the street, yellow and ephemeral, causing the wall to blur and its colors to fade. Two concentrated, beige horizontal streaks at the center of the photo slowly blur outwards. Despite it’s lack of substance, the cloud creates a shadow on the street below it. The blurred horizontal streaks give it the illusion of movement. The cloud looks like a ghost.

Furthermore, there are two, yellow, vertical rectangles at either end of the photograph. They seem like almost-invisible doorways. They make everything within them have a yellow hue.

The name “flesh cloud” suggests that the cloud somehow symbolizes the human. This work is both representational and abstract. It’s old, worn scenery with the traces of human flesh make me think of memory.

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