Yesterday I received a very welcome package in the post: the latest edition of contemporary art and feminism zine, SALT. A compact A5 bound book, issue 5 contains a collection of exciting and innovative essays investigating the abstract concept ‘anti-work’. Topics include selfies, the politics of Dolly Parton’s ‘Working 9-5’, Camille Henrot, mental health in late capitalism, and Marxist explorations of labour. I am delighted to say that my essay, ‘Intercepting the Screen World’, on Rosemarie Trockel’s collages is among such fine company, and I genuinely cannot wait to get stuck into reading this issue from cover to cover.
SALT is available to buy from the website here, and I highly recommend taking a look if you’re interested in either of these themes, or even contemporary art writing in general.
‘Intercepting the Screen World’ examines Trockel’s collages in relation to the multi-tasking tendency of modern living, particularly in terms of vision. I propose that Trockel’s collages provide an intervention in that they instigate an embodied, tactile mode of viewing that energises rather than deadens the senses:
“…In a socket of clammy skin, a milky eyeball, impossibly spherical (an animal’s eye maybe?), presents a perplexing problem. A gelatinous film coats the surface of the eye lending it a strange opaque glaze thereby hindering the function of the eye to see clearly. Stapled to a wooden board, Wishing is among a number of collages by Trockel, which interrogate the process of looking. The image of the cloudy eyeball is representative of how these collages repeatedly obstruct vision. Where Eye enacts the mutlitasking behaviour of the modern eye, this recent corpus offers a counter proposal, radically intervening in how we see and understand the world. Since 2004, the cologne-based artist has been making compelling collages that subvert disembodied looking. Instead, Trockel creates highly tactile pieces that challenge the supremacy of vision and consequently, promote a sensual response in the beholder…”