No.12: Stillness, Mimicry


Tonic Immobility, Self Mimesis, Apparent Death, Thanatosis, or Playing Dead. Figure Minus Fact (constellation No.4: Notations) includes images of plant and animal mimicry, where insects become space via camouflage, or in the case of the shark, self-mimesis, where the shark mimics itself, dead, conjuring its inevitable future. Here stillness alludes to becoming an image, and mimicry trades on the deceptive image. In day-for-night blue, night itself is mimicked, blurring objects’ edges and form. What is evidence and what is animate?

– Mary Helena Clark

Paul and Marlene Kos, Lightning (1976)

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Roger Caillois, Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia (1934)

“…then the body separates itself from thought, the individual breaks the boundary of his skin and occupies the other side of his senses. He tries to look at himself from any point whatever in space. He feels himself becoming space, dark space where things cannot be put.”

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Image: ‘Giant phasma’, p. 29

Thomas Ruff, neg◊lapresmidi_01 (2016)

Chromogenic print.

Tonal inversions signal a return to an originating negative. An image testing surface and sight. 

“Blue is darkness made visible” – Derek Jarman

Still lives

Phone pictures taken the day after my father died. His unfinished yard work. Small piles of matter left to decompose.