25 Nov 2010
Titles – nothing must be thrown away
I used two different titles for the 3 prints I had made on zinc plates.
'NOTHING MUST BE THROWN AWAY" and "spirit of the dead and 'guardian' of the basket'
the first one is a sentence or expression I had found in the medicine book I took the images from, describing an emergency child carriage, instructing the helper to keep everything that is 'coming out' of the mother for further inspection when a doctor comes. That sentence kind of struck me...it was very precise and demanding I thought. And it coincides with my feeling that everything has some kind of information value, however small a snip it might be (hence my slightly compulsive tendency for collecting – everything).
the second title is from a book about african masks (I think ivory coast). When i hear the word 'Mask' I immediately have to think of the masks my parents had in our house, which my grandfather had brought from his trips to Africa (captain who transported wood from westcoast africa to europe/germany). They have something very familiar as I grew up with them, but at the same time they represent something I will probably never understand. the title represents this, it is terrifying (spirit of the dead) and reassuring (guardian) at the same time.
I chose a font that is used by the British Museum for their labeling. I decided to set one title in upper case and the other one in lower case, both titles are indicated with numerals: FIG.I and fig.1.
The letterpress makes the written text 'official'. The fact that it is printed, is giving the writing authority, in the sense that letterpress printed text has been aproved by some kind of authority and which is not the case for digitally printed text, which everybody can print at home)...
Using two different titles for the same image does raise an interesting question: can the same image have two different titles? can it mean two different things? if not, then one of them is wrong and the other one is right. But which one?
I also realized what the title did to the image...what kind of connotation it lend to it.
Rather then explaining, the titles seem to mystify the images...and add to the already strange aura.