Getting The Hottest New Look, 2014
Getting The Hottest New Look, 2014
Relocated Arena (HD), 2014
Image Explosion, 2014
This Is Not A Toy! (Monkey), 2014
Peace on Peace on MDF, 2014
Smile if your leaning on your left arm, 2014
Surprise in a box (2014) by Jack Fisher
Owing to a sense of the macabre, Surprise in a box, (2014) opens the realm of collaborative authorship in art a bit wider. Provocatively and yet sensitively, the piece becomes part of a singular narrative between audience and artist, being almost a comment or a conversation between the two. Whilst each of those features may be used to describe any art, Dead Bird brings them to the fore, and questions their prevalence in contemporary artistic thought. Dead Bird appears to be provocatively calling for the end of the eternal recycling of these points in contemporary artistic thought, offering a receivership notice to the continuous derision of the faculties that obviously make art art. As practitioners we are aware of what we are doing, but in practice of doing it we needn’t always require the hindrance and explanation of why we are trying to do it. Oftentimes we seek to find the answers ourselves at the end of production. But rarely for some is it always part of the process.
However, back to conversation and thence to the end of one as it almost seems like the piece also seems appears a full stop, the ending of its own internal conversation. The contents indicate the idea that Death brings to a halt to that endless talky narrative known as life.
Equal to these themes is the role of shock in conversation. Upon opening it can be sure that the result is shock, which is highly contemporaneous for our time. For example, current interest in the quenelle, a saluting gesture deemed by its proponents to be not anti-Semitic clearly has roots in fascistic salutes and body language. The fact that it is occasionally hidden only furthers speculation of its use and etymology. If it is related to the emblematic Nazi salute, then it can only be clear that people who use the quenelle are either deluding themselves in believing it a case mistaken identity; especially when its inventor is so heavily stooped if not merely in controversial political thought but the act of provoking controversy itself.
However aside from popular cultural context there is to consider the specific social context pervasive throughout the Internet and prevalent in Fisher’s previous work. On the Internet the unbroken hell of images invades our sensibilities as a result of instantaneous electronic communication. In general conversation that is equally digital, shock provides a resonant and impactful effect for someone not seeking it. This is indicative of the current attitude towards ribald statements emerging from online users as a result of the copious amounts of anonymity they are provided. Fisher then brings forth a physical playful enactment of this phenomenon and callously incises the audience’s mind with a haunting image when least suspected, truly the honest delivery of shock. What appears missing here, however, is the anonymity; he thus, intentionally or unintentionally opens the question of what will happen when anonymity on the Internet is no longer achievable? Will the Internet factor in as another dull aspect of human communication?
The answer perhaps will be in the reaction to shock. Shock in conversation intensifies debate and often leaves one or the other participant dumbstruck. However its provocation nature can be unintentionally engaging and warrant response, which this piece surely will receive.