WOLVES IN THE SCENERY


The decorative arts propose added comfort where nature has lost all environmental rights and become apparent only to the observer who looks for an aesthetically perfumed silent haven. Decorative wallpaper, adhesive beauty, eagerly manifests this functional use. The eye is alienated from the object enabling the soul to glide through the labyrinths and curves of patterns, revealing here and there eccentric but reassuring patterns, where the image of beauty is resumed to its iconographical pleasure.

For the amateur it seems important to recognise even inside a stain, the shape of a face but a face cannot exist without eyes, inside which one sees one’s reflection. Let us therefore define them as objects of consolation. Often the interpretation of the eyes gives away the character of the soul. Can they distinguish themselves from the person to whom they belong ? Tapestry drawings may frighten psychologically troubled children. When questioned on what frightens them in their bedroom, they often answer that a wolf or a monster is watching them from the wall. One can only make wild guesses on the origin of such fears. Adults luckily have trained eyes, educated in understanding their surroundings. They no longer believe in anthropomorphic chimeras. They know that the wolf no longer lives in the forest but in the garden, tamed by clay.

 


They prefer to use their aesthetic environment to more social ends, revealing their behaviour towards things but at the same time giving as an excuse, to be looking for the same function as “the resting area on the motorway“ for their functionalist and anxious consciousness. Scenery means consensus ; a form of visual alienation. Can one however confirm that vision means, to make concessions towards scenery ? What becomes of the observer when he is being watched : a decor himself ? If the artwork is no longer considered but considers, the eye of the spectator becomes the prey of the object that it was supposed to be observing. My wolves are placed through these perspectives ; savage beasts positioned by men in ornamental sacrifice. Men eye greedily, however the ancestral instinct of being watched closely by wild beasts persists.

To appreciate entirely the singularity of this artwork, judicious choices must be made regarding the positioning of the wolves inside the domestic environment. A pair of eyes placed strategically will have a disturbing effect. Voyeurism and morbidity may reach great heights if our imagination is set free. To the observer, the decorative character of the pattern is neutralised by the feeling of being observed, creating a certain impression of insecurity. A last question must then be asked : may ornament produce meaning or create signs. In other words, be anti decorative ? Diana shall let loose her vicious soldiers.

 

Philippe Mayaux, 2001
 
 
18/08/01 15:43
 
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