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EMMA LAMORTE, STENA BECAME DEATHSTONE (IDOL), 145x220cm, TEXTILE AND STRING
EMMA LAMORTE, SLEEP SERVES AS THE ONLY ESCAPE NOW, 145x220cmTEXTILE AND STRING
 
   

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PT. I

It all begins with a truck full of mimes. Their faces are painted white. They wave their hands in the air. They look like kids without parents or kids with parents that never really gave a shit about them. They pass him, two nuns and yeoman wanderer.

He’s a photographer; a commercial photographer. Usually, he takes photos of beautiful women; models. Usually, he looks sloppy and unkept. And for some reason, beyond anyone’s understanding, it works and he even fucks some of them. “That’s great,” he says, “give it to me.” He wants more. “Get the birds down here” he calls to his assistant. He only ever writes home to remind the world that he might die. 

But for a moment he’s dressed perfectly. He wears a dark green velvet sport coat and white pants without any dirt or stains on them.  For a moment he’s just enjoying the act of picture-making. He glances up from the field next to the tennis court and spots a couple disappearing into the bushes. He’s far enough away that their bodies look small and his presence goes unnoticed. He can tell they’re up to something and releases the shutter of the camera he's holding. They seem to drown in the frame. It looks like a sports broadcast. The small figures are engulfed in an ocean of green. They remind him of old people. The way they shrink in size and density. Their miniaturization makes them look like stick figures, dimpled dollies, micro freaks or the humanoid descendants of Archie and Veronica. It weakens them, making them more susceptible to fracture. They seem less coordinated and have trouble balancing.

At first it looks like they are going off to find a place to fuck. This excites him. Maybe she's a prostitute. This excites him even more. Her heels sink into the grass and dirt on the side of the hill below the trees. Their hands meet and they seem to struggle. It’s clear that he’s not trying to rape her because her footing is strong and she seems to support him. They could be trying to hide, evade an assailant or any number of things. Eventually, they disappear from the frame and he walks onward, across the grass, to see where they have gone and what they are up to.

The woman spots him as she emerges, alone, running from somewhere beyond the reach of his frame. She desperately want’s the film back. He refuses her. She tracks him back to his studio, seduces him, and tries to recover the image. He sends her away with the wrong film, eluding her. When he blows up the photo he discovers something. The arrangements of light and shadow and dots and blurs show something. But what?

What ends up happening is not the point. It’s about a character marred by ennui and distaste, who is roused by a photograph into something approaching pleasure. 


PT. II

He gave up everything for a dream life. He gave up everything for Massimo’s soft melty pink cream, a broken horizon and a hand full of flowers, tossed up high, silhouetted by the sky. He stood with dreamers. The memories didn’t mean anything when they were made. They were just a mess. It was only afterward that he'd find something to hold onto. Then they sorted themselves out and added up. It was like finding a clue in a detective story.

The will to live had become the source of much misery because it was essentially insatiable. He started reusing old memories because making new ones felt impossible. He was paralyzed by his fear of suffering and pain. He didn't care if the repurposed memories were inaccurate because his own were all fictional to some degree.

He found the memories in discarded sports newspapers, a Magritte painting he had seen at the museum and an old photograph he had laying around. He used them to cope with the fractured experience of history’s authoritarian rule and the melancholy of its subjects. Both, prince and puppet, frozen within an antiquated frame. He put them together like a movie. Each image, one after the other. He grew tired and each time his eyes closed it resembled the flicker of an old film projector. It was as if the images were moving through him.

Because all the pain and suffering he experienced was structural he based the memories on a grid, like de Chirico’s paintings of Torino; a halfway between surrealism and the rationalism of fascism. Each point on the grid allowed the memories to pass through him. They mapped the pain and plotted the suffering. He digested the hurt as it moved in and then out.

You’re all tired now. Close your eyes. Close your eyes. It’s good for you.

-BENJAMIN MARVIN

 
 
BENJAMIN MARVIN, BLOW UP, 150x84.5cm, OIL ON CANVAS
BENJAMIN MARVIN, PLEASURE, 40x 31.5cm, OIL ON CANVAS
BENJAMIN MARVIN, UNTITLED (SPORTS PLAYER), 38.7x 32cm, OIL ON CANVAS

BENJAMIN MARVIN SNAPSHOT, 32.7x39cm, OIL ON CANVAS

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Tutti Frutti is an exhibition program at the Sikås Art Center, Jämtland, Sweden