Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Music "tickles things in me and takes me into a different state of mind – a dreamlike state. When I'm in a gig, music affects me tottaly physically and I don't think rationally about how I'm going to describe it. I get images and I would like to leave enough mystery and vagueness in those images for someone else to bring their experience to it. That's why I've been with 4AD for so long, because it has been so natural to me.I would get inspiration from virtually everything that Ivo was giving me. Voosh! It would affect me. I was full. I was somebody else. Inspired."

This intensification of ordinary experience, the sense of being possessed by music, lost in sound, the ego dissolving, blissfully or sometimes darkly adrift in a primal zone of colour and image, recurs through Oliver's work. Many of these lustroud designs are metaphors for psychic states – reverie, dream, abandonment, ecstasy – attainable through surrender to music. There is a constant emphasis in his selection and use of images on the body as the locus of these physical sensations and on the senses as their transmitters, synaesthetically, to images representing the other senses: sight, touch, taste, even smell (...). Bodily images to which Oliver returns include eyes, hands, the thumb, the toe, the tongue, teeth, hair (shaped as heart, vagina and skull), sexual parts (clitoris, penis) and various kind of meat – heart, pig's liver, eel, ox tongue, bull's eyes, human stomach lining. (...) To intensify the sensation of nerve endings in sharp or even painful contact with tactile reality, he uses devices such as bandaging, gloves, injury to a thumb, prosthetic devices, surgical instruments, a drill, and a shattered knife, a recurrent image at the mid-point in his career.

As a teenager he was drawn to surrealism, and though he would not now descibe himself as a surrealist, the movement's visual strategies and favoured lexicon of images offer keys to help unlock his work. The surrealists, too, discovered intimations of the sublime in the corporeal reality of the flesh.

In his image-making, Oliver has an instinctive craving for the mysterious convulsive beauty {ah! ah!} and for the deeply gratifying state of being and heightened awareness that the surrealist poets and painters termed le merveilleux.

"When seeking the object of its fulfillment the demands of desire exert a strange power over external phenomena, tending egoistically to admit only that which can serve its purpose."


What is it they have in common? They take (have taken...) their own obsessions very serious.
They are made of that. So their work is made of that as well.
Well... maybe I was to young to know.

Remove everything that is not absolutely necessary for your own work/pleasure. Focus

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