De Chirico’s Tick (2021)


The fascinating thing about taking part in The Kick-About is the way in which it commits you to creative activities you couldn’t have predicted – as was the case recently when I ended up squeezed into my own shower, photographing a latex glove I’d inflated dangerously full with water… I was riffing on the prompt for the Kick-About No.27, de Chirico’s 1914 painting, The Song Of Love. There are certain levers you can pull to encourage uncanny effects, and dislocated body-parts is one such motif, and you can find this in The Song Of Love‘s flaccid rubber glove and disembodied head. Add to this the peculiarity of de Chirico’s emptied street scene, his faked, theatrical perspective, and the ambiguity of scale, and you’ve got a quietly unsettling tableau. I took three things from the de Chirico painting; the rubber glove, the perspective, and the uncanny, and sought to produce a worrisome little set-up of my own. My long-suffering husband barely raised an eyebrow as I waddled my flabby, moist and grossly distended friend into the corner of the shower room. I think he was more concerned by all the lights, trailing wires and the imminent threat of electrocution! The resulting images crawl away from de Chirico towards the likes of Cronenberg, and they remind me of the time I found a bloated sheep-tick hanging off my leg.



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