Mysterious Proceedings

By Richard Taylor

A vitrine containing paper emblems sits on the top floor and is hidden by lift access to the cavernous arena that is the gallery below. Fragments of his secrets lie secluded within this glass bed, but only fragments. Hope of discovering fuller understanding is destroyed by different kinds of pictures that act as sentinels. They disallow any conclusion to the puzzle and lead the observer’s eye to a mezzanine, and then through to a smaller curved room. In this room there is one picture. It is the most revealing and intimate of them all. In further rooms office doors stand ajar.

You want to feel as light as how the room you are in presents itself, so you leave your heavy bag and cloak with the receptionist. Maybe it’s the bass sounding in from the adjacent room that enlists this feeling. You are not sure, but you leave your notebook on the bench in the middle of the room too, to shed even more weight.

It’s broad daylight, the room you are in is sparse and each picture starts as a peripheral dot. Their content seems galactic, but you take the time to navigate each in turn. One picture takes your attention; next to many of the others it has very few limbs or emblems. At a distance a cloud, and a few limbs, maybe some emblems. Close too, no limbs, just emblems. Its content shifts, as do your feet and your gaze. Like its counterparts the picture is small, so you think there is little distance to travel. The piece is one of few framed using a waxed wood, which lifts the composition away from the surrounding white wash wall. Now you piece together thoughts by connecting more wood with wax, one limb with another, the angle of a hand with the bow of a leg. The birds are copied. The pictures face each other. You are in the way of the particular vision they carry. So is your notebook, and the bench, especially when you sit on it. You would do well to be on your hands and knees.

The event of this French man playing music with his saliva in the smaller more adorned room; he achieves with his instrument and stance what the pictures adopt compositionally. After his performance a party of companions enter again in to the larger room, the sparse room, where the lights are on low. This is the only way out of the building, it is after hours and the pictures are iridescent. The party whether allowed or not climb into the small compositions. One by one disappearing, becoming, lying pallidly to everyone else’s face.

At the bottom of the stair two of the party await the return of the others. They decide to lie on their hands and knees. One has his face to the wall in the corner under the bottom stair and the other; his nose is inches from the arse of the first. An experience, or an observation, had quite clearly changed them, mischievous, wandering – not unlike the men and birds depicted in the canvases in the gallery above. The birds are copied, perhaps so are the men, some of the birds look better upside down. The others from the party, they can be heard but are still so distant. Voices bounce off walls and shoot through doors left ajar, office doors, the sound comes from people who could well be upside down, just like the birds. Nose to wall and arse to nose for longer still, as if in stasis, as if pushed in to place with horsehair on the end of a stick and impounded on to linen.

 

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