Friday, January 8, 2010

Ballpoint Pen Drawings / Pierced Rats

Ballpoint Pen Drawing, Rat with body, ear and tail piercings. Ballpoint Pen drawing (Preparatory Drawing).

Ballpoint Pen drawing. Rat with ear and tail piercings (reference to the Legacy of Doug Malloy - pseudonym used by Richard Simonton).

Ball point Drawings - entry for The Nassauische Sparkasse 2010 Talent Award for Ceramics

The following drawings (above and below) are in support of my application for the Ceramic Competition Mixed Media – Ceramics Plus. The Nassauische Sparkasse 2010 Talent Award for Ceramics calls for works which combine the media of clay with either similar or seemingly incompatible materials. Any technique of combining mixed media is possible. Creative Play should bring new artistic techniques to enable artists to go beyond the narrow boundaries combining materials. MIXED MEDIA is free interpretation using “material” without regard for material restrictions to create an interesting artistic object. The 2010 the international competition 6th Nassauische Sparkasse 2010 Talent Award for Ceramics, will once again focus on “art”. Ideas photographs, videos or sketches (max 2MB) giving a comprehensible impression of the planned piece in mixed media techniques should be submitted.

Tattooed Portraits, by Kip Fulbeck. Referenced from his book Permanence. Chronical Books San Francisco.

Mixed Media and Focus for the competition entry.
I wish to focus my attention on Piercing associated with my present interest in body modifications, scarification’s and tattoos (written on the body). The work will be a continuation of the Tattooed Rats series; however additions of piercing will bring the focus on contemporary society’s fascination with body adornment, especially tattoos and piercing in a changing global society. The practice has its roots in indigenous knowledge; traditional culture rituals and was specifically associated with initiation ritual practices and rites of passage to manhood. It was reintroduced to contemporary society by gaymen….. used piercing as a profound means for expressing their alternative sexuality.

Tattooed Portraits, by Kip Fulbeck. Referenced from his book Permanence. Chronical Books San Francisco.

Piercing evokes all sorts of emotions within us and society still frowns upon it and deplores the practice thereof. Personal expressions of this kind is a cultural phenomena associated with the individual’s need to express him or herself in a cultural diverse and hybrid society (globalisation) – the coming together of cultures and groupings (collisions) and their social behaviour patterns and beliefs – the creolization of cultures.

Ballpoint Pen drawing, Rat with neck and tail piercings. Ballpoint Pen drawing.

Memorable event - historical Reference.

In my quest to find a memorable / historically significant event and or incident associated with the act of piercing, I came across the controversial court case referred to as “Operation Spanner. The outcome of which sent shock waves through the gay community (especially the leather and SM community). Such an an event challenges our perceptions of freedom - one wonders as to how our very own constitutional court would have handled the case. South Africa is a young democracy with the most liberal constitution in the world. Our courts, especially the Constitutional court have had to deal with many controversial cases (for more information refer to reference material of the Title of the work below - especially the Zulu Bull Killing ritual). Such court cases contribute to an evolving democratic society, dealing with contemporary rituals and sexual practices that facilitates the deconstruction of traditional values and morals (years of Christian Education). It helps shape a contemporary and tolerant society. It provides mechanisms to come to terms with our own prejudices from a discriminatory point of view (due to lack of understanding and religious conservatism and fundamentalism).

Rat with tail piercing. Ballpoint Pen drawing.

Final Product. Ceramic Installation of 16 tattooed and pierced rats.

Tile; Spanner in the works.

The ceramic installation of 16 tattooed and pierced rats will commemorate the event Operation Spanner; in solidarity with the individuals convicted of assault (served prison sentences), and in support of various forums set up to highlight their plight and many practitioners finding themselves in the same predicament. This event is controversial and highlights the courts inability to deal with complex contemporary cultural, ritual and sexual practices. The last two decades have highlighted many such issues – the recent gay marriage in Malawi was considered an act of defiance against the Governments stance on homosexuality. Our very own Zulu bull-killing ritual could not be resolved. Cultural wars can’t be won in courts (Caption of the news paper article covering the event). The Pietermaritzburg High court had to defer judgement because of a lack of cultural debate and clarity on such a complex cultural practice (tradition versus animal abuse). The court was not in a position to make an informed decision - to move forward and pass judgement ( Bull Killing can however go ahead). Operation spanner is a similar case that falls clearly within the scope of my expressive endeavours – from a moral, religious and sexuality point of view.

Initial Sketches; Preparatory Drawings, Ideas for contemporary piercings as suitable mixed media - associated with ancestral rituals of tattoos and piercings as part of initiation ceremonies.

Books and Websites.

Books on piercing
Rush, J. Spiritual Tattoos - A Cultural History of Tattooing, Piercing, Scarification, Branding and Implants. Frog Ltd Berkeley California 2005.
Angel, E. The Piercing Bible. Crossing Press, Berkeley Toronto. 2009.

Piercing websites.
Elayne Angel's website (Author of the Piercing Bible). - a Body Modification Resource.


Unknown said...

Fascinating post and amazing artwork!

It was exciting to find references to Doug Malloy and Operation Spanner here.

I wish you all the best!

Elayne Angel

Anonymous said...

hi eugene... wow, wow, wow! you know how i love your drawings, they are so beautiful and as always your penchant and skill for research is admirable. i think the piercing thing is a great step in your rats' evolution. the first drawing is my fave... beautimous!

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