2 – 25 November 2012
‘Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
T.S. Eliot ‘Burnt Norton’ 1935
.‘I hear a new world calling me, so strange and so real, haunting me.‘
Rod Freeman & The Blue Men, prod. Joe Meek ‘I Hear a New World’ 1960.
Yes, where are we? Simultaneously looking back and looking forward, where does that leave us? Thrown back to the birth of Modernism, or one of its births: Malevich and his unburdening of art from the objective world, to make a painting that doesn’t merely describe what already exists, but just is. Though Micheaud, of course, is describing. Thrown back to the present day, a time of the radiators and vapour trails he’s de%scribing (but how?) via, and this is maybe crucial, a kitchen or bathroom in the late ‘50’s where a crackpot genius, eventually murderer and suicide, is concocting a universe of unearthly sounds, bubble-gum pop produced not from a Spectorish array of mixing desks, but from water blown through a pipe, milk bottles banged with spoons – ‘but one must listen carefully’ (Wickipedia’s admonition) ‘to detect these prosaic origins in the finished product.’ Precisely. A radiator? Another world? An object from – the reference here is unavoidable – the world but not, surely, as we know it. We must look carefully, the solitary capital ‘R’ Romantic observer waking up in a room that we don’t seem to fit… we have been replaced or destabilised. What is out there of the world remains – what is changed is us.2 From Malevich to Kafka… but the sheer perfect materiality of the paint surface brings us full (black) circle to Malevich and gives us a new object in a new world.
“There is stillness and time here. Time held in painting, historical and actual time in the act of painting. This is the stuff of science fiction, time stretching. A fleeting moment, a singular point in time captured and reinvested. Yet also something more practical, more mechanical, the action of the hand, the choice of subject matter, the choice to paint from a photograph; the decision to paint a light source.” David Micheaud 2012‘Oh my God. I’m back. I’m home. All the time, it was… We finally really did it. : You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!’
Charlton Heston as George Taylor in ‘Planet of the Apes’ 1968