Mick Peter “Cuts and Tears” at Galerie Crèvecœur, Paris
For his fourth show at the gallery, Cuts and Tears, Mick Peter is more than ever making use of the ‘non-art’ methods he covets. Right in the middle of a novel, a writer can introduce abrupt changes of time, language, voice or style, they could do something ‘concrete’, chopping up the page with some scissors lying invitingly on the desk. If Mick Peter were an author, he would definitely write from the point of view of an uncertain narrator. A narrator we would have every reason to think that we can’t really believe blindly in and that this doubt might have a major bearing on how we see the work…
Mick Peter transfers this freedom of manipulation to his drawings and sculptures. There is always a manipulation of ideas and forms, but there are also physical constraints, when it comes to matter, scale, perspective, dimension, and weight. He constantly extends and lengthens these constraints, quite literally. As surprising at it might seem, Sergei Eisenstein devoted an essay to Walt Disney (part of an unfinished book to be called Method) in which he says that Disney has a radical imaginative power, a form of rebellion against the mechanised landscapes of production and the Taylorist distribution of time amongst other things. What, in particular, he appreciates is Disney’s way of lengthening or shortening an object (necks and legs for example). The result of this unstable stability he calls ‘plasmaticity’, the sense that a form is in a constant state of self-dissolution. It is a state of being in which a ‘fluidity of forms carries over into fluidity of meaning’.
Mick Peter shares with Disney (as well as with the illustrators Eisenstein writes about in his Disney book, Thurber, Steig, Busch, Steinberg et al.), something akin to a literalisation of the imaginative world. Eisenstein describes the ‘literalisation of metaphor’ as one of the comics key methods. Quite clearly the ability to manipulate this process produces an irreverent, but also spontaneous and independent vision. There is an ability to shift scales, but also dimensions. While travelling from the surface of a piece of paper to our three-dimensional world, and vice-versa, the artist shakes up the conventions that govern our systems of depiction. Sculpture appears as a blown-up painting, or painting a deflated sculpture.
(1) «Disney», Sergei Eisenstein, Ed. Oksana Bulgakova and Dietmar Hochmuth. Translated by Dustin Condren, Potemkin Press 201
at Galerie Crèvecœur, Paris
until 16 December 2017