Time After Time:
Douglas Morland, Scott Rogers and Darren Tesar
Venue: Market Gallery, Glasgow, UK
Photography: Market Gallery
Artworks (in no particular order)
Ode, 2012 (scanned 2014)
Digitally printed image
Ancient of Days
May 1998 issue of Playgirl magazine slotted into rolled Christian cross (commissioned)
Supplemental information (available only to those who asked):
The following presentation attempts to address the exhibition theme in a slightly different angle. I would like to concentrate on the obsolescence of the subject. A consistency of subject-hood that is sublimated into an inevitable hypocrisy due to subject-forming-events becoming embedded - iconically - into matter. In other words, to view subject-hood as a phenomenon of obsolescing evental fidelity fossilised into static points in space. Autography.
The manner in which this presentation meets the theme are as followed: it centres around a particular musician, Peter Steele. Peter Steele was the lead songwriter, vocalist, and bassist for the band Type-O-Negative. The presentation attempts to address moments of Peter’s life that coax out encounters where a breakdown of subject-hood took place. An ode to a series of misshapen masteries, bent back on themselves in ways crippling to their origins. An artist infatuated with death, nihilism, and, inevitably, the transcendent hypocrisy uttered through him by being-toward-the-world. An item celebrating a series of abject, tasteless, and hypocritical events in the life of a single artist. Ultimately, a presentation of an artist who, rather than putting death to work within creativity, succumbed to an untimely death.
An May 1998 issue of Playgirl magazine will be on display for viewers. This magazine, now a rare collector’s item, offers viewers several images and one full page centre-fold of Peter Steele nude with an erect penis (the first time an erect penis was shown in the magazine’s history). The interest in this magazine is not in the images per sae, but the contextual conflict Peter Steele found himself in when it was distributed. Playgirl magazine is a nude magazine marketed to a female viewership, albeit an overwhelming majority are homosexual men. Peter did not know this and was incredibly embarrassed. He believed he was providing erotic stimulation to an all female audience.
This issue of Playgirl will be cradled within the small gap between two opposing edges of a rolled cross. Toward the end of Peter’s life, he found his way back to Catholicism. This created a slight paradox due to the band’s consistent and aggressively anti-religious, even nihilistic identity.
The rational for the rolled cross is not unlike the album cover Aesthethica by the black metal band Liturgy, where the duality of the upside down and right side up cross is put to rest with their dual presentation. The rolled cross is a simultaneity - being possibly both upside down and right side up. A possibility inherent in the ideology of atheism and theism itself (Christianity in this particular context).
The filled gap remains the most important aspect of these two unlikely partners - rolled cross and pornographic magazine - since it is the location where Peter Steele completes the circuit of that possibility. The possibility of shifting is contingent within the participation of the duality of the two poles, namely the atheistic and theistic. For me, the magazine closes the gap and opens up the promise to envisage a hypocritical and, therefore, more richly redemptive shift between the spatial possibilities on the cross. It is said we all bear our cross and this work seeks to pinpoint the point of bearing, in the always-between-ness of the two opposing sides. Christian theologian Jean-luc Marion says it best:
Contemplating the icon amounts to seeing the visible in the very manner by which the invisible that imparts itself therein envisages the visible - strictly, to exchanging our gaze for the gaze that iconistically envisages us. Thus, the accomplishment of the icon inverts, with a confounding phenomenological precision, the essential moments of the idol. As an astonishing sequence from Saint Paul shows: “We all, with face unveiled and revealed, serving as optical mirror to reflect the glory of the Lord, we are transformed in and according to his icon, passing from glory to glory, according to the spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18).
In closing, it must be stated that this presentation is not looking to further mock or degrade. The choice of this person is rooted in an autobiographical regionalism rather than the infinite distension made possible by the continued formalisation of variety within intention. In short, I witness something truly existential within and yet beyond Peter’s preoccupation with existentialist tropes. However, this is not a camp reflex, gleaning authenticity off an unintentional innocence. Instead, it is more a compounding of matters. The compression of art and artist to such an extent that the finger as well as the eye become too clumsy to parse apart such a tender proximity.