5 jul. 2009

I spent some time with Ullán's "agrafismos," which also go the title "ondulaciones." These are small works of visual art in various media that insist on a few basic motifs in repetitive, playful variations. There is a serpent superimposed on various backgrounds, some of which look like thicker, undulating serpents or worms. Place enough of these worms in a circle, and the serpent is seen against a human brain. The wavy lines can look like ocean waves or suggest indecipherable writing systems.

A wave in a rope or whip, for example, moves the length of the rope, but the rope itself does not move forward. I realized that I don't know how snakes move forward. Legged animals move by pushing back on the ground and causing an equal and opposite reaction of forward motion, right?. I'm assuming that slithering locomotion occurs by exerting pressure backwards by curling and then straightening, using the friction of the entire length. I'd never really thought of it before. On the other hand I don't know how cross-country skier go uphill.

2 comentarios:

Vance Maverick dijo...

My understanding (and since you didn't look it up, I won't either) is that you're right about snakes, with the twist, as it were, that the straightening out is only local -- while the snake moves, sinusoidal waves pass through its body from head to tail, and it subtly adjusts the points where it bears its weight so that the sliding moves it forward overall.

So do you connect these drawings to Gu Wenda (I did have to look up his name, but I remembered the project of imagined Chinese characters), or to Western artists like Twombly or Marden who work in scribbly modes?

Jonathan dijo...

Twombly will definitely enter the discussion, along with Tàpies. Gu Wenda is someone I've never heard of, so I will be checking that out. Thanks for the tip.