Sunday, 23 January 2011

Accidental Shooting

Two rehearsals for another photograph that was never made. The first rehearsal (top set) turned out to be yet another case of ‘accident usurping intent’: the film somehow got bowed on the development spiral and the film was lacerated – punctured with weird, archer’s longbow-shaped cuts, ripping every frame - but in a different place each time.
Strange: the keys were standing-in for a gun, but a longbow cut in on the action (bizarrely: as if ‘drawn’, by a shoulder). And look, the wall had been scrapped  - hit – by turning lorries (or arrows?).
For a long time after the accident I found myself doodling bra-straps, pinging like longbows - breasts as arrows… thinking of William Tell; thinking of William Boroughs, who was a lousy shot (he shot his wife Joan, dead, whilst trying to shoot an apple, off the top of her head), but a great exponent of the cut-up technique. ‘Cut-up’ is an artistic process (of Dadaist origins) where a text is fragmented -with scissors -and then reassembled randomly. “Language is a virus” – claimed Burroughs, and suggested that the cut-up technique be used as a weapon to reveal the hidden structures of control. Old Bill, he had a point. In my practice shots (target practice? Shooting of a shooting?), accident assumed control, the keys found their hole; the shots were bowed and punctured: bowed and arrowed.

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