Saturday, January 28, 2012

Read You Like A Book: Time and Relative Dimensions in Storytelling

© Mike Nicholson. Image from here.

I really like this issue (Vol 12, No 4) of Image & Narrative Journal, and especially the 'visual article' by artist Mike Nicholson entitled 'Read You Like A Book: Time and Relative Dimensions in Storytelling' (abstract below, full pdf here).

I've long been a fan of his work and am lucky enough to own quite a few editions from his 'Bio Auto Graphic' series (published through the Ensixteen Editions imprint), which this piece can be said to be an extension of.

His work is always funny, sweet and poignant, but at the same time serious and I think there's also always an honesty and a deeper level to it, which (if you're not familiar with his work) comes across well in this piece for example.

For more of Mike Nicholson's work, or for which event or bookart fair you can catch him at next, go here.


"Life unfolds as irreversible, linear progression - day on day on day - like the reading of a traditional codex book, though we process it through the random subjectivity of memory, imagination and emotion.

In the solitude of our minds, we effortlessly connect points and personal themes in the story of ourselves, back and forth across distances of time and physical geography. Can limited architectures of sequential narrative - even expanded from analogue paper to digital formats - explore and express the above? Do new story shapes allow parallel readings from the same material? What constitutes the pages of our day, the chapter headings? Could the really important truths be hidden in the footnotes?

Nicholson’s 'Bio Auto Graphic' editions travel a landscape of metaphor, metafiction and psycho-geography. Senses of place and self have developed alongside the resonance of objects. The significance of the insignificant is key. The gaps between things drive the work; tensions of image and text, self-image and the image others see of us, what we say and what we actually mean, what we expect of others and what they expect of us.

In this article Nicholson further combines visual languages of text and image to examine a particular journey and event. The anticipation of the experience, and final immersion within the reality of it, evoke hard-wired notions of a regional identity embedded in the artist-author’s earliest cultural references. The most profound journeys, towards a morality that links individuals to society, may even bring us back to where we started."

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