Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Stanislava Kovalcikova at 15 Orient


The "creepy changing painting" - behind your back the camera reveals portraits melting to skulls - another horror trope situating art as haunting metaphor. The trope literalizes the living-dead presence of subject, held suspended in oil, an undead thing. Portraits were always slightly creepy, and this was the hamfisted cinematic realization of that. Portraits "go creepy." Painting was always spooky magic. Conjuring souls before mechanical reproduction. And painters at pains to make some sort of twist on the corpse, acknowledge dead things. Richter drained the blood. Tuymans warmed the corpse. Some just blast holes in it. But all portraits acknowledge their corpse maybe, some more so than others. I think there was a Ghostbusters about this.