Beatrice by Joel Fisher

BOMB 6 Summer 1983
006 Summer 1983

Discover MFA Programs in Art and Writing

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Joel Fisher, Beatrice, 1982, plaster, 29 inches high.

The depiction of an unknown object from a specific angle means that the subject always has a hidden side. Until quite recently there was no one on earth who had seen the other side of the moon. That fact itself was a great wonder to me as a child; for all we knew anything might have been there. This was an invisible hemisphere which could accept all my fanciful projections. It was such a powerful focus that my concept of imagination still has links with the “dark” side of the moon. In a way it is unfortunate that we ever had the possibility to make a flat picture of the moon. How would we have represented it if we never had use of the two dimensional?

There are characteristics in common with all forms of translation. The gaps between one syntax and another have to be filled. Certain assumptions are made. Sometimes in the process something new is inadvertently added to the old texts.

In the process of translating single drawings from two into three dimensions there is a stranger, unexpected element which enters the course. It has no natural attachment and, unlike interpretation, appears unnecessary. Until this point, through each stage in its development the work has consisted of a complex of internal references and relationships. Its concerns have been almost entirely with itself. Then suddenly the outside world erupts inside it: the piece of stone or clay or plaster begins to suggest a bird or a bell or any of a hundred specific objects. This is the “second face” of the sculpture and it gives it a glaze of familiarity. Most people would agree on similar names for these references, and to that extent the links are not personal associations but cultural choice. The sculptures don’t go entirely over to these references. They measure, perhaps they judge, the quantity of what we know.

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153529415 06042015 Bomb 6 Torreano 33 Sm
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Originally published in

BOMB 6, Summer 1983

Kathy Acker, Jene Highstein, Mark Pauline, James “Son” Thomas, art by Anthony McCall, Judy Pfaff, Julia Heyward, and more.

Read the issue
006 Summer 1983