From The Introduction:
In 1912 Marcel Duchamp painted Bride, a “highly abstracted biomechanical rendering of the human form.” In 1930 Jacques Villon (Duchamp’s brother), created an aquatint of Duchamp’s Bride, purposely taking liberties with the representation, thereby further abstracting the image. In 1986 Jasper Johns produced eight untitled tracings (ink on plastic) of Villon’s aquatint, abstracting the image further. In 2000 I photographed, using 35mm film, a section of a reproduction of a section of one of John’s tracings that was reproduced in a retrospective catalogue of his work. From that 35mm photograph I produced a first and second generation photomontage, further abstracting the image. On 16 April 2012, I dug out of storage that same catalogue, and took a new photograph using a DSLR Nikon camera.
One hundred years after Marcel Duchamp, utilizing the technology of his time, created his original painting, I, using a MacBook Pro and photoshop, created a new first generation photomontage, further abstracting the image. Using the new first generation photomontage as a foundation, I proceeded to push the process. A total of twenty five photomontage pieces have been created. In the case of each photomontage, the image has been abstracted further than the one that proceeds it.
The focus of this project is on both the results and the process.
Each photomontage uses as its base, a small section from the one that proceeds it. In each case, the photomontage, the image, becomes increasingly smaller, intricate, and more complex. As a result, once the process has been pushed far enough, the photomontage, the image, begins to loose its form, becoming instead a shade of color. The result, from beginning to end, is that the sequence of photomontages slowly erases the image.
The process is mechanical, and could easily be managed by a computer program. Like Andy Warhol, I am interested in constructing a system or process that will do the creating for me. While the labor of placing and arranging the photos fell to me, the system or process handled itself.
A Note About The Book: On the right hand side of each two page spread is a reproduction of the entire photomontage. On the left hand side is a detail of the photomontage to scale.
Artist's book 54 pages and 50 illustrations, with introduction by the artist, no pagination, images , layout, and design by the artist.
Michael P. Toussaint is a designer, writer, artist, photographer, and creative experimenter. He currently resides in Denver, CO.
Past Moments, Old Dreams Published July 20, 2012
Film: six minutes and twenty seven seconds Published April 23, 2012
The Surface of the World Published March 01, 2012
Photomontages Published January 19, 2012
31 Details from a Photograph Published January 05, 2012