"Death is like moving into a new apartment." Rimpoche Nawang Gehlek
Another nail in the coffin is part of an ongoing investigation exploring the limits and possibilities of written language. Drawing on source material from contemporary culture, from horror films to comic models, and from the traditions of Buddhism, Clinton Garofano reflects on the numbing effect that death has had on his voice as an artist. Garofano is interested in renegotiating the perception of dying and the language used to describe death by reinterpreting existing Tibetan Buddhist teachings and texts, and finding relevance within a contemporary context. His work untitled : (dead boring) 2008, fuses language and objects, taking the form of a number of texts painted on glass in 18th and 19th century frames, hung on coffin nails. Clinton Garofano is a Sydney based artist.
untitled : untitled : (dead boring) 2008-09
32 components : modified polyurethane on glass, reflective vinyl, shellac, wax, antique frames, vintage picture lights, chain and hand forged nails, installation detail
“Long after the firefly had disappeared, the trail of its light remained inside me, its pale, faint glow hovering on and on in the thick darkness behind my eyelids like a lost soul.
More than once I tried stretching my hand out in the dark. My fingers touched nothing. The faint glow remained, just beyond my grasp.”
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood.
Appearing intermittently in this exhibition as a luminous projected image, Ghost Mountain is in fact the Cooley Mountains, or the tall and rocky hills visible from the garden in front of my Grandmother’s house in Ireland. Over the course of my life I have looked upon these mountains with some mystery and wonder. Often shrouded in mist and cloud they appear in such myths and legends as Cúchulainn, and were home to criminals and terrorists during the troubles in Northern Ireland, to which they lie immediately south. We are warned away from them by my Grandmother who insists evil still lurks among them. Like Murakami’s firefly they remain etched onto my visual memory and ghost there, fading over time. Ghost Mountain’s after-image or ‘ghost’ appears in the darkened moments between its projections.
Coupled with pencil drawings that copy landscapes of Australia as depicted in film, Ghost Mountain is an attempt to understand the significance of imagery from places in the “faint glow” of my memory, where the photographic transferral of experience and the experience of actually ‘being there’ intersect.
Image: Ghost Mountain, video still, 2008
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its art funding and advisory body, and by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.