Cigar Burn Apertures, David Bellingham, 2019
Metzger is determined in his rejection of the commodification of art, a negation of the superficial objects of desire, the capitalist candy that fills the galleries and the dealers that push it: ‘You stinking fucking cigar smoking bastards and you scented fashionable cows who deal in works of art.’ (Gustav Metzger, ‘Manifesto World’, October 1962). This is why the emphasis in Metzger’s practice is on process rather than any concrete products, as the methodology he employs involves the aesthetics of disappearance.
In the Cigar Burn pictures the act of burning is a process of marking by erasure. They are ruins (ruined pictures) that address a mean point between Metzger and Fontana, where fine materials are undermined by damaging methods. They sit somewhere between auto-construction and auto-destruction.
To dig a hole is to make space.
A hole is a thing defined by an absence of material.
In order to make a hole something must be taken away.
It is easy to make a hole it is less easy to maintain it.
A hole is a thing defined by the material around it.
A hole is always half full and half empty.
Holes are conspicuous in their ‘absent presence’.
Hole n. an act of erasure resulting in an space of potentiality.
From a correspondence between Simon Morris and David Bellingham, August, 2021.