Man Ray research

Trying to keep up with weekly posts isn’t going so well, although here’s something fascinating I’ve read today.

           Man Ray’s Indestructable Object consists of two simple elements: a wooden metronome and, attached to its pendulum, a cutout black-and-white photograph of a woman’s eye. Scuffed and scarred, but ites detyachable door and wind-up key intact, the metronome is quotidian and familiar, bringing to mind childhood piano lessons. It is fully functional and keeps time when wound, but even when displayed motionless, it prompts the viewer to remember or imagine how a metronome looks and sounds when operational. But the photographic eye transforms the object from the familiar to the darkly erotic: were it ticking, they eye would swing back and forth, suggesting a kind of hypnosis in which one eye (the work’s0 puts others (those of the viewers) into a trance. Although the eye is clearly and beautifully feminine, its status as a bodily fragmene makes it grotesque, even frightening; similarly, although a metronome is generally perceived as an innocuous aid to music-making, here its uncanny anthropomorphism would make its jerky movement an relentless ticking at once mesmerizing and infuriating.

Umland, A & Sudhalter, A (2008) “Dada in the Collection of The museum of Modern Art” New York: Museum of Modern Art.

Will upload some logo designs I’ve been working on for @Shantivintage once we’re in the clear for publish. :)


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