Date: 16 November 2001
A set of engravings that illustrate a recent edition of Elias Canetti's 'Auto-da-Fe'. Concentrated couples embracing delicately. Groups of faces conversing in confused configurations. Elongated forms. You can espy Egyptian hieroglyphs. Hints of exoticism couched beneath austere expressions. Are they saying anything? Do pictures say things to us? That we can all be free and happy, perchance. That would be nice. Too nice even. Engravings set in a sombre background so you can see your own reflection. Occassionally this happens in exhibitions but is probably best avoided as it makes you look vain. However, such an event could be well incorporated into an instillation. No doubt it has. I am certain that these sketches will leave an indelible impression on you as they did on me and on the light pine. Pay attention to no. 35, a close harmony of broad strokes and fine detail. Moments of alienation alongside discord not forgetting serenity. Be drawn into the gamut of different emotional inclinations. Confucius with leg-of-mutton sleeves. Snake design and sleek feet. A striding gentleman covering his eyes with a distended hand. An anxious personage sitting astride a lavatory. I was reminded of Leopold Bloom's lavatory passage in Ulysses. Would you always judge a book by its cover? If Neidl were the engraver, I would heartily choose every book.
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