Toddlers may stumble when asked to call to mind
knowledge about environments encountered the day or the week before, he suggests.
While figures painted this way call to mind
many situations, they are completely decontextualized, uprooted.
Paintings like Kristin with Kristin's Eyes in Her Head, 2001, a sketchy, drippy acrylic portrait of a young woman sitting at a desk staring blankly out at the viewer, and Jill, Tasty, On the Floor, 2001, a girl in red-and-black plaid pants and punky Doc Martens sitting on a floor strewn with CDs, video-game controls, and a boom box, call to mind
days devoted to youthful boredom and disaffection--hanging out listening to music, playing games, and doodling.
Images of flight call to mind
not only the photographic experiments of French physiologist Etienne-Jules Marey, the first to take pictures of birds in the wild and reconstitute the illusion of their movement in the studio, but also the work of Romantic artists from Blake to Breton, whose emphasis on freedom relied on flight as a central metaphor.
(Many of Wurm's works call to mind
a statement accompanying an early '60s performance by Vautier: The artist sees nothing, hears nothing, and says nothing, thus "only my pretension is visible.") Such artists give birth to what Freud theorized in his 1927 paper "Der Humor": a state of mind in which the superego, changed from persecutory agency into benign parental comforter, "speaks kindly words of comfort to the intimidated ego."
Not wanting to linger over these images because of painful memories they call to mind
, we fix our attention instead on Mirror Film, 1969, made by Robert Morris as he walked through the Wisconsin snow, mirror in hand.
In Ophelia Forever, 3-D nipples are erected out of paint to accent a pair of breasts formed from an infinity symbol within a Pop-inspired design of bubbly water--a reference to the brook in which Shakespeare's personifica tion of innocence drowned after descending into madness; at the same time, the isolated breasts on a flat surface call to mind
the breasts on a platter attributed to Saint Agatha, whose threatened innocence launched cataclysmic events.
More like objects than images, they most readily call to mind
Maurice Blanchot's observation that works of art are self-enclosed worlds only "open to those who possess the key," which is simply "the enjoyment and understanding of a certain taste." So works like these are accessible after all, at least to a viewer whose taste is for being left free to respond without exactly having been called.
Romantic stills clipped from the cinematic flow of city existence, these images call to mind
the recent debate over Robert Doisneau's endlessly reproduced Kiss at the Hotel de Ville, 1950.