Alastair Mackinven

Et Sick In Infinitum

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Et Sick In Infinitum
Alastair Mackinven
Et Sick In Infinitum
2007
Oil on canvas
210 x 210 cm

Only one of the Et Sick In Infinitum paintings depicts an exact Penrose staircase, the others distort the model in varying degrees, making the original more abstract and warped, topsy-turvy and unstable. Their painfully disjointed conveyor belt-like motif mirrors how MacKinven perceives the gallery space in which they are hung: a room showing artworks (each individual and unrelated in their own right) that guides the audience, as MacKinven describes, “like decrepit handicaps,” through a predesigned route of viewing experience. These paintings were originally installed with handrails and grab bars that highlighted the viewer’s performance as they unwittingly took on the roles of Escher’s famous figures, eternally pacing a go-nowhere path and its metaphor for time’s passage and aging; they were also conceived to assist the viewer in negotiating the discombobulating formal qualities of the paintings.


     
 


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