Constructive Abandonment… oh dear, it's another D&Q art book…
by Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber
Drawn & Quarterly
From the afterword by Cino Zucchi:
“Icons cannot speak. Texts cannot see. They just stay close, touch, feel. Sometimes they don’t match, or don’t even recognise each other; they know their relationship will have no future. Yet they adore to tease each other, to test the magnetic fields generated by particles flowing along intersecting orbits.”
Okay, that should pretty much set the scene for Constructive Abandonment, the latest example of Drawn & Quarterly’s series of art books. I haven’t been enamoured of these so far, and after ten minutes of Constructive Abandonment, I’m still not in any way convinced.
Depending on your take on the pieces inside you may enjoy the art, or you may just shake your heads and, upon reading that afterword, just be tempted to use the phrase pretentious rubbish.
Personally, I quite like the art, quite like the contrast between the imagery of the words and the meaning of the images. The artists go out of their way to make several pieces funny, playing with meaning and image. Both artists work with natural imagery, using various animals to create a sense of absurdity in the scenarios to make their (rather heavyhanded) points.
So it’s mildly interesting, with a few nice pieces, but as a collection, a small hardback with a piece per page, there’s just not enough going on to make it anything more.
Of course, this isn’t comics, this is “art” and therefore completely subjective. You may look at these examples and consider them the greatest works of art you’ve ever seen. Although personally I doubt that. There’s very little here I haven’t seen (and seen better) elsewhere.
And sometimes, just like me, you may find yourself looking at the page and thinking it’s not just bad, it’s bad and lazy…. I mean, “picking on the new girl”…
And in the end, like all these D&Q art books, I just fail to even see the point. Maybe if they were produced for an art show I could understand it, but these books, of art that ranges from relatively mediocre to somewhere approaching good, have no purpose beyond frustration for me.