This may be old news to a lot of you but I just came across this in a book on 9/11 last night. Michael Richards was a sculptor who had a studio on the 90th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Centre. He spent the night of the 10th/11th of September working there and died in the tragedy. The odd thing is that his work revolved around aviation and one of his most striking pieces is this one, Tar Baby vs Saint Sebastien, dedicated to the Tuskeegee airmen, an all-black battalion of fighter pilots who operated during WW2.
Cast from his own body he stands straight as a tower, his body pierced, like Saint Sebastien with his arrows, by multiple aeroplanes.
It is not hard, on the back of this story to start musing on premonition, destiny and more specifically, for me anyway, the origins of the art that has been created by us as humans. When an artist paints, a writer writes, a runner runs, often times(or sometimes at least)they feel the work is happening through them, that they are a conduit for something much larger than themselves.
It’s not a jump to start thinking that Michael Richards was, like so many of us, a channel for images and thoughts from the greater universe. Is it possible that these things go bouncing around in space and time and come back to us, through us, garbled and distorted, mirror images of mirror images, beyond interpretation before the fact but beautiful and compelling all the same?
Or is it an incidence of the collective unconscious of a world that has become so bloated with images and shared knowledge that many people can reach the same ideas in isolation.
Then again it’s probably more mundane than that, just a quirky coincidence of which there are so many in the world.
Still, it gave my mind something to chew on during a long night shift and I was glad to be introduced to some new art and who knows, in the end, what is out there or in here or what and where we really are.