Launched on the occasion of Art Basel 2017, this fundraising edition was realized as a pair of giclee prints with two-color silkscreen overlays, produced as part of the Eric Timothy Carlson’s ongoing ‘NYPLPC’ series in which he accumulates and sequences found imagery sourced from the New York Public Library Picture Collection.
The first of Carlson’s two prints, NYPLPC Epitome 1. Chimera Barricade Sabot, combines an evocative set of visual elements that illustrate various systems/symbols of control met by acts of resistance. An engraving of an Egyptian criosphinx (the body of a lion, with the head of a lamb) is overlaid with an illustration of a traditional wooden shoe – a ‘sabot’, with roots to the word ‘sabotage’ – shown crushing a rattlesnake. A second paired image features another depiction of a sphinx – this time from a Late Imperial Chinese brush painting – which is laid across a photo depicting a worker uprising as they create a barricade out of the overturned vehicles.
Carlson’s second work, NYPLPC Epitome 2. I’m Hominini I’m L’Orange, is constructed in a similar way. The print features a color slide transparency of Lucy (Australopithecus), which is laid across an image of Pierrot the clown–dressed in a clergy-style white robe. Carlson seems to suggest again that culture is a transmission reaching back through all of human-scale time, and that it is one in a perpetual cycle of ruin and renewal. As Will Luckman writes of the series: “We interpret and synthesize the intentional and unintentional messages our ancestors have imperfectly advanced, guided by the contemporary culture in which we are immersed. Where historians fail, or when civilization falters, artists and shamans will pick up the thread.”
The two prints have been conceived as a diptych. Placed side by side, the geometric screenprinted elements connect them into a single narrative work, in which two prevalent facets of the ‘NYPLPC’ project play off each other and create a new direction for meaning.
Giclee on hot press bright paper 330 gsm with two color silk screen print overlays. Prints are also available for purchase separately.