SPITERI CV (PDF)
25 October to 18 November 2006
“Symbols grow. They come into being
by development out of other signs, particularly from icons, or from mixed
signs partaking of the nature of icons and symbols... So it is only out
of symbols that a new symbol can grow. Omne symbolum
— C.S. Pierce
“The Icon, Index, and Symbol,”
Taken one by one the physical activities of collage making appear disarmingly
simple, so simple in fact that their significance easily escapes notice.
However, when they are taken together, as an integrated series of transformations,
a quite surprising symbolism appears. The activities entailed in making
and physically transforming collages can then be seen to embody the logic
of our psychological development. These activities comprise an extended
metaphor; they symbolize the growth of the human mind.
Paper is the main medium used in the ‘fragments’
work, the palette takes advantage of its portable and tactile qualities.
The nature of colláge and its tactility produces layers partially
informing the viewer of the process and journey. The fragmentation of
paper resources, as opposed to using them in their entirety, is a method
used to break down and abbreviate imagery into a re-interpretable format.
This is suitable for combining multiple sources and arriving at more substantial
context and interpretive meaning in the form of hybrid imagery. This is
analogous to the etymological breaking down of words in search of meaning
Sourcing paper material culture is an infinite and intricate journey conducive
to the idea of continuous observation and note taking; keeping the work
both experiential and experimental. The system of researching and sourcing
a vast range of visual textural sensations and contemporary references,
improvised and rapidly laid down, is in itself an unconscious system of
language. A vital part of this language is the act of cancellation i.e.
concealing previous layers. Through the act of cancellation layers of
paper build up, enhancing the tactile surface similar to quantities of
life experience and memory. Tearing away also restores layers so that
there is a life to each fragment of the image whether it is visible; appearing
at the image surface (the tangible conscious) or concealed; (within the
unconscious) buried beneath the surface, but still an active part of the
object’s history, development and subsequent narrative.
This work and process parallels the theory of ‘detournement’
written about by Guy Debord. The reuse of preexisting artistic elements
form in a new ensemble. Elements may lose their original sense completely
while creating the organisation of another meaningful ensemble. Detournement
has a peculiar power. It stems from the double meaning, from the enrichment
of most of the terms by the coexistence within them of their old senses
and their new, immediate sense. We find ourselves confronted with both
the urgent necessity and near impossibility of bringing together and carrying
out a totally innovative collective action.
The altering of surfaces and visual sensations by this process forms a
series of procedural and semantic orderings implicating the process as
narrative. By experimenting with scale via the enlargement of imagery
in either a single piece or composite panels, the intimacy of smaller
scale works has been made appropriate to the idea they represent. They
can be read as a continual visual narrative. The picture extending outside
the picture plane further promotes this concept, linking the progression
of each work and further exploration.
Collage has become a critical paradigm of the information
age because it opens the range of possibilities through which we interpret
information artifacts. Cut and paste enables semiotic construction that
simultaneously leverages and detourns the means of production embodied
by particular media elements. The recombination of genetic codes of meaning
creates hybrid forms.
Brian Spiteri, October 2006
Brian Spiteri 2008 Exhibition
Spiteri 2010 Exhibition
Spiteri 2012 Exhibition