Thursday, 20 September 2007

8. Composition in Grey (“Raising Standards”)

“But please, let us forget Ms Tracy Eminem and her shallow female sexuality for one moment” said Fleydon, passing swiftly along the line, and let us concentrate on a real phallic symbol. War and Football – so often linked whether playing across the trenches, Christmas day truces or ‘Escape to Victory’ -the vigour of young men competing at their peak. ‘Erecting the flag’, yes… sex, combat and AFC Wimbledon this picture has it all. Look at the angle of the pole and the cluster of rounded shapes at the bottom – if you squint I think you will see the phallic embodiment of a rampant club. I shiver whenever I pass it. It’s symbolism is so powerful, so intense. The original photograph might have been quite well-known, but my re-staging has I feel, a more honest, earthy touch.”

I asked Fleydon if there was anything about the work that he would change. Well, one technical thing that struck me at the time was how tricky it is painting a fluttering flag on a fluttering flag! Creases, like faces, are a bit tricky…”

In an extraordinary statement, Fleydon then claimed to have proof that the original photograph, ostensibly of the capture of Iwo Jima, was actually staged in the desert of Nevada. It’s a conspiracy you know – and a cover up” He leant toward me and winked. “But I know the truth – Art opens both doors and tongues you know…!”

(Composition in Grey appears with kind permission of the Commanding Officer, Area 51, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada)

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