Walking Woman by Hisham Matar

Beautiful. Love how she emerges. Makes me think of what Walter Benjamin says somewhere about how contained in every state of emergency is the possibility of long-buried things rising up to the surface. And something else altogether that has to do with her searching, confrontational half-certainty.

Hisham Matar

Walking Woman 11.9.19 2019, watercolour on paper, 10x10inch

Memory and Consequence in David Austen’s The Drowned by Hisham Matar

David Austen Hisham essay

The Weight Of The World: The Gorgon’s Dream

The Weight Of The World: The Gorgon’s Dream by Andreas Leventis, 2012

David Austen | Papillon, By Jessica Furseth

& fell even more deeply in love with you!

& fell even more deeply in love with you! Nigel Prince

Nigel Prince (Curator, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and Director, the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver)

David Austen on Alberto Giacometti’s Hour of the Traces 1930 Tate Etc. issue 4: Summer 2005

It is always smaller and more fragile than I remember. Its title is redolent of deep night, stained sheets and dragged bodies, while the cage-like structure is reminiscent of the scaffold and the guillotine, or a charred building. Above, attached by twisted bent wire to the roof beams like an early television aerial, are three white shapes: an upside down “L” or blind man’s cane, a crescent or shooting comet and a broken moon. These shapes could just as well be impaled body parts: a gaping head and a long skinny penis or tongue. This is a place of medieval torture or an ancient object from an Egyptian tomb. It is a grisly, cruel scene – none of the gaiety, humour and bird-like sounds that emanate from a Klee or Miró. “I work to please the dead” Giacometti said.

Dropped down into the body of the cage and held by a trembling wire is a small plaster heart. It is a pendulum in a Swiss clock, a beating heart from a Poe story, or a heart for a tin man. It makes me think of weight and gravity, the terrible lonely ache of love, passing moments and the “unbearable lightness of being”. I have a photograph I must have taken a very long time ago in Tate of the little plaster heart hanging by its wire. Now and then it surfaces to the top of a big pile of images I have in my studio. I always stop and look and think how something so simple can work so well, and it’s always going to be there.

Hour of the Traces was purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery in 1975, and is on view at Tate Modern until July 2005

Turps Banana

David Austen: Surfacing At The Crossroads by Martin Westwood