Tim Hawkinson
back: GRAPH, 1999
Ink on chrome-coated paper on wooden panel 96x144 in.

right and detail: WALL CHART OF WORLD HISTORY FROM EARLIEST TIMES TO THE PRESENT, 1997
Pen and pencil on paper 51x396 in.

The record of an autobiographical action, GRAPH derives from the word "autograph", and references Edward Muybridge's photographs of figures in motion. According to the artist: "I made printing rollers out of a latex rubber impression of my skin and used these rollers to print the looping bands of red. Most bands contain some significant feature: nostrils, belly button, knee, scar, etc. Due to flattening which occurs in the printing process many of the features are hard to distinguish. The different features are printed in sequence from head to toe."

How important is this explanation to GRAPH? Very. Knowledge of the process deepens appreciation of the work. But, what happens if there is no accompanying explanation? The ingenious application of the artist's body in the making of the work is akin to a performance, and the artist wants us to know about it. Yet that process is no more, and in its absence only the picture remains bearing the marks of its passage.

In WALL CHART we follow what appears to be an obsessivly elaborate improvisational drawing of intestines, Pre-Columbian motifs, a labyrinth of inner and outer space... According to the artist: "...the imagery can be read as representative of the rise and fall of history's world powers, or as empires swallowing up diminishing ones and in turn taking their places. This drawing is akin to a timeline with no beginning and no end. It can also be read as a mapping of the internal structures of the human body (to include intestines, organs, and such). I originally saw this drawing as a scroll which could be read by following the images with one's index finger. During the creation of WALL CHART the paper was scrolled vertically; only a 3 ft. window of paper was visible at any one time. Hence, the past was forgotten."

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