Faithless: A (sort of) new leaflet

November 26, 2016

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust back from the printers is my new leaflet ‘Faithless: The Cenotaph As A Secular Shrine’ – I say it’s new, in fact the text is a reworking of an architectural article I did for ‘The Modernist’ magazine earlier in the year for their “F- For Faith” issue 19.

It’s one of several projects I’ve done around war memorials and remembrance, which started in March of this year with my 49-page booklet ‘Best We Forget’. I’ll tell you in my next post about a psychogeographical inspired piece ‘A Walk in the Parks’ which is also back from the printers – and they’ll be a sound piece about the Two Minutes Silence along presently.

Back to ‘Faithless’ – It’s a two sided, A3 sheet, z-folded into 6-panels and was printed in colour by an on-line printer, who I can heartily recommend. I’d usually have a pdf here for people to download, but because it’s printed as a z-fold, the page order doesn’t run in the right order when it’s viewed on-screen. So I’ll put the text and some photos from it here…
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April Fool

November 8, 2016

In my Little Book of Black Arts I mention Alphonse Allais – the French humourist who inadvertently invented conceptual art. He did all black pictures before Kazimir Malevich and silent compositions before John Cage – both of these were contained in a little book he did ‘Album Primo-Avrilesque’. I’ve done a version to keep the Black Arts book company.
You can download a album-primo-avrilesque



Little Book of Black Arts

October 29, 2016

This is the one-off artist’s book my last post alluded to – It’s called A Little Book of Black Arts and is a folio of faux-Polaroids of black paintings by different artists from 1617 to 2013 – you can see the paintings in the slide show in the last post. The book is a Moleskine Japanese accordion book – each of the 32 black panes has one ‘Polaroid’ mounted on it using traditional photo corners. They are arranged in order of year painted and each photograph has a caption consisting of Artist/Title/Year.
There’s a short essay ruminating on black paintings glued into the front and in the back pocket there are some postcard sized photographs of black painting ephemera. These carry no caption, comment or cryptic clue as to their content. You can download a pdf of the essay here:  david-dunnico-little-black-book-extended


Paint It Black

October 29, 2016

400 years ago, Robert Fludd, an English cosmologist-philosopher-occultist = know-all, published a book that would explain everything. In it he included a diagram to represent the idea of nothingness – the state of the universe before creation. To modern eyes it looks a lot like a black Polaroid picture. Three Centuries later, Kazimir Malevich painted ‘Black Square’ – [Tate video] which was his statement that from then on painting would be free of having to represent real things. It was as much a revolutionary idea as when Marcel Duchamp stuck a urinal in an art gallery. And since then artists from Rothko to Richter have painted, drawn and photographed all-black pictures.

Here’s a slide show my ‘Top 30’ (and a couple more) ‘Black Pictures’ – which I’ve collected in a one-off artist’s book called, ‘A Little Book of Black Arts’ – more on that in another post.

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Selling CCTV

October 8, 2016

fig-1-dunnico-cctvWhat happens when CCTV, fashion and commerce come together… It’s the last week of ‘Loitering With Intent’ – the psychogeography exhibition I’m taking part in at The People’s History Museum. One of the things I wanted to show when I was documenting the rise of CCTV in the UK, was how it had become part of popular culture – I’d argue that when advertisers start using its imagery to sell you stuff, then it has.

CCTV camera operated by Manchester City Council and billboard advertising the mobile phone company, Three

There are almost as many CCTV cameras as advertising hoardings in the urban street scene. Both are so much part of the everyday experience of city living it was only a matter of time before cameras started appearing on the adverts in a kind of cultural cannibalism.

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October 3, 2016

Most of the photography I like is “vernacular” – it was taken for some purpose other than to be a “good photo” or “beautiful image” – So I went to see ‘? THE IMAGE AS QUESTION: AN EXHIBITION OF EVIDENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHY’ – a new exhibition at the Michael Hoppen Gallery  in London. It shows a hundred or so photographs by nearly the same number of photographers, which were taken as documentary evidence of something – crime scene photographs, scientific studies and the like. The introduction explains:

“Most of the photographs were never intended as beautiful images. “They were required to prove a point, solve a mystery or simply to inform with clarity. The identity of a face, the location of a cell, the shape of a skull as confirmation of evolution, the coaxial lighting down a gun to show the twist of the barrel. All these images were made to illustrate a fact”.

And the idea that photographs are documentary proof is still central to the medium.

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Flag Day

September 11, 2016

9/11 Memorial at site of the World Trade Centre

This weekend on the 15th anniversary of 9/11, a new flag is being put on display in the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. I wrote about the story behind this flag in my booklet and video – but now there has been a new twist in the story – a story that unwittingly offers a telling comment about how 9/11 is understood, particularly in the USA.

“Every time there’s some kind of national emergency, we put up flags.
The flag represents the life of the country.”
– Carolyn Marvin, Professor of Communication, University of Pennsylvania.

ny_911flag_getty_0907The late edition of the Bergen Record newspaper on September 11th 2001 carried a photograph of three firefighters raising a flag over the destruction at the site of the World Trade Centre in New York. ‘Ground Zero Spirit’ had been taken earlier that day by staff photographer Thomas E. Franklin. The photograph consciously echoed Joe Rosenthal’s famous 1945 photograph of U.S. Marines ‘Raising The Flag at Iwo Jima’.

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