North by Northwest

North by Northwest, an essay sketch, Philipp Koch 2012, part of the archive „Out of place“, curated by Associazione 22:37

I am sure this essay sketch, as i call it, might rise several questions. First and foremost. what is an essay sketch?

The essay sketch

In my understanding, an essay sketch captures all or most of the important topics, meant to be dealt within an essay, much like in a brainstorming session. In the case of the sketch above the topics are also given a specific „weight“ or importance e.g. place. On a second level they are set in relation to one another, oftenly in the way of diametrical antipodes or pairs (like past – future). Out of this sketch one can now make up his or her own ideas about the relations, the crossmeanings and the several possibilities of approaching fields of significance adressed by the individual terms. More open than an actual written essay, this specific form of „drawing thoughts“ allows in its openness a wider approach of interpretation and enables more easily the creation of individual ideas by the spectator.

Center and Peripherie

The sketch works with the placing of a center against its peripheries. The single term „artist“ (which is actually interchangeable with creativity in a way) is at the same time the „core“, inpenetrable centre, as it is a fragile single term circumsized by its surroundings and – in one way of interpretation – threatend by them as it uses them to become itself, as a term. The terms from the outside therefore impact the centre as the centre impacts the peripherie, as well as the opposing and neighbouring terms in the peripherie have impact on one another.

North by Northwest
The title of the famous Hitchcock movie is not by chance given to the work. In the movie the „hero“, played ingeniously by Cary Grant, is trapped in a twisted misconception of his identity around which the story unravels and leads the „hero“ to actually become the person (in a way) that he was originally mistaken for. The Character thus undergoes a transformation, being (strangely enough) also himself all along the way. Identity is in my opinion one of the central aspects of the question what or who the „artist“ as a social being is today. His role has very much changed over the last few decades, from being an somewhat „outlawed“ but admired outcaste of society to being the role model of post-modernism and an actually quite strange setup of capitalism, where the „artist“ figures as the creator out of nothing, being inventor, entrepreneur and driving tool of society all in one. If you actually take the Title and make up the connection on the drawing it will lead you to the terms „Past“ and „Projects“, both ligned to „Artist“ and nealy directly neighbouring one another.

The Archive

The ongoing Archive „Out of place“ curated by Associazione 22:37, momentarily on display in the „independents“ section of this years verona art fair, is built on the theme of the artist being a nomad – an international creature unbound from a specific place or tradition or „home“, concerning the international discourse and the „placelessnes“ of contemporary art production. The archive momentarily consists of works, essays, quotes and dossiers by 54 artists, curators, art historians and other people related to the art world.

Über philippkoch

author and curator, specializing in literature and writing on visual arts
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Eine Antwort zu North by Northwest

  1. Maryellen schreibt:

    Thanks for shiganr. Always good to find a real expert.

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