Monday, 10:00am
29 September 2008

Visible absence

eye feature extra
Visual culture

Leo Fitzmaurice and the black hole of shopping . . . in Deptford

British artist Leo Fitzmaurice [whose work you can see right now in Deptford High St., above and bottom] has created an aesthetic of what might be called ‘visible absence’, writes David Crowley, in the latest issue of Eye.

The printed material that clutters our world – the posters, flyers, packaging and catalogues that call for our attention – forms his raw material.

Fitzmaurice’s work is just one example in a substantial essay about the concept of writing ‘sous rature’ (under erasure). Read the complete, 2000-word article, ‘Strikethrough’, in Eye (no. 69 vol. 18).

In Craterforms, (above), Fitzmaurice subjects an Argos catalogue, the chief selling tool of a British retailer, to a cataclysmic or even eschatological event. The glossy volume seems to have been struck by a meteorite. In this way, the most mundane of commercial objects has been deprived of its purpose to become a sublime product of the forces of ‘nature’.

See also, ‘Don’t buy this’, article about Thomas Matthews’ high street installation for Friends of the Earth in Eye no. 27 vol. 7.

Top and bottom: You Tell Me Again I'm Not Interested, a shop window (work in progress) subverted by artist Leo Fitzmaurice for the art festival Deptford X in southeast London, which continues until 19 October 2008. New pictures added 29 Sept 08.

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.