Friday, February 8, 2019

the last book I ever read (Crudo: A Novel by Olivia Laing, excerpt five)

from Crudo: A Novel by Olivia Laing:

At King’s Cross she took the Piccadilly to Holloway Road and walked north. She stopped at the Costa to buy mineral water and proceeded to an alley off Seven Sisters Road. The artist occupied a windowless studio. Her work was very pure and strange, she’d invented a new technique that allowed her to incorporate motion, assembling her sculptures precariously so that they toppled or burst or otherwise deviated from authorial design inside the kiln. The new pieces were kinetic and disturbing, they contained dangling entrails and slabs of bacon, hide, balls, a donkey’s head, women’s dainty ankles and bare Barbie doll feet, petals, guts, cloaks and various internal organs. They weren’t representational, Kathy just kept being reminded of things she’d seen, rendered deliciously in the coolness of porcelain. There wasn’t any precedent, maybe a garden that was simultaneously a mass grave would give you the right feeling, or some sort of body soup, out of which a white world would shortly be created. They were that frightening, that generative and grossly pretty. The new owns had a component she hadn’t seen before, which looked like the spine of a dead dolphin. Kathy was not being whimsical, she’d seen the spine of a dead dolphin and this frighteningly ratcheted torted shape reminded her of it.

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