Cremaster Fanatic

Drawing Restraint 9 - A Metaphorical Glossary  (arranged chronologically)

by Peter Streitman


Clown--Barney is the clown, deeply affected by the human atrocities, which occurred during World War II in Japan.  While at times the landscape and establishing imagery may seem benign an underlying current is diametrically opposing a false sense of harmony within modern Japan through the pasts indelible atomic mark.

Mold--Japanese minds are the mold their work offers an examination of the Japanese's relationship to whaling traditions social and ideological practices in the twentieth century.  While this mold implies an established form, which has become iconic in his artistic endeavor it reflects and casts social management conforms that traditionally have come from a prevailing state of conformity.  

Truck--Barbara Gladstone is the truck, a vessel containing the medium and media in a fluid molten consistency eventually migrating slowly to a viscous state of iconic proportions.  The highly polished stainless steel truck meanders through streets consumed by historical ethnicity and morphed by centuries of public offerings reflecting an external world of oppressed solipsistic perceptions.  Propelled by a consortium of Japanese men swathed in white the truck moves along, not under its own power but entirely generated by a significant mass of virgin laborers, working to bring the machine to the mother ship, awaiting her provisions.  The truck itself an ominous puppeteer of the virgins straining to maintain its position while simultaneously nudged into slow motion navigation through a power plant.

Vaseline--The jelly is the art, while at first seemingly insignificant and beneficial, its solidified mass becomes so enormous it collapses under its own weight, imploding when the mold is pulled, calving into fragmented pieces.  Traversing from a clear hot liquid to a cold opaque solid, initially reflecting the surrounding whalers then slowly becoming translucent and finally an opaque solid, visibly impenetrable.

Tea—Sperm, a shared fluid that has taken the act of ceremony to such a refined state so as to make the practical use insignificant.

Japan-- Football field, dissected, analyzed and performed on a stage to the world.  Sitting on a pedestal on artificial turf, lights on, warriors doing battle over and over on a seemingly endless game, reliving the horror of the past.

Amas-- White blood cells a flowing force coursing through nature where just under the pristine surface lies a watery land fill.

Catcher vessels-- U.S. government, in an incessant pursuit of containment and aggression.

Both male and female guests-- A chronological time base delineating a progression of two creative entities unifying and eventually consuming.

Windless, Capstans, Gantries and Booms-- Are drugs.  Crutches of long held habits supporting the Nisshin Maru, controlling her while letting her free to roam the earth only to bring her back after six months at sea, her belly full of history and tradition.

Knives-- Eyeglasses allowing the viewer to see under the surface or content. They reveal the blubber beneath lies the meat.

Nisshin Maru--is the earth during medieval times, before Galileo, challenging physical and mathematical theory maintaining a centralized ideal however inappropriate she may be perceived.

Power plant-- refers to the Middle East, supplying fossil fuels to various operations and providing a context for the dancers to compose their sacrificial ritual.

Japanese dancers-- Are Japanese dancers

Icebergs-- Convey sentiment, drenched in values frozen through out history.  They float in their own brine, transforming from solid to liquid, evolving in form, mutating to a liquid, which never is lost, only recomposed.

Whales-- Currency. At the heart of DR 9 lies the whale, while artistic conceptualization may bring the current international whaling concerns into question; the whales are in fact, a commodity.  The thousand-year tradition of hunting whales for subsistence verses scientific research.

Ostrich-- excess denial.  While certain whaling traditions have increasingly grown unpopular over time the prevailing international social mores caste a disparaging frown upon Nippon.  Placing the ostrich skin around the head and body indicates a wholly shared elide of humankind, a substitution of nuclear aggression for guilt. 

Pearls--Endeavor for aesthetic perfection.  The sea slowly and begrudgingly gives up its coveted possessions; the pearls opposite the whales with the exception of their inherent monetary value.

Gift--Represents a concept, while the gift is not important the wrapping is.  Under layer upon layer of paper lies an idea, pervasively clouded by the patina of how it has been executed. 

Gift wrapper—Education.  Through the process of education various formulations are made, which bring insight to life's labyrinth.  The gift wrapper is the educator bringing a context to concept.

Dejima--Acceptance of other cultures.  After thousands of years the doors of inclusion were opened.  It still may be a minimal gesture but it indicated a willingness to embrace other commercial ways and a rejection of other religious fervor ending a 200-year blanket from the world.  Dejima was built on a man made surface it maintains a distance while being a part of.

Sea--Is a support system.  Perhaps the most consistent aspect of Japan is the water world.  The sea is integral to all Japanese.  It is the food chain, the economic highway, the isolation device, and the aesthetic. 

Bamboo—Is an individual’s sense of worth.  The small sinewy cellular structure of bamboo is strengthened by an organic weaving inherent to the plant making it by weight one of the strongest substances on earth.

Fur—Etiquette of formality.  The layering of various furs (many of which are indigenous to North America) denotes an animal cotillion both affluent and formal, taken to a degree of absurdity.

Red Dress—A form of prosperity, the actual dress has no significant meaning, however the color has long been used in Asian culture.

Lemons—Disease.  Maritime history has seen sailors who have undertaken long passages at sea developing scurvy; it owed itself to a vitamin c deficiency.

Attendants—Parents.  They cleanse, coddle and observe eventually letting their offspring take the initiative. 

Barber—Reinvention of one’s self.

Shusei—Self medication.  By shaving the male guest’s eyebrows Shusei is stripping him of elements of his past.

Painting of Whalers—Substantiation of history.  A form of proof that an event actually existed.

Rocks—Impasses.  Walls determine, to a certain extent what direction ones life takes.

Hot tub—Purgatory, the Christian’s form of cleaning one’s soul before entering heaven.

Foc'sle—Traditionally the end of the ship where the crew slept, it is the area of the ship with the most motion making it the least desirable.  It is also the hub of social interaction amongst the crew.

Quills—A defense mechanism.  Quills have an insulating quality and are a non-aggressive form of defense.

Head horns—Resistance of concept, the worn horns are a form of resistance to any number of concepts and realization of concepts.  The plate on the horn spreads out the load so as to not focus it in a centralized location

Tugboat—Are the curators, it is a constant struggle within the art community to perform and produce and often times the artists intent becomes lost or secondary.

Kids—Purity, wholeness and simplicity.

Nisshin Maru crew—Support through unification.  One person can drive a ship but without the crew it would founder.  The crew embodies a foundation of absolute relevance. 

Ambergris—Kate Moss (fashion model).  Whales regurgitate ambergris, a highly sought material used as a binder in perfume.  Bulimia nervosa also produces a societal body highly sought after.  The manifestation of the action is not a glamorous notion but the final product’s effect outweighs the means by which it is obtained.

Harpoon—Persistence of vision.  The accumulated force of a multitude of conceptualizations resolves in a profound pinnacle.  Like the tip of the harpoon packed with gun powder the vision gives way to the fruits of the artist’s labor.

Stamping man—Mechanization of form.  The repetitive movement occurring at the pace of an athlete takes a physical task beyond its normative parameters.

Splicing lesson—Infinite wisdom.  The splicing of an eye is a bond where a length of cable is wove into itself creating an endless loop stronger than the sum of its parts.

Whale game, toy boat--Cracker Jack box

Dissecting lower body—Consummate love.  The tea guest’s love for one another leads them on a physical path of consummation. They ingest themselves as well as their lover in a ceremonial courtship where their bodies eventually transform into a different species.

Storm—Motivational force.  External forces beyond control and the energy they create to cause effect to the outcome in a given event.

Engine room—Male reproductive system.  Pushing the hull through the sea, not ceasing until the last drop of diesel is spent.

Jelly collapse—History. Repeating itself initially building itself up only to eventually find its demise crushed under its own weight once the confines or molds are removed.

Vestigial limb—Forgotten memory.  Something that existed and yet is hidden from sight and memory only remembered by a barely perceptible genetic oddity.