JOHN STURGEON
Shapes from the Bone Change, ©1975
b&w, 4:20 minutes, sound

Sturgeon opens with a series of ritual body gestures, signaling with primal shapes, the square and triangle, as wind sounds whistle. There is a shamanistic quality to the mirrored image of structuring and reassembling patterns of bone fragments. By using sticks as diviners he circles in a centering process to a squaring entrapment of the bone essence. Swimming amid bone symbols the tape evokes a haunting mixture of primitive alchemy and the magic of the electronic image.
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"At first glance John Sturgeon's videotapes and performances seem like passages of prose written in a foreign language and in this liberating state one is free to interpret and imagine all sorts of meanings. It appears as though the artist has set out to invent his own metaphorical ontology in the spirit of Alfred Jarry's pataphysics. However, over the past seven years, John Sturgeon has been steadily accumulating an inventory of iconographic images associated with dream symbology, semeiology and a wide variety of literary notions concerning self definition. In these images the artist is concerned with the quality of the gesture made by line, painterly surface, and meter of the art." – Peter Goulds, LA Louver 1977

Date Completed: October 1975, Venice, California

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