May 18 - June 1
I never saw a worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin. It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance, they suddenly commit suicide — plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions.
The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight.
It is a dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulphur tint in others.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper, 1892
There are worlds in which the virtual coexists with the fairy tale. The prosaic is deliberately overlooked, and image is re-presented in an intoxicating vision of Neo-Baroque overload in all its: opulent, intriguing, unnerving, dark, dizzying, mordant, frenzied, luminous, glittering, fluoro fakery.
Surface is everything.
Neon artifice abounds.
Ornament, like the world of emotion, is transformed in to an elaborate stage set upon which to enact the performance of the feminine, the superfluous, the contradictory, the essential, and the exuberantly subversive. The messages are esoteric. They come both from here, and from the other side. Insistent in their promises, their masquerade; they variously seduce an audience with an excess of patterning, collage, and dense layering, or emotive words. Like the mesmeric, phosphorescent effects of film lighting, we are plunged headlong in to a world of ‘sensuous vertigo’ , where props, mask-like faces, lurid colour, and lush tropical leaves proliferate.
Buried beneath a sea of glittering rubble, the throbbing pink heart is innervated by words and tales of excess. The visual effect is of a ‘faintly corrupt sweetness’ , emboldened by the suggestive twists and turns of aggressive gestural marks.