For this week’s WINK review, I take a trip into David Chaim Smith’s The Sacrificial Universe:
The Sacrificial Universe contains 45 stunning drawings of mesmerizing complexity and strangeness. Most of them are full-size, with a number as dramatic fold-out diptychs, triptychs, and even a quadriptych. The production is high-quality, art-book level. The text in Sacrificial Universe (but really, everything in the book) attempts what Smith calls “associative intoxication.” There are three textual modes: a scholarship/intellectual mode, which offers more traditional expositions on David’s art and its underpinning ideas and symbols; a hyper-allegorical mode, the realm of poetic resonance, pattern recognition, and discovered association; and the third is the realm of the mystical, the ecstatic, and the visionary (i.e. when contemplating these ideas and images make serious lights go off in your head). Additional text, mainly in the service to these last two modes, promiscuously invades the drawings. These little ribbons of strange, often seemingly incomprehensible text help pull you deeper into the absurdly dense drawings. Spend some time in one of these images and you’ll get as entangled in it as the textual ribbons, tree roots, light-rays, intestine-like constructs, and other fingery tendrils that expand out from most of these images.
Read the entire review here.