Image: Martha Jungwirth

Martha Jungwirth the ape in me

1988
Originally published in 'Protokolle: Zeitschrift für Literatur und Kunst'.

the ape in me
method: back to the old brains, to the senso-motoric
to before spoken language
to before perception
to before memory
to before the obtrusiveness of objects
to before Euclid where the straight lines meet at the
vanishing point
not thinking while painting.

untangling the assimilation, porously swamping it,
a bath sponge: capturing the rapid, fluid world of
images, the rags of memory.

i invent a pictorial language, an equivalent to the
rigid, binding reality, to the remaining 20% of
perception that suffices not to run against corners,
to recognise a few objects: the déjà-vu, the smile of
the third month, the rest discarded. my pictorial
reality is charged with passion, a language tied to
the body, to dynamic movement. colourful streaks
and blotches in tangled relation, swiftly spontaneous,
blindly immeasurable, an irreproducible space for
action. inner images surface and sink, current
perception controls the motorics, the blotches and
colours that form movement, a system right within
itself, not conforming with the binding reality.
no on-sight painting.
viewing and painting are split, the eye and the hand
asynchronous. blotches flying out of the body, executed
simultaneously on vertical surfaces.
my painting is bound to me, to the moment, to the
supple hand, the sharp eye, the good legwork, to un-
controlled drifting, to the unity of time and gorging,
to the moment of happiness; it is not a binding
language, nor a traffic signal to make sure there is
no crash when the troglodytes are on the road, and
not a symbol, means nothing, there is no convention
to discover behind it.
it is asocial, an end in itself, a flow undisturbed
by reflection, an adroit move of the limbs, halted at
the right moment.
the often practiced subsided. induce the random
event, detect it without delay and use it as an
element to go forward.

leave open the constellations of blotches, reject and use,
centre and decentre, leave visible the painting
process, no retouching, risk not recipe. non finito.

unadorned, all-at-sea painting, is what i strive for.
to the reptilian reflex
to the brain stem
to the acte gratuit
to before the rem sleep, in the ‘temporal lobes of
the metronome’, my painting is action and passion:
a dynamic space.
the image a fluid shadow, becoming an eeg of
creaturbility, if it succeeds in penetrating the
billowing oceanic all-over waves. where the old
proteus counts to five.
to before the cutting out, sending in and winning.
to before rules
to before the ego-shift
where my ego is the world and vice versa where it
paints, the s(ubconscious) m(ind), the limbic system
no metaphysics
no doctrine
no occultism
no shamans
no philosophy
no scheme
a blotch is a blotch is a blotch, a smart or a stupid one,
nothing else.

assimilation: from a biological perspective, assimila-
tion is the integration of external elements
into the developing or mature structure of an organism.

senso-motoric: the first stage of intelligence,
sensual and motoric functions are linked, practical
intelligence.

on-sight painting: a type of painting that depicts
objects so that they can be easily recognised as such,
according to the agreed rules of reality.

ego-shift: is what i call the moment at the end of
primitive thinking at the age of seven when teachers
start drilling rules and drive out the fairy-tale age.

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