LE COOL REVIEW JOHN BOYD

 

Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges’ short story, Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, a tale set in an enigmatic world that blurs the lines between fiction and reality, memoir and apocryphal accounts and authentic and synthetic artefacts. Boyd’s collection preserves this cryptic quality, with each image flowing into another creating a cohesive compilation, while also being reminiscent of a pictorial storybook when viewed together. Consistent in each image is two male figures viewed only in profile with inscrutable expressions (and at times masked), what isn’t consistent, however, is their actions throughout. As one image flows into the next the figures are in continuous rotation, but always facing the next piece, awaiting the next section of an undetermined expedition. Similarly, the artefacts present rotate, and at times occupy different functions, which can be as obscure as a fish transforming into a hat. In isolation, each image contains microscopic detail that could easily be surpassed without vigilant attention, but adds something unique and significant to the piece.

The latent ambiguity of this collection is thought-provoking and allows for a complete subjective judgement on the overall narrative. Stephanie Kelly