Saturday, 31 January 2015

Structures 12-23: Vincent Stall on Decay, Environmental Destruction and Temporary Solutions

Decay and Solutions

Structures 12-23 by Vincent Stall is the second mini-comic in "Uncivilized Books" series "Structures". In this series, various artists are contributing various structures or objects in a mini-comic format. I haven't yet seen all of the minis (Structures 1-11 by Tom Kaczynski and Structures 35-45 by Patrick Kyle), although I read Structures 24-34 this May. I will seek out the other issues shortly to get a better perspective on this project. Most likely at TCAF 2015. 

Vincent Stall's structures begins with a sort of civilizational collapse. A tabula rasa of some sort, unexplained and incomprehensible, that left the world in ruins. From those ruins, a new grotesque architecture rises to once again stomp on the environment and impose it's will on nature. It was fairly interesting to see this mini. What we see from the beginning is the destruction and collapse of a world order. We can't quite make sense of how it happened. The story and clues aren't straightforward, much like the buildings that make up the world. From there we navigate a world of ruins. Destroyed buildings, ruins and decay are everywhere. What is fascinating is that the residents of this wasteland have been cannibalizing the land and chopping trees to make their temporary habitats. This becomes a recurring motif in the book as each structure is less sustainable than the previous one. One is left to wonder how useful this environmental destruction can really be. If this is what we are doing with nature, creating freakishly deformed houses, perhaps it would be best to leave it alone. And perhaps, going further in this reflection, our own structures are distorted and our mutilation and constant exploitation of nature would look like this to an outsider. 

Temporary solutions
In 24 wordless pages, Stall forces the reader to reflect on current environmental issues and the very nature of our exploitative ways and environmental destruction. I almost feel bad for reading this on what is, in essence, a tree`s corpse. This is an important book and Uncivilized Books should be very proud to publish such a strong and thoughtful experiment. I have been through this book more often than I ever thought I would. It was a fantastic trip through decay and was really thought-provoking. Excellent.

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