Friday, July 29, 2011

FLF: The Thesis Portfolio

FLF was the thesis project of Mark Rice while attending RISD. There are several different versions of the project. First and foremost is the FLF Portfolio with a total of 88 prints. Here is a somewhat long-winded explanation from the mouth of the creator, Mark Rice.
"My recent work is an illustrated narrative of a creation myth about my own philosophy towards art making. This book, entitled “FLF,” is written from the point of view of a man named Kevinator. The book works as a posthumous account of Kevinator's final months after a large explosion traps him in the place of his employment. Symbolically, it is a parafictional and metaphorical account of my two years of graduate school at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Set against a post-apocalyptic landscape, this tale describes the adventures of a man, conveniently named Kevin, dealing with his own issues of fear and inspiration while battling his new environment, where he is seemingly the sole inhabitant. Renaissance engraving, pop culture, autobiographical accounts, and science fiction form the inspiration for this epic tale.
The illustrations for this work are produced by means of copper and wood engraving. The technique of engraving was historically used in the documentation of sculpture, jewelry, and in the reproduction of oil paintings and frescos to a wider audience. Engraving employs the carved line to reinterpret a work of art. After the image is incised using a burin, the carved material (usually copper or steel) is inked, and finally impressed into paper. The inherent discrepancies of an engraving from the original object of documentation are large. I have come to appreciate this discrepancy and hold it as a metaphor for the subjective quality of memory as well as the seeming impossibility of true objective documentation.
An invented language accompanies the illustrations in this text. This language, called Rungish, is a written dialect of English created for those with a distrust of language’s inherent ability to disseminate and demystify. This language demands an empathetic collaboration that bears a striking similarity to the relationship I seek in speaking through images. It seeks a slower and more reflective read as a method of reestablishing trust in the mutual responsibilities of communication for author and reader, artist and viewer."

Keep an eye open for the FLF catalog, which is currently in the works, featuring reproductions of all the prints as well as analysis by writers and artists alike.

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