Bahrain / Backhand Rain
Backhand Rain (2006, Giclée on Canvas 29½” x 52”) Develops the tessellation of New Tetrahedral Map 2 with sixteen iterations into the figure-eight shape. This arrangement has mostly offshore singular points (with the exception of that located near Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia, which is responsible for the double appearance of Australiaustralia); the principal singularity is off the coast of Oregon, at 45º N 130º W. The singularity that occurs along the 50º meridian on the other side of the World(s) is placed in the Persian Gulf, near Bahrain. The proximity of that point to the Arabian Peninsula increases the relative scale of that region dramatically, while the overall area of landmasses take up a greater proportion of the cartographic space in this variation of the Tetrahedral projection than in the other three I have completed. The other singular point is off the coast of Uruguay.
The predominant formal features in this image, aside from the map itself, are the occlusions superimposed upon it, in the form of the interior spaces from the figure-eight shape, having the appearance of iconic drops of oil. A triple-looped text construction coursing over the Pacific and winding around the Moon also references the site of the first Lunar landing: “The Sea of Tranquil Lies, or, the Pacifictitious Ocean.” Other figures relating to the number sixteen appear in the corners, glowing celestially in the nocturnal space. A circular icon containing sixteen triangulated points that extend from two focal references, mimicking the combined fields of binocular vision, is superimposed with a small figure-eight shaped text construction: “Mirage upon the Horizon.”
The central figure-eight text construction, between the facing Western coasts of the mirrored North Americas, identifies itself as a “Toxicology Exchange.” Written large elsewhere on the open areas of the plural Oceans, text elements refer to the drifting, floating and dissolving qualities intrinsic to our understanding of water; yet these notions are here equally applicable to the text itself, in the senses that it can be applied more than singularly, not in the universal sense, but as a kind of Pluriverse (cry me a river).
Polemics are found here and there; as this work was resolved during the Spring of 2006, amidst the controversy of Danish-published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, there are references of antipathy towards that country throughout the Middle East, and Europe, around the centre of the image. Such lines as “There is something rotten…,” “The (at)tribution of false works,” and “Retribution” are scattered and fragmented along with the nagging comments, “Well” “Well” “Well” “Well” “Well” “Well” “Well” …which might actually be oil wells. Oh well.