February 12, 2018

on being Nicola Deane

Filed under: art,nicola deane — ABRAXAS @ 12:22 pm

One of the greatest barriers against getting to know Nicola Deane (a noise artist) is her sheer incomprehensibility: the oddity, bizarreness, obscurity in all that we perceive of her. There are many reasons why this is so. Even when she is striving to tell us, in as clear and straightforward a way as she knows how, the nature of her anxieties and her experiences, structured as they are in a radically different way from ours, the speech content is necessarily difficult to follow. Moreover, the formal elements of speech are in themselves ordered in unusual ways, and these formal peculiarities seem, at least to some extent, to be the reflection in language of the alternative (dis)ordering of her experience, with splits in it where we take coherence for granted, and the running together (fusion) of elements that we generally keep apart.

Yet these irreducible difficulties are practically certain to be much increased, at least in one’s first encounters with Nicola Deane’s (noise)art, by her deliberate use of obscurity and complexity as smokescreen to hide behind. This creates the ironic situation that the artist Nicola Deane is often playing at being dead, or pretending to be so. In fact, pretence and equivocation are greatly used by noise artists. The reasons for doing this are, in any single case, likely to serve more than one purpose at a time. The most obvious one is that it preserves the secrecy, the privacy, of herself against intrusion (engulfment, implosion). Despite her longing to be loved for her ‘real artist self’ Nicola Deane is terrified of love. Any for of understanding threatens her whole defensive system (noise/art).

Her outward behaviour is a defensive system analogous to innumerable openings to underground passages which one might imagine would take one to her “inner citadel”, but they lead nowhere or elsewhere. Nicola Deane is not going to reveal herself for casual inspection and examinstion to any philandering academic. If her self is not known it is safe. It is safe from penetrating remarks; it is safe from being smothered or engulfed by love, as much as from destruction from hatred. If “Nicola Deane” is incognito, her noise art can be handled and manipulated, petted, caressed, beaten, given injections or what have you, but “she”, as onlooker, is inviolable.

Nicola Deane the noise artist at the same time longs to be understood; indeed, longs for one whole person who might accept her total being, and in doing so, just “let her be”.

Leave a Reply