& the language of representation
by Alexandre Nodopaka
An artist may be appraised through the multiplicity of their artworks and their content. By careful observation one may read between their compositions the undercurrent of their thoughts and personal cycles of their fascinations.
The subconscious, or not, voice of Dominic Rouse is as persuasive and precise as the meaning of the props that accompany the portrayal of his subjects. Throughout his mises en scenes I searched for his identity behind masked allegories and symbols of a psychological nature but concluded that parroting the images is at the risk of repeating what is in the artwork. If not in the eye of the beholder then in the mind I read into them my own meanings. I invite the viewers to judge for themselves the mystery contained in his artwork.
The photo-graphics of Mr. Rouse are imbued with a dash of perversity that challenges the spectator to dwell deep into the subconscious. His oeuvre displays a galvanizing dark side perfectly suited to the starkness of black and white technique, undistracted by color, where he projects a world of dreams and metaphysical aspirations.
Quod in imaginibus est in lingua, in so far as it is images, it is language and as images are concerned the meaning fades past the initial mental triggering when symbols are analyzed. They wane and like in dreams, they fade unless we write or paint them. There is no hidden message in Mr. Rouse’s eerie scenes; he exposes them as visions of dreams of a metaphysical nature.
Mr. Rouse is not only a poet of the image but also of lyrics where one may find added significance to his dark room artwork.
2 Poems by Dominic Rouse
'Empowerment' she said,
from beneath formica graphics,
and nationwide, women sniffing faintly
at a man's most recent fart,
peer with disinterest over empty novels
at a plain, unkempt, down-lit and menopausal female
who has passed the point
where caring for herself gets noticed
and has taken up instead
the gloomy causes of her gender,
in the sure and certain hope that lenses
will enlarge her grief-filled platitudes.
'Empowerment' she bled,
supported by computer graphics,
and hoped those watching from behind unsaintly
novels (in which there are no parts
for lives lived out in loveless hovels,
or plain, unkempt, down-lit, menopausal females)
would seize the point
that their lives pass by unnoticed
and no longer dread
that their dreams of rippled love render
them and their bludgeoned senses
to fulfill self-willed inexactitudes.
The dying artist's statement
I opened my sewered mind unguardedly
And rats the size of childhood fears
Rummaged through empty cupboards
Lined with the past's unhappy news.
Truth, that bastard of eternity,
Dripped from a rusty hanger; mothballed,
Outmoded, death-trapped and creased,
Do-goodingly given to the needy.
Through the airless grill I clearly saw
The narrow path that led to the summit,
Mist-hidden from the fading sun,
And lined with the crucified fools
Who had tempted me with rack and ruin
Wrapped prettily as fame and fortune.
Beware-signs seen too late, they hung
Pointing where I should not have gone.
Estate-agents still misleading me
With half-truths about the views
Though it pained them to speak.
Financial lizards, innumerate now
But for the hum of lap-top mendacity,
Omniscient software that promised
Evergreen lawns and perennial cruises
To half-employed, unwaged, losers
Fearing wheel-chaired hospice futures.
And I wondered if they too had
Planned for these chill autumnal years
Nailed now between their outstretched hands
With policies beyond redemption
Maturity dates long past and still
A guaranteed amount of inflation-proof hell.
But saw in their fears they had not,
Heard in their screams the arrears
They had gorged from others' profits.
Unable to bear their failures
Which were by default my own,
I turned my back on the mountain
That I must one day surely climb,
And faced the one-room hovel
That houses my bitter past.
Alexandre Nodopaka Oct©2006
Further information about the artist may be seen at links housed on his site www.dominicrouse.com