Half Tiger with Slit (2019)
White electroink print on two layers of translucent velum and silver mylar
Edition of 5, 2 artist’s proofs
Half Tiger is a white-on-white archival print that depicts the lower half of a Bengal tiger with a straight slit across the top of the paper. The piece refers to A General History of Quadrupeds, an extensive index of mammals published in the 19th century, The artist has cut the depiction of the animal in half in the paper, in reference to the tiger’s shifting metaphorical role in art and literature over time. The gesture also makes a veiled, if tongue-in-check, reference to the early work of Damien Hirst and the tendency of the Young British Artists’ to sever bodily forms. At once a symbol of power and passion, the tiger occupies a volatile position between dualities: control and license, order and revolution, agency and inertia. Half Tiger translates this duality into a contemporary context in which art follows politics while politics chases its tail.
This piece is part of La Lucha Sin Fin, the artist’s project on charisma and its persuasive apparatuses, which explored how the distribution of low-resolution pictures online in the early aughts has amplified the use of digital charismatics toward the consolidation of political and cultural power. La Lucha Sin Fin was produced at the Jan van Eyck Academie during a residency from 2010 to 2012.