• Coloring in the void: Absurdity and contemporary art

Faust, Chantal, 2023, Book Section, Coloring in the void: Absurdity and contemporary art In: Hjorth, Larissa, Jungnickel, Kat, Lammes, Sybille and Rae, Jen, (eds.) Failurists: When things go awry. Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam, pp. 148-153. ISBN 9789083328201

Abstract or Description:

Boo Boo Bird is a song, or a poem perhaps, or a song and a poem, by the Scottish poet, songwriter and humorist Ivor Cutler. This wistful ballad describes the plight and flight of a mythical bird, the Boo Boo bird. What we discover through the song is that the Boo Boo bird has no defining features, in fact — it has no features at all. The Boo Boo bird is invisible and recognized only by its call: ‘boo boo, boo boo’. The repetition of the word is important, and the absurdity of the invisible bird is amplified by its childish double name; boo boo, like an infant’s first attempts at vocalization, or that informal way of referring to a failure, a mistake, a booboo. There is something haunting about the way Cutler sings to this impossible creature and it is this element which makes the work so compelling; that it can be simultaneously ridiculous and also very moving.1 It straddles a certain border between irony and sincerity. And it is this border, or rather the oscillation between the states of irony and sincerity and between falling and failing, that features in the works discussed within this chapter, tracing a line between things and what is at the outermost edge of things, namely, the void.

Official URL: https://networkcultures.org/blog/publication/failu...
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2023 15:44
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2023 15:44
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/5605
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