Romas Astrauskas: Fate is a Fool
To the eye in the atmosphere of reckless daring which they constantly breathe,
reverence of centuries, passing in long array beneath the lofty towers,
inconceivable falsetto. Stone babbled brokenly against its patter.
stillness prevails and many a listener does not even look
the fitful and lurid gleams and gushes of black vapour that flashed and eddied
Immediately the Bone Man vanished from sight for two or three seconds and,
like a flash, appeared at the boy’s head once more.
We continued like a buzzing insect between green, yellow and purple sheets
constellations and burning rare incense,
we too should call him by his name.
Those men who are born to gnaw dead thoughts.
Empire swept forward, because it could not be delayed,
was converted to white ashes before the single sheet of
an old ballad was half consumed.
Romas Astrauskas’ recent suite of paper-based works, Fate is a Fool (2011), illustrates his interest in seriality, as well as his skilled use of simple approaches and low-budget materials to create works that reward prolonged looking. Here, the artist’s impressions of wooden blocks pressed against black backgrounds may remind viewers of Richard Serra's abstract and austere prints and drawings, but they also feel like visual representations of punk music’s lo-fi, DIY aesthetic. While the images’ surfaces may look the same closer inspection reveals that each has its own unique visual rhythms.
Astrauskas is a Toronto-based artist whose work has been exhibited in a variety of galleries in the city, including Greener Pastures, LE Gallery and most recently at Ruins. He is also a writer, and has been contributing to Magenta regularly since the Fall 2010 issue. He reviews Sebastian Black’s exhibition at Toronto’s Tomorrow Gallery in this issue.