Jomon Spider Kit by Paul March

A fitting tribute to Paul March’s “Jomon Spider Kit” completed in 2013 is that it is currently exhibited at the Ariana Museum.  The team from Talking Beautiful Stuff go to see it. We find a huge gangling arachnoid laying in a corner as if dead for weeks. “Wow!” says Angela on seeing it. “That is so cool!”

Ariana Spider 5

JSK is composed of smooth monotone clay and chunky stainless-steel links. The workmanship stands out. The authentic spidery whorls on its thorax and abdomen make for an appealing biological contrast with its metallic components. The whole is elegant but nevertheless provokes discomfort.

Ariana Spider 2

I want to pick it up and rattle the legs. I even house a tiny desire to return at a later date with several metres of fishing line to revive it as an enormous spider-marionette.

Ariana Spider 4

I am intrigued and somehow intimidated. I would like an insight into what was in its creator’s mind when he put it together. I meet Paul at his Geneva studio. I am surprised to see no other completed works there. The surfaces and walls are taken over by – for want of a better term – a variety of bits and pieces; they include recognisable parts of what might be JSK2.  It seems his creative process involves cycles of tentative cutting, moulding, building, matching, linking, pressing and melting.

We chat. He has a ready smile. This former clinical psychologist from UK came to Geneva in his late thirties. He studied fine art and developed a particular interest in ceramics. We chat some more. I ask him about his influences. The smile broadens and he laughs at the banality of my question. An hour and a half later I am no closer to an answer. The discussion has ranged from subliminal fears (arachnophobia?) to art as a Dawkinsian extended phenotype. I am out of my depth! Later, I confess that I have not grasped what his creative world is about and that it will be difficult to write about his work. He is delighted! He would have been disappointed if I had grasped it! Whatever is inside this extraordinary mind and the creative process it drives, it has produced JSK. I know I’ll never understand. But now that I understand that I’ll never understand, I simply think “Wow! That is so cool!”

3 thoughts on “Jomon Spider Kit by Paul March

  1. I like the way you so lucidly talk about being confronted by uncomprehension and how, in the end, you have to rely on your sensations rather than your intellect. For me art is about creating a sensational understanding that language cannot achieve. Not only that but you also treat the work (and other works you have written about) from first principles: that is without using the lens of the contemporary art movement (nor any previous art movements). For me, as an artist, that is very important because I know that I am reading the response of a human being who is trying to honestly and accurately describe his response. Thank you for taking the trouble of going to see the spider, coming to see me, thinking about things and writing all that up.

  2. Pingback: Lunch at the Ariana | Talking Beautiful Stuff

  3. IT APPEARS TO BE ALIVE…YET MAYBE SLEEPING ..REMARKABLE SPIDER…I FEEL FEAR TO RUN ..ALL THE SAME…IT’S SO CAPTIVATING ..I WANT TO STAY AND STARE AT IT’S DETAILS ..AND EXAMINE IT’S BEAUTY.. IT’S AMAZING ..SO SURREAL…

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