PRINT March 1993


NICK WAPLINGTON’S PHOTOGRAPHS OF far more interesting than statistics, and far less forgettable. The images play with association, memory, horror, and (very) black humor. The artist himself willingly stands in for the human form, but the pictures are not portraiture in any sense. Waplington’s body functions instead as superimposed ghost or conscience, witness or fantasy. When we first see half a giant’s domed forehead and one gigantic, contemplative eye, the skeletal tower alongside seems quite delicate—it could be a gawky metal bird traversing some imaginary landscape, or a listening device, or a small-eyed robot gazing directly at a warm globe of human skull. In context, that construction of steel ribs becomes a slender foreshadowing. Later, as Waplington’s cropped form shimmers beside a bank of rusted loudspeakers, he appears caught in the act of manifesting or disintegrating, a bald

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