Looking at Tim Hawkinson’s work over the years, I’ve sometimes thought of François Truffaut’s famous book of interviews with Alfred Hitchcock, published first in 1967, then with an additive revision in 1984. Truffaut begins by asserting that “Hitchcock is universally acknowledged to be the world’s foremost technician; even his detractors willingly concede him this title.” Yet while making this concession, Truffaut complains, American audiences feel the title is empty, since the films have “no substance,” and for Truffaut substance is inseparable from techniquegiven all that technique, there has to be something there. This is the question Hawkinson prompts for me: The technique, the skill, are obvious and extraordinary; so, what’s there?
What’s there, for example, in Kookaburra, 2012? Five years ago Hawkinson made a motorbike entirely of feathers (Sherpa, 2008); now he makes
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