Mothersbaugh »« Cartier-Bresson

The leg. It can be sinewy – well behaved (if not prone to kicking) – an item of beauty (Nice legs!) – something to lose (Sorry for the confusion! I guess it’s more common to lose one’s footing.) – something to bite into (I’m thinking of chicken) – and a sign of life (if you’re still kicking, you must be alive – what is a good kind of kicking).

Seeing one alone is anomalous, because they tend to come in pairs. Meeting just one raises questions like: ‘What might its partner be doing?’ or ‘How to imagine the appearance of the owner of that appendage?’

A single leg is a limb robbed of its usual context. It seems out of place and that’s why it grabs our attention. It might be the victim of an oddball sense of humour or be making a defiant statement.

Anyway, just leave it to an artist to pick up on strange or desperate exhortations. Here’s two postcard examples:

Untitled - Bury Me
Mark Mothersbaugh: Untitled (Bury Me…), February 21, 2013. From the set ‘Mark Mothersbaugh: Collected Facts and Lies’ postcards. Published by Princeton Architectural Press. © 2014 Mark Mothersbaugh
Cartier Bresson
Henri Cartier-Bresson, New Jersey, USA, 1975. © Henri Carier-Bresson / Magnum Photos.

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